10 Wintertime Cruises to End (or Start) the Year in Style Slideshow
December 15, 2016
Planning a trip for the winter months? Consider these cruises that offer something for everyone
Azamara Club Cruises
Both Azamara ships, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, take winter cruises to places like Bangkok, Seville, and Hong Kong with top-notch amenities and services. They’re smaller ships than most cruise lines have these days, which makes them perfect for couples or those traveling without children. Take the 12-night Hemingway Hideaways Voyage on Azamara Quest through Cuba, Mexico, New Orleans, and parts of Florida; or an 18-night Australia and Asia Voyage on Azamara Journey through Indonesia, Singapore, and parts of Australia. Either would be a great way to kick off 2017.
Carnival Cruise Line – Carnival Legend
Shutterstock/ Ruth Peterkin
If you’re looking for a fun ship on which to celebrate the year’s end — or beginning — Carnival Cruise Line has several options. Carnival voyages are great experience for first-time cruisers. The line’s highest rated ship by reviewers, according to Cruise Critic, is the Carnival Legend, which has travel itineraries to Hawaii and the South Pacific this time of year. If you’re still looking for a trip to take at the end of the month, spend 10 or 11 nights starting December 27 sailing from Sydney to ports such as Noumea, Port Vila, Isle of Pine, and Mystery Island.
Celebrity Cruise Line
Voted the Best Premium Cruise Line for eight consecutive years by Travel Weekly’s Readers’ Choice Awards, Celebrity offers cruises perfect for food lovers, with destinations all over the world. The Celebrity Reflection plies the Caribbean year-round, and still has wintertime availability. There are things to do on board for everyone, with Ping-Pong, pool volleyball, a teen club, a spa, a bar and lounges, several restaurants, cafés, and specialty dining options. Needless to say, there’s more to do on the ship than you’ll have time for during its seven-day western Caribbean cruise to Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia, and St. Maarten.
Disney Cruises – Disney Dream
For a short getaway to the Bahamas with your family, the Disney Dream rom Disney Cruises offers a holiday trip over Christmas weekend departing from Port Canaveral, Florida, stopping in Nassau and Disney Castaway Cay (a private island) before returning to Florida. It’s a fun last hoorah to enjoy with the kids at the end of the year; they’ll get to see their favorite (or your fan favorite) Disney characters on the ship. Disney Dream has character meet-and-greets onboard, and an incredible attention to detail with hidden Mickeys to discover as you wander the ship.
Norwegian Cruise Line
The Norwegian Jewel and Norwegian Pearl are Norwegian Cruise Line’s highest rated ships by Cruise Critic. Although both ships travel to Alaska in warmer weather, this time of year they have voyages to Mexico, Australia, Central America, and the Caribbean, all ideal destinations for a winter getaway. The Norwegian Pearl specifically has a 10-day Panama Canal trip from Miami, with stops in Panama, Costa Rica, Aruba, and Colombia — great for escaping the cold. The Pearl has 20 dining options, a spa, several pools, and even a bowling alley onboard.
Oceania Cruises - Sirena
Travel from Tahiti to Moorea, Rangiroa, Huahine, Raiatea, and Bora Bora on a 10-night South Pacific cruise that sets sail at the end of January. The Sirena was refurbished in France earlier this year and redesigned with a modern touch. There’s a heated pool on the top deck, with putting greens and a shuffleboard court, in addition to the dining rooms, show performances, casino, and boutique shops onboard.
Paul Gauguin Cruises
Paul Gauguin has availabilities all winter long for a last-minute, seven-day getaway to the French Polynesian islands of Huahine, Tahaa, Bora Bora, Moorea, and Tahiti, with no full days at sea. The voyages during Christmas and New Year’s are the only ones that cater activities to children, with a larger-then-usual crew, plus pizza parties and movie nights.
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Princess Cruises is an award-winning cruise line in every way, from its food to its family-friendly programs and its itineraries. They offer everything from three- to five-day getaways to a 111-day World Cruise. A seven-day western Caribbean cruise is one of the more popular choices, but feel free to explore other options to Mexico, South America, the South Pacific, the Panama Canal, Asia, or Australia and New Zealand this winter season.
Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas
This ship takes off from Singapore for a quick winter getaway on a popular round-trip, four-night cruise to Kuala Lumpur and Phuket. Mariner of the Seas is a Royal Caribbean jewel, with countless activities for all the family — including a rock wall, mini-golf course, 17 bars and lounges, 10 pools and whirlpools, and even an ice-skating rink.
Viking River Cruises Viking Longship Skadi
If you’re interested in a cruise that travels through some colder European destinations to see the beautiful Christmas markets in places such as Vienna and Budapest, consider one of the trips on Viking Longship Skadi. There are four tours that range from eight to 19 days. The Danube Waltz is the eight-day river cruise where you’ll have a chance to see the Christmas Markets in Cologne, Budapest, and Vienna. River cruise ships are smaller than their ocean-bound cousins, so that they can maneuver through narrow freshwater passageways, but the staterooms are spacious. The smaller size also means that the range of on-board activities is limited — but that shouldn’t matter, since you’ll be stopping at a port daily.