Imagine a Macworld Expo on a luxury liner, and you’ll have some idea of what
Geek Cruises has in mind for Mac users. A seven-day ocean cruise, tentatively titled MacMania, is in the planning stages.
Geek Cruises is a company that schedules “cruise conferences” that combine work and play. Since the first cruise launched on Memorial Day 2000, there have been five voyages, mainly for developers and other professionals. Past or scheduled trip themes have focused on Perl, Java, XML, database administrators, and scripting languages. The upcoming themes to be covered for the first time include — in addition to the Mac — Linux, .NET, ColdFusion, and Web development. The venues booked to date are Alaska, the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Mexico, according to Geek Cruises Captain and CEO Neil Bauman.
“Between the ports of call we have conference sessions on the ship,” he told MacCentral. “In two and a half days of sea time, we get in at least 20 hours of conference time. The “sea time” could be boring to some people, but not for the people on a Geek Cruise.”
“During the conference sessions, we line up famous speakers, authors, and celebrity types who are dominant in their field,” Bauman said. “We offer them an opportunity to chat among themselves — something they rarely get to do — as well as have ‘guru’ question-and-answer sessions with other attendees — not to mention the half-day seminars they deliver. In addition to the seminars, we do other fun things. We have quiz shows. And we do luncheons (food is wonderful and plentiful on these cruises) at which speakers give short presentations. .”
And geeks and non-“geeks” will be interested in the various parties and activities, which include a bon voyage celebration, a Wizard’s Party, and wine and cheese end-of-cruise event. Also, when the ship docks at exotic locales, cruisers usually do their own thing, though Geek Cruises sometimes schedule special onshore activities.
The MacMania cruise is expected to have five tracks. One will be targeted to Mac OS X developers, the other four aimed at end users. Bauman said that several Mac celebrities would be invited, including Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Guy Kawasaki, and John de Lancie, the actor/director/writer who’s an avid Mac fan. In fact, Bauman has already been in direct contact with de Lancie who “would love to be involved.”‘
Bauman said he’s excited about the prospect of MacMania because he’s been a Mac user himself since the mid-80s. Four conceivable itineraries for the Mac cruise include:
the Eastern Caribbean,
The price can vary. As an example however, the fee for all of the Perl cruise activities, including the programming tutorials, was US$625, with a shared stateroom and round-the-clock smorgasbords on the boat an extra $180 a day. No conference fees were charged for kids and “non-geek significant others.” If you’re interested in possibly participating in MacMania,
e-mail Bauman and tell him which itinerary floats your boat.