How can you attend Shakespearean plays on a UK cruise?

Travelling in England and want to add a dash of culture to your cruise? Perhaps you're a fan of the theatre, or maybe you're simply intrigued by the allure of the Bard. Whatever your motives, there's no doubt that attending a Shakespearean play is a quintessential British experience. If you're wondering how you can include this in your UK cruise itinerary, you're in the right place. Keep reading for a detailed guide on how to plan your visit, book your tickets, and get the most out of your Shakespearean adventure.

Attending Plays at The Globe Theatre in London

First stop on our theatrical tour is none other than the iconic Globe Theatre in London. This reconstructed Elizabethan playhouse on the south bank of the River Thames is the perfect place to start your Shakespearean journey. Let's explore how you can make this part of your cruise itinerary.

Your cruise ship will likely dock at the Port of London. From there, it's a quick journey to the Globe. You can take a taxi, the tube, or enjoy a scenic walk along the Thames. Once there, you can purchase a ticket for a play or take a guided tour of the theatre. The Globe presents Shakespeare plays in the traditional style, which means standing tickets are available for a truly authentic experience. You can also opt for a more comfortable seat in the gallery.

Don't forget to check the schedule before your cruise. The Globe’s season typically runs from April to October and plays are performed in repertory, meaning multiple plays are performed over a period of time. Advanced booking is recommended as performances often sell out.

Visiting the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon

Next, we set sail to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Here, you'll find the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, a 1,040-seater venue that is home to the Royal Shakespeare Company. Now, let's break down how you can add this to your cruise experience.

If your cruise includes a stop at the Port of Southampton, you can take a day tour to Stratford-upon-Avon. Once there, you can book a ticket for a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Alternatively, you can also take a guided tour of the theatre and its backstage. During the tour, you'll learn about the history of the theatre and get a glimpse into the world of the actors and crew.

Keep in mind that the Royal Shakespeare Company performs throughout the year, so you're sure to catch a play no matter when your cruise is. Just like with the Globe, we recommend booking your tickets in advance to secure your spot.

Experiencing a Cunard Shakespearean Cruise

For those who want a truly immersive Shakespeare experience, consider booking a Shakespearean cruise with Cunard. This luxury cruise line offers a unique travel experience that combines the thrill of cruising with the magic of Shakespeare.

On a Cunard Shakespearean cruise, you'll be able to watch renowned actors perform excerpts from Shakespeare's plays. You'll also have the opportunity to attend workshops and Q&A sessions with the actors. In addition, there's always the option to take part in a tour or excursion to Stratford-upon-Avon, and other places of interest related to Shakespeare.

Keep in mind that these themed cruises are usually offered once a year, so be sure to book in advance. It's a truly unique way to experience the Bard's works, all from the comfort of a luxury cruise ship.

Taking a Shakespeare River Avon Cruise

If you're looking to explore the scenic beauty of England while enjoying the works of Shakespeare, a River Avon cruise is just the ticket. These cruises offer stunning views of Stratford-upon-Avon, and often include live performances of Shakespeare's sonnets and plays.

Most of these cruises have tie-ups with the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. So, you can enjoy a play at the theatre and then hop onto a river cruise for a relaxing journey down the Avon. It's a fantastic way to explore the picturesque English countryside, and is sure to be a highlight of your UK travel experience.

Exploring the Shakespeare's Birthplace Museum

Last but not least, no Shakespearean adventure would be complete without a visit to the Shakespeare's Birthplace Museum. This museum is located in Stratford-upon-Avon and is a must-visit for all Shakespeare enthusiasts.

The museum offers a peek into the life of the legendary playwright. Through guided tours, you can explore the house where Shakespeare was born and grew up. The museum also houses a collection of artefacts and memorabilia associated with Shakespeare.

To fit this into your cruise itinerary, consider taking a day tour to Stratford-upon-Avon. Many cruise lines offer such tours, making it easy for you to explore the museum in a day. Remember, it's best to book these tours in advance to ensure you get a spot.

Enjoying a Walking Tour of Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon, the quaint market town where William Shakespeare was born, offers an array of captivating sites and experiences for theater lovers. A walking tour is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the Bard's world and get a deeper understanding of his life and works.

Since we are talking about a cruise itinerary, it's recommended to plan your tour strategically. Start from the Port of Southampton, where most cruise liners heading towards Stratford-upon-Avon dock. From there, you can easily join a guided walking tour that covers all the key Shakespearean attractions in the town.

First on your list should be the Shakespeare's Birthplace Museum. Afterward, take a stroll to Henley Street, where you can visit the house where Shakespeare was born. Then move on to the Mary Arden Farm - the childhood home of Shakespeare's mother. Other fascinating points include Hall's Croft, the home of Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna and her husband, and Anne Hathaway's Cottage, the pre-marital home of Shakespeare’s wife.

Each site often hosts live performances and interactive exhibits that bring Shakespeare’s world to life. As you walk the same streets, breathe the same air, and see the same buildings that Shakespeare did, you'll gain a new perspective on his life and works. Make sure to book your tour in advance to ensure availability.

Discovering Stratford-upon-Avon’s MAD Museum

Another unique stop on your Shakespearean cruise is Stratford-upon-Avon's MAD Museum. MAD stands for Mechanical Art and Design, and this wonderful little museum is full of interactive kinetic art and automata.

The museum is just a short walk from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, making it a perfect stop before or after a play. It offers a delightful diversion from the more traditional Shakespearean attractions. It's especially great for families, as the hands-on exhibits are bound to keep children entertained.

Although the MAD Museum doesn’t directly relate to Shakespeare, it represents the creativity that Stratford-upon-Avon continues to inspire. Plus, it's just plain fun. You won't need to book in advance unless you're visiting with a large group.

Conclusion: Making the Most of Your Shakespearean Cruise

In conclusion, a UK cruise offers an exceptional opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of William Shakespeare. Whether it's watching a play at the Globe Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, or visiting the bard’s birthplace and the tranquil River Avon, the possibilities are endless.

Consider booking a Shakespearean cruise with Cunard for a truly immersive experience, or opt for a River Avon cruise for a blend of scenic beauty and theatrical magic. Don't miss the Shakespeare's Birthplace Museum and make sure to explore Stratford-upon-Avon, from the walking tours to the quirky MAD Museum.

While it's crucial to book your tickets and tours in advance, remember to leave some room in your itinerary for spontaneous adventures. For instance, joining a last-minute guided tour or enjoying a leisurely afternoon tea at a local café. This way, you'll have the freedom to explore and experience the magic of Shakespeare in your own way.

As a final tip, don't forget to check out the reviews on Cruise Critic for first-hand experiences and tips from fellow travellers. This will help you plan your trip effectively and ensure you get the most out of your Shakespearean cruise adventure. Enjoy your journey through the life and works of one of history's greatest playwrights!