Why Cruises Are Great for Art Enthusiasts

If you’re an art enthusiast, you’ll appreciate Carnival cruise’s art in motion, an elegant way to learn about and acquire collectible art while on vacation. Whether you plan to invest in art or you want a refined yet fun experience, you’ll find it all on a Carnival cruise onboard art experience! From art exhibits to seminars, here’s much more to discover when you choose shore excursions that specifically focus on culture and art too.

art pieces on display on a carnival ship

Onboard Art Exhibitions and Auctions

Carnival cruise ships are likened to floating galleries. That means you’re surrounded by an impressive array of artwork by well-known masters to pop artists, much of which you can take home through onboard auctions. There’s no need to feel intimidated when attending cruise art auctions; they aren’t like the serious, stuffy art auctions you might find back home on land. Well, there’s one thing a cruising art auction has that’s just like the landlocked version — there’s plenty of champagne to help you feel fancy and pampered. Here are a few tips to make your onboard auction experience successful:

  • Pre-register with Park West Gallery before your cruise by calling or visiting its website.
  • Attend the gallery’s onboard lectures and educational seminars before the auction.
  • Attend the ship’s preview party to browse and tag artwork you’re interested in (no obligation to buy for tagging).
  • Decide what medium you may be interested in bidding on. Park West Gallery offers pieces or art from hundreds of artists in acrylics, watercolors, lithographs, etchings, sculptures and serigraphs.
  • The gallery can ship your purchased artwork to your home, or you can bring it back with you off the ship.

You don’t need to be a millionaire to afford a piece of fine art from a cruise’s onboard auction. You’ll find plenty of pieces under $500. Some pieces might be priced less on board than they are in a land-based gallery. That’s because the cruise art auction dealer doesn’t have the overhead costs of renting a building and promoting artists that go into a gallery on land. And another incentive to buy art on a ship? The art bought on board is duty-free.

an art exhibition onboard a carnival ship

Onboard Art Games

Become enlightened the entertaining way by playing onboard art games. It’s also an ideal way to get your kids in on the lively action of learning about art. Games can be action-packed and competitive, but it’s always fun trying to estimate the value of a piece of art. Onboard art games are free to play, but whoever wins the competition will get to take home a prize.

name the artist game onboard a carnival ship

Onboard Art Seminars and Lectures

Would you like to feel like an honorary art history student while cruising? No tuition needed. Those in the know are familiar with the variety of art seminars and lecture series on just about every Carnival ship. You’ll learn about ancient art, modern masters and topics such as the Renaissance and contemporary art. Bring along your notebook to take notes on theory and technique. It’s not just good material for cocktail parties; you can use your newfound knowledge to score at art auctions.

an auctioneer lecturing a crowd on pop art onboard a carnival ship

On Shore Art Discoveries

Shore excursions add another layer of art education that can’t be found in any book. Choose your cruise, and, inevitably, there’s a cultural or historical outing that will give you a glimpse into the inner workings of the region’s unique art and architecture. Here are just a few shore excursions designed with the art enthusiast in mind:

  • Ancient art and architecture: Take a transatlantic cruise to Italy’s Rome port for a tour of the famous Tibertine Villas. There, you’ll tour the architecture, archaeology, art and culture of Tivoli Gardens and Roman Ruins of Villa Adriana. Create your own signature artwork with this rare photo opportunity.
  • Lacquer artwork: Cruise to the Caribbean and explore the creativity of local artists in places like St. Kitts, San Juan and St. Lucia. In these places, you can find great trip keepsakes, like handmade pottery, local paintings and ceramics.
  • Historic artifacts: Sail to Hawaii and learn the history and see the artifacts of Pearl Harbor. After visiting the USS Arizona Memorial, you’ll explore the nearby museums, which are home to an extensive collection of surrender documents, military paraphernalia and historic items about the history of flight.
  • Golden art glass: Visit Alaska’s Skagway port where you’ll be part of a unique workshop of limited participants there to learn the ancient art of working with molten glass. This once-in-a-lifetime experience gives you the chance to blow your own piece of glass art with 24K gold accents during a hands-on workshop.

local artist paintings in st. kitts

A cruise offers so much more than fun in the sun. Between auctions and seminars, celebrate your newfound art expertise with a fancy onboard dinner at the Steakhouse and cocktail at the sophisticated Alchemy Bar. Come on a Carnival cruise to see how art history is supposed to be taught—the inspirational way.

Note: Onboard activities, shore excursions, and dining options may vary by ship and destination.