4 of the best classical music cruises in 2020

Cruise Advice
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Music festivals - there's a thing. Whilst we oldies might just remember Woodstock back in 1969 and be aware that Glastonbury dates back to 1970 (attendance 1,500), nothing could have prepared us for the glorious range of choices and themes that make up the current festival scene.

Unsurprising, then, that this should have extended on to ships, and if there is a particular range of artistes or musical genres that particularly appeals to you, just take a look - you will probably find something perfect. The one area of interest that is not particularly well served is that of classical music, so we have chosen our four favourite classical music cruises in 2020 for an extra-special enhancement to your holiday.

Silversea Opera Voyage with the Accademia Teatro alla Scala

Silver Spirit sails from Barcelona to Athens on 17th October 2020, operating a beautiful itinerary featuring the lovely Mediterranean islands of Menorca, Sardinia, Sicily, Malta, Mykonos and Santorini. The voyage includes an exclusive opera performance, the opportunity to meet the artists, discussions and lectures with an expert on the music and lyrics of the recital programme, and themed shore excursions to renowned theatres.

Silversea - Teatro alla Scala opera cruise

Ponant's Piano Festival at Sea

Without doubt the most comprehensive range of music cruises comes from the chic boutique French cruise line Ponant, which bring together music lovers and performers around a shared passion. The guests of honour are renowned artists, talented performers and brilliant virtuosos. There are many to choose from, but our favourite is the 5th Piano Festival at Sea, departing on 18th April 2020 and sailing from Dakar to Lisbon on Le Durmont d'Urville. Your fellow guests will be serious classical music aficionados, and the highlight of each day is the extraordinary evening concert, with its exceptional musical line-up.

Ponant - Le Dumont d'Urville

Cunard Transatlantic Music Week

Cunard's unique event cruises are not to be missed, and usually take place on the transatlantic voyage to give you plenty of time to enjoy every minute. We particularly like the look of the Transatlantic Music Week departing 23rd October 2020 on board the one-of-a-kind Queen Mary 2. If a transatlantic voyage has always been on your to-do list, this is a great incentive to actually go ahead and book. Why not make a real trip of it and book a couple of concerts in New York before flying home?

Cunard - Show in Royal Court Theatre

European Waterways

For opera lovers, a special Opera Cruise aboard La Bella Vita, a unique and intimate 20-guest barge, is a perfect choice. Before your cruise from Venice to Mantua begins, you travel to Verona to visit the fascinating Arena Muse Opera, a wonderful museum devoted to the history of opera, followed by a performance of Verdi's Nabucco in the magnificent setting of the Roman amphitheatre, the Arena di Verona.

Arena di Verona opera

Spend the night in Verona before joining La Bella Vita in Venice the following day. During the cruise there are visits to some wonderful baroque theatres, such as the Gran Teatro La Fenice, where the premières of operas by composers such as Rossini and Verdi were performed, and the intimate Teatro Bibiena in Mantua, with its bell-shaped interior that opened with a concert by a 13-year-old Mozart in 1770. Don't miss this departure on 15th August 2020.

Edwina Lonsdale
Meet the author

Edwina Lonsdale is Managing Director and, together with husband Matthew, owner of Mundy Cruising.

More about Edwina

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