Adventures on the high teas: 7 afternoon teas to enjoy on board ship

Whether you pack tea bags to take on your cruise or not, we reveal the best teas on the high seas.

We’re a nation of tea lovers and, according to Cruise Critic, who recently polled more than 1,000 cruisers, more than a third (35%) admitted they always find space in their luggage for tea bags.

But half the joy of sailing the high seas is the ritual of an authentic afternoon tea, rather than a quick cuppa in your cabin.

“We’re a nation synonymous with tea drinking, and despite never being too far away from your next caffeine fix on a cruise, this poll shows how important home comforts are to some,” says Adam Coulter, UK managing editor, Cruise Critic.

“And, for those tea-loving travellers who aren’t fussed to take their own teabags on holiday, a cruise offers plenty of opportunity to treat yourself to the array of amazing afternoon teas.”

Should it be musical entertainment, an opulent table setting, speciality sandwiches, sweeties galore and delicate infusions topped off with the sound of corks popping, Cruise Critic share some of their favourite teas at sea…

1. Celebrity Cruises

When and where: The line’s Champagne High Tea is served once during its seven-night itineraries, and at least twice during longer cruises, and is usually hosted in a speciality restaurant.

Includes: Selection of premium Champagnes; tea and coffees (including lattes and cappuccinos) savoury sandwiches; and desserts, including pastries, scones, truffles and pate de fruit.

2. Oceania Cruises

When and where: Oceania Cruises’ daily afternoon tea takes place at Horizons, an observation lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows, at 4 pm. A classical string quartet also plays in the background.

Includes: The regularly updated menu comprises finger sandwiches, petits fours, scones and desserts, which are served with an extensive tea selection.

3. Cunard

When and where: A quintessentially British cruise line, Cunard hosts its popular afternoon teas daily. These are held in various locations across the fleet

Includes: An onboard tea sommelier will help select tea from options including Twinings and Wedgewood. Food includes sandwiches, followed by scones with clotted cream and jam, and then pastries like Black Forest cake, fruit tarts and eclairs.

4. Regent Seven Seas Cruises

When and where: Daily afternoon tea is served onboard Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Explorer, Seven Seas Navigator and Seven Seas Voyager in various lounges, with a musician to entertain guests.

Includes: Finger sandwiches, fruit, scones, pastries and a variety of teas and coffee.

5. Viking Ocean Cruises

When and where: Viking Ocean Cruises serves afternoon tea most afternoons in the Wintergarden from 4pm, and this is accompanied by musicians playing classical music.

Includes: A range of fine teas, sandwiches, scones, cakes, and pastries including macarons, opera cake and berry tart.

6. Seabourn

When and where: Seabourn’s afternoon tea is served daily in the Observation Lounge at 4pm.

Includes: Tea buffs will be in their element, with a range of unusual, and tasty options. Once guests have ordered tea, they can select food from the buffet, which includes sandwiches, scones, pastries, and cakes, including chocolate peanut butter ganache tart.

7. Silversea

When and where: Daily afternoon tea is served at 4pm in La Terrazza, The Bar or the Panorama Lounge (depending which ship you’re on).

Includes: During afternoon tea, guests can expect entertainment, such as a pianist. There is an array of tea options available, along with sandwich platters, scones with cream, plus pastries, such as fruit tarts.

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