Green thumb at sea: exploring onboard gardening classes on cruises


Cruises have long been associated with luxury, relaxation, and indulgence. From gourmet dining to world-class entertainment, these floating resorts offer a wide range of amenities and activities to cater to every traveler’s taste. However, there is a new trend emerging in the cruise industry that combines leisure with education and sustainability – onboard gardening classes.

The Rise of Onboard Gardening Classes

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in sustainable living and organic gardening. People are becoming more conscious of the impact of their lifestyle choices on the environment and are seeking ways to reduce their carbon footprint. This shift in mindset has led to an increased demand for educational programs that promote sustainable practices, including gardening.

Cruise lines have recognized this trend and are now offering onboard gardening classes as part of their enrichment programs. These classes provide passengers with the opportunity to learn about gardening techniques, organic farming, and sustainable living while enjoying their vacation at sea.

What to Expect from Onboard Gardening Classes

Onboard gardening classes vary from cruise line to cruise line, but they typically include a combination of lectures, hands-on workshops, and interactive demonstrations. Passengers can learn about a wide range of topics, including:

1. Organic Gardening: Participants will learn about the benefits of organic gardening and how to grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. They will also discover the importance of composting and soil health for sustainable gardening.

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2. Container Gardening: As space is limited on cruise ships, container gardening is a popular option for onboard gardening classes. Passengers will learn how to grow plants in small spaces, such as balconies or windowsills, using containers and vertical gardening techniques.

3. Hydroponics and Aquaponics: Some cruise lines offer classes on hydroponics and aquaponics, which are innovative gardening methods that use water instead of soil. Passengers will learn how to grow plants using nutrient-rich water and fish waste as a natural fertilizer.

4. Herb and Spice Gardening: Many onboard gardening classes focus on growing herbs and spices, as they are easy to cultivate and can be used in a variety of culinary dishes. Passengers will learn how to grow and care for popular herbs like basil, rosemary, and mint.

5. Sustainable Living: In addition to gardening techniques, onboard classes often cover broader topics related to sustainable living. Passengers can learn about composting, recycling, and reducing food waste, as well as the benefits of eating locally sourced and seasonal produce.

Benefits of Onboard Gardening Classes

Participating in onboard gardening classes offers several benefits for cruise passengers. Here are a few:

1. Educational Experience: Passengers can expand their knowledge and learn new skills in gardening and sustainable living. These classes provide a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience and interact with experts in the field.

2. Relaxation and Stress Relief: Gardening has been proven to have a calming effect on the mind and body. Engaging in gardening activities while on a cruise can help passengers relax and unwind, providing a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

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3. Connection with Nature: Being surrounded by the vast ocean can sometimes make passengers feel disconnected from nature. Onboard gardening classes offer a chance to reconnect with the natural world and experience the joy of growing and nurturing plants.

4. Environmental Awareness: By learning about sustainable gardening practices, passengers become more aware of the impact of their actions on the environment. This newfound awareness can inspire them to make more eco-friendly choices in their everyday lives.


Onboard gardening classes are a unique and innovative way for cruise passengers to combine leisure with education and sustainability. These classes provide an opportunity to learn about gardening techniques, organic farming, and sustainable living while enjoying a vacation at sea. Whether it’s growing herbs on a balcony or experimenting with hydroponics, passengers can gain valuable knowledge and skills that they can apply to their everyday lives. So, if you have a green thumb and a love for cruising, why not embark on a voyage that nourishes both your mind and soul?


  • Q: Are onboard gardening classes suitable for beginners?

    A: Yes, onboard gardening classes cater to all skill levels, including beginners. The classes are designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to gardening techniques and sustainable practices.
  • Q: Do I need to bring my own gardening tools?

    A: Most cruise lines provide all the necessary gardening tools and materials for onboard classes. However, it’s always a good idea to check with the cruise line in advance to confirm.
  • Q: Can I take home the plants I grow during the classes?

    A: It depends on the cruise line’s policy. Some cruise lines allow passengers to take home the plants they grow, while others may donate them to local community gardens or use them in onboard culinary programs.
  • Q: Are there any additional costs for participating in onboard gardening classes?

    A: Most onboard gardening classes are included in the cruise fare. However, some cruise lines may offer advanced workshops or specialty classes for an additional fee. It’s best to check with the cruise line for specific pricing details.
  • Q: Can I continue gardening after the cruise?

    A: Absolutely! Onboard gardening classes provide passengers with the knowledge and skills to continue gardening after the cruise. Whether it’s starting a small herb garden at home or exploring more advanced gardening techniques, the possibilities are endless.
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