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A Higher Purpose on the High Seas

Culture Club: Arts and Music
Royal Olympic Explorer Top lecturers and performers board Royal Olympic's newest ship and share their knowledge of the Explorer's ports of call as it circumnavigates South America on one of its Cultural Enrichment Series sailings. National Geographic photographer Loren McIntyre, producer of the recent IMAX movie Amazon, describes experiences from 19 years in Latin America. Chilean violinist Francisca Mendoza plays classical music nightly, accompanied by three pianists, a flutist, and an operatic trio. 55-day sailings from $10,045 per person, double; February 7—April 3; 800/872-6400 www.royalolympiccruises.com

The Program: Antiques Boat Show The Ship: Radisson Seven Seas Voyager Appreciate the value of Victorian salt spoons and Elizabethan embroidery while cruising the Irish and North Seas. Specialists from the BBC's Antiques Roadshow will talk about collectibles, then show passengers where to find them in Irish, Scottish, and Welsh ports of call. From $6,295 per person, double. June 20—July 1; 800/285-1835; www.rssc.com

The Program: Art of the Dawn The Ship: Norwegian Dawn When Norwegian Cruise Line's newest vessel hits the high seas, it will be carrying four original paintings—by van Gogh, Matisse, Monet, and Renoir. Curators from New York museums will give talks on the masterpieces, and artists will offer classes in painting, ceramics, and art history. Seven-day sailings from $1,299 per person, double. Maiden voyage December 21; 800/327-7030; www.ncl.com

The Program: Photo Expedition The Ship: Lindblad Expeditions Endeavour Take advantage of the southern light and push your Leica to its limits when the Zodiac amphibious landing craft pulls up to the icy floes of Antarctica. Shoreside photo journeys are led by nature photographers Ralph Lee Hopkins and Kevin Shafer, who explain creative and technical aspects—from aperture options to framing the penguins—of shooting on glaciers. From $8,490 per person, double. November 30—December 6; 800/397-3348 www.expeditions.com

The Program: World of Photography and Filmmaking The Ship: Cunard Queen Elizabeth 2 Celebrity photographers and cinematographers, including Kennedy family photographer Ken Regan, give insider advice, show their prints and movies, and discuss their work. From $1,799 per person, double, including one-way airfare July 22—28 (transatlantic crossing); 800/728-6273; www.cunard.com

The Program: Big Band The Ship: Holland America Amsterdam Feel the rhythm of the Big Band era. Aboard the Amsterdam, full orchestras perform swing classics, professional dancers teach the lindy hop, and forties films are screened in the ship's theater. On this month's 10-day Caribbean sailing (November 11—21), the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra keeps the beat. From $1,289 per person, double; on all caribbean sailings 877/724-5425; www.hollandamerica.com

The Program: seventies music The Ship: Crystal Harmony As part of its Visions Enrichment series, the Harmony takes a trip back in time. On 10-day cruises from Costa Rica to Fort Lauderdale, a live tribute band will perform renditions of "Dancing Queen" and other seventies hits. There'll also be a DJ spinning seventies dance hits, film expert Jan Wahl to critique the decade's movies, and all the flared trousers you can stand. From $2,605 per person, double 800/820-6663; www.crystalcruises.com

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