bu Alex J Coyne © 2017 Great Bridge Links
Feel like it’s time to plan a holiday but don’t want to let your game slip? Bridge cruises and holidays are a thing, and they combine a leisurely getaway with bridge tournaments, games and seminars by some of the world’s foremost bridge players. Alex has found us some great bridge-orientated holiday cruises to check out before you plan your holiday.
First for Bridge tours are organized by Arena Travel, who has been organizing games for more than 20 years, and their games are licensed under the European Bridge Union. There’s a huge variety of destinations covered including France, Malta, Spain, Austria and Croatia. Experts coming along on the tour and offering seminars on the game include Andrew Kambites, Nigel Durie, Mark Hooper, Eddie & Kathy Williams and David Bird.
Bridge Holidays LLC (with Crystal Cruises) are presented by wife and husband team Roberta and Arnold Salob; their history in the world of bridge goes way back – both are directors of the ACBL, Roberta has written several successful books on bridge, and they’ve also won the Top Ten Travel Agencies Award. Check out their website for the cruise schedule.
Finesse West Tours
Finesse West Tours came about when Fred Theurkauf put together his love of travel with his love for Bridge back in the ‘80s. Finesse West tours specializes in bridge tours in a slightly different way: Instead of playing bridge on a cruise ship, you’re taken to various bridge clubs, shown around and thrown right into the action. Again, check out the schedule on their website. (The current tour on offer includes bridge expert Larry Cohen in the Tucson Mountains!)
The Bridge Spot (owned by player Dean Panagopoulos) is the largest full-time club in New England, and he has a special spot on his website for bridge vacations. Take regular peeks at the list; it’s bound to change along with the schedule.
Ultimate Bridge Vacations
The last advertised event on Ultimate Bridge Vacations was Bridge on the Santa Fe Plaza (2016), but feel free to contact them to find out what bridge vacations and events are being planned for 2017.
You’ll likely recognize the name of Larry Cohen already, but if not, familiarize yourself with this great player, author and teacher. In 2012, he was voted one of the Top 10 Most Influential People in Bridge, and in 2011 he was voted the 2011 ACBL Honorary Member of the Year among many, many others. (See here for an extended biography.) Between the seminars and online store, check out ‘Cruises’ for “Lectures by Larry” and the entire cruise schedule.
Alice Travel (not currently available)
Alice Travel offers a variety of bridge cruises with some of the world’s top bridge experts; a lot of the cruises are put together with Larry Cohen, including the currently running Regional at Sea. Watch the schedule, there are plenty of events and it’s updated regularly.
Barbara Seagram from the Toronto School of Bridge is a regular bridge host for cruises and ships: Her official website lists her trip schedule. It goes as far as 2018, so make sure you book ahead of time.
Bridge at Sea is offered by Audrey Grant and Better Bridge. Check the cruise schedule online, and note the FAQ at the bottom of the page: You’ll have to book through The Cruise Professionals. The itinerary itself includes a two-hour seminar once a day, and two games running on most days.
Ever been on a bridge holiday? Share your pictures!