Updated: January 25, 2023

13 Fun Team Building Cruise Ideas & Activities

You found our list of the best team building cruise ideas & activities.

Team building cruise ideas are fun activities that employees can enjoy during a sailing trip. Examples include scavenger hunts, carton boat races, and murder mysteries. These activities encourage team bonding and remove the monotony and boredom that can come with sailing for an extended period.

These activities are similar to team building games for the office and outdoor team building ideas. These activities are easy ways to improve team cooperation in the workplace. Cruises are common retreat locations and executive retreat ideas and are examples of company offsites.


This list includes:

  • team building cruise ideas for adults
  • team building cruise activities for work
  • team building cruise activities schedule ideas
  • team building games for cruises

Let’s get started!

List of team building cruise ideas

Taking your workforce on a cruise is one of the most memorable team building ideas for employees. However, your team may not bond and know each other outside the workplace without other fun team building activities. From cruise trivia to lost at sea and escape games, here is a list of the best ideas for team building cruises that you can engage your team on a cruise.

1. Scavenger Hunts

A cruise scavenger hunt is a fantastic way to entertain your workforce. While scavenger hunts require prior planning, team leaders can implement these activities easily and even tailor the ideas to a specific group. You can start by choosing between a photo and object scavenger hunt. Then, select the scavenger hunt theme. For instance, you could have a nature or cultural scavenger hunt depending on the cruise’s port. The search can last for a few minutes to an hour or for the cruise duration.

Examples of prompts & challenges:

  • Another cruise ship
  • Sea creature
  • Selfie with a sailor
  • Photo of the sunset or sunrise
  • Pose with the ship’s steering wheel
  • A team member playing the piano
  • Autograph from the ship’s captain
  • Two pieces of clothing with the ship’s logo
  • Luggage tag
  • An ice cream cone
  • A pet on the ship
  • The ship flag

To make the scavenger hunt more engaging, you could write items that teams will find on paper and cut the document into small pieces. Then, participants will put the pieces of paper together to get the clues. The number of papers will depend on the difficulty level that you want to achieve.

Check out this list of scavenger hunt ideas for adults.

2. Cruise Trivia

Team trivia session is one of the best team building cruise activities for work. You could have a mix of sailing-related and workplace trivia. However, we advise that you focus more on the ship’s destination or the history of sailing.

Starter questions:

  • Which is the first modern cruise ship, and when was it launched? – The Prinzessin Victoria Luise, 1901
  • Where is the most dangerous iceberg alley? – Outside Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Which cruise ship holds the Blue Riband title? – The S.S United States
  • Which cruise ship company has the most ships, and how many? – Viking Cruises, over 80 ocean, and river-going vessels
  • Name the four cruise ships that Disney owns – Disney Wonder, Disney Magic, Disney Fantasy, and Disney Dream
  • What is the busiest cruise port by number of passengers outside the U.S? – Cozumel
  • Why are most cruise ships white? – To reflect heat
  • Which are the two official languages in Hong Kong? – Chinese and English
  • Name the capital of Hawaii – Honolulu
  • What is the unlucky fruit in ships? – Bananas
  • Which is the third-largest cruise line in the world? – Norwegian Cruise Line

Be sure to record every participant’s scores and offer an incentive to the employee who gets the most points right.

Here are general team trivia questions for events.

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3. Carton Boat Race

If you are lucky to be on a cruise ship with a swimming pool, then you can organize a carton boat race. This fun and easy team building idea will boost your team’s creativity and problem-solving skills.


  1. Provide team members with cardboard, duct tape, paddles, and scissors
  2. Let participants make a boat using the cardboard that can accommodate two players within 15 minutes.
  3. Team members will compete to paddle to the finish line without sinking the boats. Participants are also free to enhance their boats by decorating the vessels.

Some factors that team leaders can use to determine the winning team include the racing speed, endurance, and the best boat design. The carton boat race cruise team building idea will foster teamwork, teach friendly competition, and show individual creative abilities.

4. The Lifeboat Game

The lifeboat game is one of the best team building cruise ideas for adults. In this game, your passenger liner is a wreck at sea. While you have a team of ten, the lifeboat can only accommodate five participants. If the five extra attendees are not eliminated from the boat, then all players will die. The tricky part with this game is that every participant can play a vital role in the entire group’s survival. Depending on the number of your team, you can divide participants into smaller groups.

