Festival Fever: Combining Cruises with Event Stays

Experience the best of both worlds by combining cruises with festival stays for a memorable holiday. Imagine sailing to Spain to join the vibrant La Tomatina festival in Buñol and then relaxing on the sunny beaches of the Costa del Sol. Head to Italy, where the Venice Carnival’s masked celebrations await, followed by a scenic cruise along the Mediterranean to picturesque towns like Portofino. In Brazil, dance through the streets of Rio de Janeiro during Carnival and then unwind on the famous beaches of Copacabana.


Top Festival Destinations


Combining a cruise with a stay at top festivals worldwide offers an unforgettable experience. Imagine cruising to Spain and experiencing the vibrant energy of La Tomatina in Buñol. After enjoying the tomato-throwing spectacle, relax on the beautiful beaches of the Costa del Sol, soaking up the sun and savouring delicious Spanish cuisine during yourcruise and stay holidays 2025.


Head to Italy for the Venice Carnival, where the city’s canals and historic streets come alive with elaborate masks and costumes. After immersing yourself in the festivities, sail along the Mediterranean coast to explore picturesque towns like Portofino and Amalfi. The combination of cultural celebration and coastal beauty creates a unique holiday blend.


Experience the excitement of Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival by cruising to Brazil. The world’s most famous carnival features samba parades, street parties, and vibrant costumes. After the lively celebration, unwind on the pristine beaches of Copacabana or Ipanema, enjoying the stunning views and warm Brazilian hospitality.


In Japan, the cherry blossom season is celebrated nationwide with Hanami festivals—cruise to Japan in spring to witness these beautiful blooms and partake in local festivities. Afterwards, explore the coastal cities of Yokohama and Osaka, where modern attractions and historical sites offer a perfect mix of relaxation and adventure.


Benefits of a Cruise and Festival Holiday


Combining a cruise with a festival holiday offers a seamless way to enjoy relaxation and excitement. You can visit multiple festival locations without the hassle of constant travel arrangements. For example, imagine attending the Venice Carnival and then sailing to the Cannes Film Festival, enjoying diverse cultural experiences in one trip. The convenience of having your accommodations and transportation covered by the cruise allows you to focus entirely on enjoying the events.


Cruises provide a luxurious and comfortable base, enhancing your overall festival experience. After revelling in local festivities, you can return to the ship to relax in spacious cabins, enjoy gourmet meals, and participate in onboard activities. This balance between onshore excitement and onboard comfort ensures you stay refreshed and ready for the next festival adventure.


Cruises also offer an opportunity to meet like-minded travellers who share your interests. Onboard activities and group excursions can foster connections with fellow festival-goers, creating a sense of community and shared enjoyment. For instance, attending themed parties or festival-related events on the ship can extend the festive atmosphere and allow for deeper cultural immersion.


Another significant benefit is the opportunity for diverse experiences in a single journey. From the vibrant streets of Rio de Janeiro during Carnival to the serene cherry blossom festivals in Japan, a cruise can take you to various destinations. This variety enhances your trip, offering high-energy events and peaceful retreats, making your holiday richly fulfilling and memorable.


Choosing the Right Festival Accommodation


Finding the right accommodation near festival sites can significantly enhance your event experience. In Venice, for instance, staying at the Hotel Danieli offers luxury and convenience during the Venice Carnival. Located just a short walk from St. Mark’s Square, it allows easy access to the festivities while providing a comfortable retreat from the crowds. With its rich history and stunning views of the Grand Canal, the hotel complements the grandeur of the carnival itself.


The InterContinental Carlton Cannes is a prime choice for those attending the Cannes Film Festival. Situated on the famous La Croisette Boulevard, this hotel is in the heart of the action, making it perfect for festival-goers. Its proximity to the Palais des Festivals allows you to attend screenings and events quickly. The hotel’s elegant ambience and exceptional service make it an ideal base for enjoying the festival’s glamorous atmosphere.


If you’re heading to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, consider staying at The Balmoral Hotel. Located on Princes Street, this iconic hotel offers both luxury and convenience. It’s just a short distance from the Royal Mile and many Fringe venues, ensuring you can immerse yourself in the vibrant arts scene without worrying about lengthy commutes. The hotel’s blend of historic charm and modern amenities provides a comfortable haven after a day of festival activities.


The Copacabana Palace by Belmond is a standout option for the Rio Carnival. It is positioned right on Copacabana Beach and offers stunning ocean views and quick access to the carnival parades. The hotel’s luxurious rooms and top-notch facilities make it a perfect place to relax after a day of dancing and celebrating. Its proximity to the main events ensures you won’t miss any excitement while enjoying the comfort of a renowned hotel.


Packing for a Festival Holiday


When heading to a festival holiday, packing smartly ensures you have everything needed for an enjoyable experience. Start with comfortable footwear; festivals often involve walking and standing, so sturdy shoes or supportive sandals are essential. For instance, if you’re attending the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, comfortable shoes will make navigating the cobbled streets much easier and more enjoyable.


Another must-have is weather-appropriate clothing. Festivals can be unpredictable, so pack layers, including a waterproof jacket for sudden rain showers. For a summer festival like the Cannes Film Festival, lightweight clothing and a hat are crucial to staying cool. Don’t forget a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the day, especially if you’re under the sun for extended periods.


Personal care items are also essential. Bring sunscreen to protect your skin, especially for outdoor events like the Rio Carnival. Hand sanitiser and wet wipes are handy for maintaining hygiene when facilities are limited. A small first aid kit with band-aids and pain relievers can be lifesaving for minor injuries or headaches that might occur during the festivities.


Think about the practicalities of your stay and cruise holiday. A portable phone charger ensures you stay connected and can capture memories without worrying about battery life. A compact, lightweight backpack is perfect for carrying your essentials throughout the day. For example, a secure bag will keep your belongings safe during the Venice Carnival while you enjoy the vibrant street performances and masked parades.