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Kiawah Island Golf Course, Charleston, golf theme cruise

Championship Courses and ‘Colonial Charms’ Set for this Golf Theme Cruise

Featured Image: Kiawah Island Resort Golf Course in Charleston

For golfers avid and amateur, vacations can be tricky. The choice between spending precious time away from daily life exploring the beauty of far-off destinations (we always vote for this option) versus becoming one with the green and challenging yourself to shave a stroke or two off one’s score (we also see how this can be tempting) is ever present. Enter: Crystal’s Experiences of Discovery Golf theme cruise aboard Crystal Symphony this fall. The 14-day “Colonial Charms” sailing embarks from New York City to Fort Lauderdale on October 25, inviting golfers to combine both their passions for travel and the fairways into one all-inclusive luxury vacation.

The only challenge aboard this voyage will be on the four world-class courses, as Crystal sees to all the details – optional shipping service, guaranteed tee times and post-round cleaning and storage of your clubs after each excursion – of your voyage. For those who enjoy upping the ante from simply beating par, compete with your fellow Crystal golfers for awards for closest to the pin, longest drive and putting. The ultimate trophy? Sink a hole in one and win a free cruise!

Grab your gear and prepare to set sail and hit the links at these incredible courses.

Bring your inner “Golden Bear” to Charleston’s Turtle Point. As well as your “A game” with fairway woods and long irons. Course designer Jack Nicklaus said of this famously challenging course at Kiawah Island Resort that his primary goal was to “make the player use his mind instead of his muscles.” Mission accomplished. Turtle Point’s narrow fairways and small greens, and the fact that it’s one of the longest courses on the island, require great accuracy and mental strategy – and make it the preferred challenge of top discerning golfers in Charleston.

Tee off in paradise at Sandals Upton Golf & Country Club in Ocho Rios. This is where the romance of the Caribbean meets the spirit of competition, on the links of this resort-style course along the Jamaican coastline. With three sets of tees to accommodate nearly any handicap, this 71-par course ranges up to 6,400 yards, with views that extend endlessly beyond the green. Make note: the fairways are narrow and the sweeping vistas of sea and mountains can easily distract even the most practiced golfers. Keep your head in the game, but don’t miss the bliss.

Sandals Upton Resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Golf theme cruise
The course at Sandals Upton Resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica (Photo: Sandals)

Play like a champion in Aruba’s only 18-hole championship golf course. Designed by Robert Trent Jones II to incorporate the natural setting and up your game, Tierra del Sol blends desert island, turquoise water and championship-level play together on one of the most spectacular greens on the island. Each hole offers at least four sets of tees and approach angles to challenge any skill level, and look out for the Look Out Bar & Grill on the 10th tee.

Riverside rounds or famous oceanfront outings at Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico. You really can’t go wrong here. The 500-acre Wyndham Grand Rio Golf & Beach Resort borders both the Atlantic and the lush rainforest along the Mameyes River. Your day of golf in Puerto Rico presents the choice of two breathtaking and pro-caliber courses: one a 6,716-yard Ocean Course, designed by award-winning architects Tom and George Fazio; the other a 6,945-yard River Course, designed by two-time Major Champion, Greg Norman. The Ocean Course is famous for its position between the seaside mountains and the El Yunque Rainforest and its 16th hole – considered one of the best in the Caribbean – while the River Course beckons golfers with wide fairways, light rough, shallow bunkers and challenging holes that are seamlessly integrated into the surrounding foliage.

BONUS for Golfers! The game doesn’t end on the course, as PGA champ David Stockton (who bested Arnold Palmer and Bob Murphy for PGA Championship titles) will share his experiences on the green and on the tour; PGA pro instructor Mike Smith will offer group sessions and private clinics to perfect your game.

BONUS for Non-Golfers! Not a two-handicap and not interested in becoming one? Worry not. This autumn voyage sails through North America’s eastern coast with abundant options exploring the many fascinating historical sites and spectacular fall foliage of the region.

Crystal Symphony’s “Colonial Charms” golf theme cruise also features Mind, Body & Spirit theme cruise programming, for guests seeking a rejuvenating wellness experience on board.

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