Over the last few years I’ve loved experiencing ‘afternoon tea ’ in various locations, each time comparing it to the last. My favourite being a champagne experience at the Lowry Hotel in Manchester, it was a lovely sunny day (I know very rare in Manchester) sat out on the terrace, chatting and watching the world go by. To me it’s like a fine art, from the table setting to the delicate way the cakestand is presented.

The history of afternoon tea originates from the early 19th century. In those days it was common for people to eat two main meals a day, breakfast and dinner at around 8pm. During late afternoon Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford complained about feeling hungry, she used to have tea and cake in her room each day. Friends would often join her and from there invites were sent out. Word got round to other socialites, making it respectable enough to move to the drawing room. This is now a worldwide know ‘British Tradition’

So what do cruise ships offer?

Celebrity Cruises

Champagne High Tea

$25 Cover charge per person

Served once during a 7 night sailing and minimum twice on longer sailings

Live string quartet

Wedgewood china used for this fine spread, including tea, coffee, lattes, sandwiches, desserts, pastries, scones and truffles! Well worth the cover charge I’d say

Cunard Lines

Traditional afternoon tea

Included in the price of your cruise

Served daily in the Queens room

White gloved waiters


Sandwiches, salad, scones, followed by pastries, cake, fruit tarts and eclairs

*Be prepared to queue as very popular

P&O Cruises

 Traditional afternoon tea

Britannia – £15 cover charge per person, only available on sea days. Created by award-winning patissier Eric Lanlard

All other ships this is included in the price of your cruise

Served daily at 4pm

Very English crumpets

Holland America Lines

Offers 3 afternoon teas, once during a 7-10 night sailing

Royal Dutch Tea – traditional

Indonesian Tea – Staff wear traditional outfits with a musical accompaniment from the region. Fritters, cake and coconut rice balls offer something a little bit different

Cupcake Tea – Choice of cupcakes on offer

Included in the cost

Fred Olsen

Cover charge of £6.95 per person

Again very traditional and popular, worth pre booking once on board

Princess Cruises

 British style afternoon tea served daily

Finger sandwiches, cookies, biscuits and cakes


What’s your favourite on board afternoon tea?

 I’ve heard really good feedback regarding Cunard, after all they are the epitome of elegance!

 Look forward to hearing your views





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