Pack Your Bags and Head to the Couch: Our Top Cruise & Travel Movie Picks

- Photo by members Captnbarden, Barbazul and Robincm73

While we are currently docked on the couch, there’s no better way to spend time and spur wanderlust than by watching movies set in gorgeous destinations and on cruise ships. We’ve rounded up a list of our top films where cruises and travel steal the show. Pass the popcorn, please! 

1. Out to Sea

Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau star in this film about a failed gambler, intent on meeting a rich widow, who tricks his widowed brother-in-law into boarding a cruise ship as a dance instructor. Fun Fact: Scenes from the film were shot onboard Holland America’s Westerdam

Where to Watch: Hulu, HBO Now

2. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

This classic film tells the story of showgirls Lorelei Lee (Marilyn Monroe) and Dorothy Shaw (Jane Russell) traveling to Paris aboard a cruise ship. Lee and Shaw are being pursued by a private detective hired by the suspicious father of Lorelei's fiancé, as well as a rich, enamored old man and many other doting admirers. 

Where to Watch: Available for Rent on Amazon Video, YouTube & iTunes 

3. Lost in Translation

Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson are lost in translation in Sofia Coppola’s acclaimed drama which shows us that the relationships we make while traveling are often more important than the sights we see. The sites, sounds, and energy of Tokyo are the third star in this film. 

Where to Watch: Starz and for Rent on Amazon Video 

4. Like Father

After being left at the altar on her wedding day, a workaholic advertising executive (Kristen Bell) ends up on her Caribbean honeymoon cruise with her estranged father (Kelsey Grammer). Anyone dreaming of being onboard a ship will love watching the scenes filmed on Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas

Where to Watch: Netflix 

5. The Parent Trap

Technically set on land in San Francisco and London, a large majority of this film’s plot is based around the meeting of a couple (played by Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson) on a transatlantic voyage aboard Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth 2. Lindsay Lohan stars in this film about twins who meet at a summer camp that set out to reunite their estranged parents. 

Where to Watch: Disney+ 

6. Midnight in Paris

While on a vacation in Paris with his fiancée's family, a screenwriter finds himself mysteriously traveling back to the 1920s every day at midnight. Owen Wilson stars in this film that will have you dreaming of strolling along the Seine River, and drinking wine while reading F. Scott Fitzgerald in a Parisian cafe. 

Where to Watch: Available for Rent on Amazon Video, YouTube & iTunes

7. An Affair to Remember  

Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr star in this 1957 love story of a man and woman who meet and fall in love on a cruise sailing from Europe to New York. Both engaged, the couple makes a promise to meet up in six months at the top of the Empire State Building. 

Where to Watch: Available for Rent on Amazon Video, YouTube & iTunes

8. Under the Tuscan Sun  

A recently divorced San Francisco writer (played by Diane Lane) impulsively buys a villa while on a trip to Florence and embarks on a life-changing adventure. This romantic comedy gets bonus points for its showcasing beautiful Italian scenery. 

Where to Watch: Hulu 

9. Eat, Pray, Love

After her divorce, Liz Gillert (played by Julia Roberts) decides that her life needs to go in a different direction and decides to take a round-the-world journey to find herself. She travels to Rome, Italy (eat), an ashram in India (pray), and Bali, Indonesia (where she finds love). Gorgeous panoramic shots of the destinations along with glorious scenes filled with food from around the world are certain to have you thinking of your next trip. 

Where to Watch: Netflix

10. Into the Wild

After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsche) abandons all of his possessions, gives his savings to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. This inspiring story showcases the beauty of Alaska and will have you dreaming of mountains and the great outdoors. 

Where to Watch: Available for Rent on Amazon Video, YouTube & iTunes

11. Mamma Mia! 

Using the hit songs of ABBA, Mamma Mia! is the story of a bride-to-be trying to find her real father. Starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Amanda Seyfried, this lighthearted comedy set in the picturesque islands of Greece will have you both dancing and packing your bags for a Mediterranean vacation. 

Where to Watch: Starz and for Rent on Amazon Video 

12. Titanic

We had to add this ‘90’s blockbuster starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, despite the film’s tragic ending. The stunning visuals of the grand ship make it a must-see for cruise enthusiasts. Did you know one major reason the Titanic sank so quickly was that the compartments in the lower part of the ship were only horizontally watertight and the walls went up just a few feet above the waterline? Had the compartments been just a few feet taller or joined with the deck above, the ship would have sunk much slower as water would have been contained in damaged compartments longer. Cruise vessels today are comprised of true watertight bulkheads for just this reason.

Where to Watch: Available for Rent on Amazon Video, YouTube & iTunes

Bonus ‘Cruise’ Films:

Top Gun, Rain Man or Cocktail starring Tom Cruise.  

The Longest Yard with a cameo by football player turned actor and host, Terry Crews.

Because with “Cruise” or “Crews” in the name, well, we just had to mention it.  

Which movies do you plan on watching?

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