Updated: February 13, 2024

20 Fun Cruise Ship Games for Work Retreats

You found our list of fun cruise ship games for work retreats.

Cruise ship games for work retreats are fun exercises that can help colleagues connect. For example, the Port of Call Challenge, Cabin Decoration Contest, and Sea Trivia Challenge. The purpose of these games is to create a fun environment where employees can relax and bond. These games are also known as “business retreat cruise ship games” and “cruise games for business getaways.”

These cruise ship games for work retreats are similar to corporate event games, team building cruise ideas, group retreat activities, and executive retreat ideas.


This list includes:

  • business retreat cruise ship games
  • cruise games for work
  • collaborative games for cruise ships
  • corporate cruise activities
  • corporate retreat cruise games
  • cruise games for business getaways

Let’s get to it!

List of cruise ship games for work retreats

From the Port of Call Challenge to Star Gazing Session, here is our list of the top games to play during work cruises.

1. Port of Call Challenge

The Port of Call Challenge is an exciting game that adds a fun twist to your cruise experience. To play this game, participants receive a list of tasks or items to find related to each port of call on the cruise itinerary. These tasks could include collecting souvenirs, completing challenges, or taking photos.

When players reach each port, they explore the location and do the assigned tasks. Once back onboard the ship, players present their items or photos to the game organizer. Hosts can award points or rewards to teams who accomplish the most tasks! This game encourages guests to explore each destination’s culture and attractions.

For similar activities, check out these Amazing Race ideas.

2. Cabin Decoration Contest

If you are looking to add some creativity to your work retreat, then consider organizing a Cabin Decoration Contest. This activity allows teams to showcase their artistic skills. Participants can transform their cabins into unique and eye-catching spaces.

Players can use decorations like streamers, balloons, posters, and props to bring their cabin themes to life. You can give a prize to the top cabin! This contest encourages teamwork and adds a touch of excitement to the retreat.

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3. Sea Trivia Challenge

Sea Trivia Challenge is a fantastic game to include in your list of cruise games for business getaways. You can gather your colleagues and test their knowledge of famous ships, historical events, and ocean life.

Here are a few ocean-themed questions you could ask:

  • What is the largest ocean on Earth? Answer: Pacific Ocean
  • What is the name of the deepest part of the ocean? Answer: Mariana Trench
  • What is the smallest species of whale in the ocean? Answer: Dwarf Sperm Whale
  • What is the term for the large, flat area at the back of a ship? Answer: Stern
  • What year did the Titanic sink? Answer: 1912

This entertaining game promotes teamwork and friendly competition among coworkers. The Sea Trivia Challenge is a fun-filled voyage of knowledge!

Here are more trivia topics you can use.

4. Seafood Showdown

A Seafood Showdown is a delicious competition! To host this experience, choose a designated cooking area like a spacious deck. Next, gather a variety of fresh seafood ingredients. Participants have 30 to 40 minutes to make their best seafood dish.

You can invite onboard chefs or guest celebrities to judge the contest. Judges can evaluate the dishes based on taste, creativity, and presentation. The panel can choose a winner and give them a prize! This contest is a great way to celebrate fresh ingredients and showcase creativity.

Learn more about how to do a cook-off.

5. Cruise Karaoke Contest

A Cruise Karaoke Contest can be a fantastic addition to a work retreat on a cruise ship. Participants can choose their favorite songs and take turns performing in front of their coworkers. This activity is even more fun when singers follow an ocean theme for their song choices! For instance, folks could sing “Some Beach” or “Yellow Submarine.” You can make the exercise more competitive by giving out prizes. This game promotes team bonding, boosts morale, and encourages participants to step out of their comfort zones.

6. Ship Poker Tournament

Hosting a Ship Poker Tournament is a great addition to your corporate retreat cruise games. This exercise brings colleagues together for some fun and friendly competition. All you need are a designated space on the ship, poker chips, and decks of cards. You can set tables up with professional dealers or rotate the role among players. Playing different rounds and increasing bets keeps the excitement going. If you want to host a lower-stakes contest, then you can play with fake money.

This activity promotes teamwork and camaraderie, creating a relaxed atmosphere outside the office. Plus, poker encourages strategic thinking and decision-making skills.

