Afternoon tea is as big a part of cruising as lounging by the pool or taking in the view, and you’re likely to find that each cruise line offers the experience a little differently. We’ve put together a guide to the best afternoon tea experiences available so you know what to expect when onboard.

The Best of British with P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises are very much a British trailblazer as far as cruising experiences go, so it’s no surprise that their afternoon teas are among the best of the bunch. The cruise line’s Food Heroes see talented culinary minds like Marco Pierre White shape their menus, and their afternoon tea offers are inspired by French pâtissier Eric Lanlard.

Cruising onboard Azura, Britannia and Ventura lets you enjoy Afternoon Tea from £15 per person, which is available to book 120 days prior to your departure date. The events take place in the Epicurean Restaurant on those days at which your P&O cruise ship is at sea, featuring lemon scented scones, roast beef brioche and many more twists on tradition.

Get Classy With Cunard

Cunard’s afternoon teas are complementary and served daily between 3:30pm and 4:30pm on all three regal cruise ships, those being Queen Victoria, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth. Embarking days are the only exception to the rule.

The onboard tea sommelier will help you choose your perfect brew from choices such as mint, Ceylon, jasmine, orange pekoe and the classic English breakfast tea. The choice of sandwiches include salmon cream cheese, roast beef with horseradish and prawn salad, and the afternoon tea service is topped off with scones, clotted cream, jam, pastries, fruit tarts and éclairs.

Cunard’s afternoon teas take place at different onboard locations depending on your cruise ship choice, but guests always agree that the crystal chandeliers of the ballroom and the intimacy of the grill lounge make a superb setting. In fact, getting to afternoon tea early to beat the queue is always advised, as is getting a head start on Cunard’s sublime deals on transatlantic cruising.

Discover Teatime Opulence with Oceania Cruises

Thanks to its well-earned reputation for premium cruising, afternoon tea with Oceania Cruises is an utmost treat. Every day at 4pm, afternoon tea is served for free in Horizons, the onboard dining area, boasting views as panoramic as the name describes.

A bounty of four-tiered pastry carts filled with finger sandwiches, petite fours, scones with clotted cream and decadent desserts arrives, all accompanied by a selection of traditional and herbal teas. No reservation is required and it’s complementary for all guests. You might even find the chefs and staff just as excited for this daily treat as you are.

Feed Your Curiosity With Fred. Olsen Cruises

We all love Fred. Olsen Cruises for its ability to bring the furthest corners of the globe to our fingertips. Afternoon tea is served in the Observatory Lounge of each cruise ship, accompanied by live classical music.

You can choose from a selection of premium teas from Taylor of Harrogate, alongside finger sandwiches, pastries, and warm scones with jam and cream, all served in classic style by attentive white-gloved waiting staff. Afternoon tea is priced at £6.96 per person and guests are asked to pre-book while onboard due to its popularity.

Try Something Different With Holland America Line

Few cruise lines have the long history of luxury as that of Holland America Line. The cruise line offers two kinds of complementary afternoon tea, themselves homages to tea’s history in global culture. The most exotic afternoon tea in perhaps all of cruising is offered through the Indonesian Tea event. With coconut rice cakes and mango fritters to accompany your whole-leaf traditional Eastern drinks, serving staff don traditional Indonesian batik clothing here.

Alternatively, continental flair can be yours through Royal Dutch High Tea, where a buffet of cakes and pastries is laid out for you to select, followed by silver service at your table with tea poured for you by the staff. The events are one-offs in a given seven-day cruise itinerary, so it’s worth booking ahead where possible.

Tea in the Twilight Terrace with Thomson Cruises

While many cruise lines choose to make afternoon tea on cruises available for an extra charge, Thomson Cruises include daily afternoon teas as part of your deal. Expect white gloved service with a personal touch, where pastries and cakes complement traditional tea flavours.

With the best deals factoring in classic Spanish cities like Malaga and Barcelona, it’s going to be a stylish affair.

Enjoy Tea in Privacy With SilverSea

You can enjoy afternoon tea in the public areas onboard the Silversea fleet, or allow Silversea to make make afternoon tea in your suite an occasion in itself, with their personal butler service.

Tuck into a selection of delicate sandwiches, including smoked salmon with cream cheese, roast beef and chicken salad. Follow that with a selection of pastries, chocolates and fruit tarts. As a special extra treat you can also choose to indulge in caviar served on bilinis or foie gras terrines with brioche, and it goes without saying that the teas themselves are truly exquisite. Butler service even beyond just tea and goodies is included as part of your deal on SilverSea cruises if you’re staying in a larger suite.

Afternoon tea on your cruise is definitely a pleasure that shouldn’t be missed.

Feeling peckish?

If you’re interested in sampling some high tea at sea for yourself, give us a call on our freephone number 0800 107 2323 – one of our friendly cruise team will be able to help find you the perfect sailing for you!

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We are acting as an agent on behalf of travel suppliers and your booking will be subject to the supplier’s terms and conditions. Prices may be subject to very limited availability and are correct as at the date and time of writing. Prices may go up or down from time to time. Prices quoted are for the dates, accommodation, board basis, departure points and number of persons sharing specified only and cannot be combined with any other offer. We reserve the right to amend any quotes given if there is a genuine error as soon as we become aware of it. We reserve the right to withdraw any offers without notice.