Where to Celebrate Star Trek's 50th Anniversary

by  Christine Wei | Oct 28, 2016

At the heart of it, “Star Trek” shares a lot with the traveler’s ethos: excitement over new adventures, a respect for diversity and culture, and an enthusiasm for all that reminds us of our humanity. For a Trekkie, the special exhibits and experiences that are currently on offer in celebration of the franchise’s 50th birthday are bucket-list worthy. Let this be a guide for the rest of 2016 and beyond.

Star Trek: The Starfleet Academy Experience (New York, NY)

It's one thing to watch space exploration on the TV and theater screens, but it's another to be part of the adventure yourself. Enter: The Starfleet Academy Experience at the Intrepid Museum. As a cadet, you'll rotate through nine zones to find your destined career path -- learning Klingon, scanning a patient with a tricorder, and commanding the starship Enterprise through the Kobayashi Maru scenario, among other tasks. You’ll also have the chance to practice your phaser skills, create a hologram of yourself with a full-body scan, and sit in the captain’s chair. The experience is open here until October 31, but will be going to TELUS Spark in Calgary in 2017.

Star Trek: The Exhibition - Blackpool (Blackpool, England)

If you love original items over replicas, this exhibition is for you: Most of the 100-plus props and costumes here are the real thing, on loan from a private collector who reportedly owns roughly 100,000 Star Trek mementos. Design enthusiasts will especially appreciate the costume display, constructed to look like a spaceship corridor. Of course, a recreation of the USS Enterprise bridge is the ultimate photo opp -- and don't forget to download the augmented reality app, with which you can get "beamed up" on the exhibit's transporter pod. Catch it through November 30. 

Star Trek: 50 Artists. 50 Years (Blackpool, England and Paris, France)

Currently an exhibit-within-an-exhibit at Blackpool, this art show features a piece of Trek-inspired work each from dozens of artists around the world, including Leonard Nimoy, who avid fans know was also an accomplished photographer when he wasn't busy playing Spock. It’s in the UK through October 30, before going to Paris November 10-25.

Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds (Seattle, WA)

Fans have even more opportunities to become part of the Star Trek story here, thanks to a "KHAAAAN!" video booth and another transporter simulator. Visit by January 31, 2017 and you’ll be among the few to see Captain Kirk's command chair and navigation console from The Original Series in person -- the EMP Museum is the first ever to publicly host those set pieces. Rare costumes like Nimoy's Spock tunic and Benedict Cumberbatch's Khan ensemble, six-foot-long starship models used for filming, and more than 100 props are also on display.

Star Trek: The Cruise II

The 2017 Star Trek cruise sold out at warp speed shortly after the itinerary was first announced in 2015, but here’s your second chance. Two more six-night trips are now on the roster for January 5-11 and 11-17, 2018, setting sail from Miami and hosted by Sulu actor and social media superstar George Takei. With themed parties, screenings, games, and performances by the actors onboard -- think: René Auberjonois, Brent Spiner, Gates McFadden, and Ethan Phillips -- you might not even want to disembark in Honduras, Belize, and Mexico.

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