Ever wondered what an Afternoon Tea at sea is like? Most cruise ships will offer this traditionally British experience, particularly if they’re sailing from the UK or have a big British clientele. I’ve listed a few of my favourites that you should definitely consider, as well as alternative options available for a tea and cake treat…
(*) Denotes a paid partnership
P&O Cruises*, Eric Lanlard’s Afternoon Tea (£15-20pp)
It’s September, I’m at sea bound for Norway onboard Britannia (P&O Cruises*), there’s plenty of things to do onboard but Eric Lanlard’s Afternoon Tea was far too tempting. Situated in the Epicurean restaurant, it’s an elaborate experience from the the start with a spritz of violet above our heads “to awaken the appetite” before our choice of tea (supplied by Teapigs) and beautifully displayed sweets and savouries.
Further reading: What’s a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords like?
As it’s a cruise, every element draws inspiration from Eric’s travels – from the West Indies chocolate tart to the Spanish orange blossom and bee pollen scones.
P&O Cruises also serve a complimentary Afternoon Tea for guests in the main restaurants with a classic selection of sandwiches, cakes and scones.
Cunard Cruises Afternoon Tea
These beautiful ships have a grandeur and style that mirrors the classic liners of yesteryear in many ways. It was a Christmas market cruise to Belgium when I got the chance to experience Cunard’s complimentary Afternoon Tea in the opulent Queen’s Room. Cunard Cruises also have a Champagne and Godiva Chocolate Afternoon Tea, available for an additional charge.
Arriving early to get a head start in growing queue, I tucked into fluffy crustless sandwiches, pastries and scones – white glove service no less. If all this sounds too showy, I found many of these scrumptious treats were available at the Lido buffet around the same time.
Viking Cruises* Afternoon Tea
I was invited by Viking Cruises to experience their West Indies Explorer itinerary onboard the Viking Sea. A Viking cruise is all-inclusive meaning you can indulge daily in their Afternoon Tea inside the bright, sun-lit Wintergarden. Viking have put their own stamp on the dainty cakes and sandwiches and offer a great tea selection. The ambience is also a treat with comfortable corner sofas, trickling water fountains and a string quartet.
Further reading: A West Indies explorer cruise to San Juan, Puerto Rico
Royal Caribbean Cruises Afternoon Tea
Being a US-led cruise line you wouldn’t expect to find a traditional cake tier stand and extensive tea selection, however the Windjammer Marketplace on ships like the Independence of the Seas do have “Afternoon Snacks” which essentially has everything you’d desire from a High Tea; cakes, scones, savoury wraps and sandwiches – plus a tea and coffee station is always available here. It’s simple, but the snacks are done very well, the vanilla cupcakes with frosting are heavenly!
Celebrity Cruises Champagne Afternoon Tea
Though I’ve yet to take a Celebrity cruise it’s worth a mention as their list of awards emboldens their proposal to “try the best cuisine at sea”. This includes, of course, their Champagne Afternoon Tea (available for an extra charge) in venues like Murano, home to French-inspired cuisine.
Further reading: Cruise bloggers share their must-try dining experiences at sea
Have you enjoyed an Afternoon Tea at sea that’s not mentioned? Let me know what should be next on this list if so!
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