For over fifteen years Craft Cruises® has been inspiring travelers on educational trips all over the world. Our goal over the years has been to enable like-minded people to travel more and to find greater enjoyment in activities they love.
Craft Cruises® specializes in enriching educational cruise groups and has become the leader in orchestrating this type of travel for groups of all sizes. In addition to destinations we feature every single year there are destinations we visit every other year and some we visit every three to five years. In addition to old favorites we are always looking for new and exciting places to visit. We also offer a very popular single share program where participants are pre-qualified, get to meet them in advance and save paying the single supplement.
World of mouth referrals is what has led Craft Cruises® to experience the sustained growth and to recognize those who help spread the word about our knitting trips Craft Cruises® has developed a very sophisticated referral commission program that WORKS! Our affiliate referral commission program unmatched in the cruise industry and it is free to affiliates.
How Craft Cruises® started
Craft Cruises® began in 1998 when the founder of Craft Cruises®, Melissa Gower-Pence, received two very special gifts for Christmas; knitting lessons and a trip to Stitches West in Oakland, California. During this trip the idea behind Craft Cruises® was born. Having specialized in cruise and group travel since she was 18 years old, Melissa, along with the support of a few top knitting instructors, organized the first educational knitting cruise for hand knitters.
After our very first knitting cruise we had a naming contest and the winning name was the "Knautical Knitters". A clever play on the word nautical, several hundred knitters cruised with us before we decided to stop using that name to refer to our groups. Since then Craft Cruises® has arranged trips for thousands of happy travelers and has grown into a sustainable company offering numerous nautical knitting cruises every year.
The idea behind the Craft Cruises® is to bring Crafters from across the country and around the world together for enriching journeys of learning, shopping, and sharing. Quality instructors are essential to each cruise. Instructors are selected for their excellent teaching skills, fun personalities and expertise in the different regions being visited.
Craft Cruises® founder Melissa Gower-Pence
Melissa Gower-Pence grew up traveling the world. Her Dad was in the Army for 21 years so it was only natural for her to become a travel specialist. Melissa started her career in the travel industry the year she graduated high school in 1987. While specializing in a variety of destinations Melissa has always been a cruise specialist and has many years experience as a professional event manager. While Melissa loves both the art of knitting and cruising, what motivates her most is the shared travel experience.
Melissa earned her associates degree in travel and tourism from Northampton Community College and began her career at The Cruise Shoppe in Bethlehem, PA specializing in cruises and group travel. Within a short time it became evident travel was her passion so learning as much about the world she was selling became her primary goal. Melissa went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in international business focusing on foreign politics, economics and sustainable development from Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA. Over the years Melissa worked in all facets of the industry and considers herself blessed for loving what she does so much. Her passion is to help others enjoy travel as much as she does.