Christmas cruises are a great option for the holidays if you’re looking for a unique Christmas vacation experience and looking for an option that requires nothing but relaxing on your trip. Holiday cruises from exotic and scenic ports of call can be arranged to suit couples, families, and single adults, and the destinations included on these itineraries range from Caribbean islands to the Mediterranean and even the South Pacific and islands off the coast of Africa.
If you’re looking for a cheap Christmas and New Years cruise, you may have to be more flexible with the dates of your itinerary or which Caribbean islands you visit, for instance, but through vacation packages and even group deals, it’s possible to save money and still plan an unforgettable Christmas vacation. From adults only Christmas cruises to all-inclusive packages for families, popular cruise lines such as Argosy Cruise Line (serving the Pacific Northwest), Holland America, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean will all have amazing options available.
Royal Caribbean Christmas Cruise
Caribbean cruises are among the most popular vacation options in general, and there are many excellent holiday cruises that visit some of the islands in this region. Cunard Cruise Line, for instance, offers three itineraries leaving from New York, which is not as common a cruise port, and travel through the Caribbean. This is a longer vacation option that the trips leaving from Hawaii, simply because it takes longer to travel to the Bahamas and beyond, but if you have the time, it’s a great way to travel.
The Royal Caribbean cruise ships are a great option for family Christmas vacations, as it’s one of the best family-friendly cruise lines, particularly around the holidays. Their itineraries often include holiday music and movies, caroling, midnight mass on Christmas Eve and a special Christmas Day menu. For the kids, Christmas Eve stories, holiday arts and crafts, cookie decorating, ice skating (on certain ships), and an opportunity to give Santa their Christmas list.
If you’re traveling in the Pacific Northwest, the Argosy Christmas Ship has an especially entertaining holiday celebration for the whole family. From the end of November through December 23, guests can purchase tickets to ride aboard the Spirit of Seattle as it leads the parade of boats as the official Christmas ship. Onboard, the choir sings a twenty-minute program of festive holiday songs at scheduled stops along the route. Guests will meet Santa, enjoy sing-a-longs, and contests, and participate in activities for children. The Argosy line also offers a dinner cruise on a separate ship that is part of the parade.
Luxury Christmas vacations are often among the most relaxing travel options in the world, and cruises are one of the best ways to kick back and do nothing but spend time with your loved ones (or yourself) over the holidays. The Caribbean and Mexico are excellent luxury cruise destinations, and ships from multiple cruise lines travel there in December and January.
On the Holland America line, for instance, a popular option is a seven-day Mexican Riviera New Years cruise. It might not be the lowest-priced option for a cheap Christmas and New Years cruise, but the quality of the ship and its itinerary ensure that you get excellent value for your money. This cruise typically leaves from San Diego and stops on the Pacific destinations in Mexico, including Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Europe is popular for Mediterranean cruises, but if you’re looking for something really unusual, try a river cruise; you can travel down the Rhone, the Seine, the Tiber, and even the Volga (though the Russian river cruises are less common in winter). Viking River Cruises provide November and December cruises throughout Europe; a ten-day itinerary on this line includes stops in Germany, Hungary, Austria, and Slovakia. Visit ancient churches, Christmas markets, festive city squares, sample spiced wine, or purchase handcrafted Christmas items—your family and friends will definitely remember these gifts.