The mystical boat ride in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory has always intrigued us, if only for the chance to sail on that silky chocolate river. Well, now you can go on a chocolate cruise with far fewer sugar-filled mishaps and it certainly is the stuff of childhood dreams. 

Chocolate might not be the first thing you think of when you hear 'Mediterranean cruise', but a luxury chocolate-themed trip is one of the sweetest ways to see that part of the world. 

A collaboration with Italy's Costa Cruises and Eurochocolate, an annual international chocolate festival hosted in Perugia in central Italy, the cruise includes workshops, tours and, naturally, more chocolate than even Augustus Gloop would know what to do with. 

Departing from Civitavecchia on April 16th, 2020 and from Genoa the following day, the cruise drops by the bustling nightlife of Barcelona, through the clear sea of Palma and on to Malta. 

Pastry and chocolate-making workshops will keep you busy while on board, with visiting experts showcasing the varied chocolate-making methods from Turin, Modica and Barcelona. 

As for what you can eat, you'd want to love chocolate, as it's in everything: the cocktails, the wine tastings and the specially designed chocolate dinner menu. 

As for the Eurochocolate festival itself, it turns the historic walled city of Perugia into a chocolate lover's paradise, with the public squares packed with throngs of chocolate-loving visitors. Stalls are set up along the street, selling everything from chocolate drinks, filled sweets, huge slabs of decorated chocolate and even treats for your pets. 

Chocolate massages are on offer to buffed away the stress, and there's even a celebrated chocolate-carving segment of the festivities, not to be missed!

A visit to the city all dolled up as though for Willy Wonka is treat enough, but why not make a tour of it if you're in the region? For more information on the cruise, click here