Art Cruises: Vacations Designed with Art Lovers in Mind

Set sail for an extraordinary art adventure.

Gloria and Steve Miller posing with an artwork by Lebo.

All art tells a story. But the real story is behind the art. When you bring home a painting or sculpture from one of Park West’s VIP art cruise experiences, you are sure to bring home an incredible story along with it.

Gloria and Steve Miller could write a book with those stories. Since their first VIP art cruise five years ago, they have traveled to the Mediterranean and East Asia with Park West and have filled their home with dozens of pieces of art from these trips

Many of them have an interesting tale behind them—there’s the hand-painted tie that artist Alexandre Renoir created for Steve one night on a dare or the painting that painter Romero Britto legally renamed “Glorious Freedom” after meeting Gloria. Every piece in their collection has its own story.

For many art lovers, collecting is as much about seeking new experiences as it is about the art. And Park West’s VIP art cruises are designed to create those types of unique, one-of-a-kind experiences that will not be forgotten by those who choose to set sail with the gallery.


Artist on Board

Surprise guest artists like Csaba Markus, Michael Cheval, and Autumn de Forest add unforgettable moments to Park West’s VIP art cruises.

Artist Alexandre Renoir (left) created a one-of-a-kind hand-painted tie for Steve Miller (right) during a VIP art cruise.

The Millers have certainly had their share of moments with Park West’s artists: there is the time they went dancing with Sam Park at the disco or the time they shared martinis with Lebo.

But their most memorable experience was meeting Michael Godard during a 2016 cruise to Asia. He spoke about how losing his 16-year-old daughter to brain cancer in 2006 impacted his life and work. The Millers shared with him their experience of raising their daughter who has special needs. They formed an immediate connection with Godard and, in the end, how they looked at his art was irrevocably transformed.

“Michael poured his heart out to us, and we couldn’t help but fall in love with him and his art,” Steve recalls. “He is just an amazing person. We got to see the way his mind works in his art, and it makes the pieces that we bring home and hang on our walls all the more meaningful to us.”

And so, Gloria and Steve bid on a few pieces by Godard during a special charity art auction for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on that cruise.

“We got to see the way his mind works in his art, and it makes the pieces that we bring home all the more meaningful.”


Designing Art Cruises

These one-on-one moments with the artist aren’t just about bringing art to the masses; they are about redefining the very experience of art itself. It’s breaking down the elitism in the art world. After meeting the artists behind the art, it’s hard to view their work as cold and unfeeling.

These art experiences do not happen by chance; indeed they are the result of months of careful planning on the part of Park West auctioneers and staff. Park West cultivates unique experiences for its clients with carefully planned itineraries that include special art lectures, exclusive on-land excursions, and a reserved selection of art not available to the general public.

When Gloria (left) and Steve Miller (right) met artist Lebo (center) during their 2016 Asia cruise to China and Japan, they formed an immediate connection with him.

A recent cruise itinerary for a December 2017 cruise from Sydney to New Zealand included a private cocktail party for Park West VIPs, an exclusive excursion in Wellington, New Zealand, and meet-and-greets with several Park West artists, which are always kept a surprise for dramatic effect and for a more practical reason—artist schedules are always changing and never predictable.

“We pay special attention to how we can try and create alchemy, a synergy, a relationship between our clients and the artists,” a long-time Park West auctioneer Jason Betteridge, explains. “On our VIP art cruises, we can spend more time with our clients and expose them to more art. Everything becomes an experience they could never have on board a standard cruise.”

Auctioneer Jason Betteridge is just one of the many Park West staff members that work endlessly to develop itineraries and activities for their VIP art cruises.


Art Excursions

One of those experiences that the Millers will never forget was taking a private tour of French artist Paul Cézanne’s workshop in Toulon, France during their honeymoon cruise. They walked in the Post-Impressionist painter’s footsteps and set eyes on Sainte Victoire Mountain and the Aix en Provence landscapes that he often painted.

It was awe-inspiring for Gloria. “You hear about Rembrandt and Picasso and see their paintings in museums,” she explained. “But it’s different when you see it right there in context.

The Millers have many lasting memories like this one from these art cruises. “When I look at the pieces in our home, it brings me back to when we met the artists who created that artwork. I remember the conversations and experiences. It means so much to me.”


If you want to know more about the fun of collecting art on cruise ships, you can contact a Park West art consultant at (800) 521-9654 ext. 4 or