Want to Cruise to the Mediterranean with NYT Journalists?

Have you ever thought: I want to go on vacation, and I want to do it with a reporter from The New York Times?

Yeah, we haven’t either.

But The New York Times is betting that someone has.

The paper, in partnership with Insight Cruises, has launched Times Journeys, an “educational travel program that connects readers and lifelong learners with Times journalists while they enjoy the pleasures of travel.”

The inaugural trip sounds like a pretty fabulous 12-night Eastern Mediterranean cruise, sailing round-trip from Venice, Italy, with stops in Montenegro, Greece, Turkey and Croatia.

And while you’re sailing the high seas:

Times journalists will engage participants in conversation and thought-provoking analysis on an expedition of seminars covering current events, film, science, music and technology.

Confirmed speakers so far are Op-Ed columnist Joe Nocera, film critic A.O. Scott and science editor Barbara Strauch. More journalists are slated to be added.

“Times Journeys provides our readers and like-minded travelers an opportunity to learn from and interact with some of The Times’s most celebrated journalists,” said Alice Ting, executive director, brand development and licensing at The New York Times. “Our first event provides an intimate setting where guests can absorb and explore The New York Times’ perspectives on relevant issues, events and pursuits while contributing to the exchange of ideas.”

The cruise, which sails October 5-17, 2012, have costs that range from $1,799 per person for an inside cabin to $6,099 for a deluxe suite (plus taxes). There is also a conference component, which includes approximately 30 hours of programming and two cocktail receptions, and is priced at $1,575.

The New York Times Knowledge Network will also offer courses to travelers at a discounted rate:

…so they may further enhance their experience through a variety of courses covering arts & culture, health & science, business and politics. Courses can be taken before the cruise, in preparation for the discussions, or after the event, extending the Times Journeys experience back home.

Learn, converse and vacation, the luxurious and intellectually-stimulating New York Times way.