Come Sail Away…Meetings at Sea

You want an economical and efficient way to stage your next meeting?  Consider holding your conferences and workshops at sea on a cruise ship! You will be amazed at how easy and affordable it is to conduct an event on a ship compared to a land-based venue. Many things you pay extra for on land are all included in the price shipboard. Cruises are highly popular with attendees and can help make your event a roaring success. Select the cruise length that is best for your business needs from 3, 4 ,5, 7 or 10 days and longer.  Choose great itineraries such as Alaska, the Caribbean, Hawaii and the Mexican Riviera that are sure to be a hit with conference attendees who experience a perfect blend of interesting, enjoyable ports of call with days at sea to conduct important business functions.


Healthy Meetings are in high demand these days! There are endless ways to incorporate elements of health and wellness into your meeting at sea or incentive cruise program – because they’re built right in! Cruise ships have all the elements in place for healthy food choices, active excursions and group activities, access to onboard health venues and robust fitness facilities, and water sports marinas.



10 Planning Tips

Shari Wallack, president of Florida-based Buy the Sea, offers these tips for planners considering or planning a program on a cruise ship.

  • Understand the features, benefits and value of a charter versus a group booking.
  • Make sure your meeting and function requirements are spelled out in the contract.
  • Make use of the onboard entertainers for award ceremonies, cocktail parties and private events.
  • Let the ship’s shore excursions department help you plan custom events ashore; it’s easier than hiring a DMC in each port.
  • Don’t over schedule your guests. Give them free time to enjoy the ship and the ports.
  • Leverage all-inclusive liquor packages.
  • Use a ship’s specialty restaurants. Buyouts are perfect for dine-arounds.
  • Explore beyond the traditional cruise ship and try a sailing vessel or European river cruise for smaller groups looking for exclusivity.
  • Customize your program with logos, recognizable colors, door magnets and corporate bags, tags, and other items. Make it easy for your guests to locate one another onboard.

Remember the Styx classic Come Sail Away…“ I’m sailing away set an open course for the virgin sea. I’ve got to be free, free to face the life that’s ahead of me.”   Meetings at sea can do that for you and your organization!






Julie Surrey is a Partner at Creative Planette and is a seasoned professional in the events industry. Ms. Surrey started blogging actively in 2010 and writes industry specific pieces for i-Meet, the online business community for people who plan meetings and events.


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