7. Sea Yoga Session

Adding a Sea Yoga Session to a corporate cruise activities is a wonderful idea. The ocean is a peaceful environment to practice yoga, which benefits the mind and body. Participants can enjoy the soothing sounds of the ocean, the fresh sea breeze, and beautiful views while doing yoga.

To organize this activity, find a spacious deck or area on the ship. Be sure to provide yoga mats or towels, and ensure there is enough room for each participant. A qualified instructor can lead the session, or you can follow a video. Yoga on a cruise promotes relaxation, reduces stress, and enhances physical fitness. Also, this exercise fosters team bonding among colleagues.

8. Nautical Knot Tying Workshop

A Nautical Knot Tying Workshop is a fun activity with many benefits for participants. Learning how to tie knots improves teamwork and coordination among team members. Plus, mastering these knots can be useful for tasks like securing equipment.

To run the workshop, start by teaching different knots used on ships. Participants can practice and ask for help as needed. Once folks learn the skills, you can even consider hosting friendly knot-tying competitions. This workshop teaches practical skills and builds problem-solving abilities.

9. Wildlife Spotting Contest

A Wildlife Spotting Contest is a fun activity during a work retreat on a cruise ship! This game allows colleagues to explore the natural beauty surrounding the ship. In addition, teams can foster teamwork during this friendly competition.

To play this game, split into teams, and give groups a list of animals to look for. Depending on your location, examples include whales, dolphins, or even flying fish. Participants can use binoculars and cameras to spot various wildlife species. The team that spots the most diverse range of wildlife wins! This activity promotes camaraderie and appreciation for nature.

On the topic of wildlife, here are animals that work together in nature to inspire teamwork.

10. Line Dancing Challenge

The Line Dancing Challenge is a great addition to cruise ship work retreats. This fun game brings folks together and encourages teamwork. To join in, gather your colleagues in a spacious area. Then, learn a choreographed line dance routine! A coworker with dancing experience or a professional can lead this routine. You can even perform for the other cruise ship guests.

This activity gets folks moving and boosts morale. Line dancing helps improve coordination while allowing individuals to express themselves. Learning the routine together promotes teamwork as colleagues support each other. Plus, members of all fitness levels can join in.

11. Nautical Details Photo Challenge

The Nautical Details Photo Challenge is one of the most fun cruise games for work. In this challenge, participants must take creative and interesting photos of nautical elements found on the ship. Hosts can give players a list of ship-related items, from knots to portholes. Participants can compete to take the photos fastest. Whoever finishes the challenge first wins! You can also give prizes for the best pictures or photos of the most unique objects.

This game encourages teamwork, creativity, and attention to detail. Participants will also get to explore the ship for unique photo opportunities. Colleagues will get to bond during this engaging activity and appreciate the ship’s special features.

Check out more photo scavenger hunts.

12. Shipboard Olympics

Shipboard Olympics is a fantastic game for cruise ship work retreats. This fun and friendly competition helps build teamwork and camaraderie among colleagues. When planning this game, split your group into teams. Then, plan different Olympic games, such as lifesaver tosses or towel-folding relay races. Whichever team completes their tasks first wins!

One great thing about Shipboard Olympics is that it encourages collaboration and communication. By doing activities together, team members can plan, solve problems, and support each other. Plus, this friendly competition is a fun way to bond and relax.

Learn more work Olympics ideas.

13. Deck Quoits

Deck Quoits is one of the top business retreat cruise ship games you can play on the deck. Players take turns tossing rubber rings onto pegs fixed to a target board. The goal is to land the rings as close to the pegs as possible to score points. Whoever earns the most points wins!

This game is great for colleagues of all ages and requires skill and accuracy. Deck Quoits is a great way to pass the time and make new friends while sailing the ocean waves.

Check out more lawn games.

14. Ocean Arts and Crafts Workshop

An Ocean Arts and Crafts Workshop is a fantastic activity for work retreats on cruise ships. Participants can unleash their creativity while enjoying the serene ocean views. During the workshop, teams can try various art forms, such as painting, pottery, or even making seashell jewelry. Artists can make sea-themed pieces, including images of fish, shells, and waves.

This activity promotes relaxation and stress relief. Plus, making art together encourages team bonding and collaboration. Teams can leave the cruise with an amazing keepsake!

