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6 Of The Best Festivals Around The World You Can Cruise To

6 Of The Best Festivals Around The World You Can Cruise To

If you’re like us at www.Cruise.co.uk you’ll be over the moon to hear that there IS in fact a combination out there of your two favourite things: cruises and festivals!

Not all festivals are about wellies in a muddy field; you can visit different cities around the world for a few day’s of celebrations of various culture, history, dance and music. And this is exactly why we have put together a list for you of seven festivals you can cruise to, so that you can experience the live music, exotic events and sometimes boho vibe whilst feeling fresh, well rested and like you’re still living in luxury.

1 – Edinburgh Tattoo

You may or may not heard of The Tattoo in the festival sense but if you have you’ll know that it is a sellout year after year and an iconic Edinburgh institution. Known as a global gathering that showcases the talents of musicians and performers, it delivers something different every year with a unique message.

2014’s theme was ‘Our Home, Friends and Family’ that focused on the notion of travel; the way it creates joy through reunion and adventure through exploring the unknown (all you frequent cruisers will be more than familiar with this feeling, we’re sure).

Edinburgh Castle

If you fancy heading here one year this year between the 5th and 27th August you’ll be one of the 217,000 that visit or if you prefer to watch from the sofa you’ll be one of the 100 million that do the same! Expect the Massed Pipes and Drums, the Massed Military Bands, fiddlers, Zulu warriors and steel drummers to star in this multinational extravaganza.

Did we mention all of this happens against the spectacular backdrop of Edinburgh castle?


2 – Oktoberfest

Better known as the world’s most famous beer festival! If you fancy drinking with the locals in Munich whilst learning of Bavarian traditions then this is for you, and wait, it gets better. You can celebrate the festival while cruising on a riverboat on the Mississippi River with a fantastic view of the St. Louis skyline.

Choose which days between the 17th September and 3rd October 2022 you want to spend savouring authentic German food and dancing to live German music (you might feel better about doing this once you’ve really appreciated the beer!)


We definitely want to be part of this celebration now where you can toast to good friends and fun times on the river- who says it needs to be summer to feel the festival vibe?!

3 – Maarten Heinekin Regatta

Okay, we know that was a mouthful but it’s a real thing, we promise. It celebrated its 41st edition this year as an annual sailing event that offers four days of World Class racing.

The dates have been confirmed for the next 5 years to make sure you have them block booked in! For 2022 it’s the 3rd March to 6th March. Prepare to witness more than 35 countries be represented by over 200 sailboats, all taking part in the Regatta. This annual Caribbean event invites you to enjoy an ice-cold Heineken at their unique parties where international music artists have featured in the past.


The Regatta has been around since 1980 and only eight years ago it reached its largest entry field at 289 boats, so let’s start visiting this festival on the seas and hopefully witness not only an incredible unique atmosphere, but some more breaking records too!

4 – Rio De Janeiro’s Carnival

Just before Lent starts every year, street parties break out in Rio like you’ve never known in the form of live Brazillian music, colourful clothing and spectacular parades.

Rio Carnival

If you’re thinking about heading here you’ll want to know about the ‘stadium of samba’, too. It’s basically a permanent parade route that stretches 700 metres!

You can either sit in the spectator stands that’ll hold up to 70,000 people or head to Cinelandia Square where the party begins at 5pm and ends at 3am- orchestras, samba dancers, singers and more all night long (now we understand its party status!)


5 – Amsterdam Light Festival

Possibly the most unique way to discover, or re-discover, Amsterdam! You will get to witness the scenery when it’s spectacularly lit at nighttime on a Water Colours Cruise; the canal boats frequently depart from Holland’s International Canal Cruises pier from 5pm until 11pm, so your view will be even better lit up in the late evening time!

Amsterdam Light Festival

This festival period usually runs through from November to January so you’ll get that wintery feel and the central audio system is there to educate you on the magnificent works of light in front of you.

This isn’t too far for you to go to indulge in a whole new dimension to the historical city and you’ll be on the boat for a whole 75 minutes so it’ll be well worth it!

6 – Bestival

If you’ve ticked off all the international festivals, why not dig out your wellies and attend this week of wacky, cultural fun that’s practically in your back garden!

Technically not a festival you cruise to, as this year it is being hosted within Lulworth Castle, Dorset (although previous years it has been hosted on the Isle of Wight), but with Southampton just a short drive away you could always end the festival visit with a cruise getaway! 

We must admit Bestival has done pretty well to mark out its niche in such an intense UK festival market with its famous disco ball meeting point and the ever popular ambient forest (it’s exactly as it sounds: a secluded forest with unique features like an Ampitheatre!)


Not only will you find throwback music appearances that come in the form of golden oldie style bands, but you can also immerse yourselves in anything from the Bollywood field to Temple Island, the church of dance, to activities like yoga or standing in awe at the Wall of Death!

So, what do you think? Which one of these festivals sounds the most exciting? Would you travel to Germany or Edinburgh for a burst of cultural celebration? Let us know in the comments below!

Bulletin Editor

Editor and Creative Copywriter of Cruise.co.uk's bulletin blog, bringing you cruise news, tips and guides daily! - Contact: bulletineditor@cruise.co.uk

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