Here are the 10 characters:

  • A 60-year-old doctor who is capable of treating all attendees
  • A 27-year-old minister
  • A 36-year-old nurse
  • A 37-year-old criminal who is the only one who can navigate the lifeboat
  • A 41-year-old man who carries vital government secrets
  • A salesman who is also a member of the rotary club
  • A non-mobile eight-year-old boy who is dependent on other attendees for survival
  • A married couple who cannot separate. If one partner chooses to do one thing, the other must also follow suit
  • One woman and her two-year-old daughter

Team members will write down the surviving passengers and explain their choices. Participants must also be quick to decide since the boat can sink anytime. You can make the game as easy or as challenging as you want by changing the characters.

Since participants have to choose characters’ fates, the lifeboat game can be upsetting for some audiences. Hence, we advise that you play a safer version of this activity. For example, you can have two lifeboats and let participants choose the players to go in each boat. Be sure to balance out the players in each ship to ensure survival. For instance, one lifeboat can have the doctor, and the other boat can have the nurse.

5. Desert Island

If you are looking for team building cruise activities schedule ideas, then Desert island is a fantastic pick. This activity follows a scenario where participants lose their way out of a desert island following a shipwreck. Each attendee can only pick a few essential items that they need to survive in the desert. The caveat is that the list can not be too long. You can let participants list five items to survive for ten days on the island. You could also encourage participants to get creative and pick personal favorites. For instance, a pet lover may bring their furry friends, or a music lover might bring a guitar. Letting participants choose items that enables team members to know each other’s preferences is also a fantastic idea.

Here are some creative selections for participants:

  • Top five albums
  • Five people outside work
  • One meal from their culture

Be sure to let participants explain why they will choose some items and leave others. Team members can also elaborate on how they will survive on the desert island during the period. If you have a larger team, then you can split participants into small groups and let the workers choose items unanimously. The desert island team building activity will encourage creative thinking and teach your workforce the art of decision-making. Team members will also get an avenue to open up and showcase their preferences. The desert island team building activity requires minimal planning, works well from an indoor setting, and is suitable for any age group.

Here is a list of get to know you questions you can use as inspiration for categories.

6. Lost at Sea

Lost at Sea is a problem-solving team building activity. While the premise is similar to Desert Island, the lost at sea idea follows a scenario where your team tries to escape the ocean. Each team member will list survival items to help participants get the necessary help and get out of the water. You can also test your team’s creativity by letting participants spot the first item they will pick in case the cruise ship experiences wreckage within three minutes. However, each participant must pick a unique item.

Here are some lost-at-sea survival items that workers can list:

  • A shaving mirror to signal passing ships using the sun
  • A fresh-water container
  • A plastic sheet to collect rainwater or use for shelter in case it rains
  • A rope
  • A bottle of alcohol that will treat wounds
  • Sea navigation equipment

Another fantastic way to play the lost at sea game is by listing the survival items. Then, let participants rank the items in order of importance and give an explanation. Once your team finishes ranking the item, you can read the correct ranking per the coast guard guidelines.

Here is a list of items and answers for this activity.

7. Egg Drop

The egg drop idea is one of the best team building games for cruises that will teach your workforce logical thinking. For this activity, participants will design a container or package that will keep an uncooked egg intact when dropped from soaring heights. This activity ignites teamamtes’ creativity and ingenuity.

First, provide teams with materials such as cotton, plastic wrap, socks, bubble wrap, or newspapers. Then, give each team time to design and build their device. Finally, let each team leader or participant drop the egg from a high-standing area.

While the exercise may seem simple, carrying out the activity on a cruise ship is more challenging, given the limited materials. As such, the egg drop cruise team building idea will teach your team creativity. In addition, this competitive problem-solving team building activity is highly engaging and requires team collaboration.

8. Murder Mystery

A murder mystery is a fantastic team building cruise idea. For this activity, you can start by searching for murder mystery games. Then, let participants figure out which players have the motive, opportunity, and means to commit the crime. You could either engage your team in a DIY murder mystery game or purchase a kit online. Another great idea is choosing a fully hosted murder mystery game where a master facilitator will lead the team through a series of challenges and clues that relates to a real murder mystery. A murder mystery team building activity will teach your workers problem-solving skills and teamwork.

9. Blindfold Challenge

If you are searching for team building cruise activities for work that will teach your workforce team skills, then the blindfold challenge is a must-try. Depending on the number of workers on your cruise, you could start by getting rooms on the ship. Then, let team members pair up, with one participant blindfolded. Next, you can place obstacles such as bags, tables, bottles, or chairs near the rooms that suit the desired difficulty level. Finally, the blindfolded employee will verbally guide their teammate across the space while avoiding the mines. The blindfold challenge team building activity is a fun way to foster trust among team members.