15. Shuffleboard Tournament

Hosting a cruise ship Shuffleboard Tournament is a fun and friendly competition for passengers. When planning this activity, start by making a tournament bracket. Then, set up a match schedule. Players can go head-to-head in each round. Participants use a shuffleboard stick to push a puck across the board. Folks earn points by landing in designated scoring zones. You can give prizes to the winners!

Shuffleboard is a classic cruise ship activity and makes for a fun team building exercise. This competition is a great addition to a retreat.

16. Sunset Cocktail Making Class

A Sunset Cocktail-Making Class is an awesome activity for work retreats on cruises. This fun exercise gives teams a chance to pick up new mixology skills. Expert bartenders teach participants the art of making delicious drinks. Participants will try different spirits, mixers, and garnishes, experimenting with flavors and styles. To match the cruise environment, you can make tropical drinks as well.

This hands-on session encourages teamwork as colleagues work together. Making cocktails together boosts teamwork, improves communication, and creates lasting memories. Plus, teams get to enjoy tasty drinks together!

Here are happy hour games you can incorporate into the activity.

17. Star Gazing Session

A Stargazing Session is among the best collaborative games for cruise ships. To host this exercise, gather your colleagues on the deck during a clear night. You can use binoculars or telescopes to look at the stars. If you plan this exercise in advance, then you can print out star maps to help folks spot constellations. For a competitive twist, have colleagues spot as many constellations as possible. Then, give a prize to whoever finds the most patterns!

This activity provides a relaxing break from work and encourages team bonding. Taking turns pointing out constellations or enjoying the peacefulness of the moment is relaxing. Stargazing is a great way to unwind and connect with your coworkers in a unique setting.

18. Fruit-Carving Competition

A Fruit-Carving Competition is a fun tropical spin on team building games! To play this game, start by hosting a fruit-carving workshop. Once folks learn this skill, they can choose a fruit and a carving theme.

You can play this game in two variations. In the first, hosts can set a timer and give a prize to whoever finishes carving first. In the second, folks can take their time, and judges can choose winners based on the best artwork. Either way, teams will learn a new skill, create fun art, and have a tasty snack!

19. Walk the Plank

Walk the Plank puts your team’s balancing skills to the test! Participants balance on a narrow plank or beam placed on the ship’s deck. Players take turns walking across the plank without falling off. You can increase the difficulty level by narrowing the plank or adding obstacles. Each player takes a turn walking the plank, and those who finish the walk without falling earn points or advance to the next round. The last player standing or the one with the highest score wins the game!

20. Oceanic Deck Darts

Oceanic Deck Darts is a modified version of the classic pub game of darts! Instead of traditional darts and a dartboard, players use soft-tipped darts and a target marked on the deck. Players take turns throwing darts at the target. Folks try to earn the highest score by landing their darts in the highest-scoring areas. The player with the highest total score wins!

Final Thoughts

Cruise ship games are a fun way for employees to strengthen their relationships. These activities encourage collaboration, creativity, and problem-solving skills among team members. Folks will also get the chance to unwind, learn new skills, and enjoy good food and drinks. Next time you plan a corporate getaway on a cruise ship, consider adding these games to your itinerary.

Next, check out our posts on incentive travel program tips, company retreat ideas, and team building retreat ideas.

FAQ: Cruise ship games for work retreats

Here are frequently asked questions about cruise ship games for work retreats.

How do you host a successful work retreat on a cruise ship?

Hosting a successful work retreat on a cruise ship involves careful planning. Activities should cater to all participants’ interests. Games that promote teamwork and interaction are usually a hit.

What are the best cruise games for team building?

The best cruise games for team building include Shipboard Olympics or Nautical Details Photo Challenge. These activities encourage communication, problem-solving skills, and strong bonds.

What are the best cruise ship games for work retreats?

The best cruise ship games for work retreats promote team building and fun. Some of these include the Port of Call Challenge, Cabin Decoration Contest, Sea Trivia Challenge, and Shipboard Olympics.

What should you consider while picking games for a cruise ship work retreat?

When picking games for a cruise ship work retreat, consider your team members’ interests and fitness levels. It is also important to choose activities that encourage teamwork, communication, and fun.

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CEO at teambuilding.com.
I write about my experience working with and leading remote teams since 2010.

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