Check out more trust-building activities for work.

10. Treasure Chest Relay

The treasure chest relay game is a fantastic activity that workers will enjoy aboard a ship. You could start by dividing your team into groups of five to eight participants. Then, prepare pirate costumes for each participant, such as a vest or a pirate hat. Next, fill a treasure chest with delectable treats. When ready to start the race, have participants partner up, and tie their middle legs together three-legged-race-style. Then, let participants race to the treasure chest. Workers will then fill treasures into their pirate costumes. The first team member to reach the treasure chest wins points for their team. Other team members will take part in the relay until all employees participate. The winning team should have the highest number of workers to reach the treasure chest.

11. Pool Party

Pool parties top the list of team building cruise ideas for adults that will interest your workforce. These activities are the best ways for your team to cool off on a hot day while having fun with their colleagues.

Here are some pool party game ideas:

  • Poll race- Participants will race to get to the finish line at the other end of the pool
  • Water balloons- Your team will have a fun time throwing water balloons at each other
  • Coin hunt- Participants will hunt for coins in the crystal clear pool
  • Poolside barbeque or picnic

We advise that you seek the services of a DJ for your pool party. Also, be open to taking music recommendations from all participants. We also recommend that you offer your team alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. However, remind participants to drink responsibly and avoid the deep end if tipsy.

12. Dinner Seat Swap

If you are looking for team building cruise activities schedule ideas that foster team bonding, then a dinner seat swap is a fantastic idea. Team leaders will switch up the dinner seating arrangements for all attendees each day for this activity. As a result, workers will get a chance to interact with different colleagues during meal times. You can even incorporate fun activities and icebreakers. For instance, you could let participants mention one unique trait in their dinner mate after the meals. A dinner seat swap will encourage interactions among team members and result in a more cohesive workforce.

13. Water Volleyball

Water volleyball is one of the best team building games for cruises participants will enjoy. Depending on the size of the pool, you can group your workforce into teams of three to four participants. Then, put up a net across the court or draw a line on the pool’s side that divides the court into two halves. Attendees can also play offshore water volleyball in the ship’s swimming pool.


Casual sailing is one of the most relaxing activities that companies can offer their employees. While cruise ships offer attendees a unique experience, companies can still enhance the trip with fun team building activities. Cruise team building ideas will create camaraderie among your workforce, improve participants’ communication skills, and foster team bonding. However, the choice of team building cruise activities depends on the company’s mission, budget, and cruise ship restrictions. Companies should also look into individual team members’ preferences before settling on cruise team building activities.

Next, check out executive team building ideas and beach party ideas for work.

FAQ: Team building cruise ideas

Here are answers to common questions about team building cruise ideas

What are team building cruises?

Team building cruises are voyages that companies offer team members for pleasure. These activities encourage workers to take a break from their work routine and bond with other employees.

How do you plan a team building cruise?

Planning a team building cruise can be hectic, from looking for a ship with all necessary amenities to researching fun activities and maintaining a specific budget range.

However, these tips will make your planning process for a team building cruise easier.

  • Start by choosing a cruise line and location- Choosing the location and the line is the first step in organizing a team building cruise. Luckily, with the variety of cruise location options, your team will be spoilt for choice. Popular destinations include Alaska, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean. In addition, you can choose the cruise line based on the size of your team or experiences that interest your workforce.
  • Book in advance- Be sure to book your cruise in advance, especially when traveling with a large team. You could also consider booking shore excursions that will offer your team new experiences early.
  • Create a plan onboard- If you want to maximize your trip with your employees, we advise you to create a plan before the cruise. You can even take suggestions from your workers on activities they want to carry out. Also, be sure to add other fun team building activities and surprise your team on random days.

Be sure to communicate the itinerary to all participants. To ease communication with your team on days leading to the cruise, we encourage you to create a group on social or conferencing platforms and encourage attendees to air their concerns.

What are some good team building activities for cruises?

With the prevalent disconnect between workers, companies need to foster workplace connections in the workforce. A cruise is a fantastic idea. However, you could encourage team bonding through fun activities that workers will enjoy aboard the water vessel. Some good team building activities for cruises include a blindfold challenge, water volleyball, and a marshmallow spaghetti tower.

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People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at TeamBuilding. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.

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