After all the festivities of Christmas, it’s time to relax, unwind and let someone else take care of the party planning for a change. Whether you’re looking to escape the short days and cold nights on a cruise to the Bahamas or are in search of ice-capped peaks and cosy winter markets, there’s a growing number of exciting New Year’s Eve cruises to choose from. Take a look at some of the most thrilling destinations and extravagant cruise ships to see in the new year in style.
The cruise wonder of the world
For one of the most remarkable new year cruises, set sail along the 48-mile artificial waterway of the Panama Canal. Choose between a round-trip from Fort Lauderdale in Florida or embark on an ocean-to-ocean cruise, sailing from the Atlantic to the Pacific. With itineraries encompassing much of the Caribbean and Central America, you’re free to stretch out on idyllic white sand beaches, discover the biodiversity of Costa Rica or the ancient Mayan ruins adorning Guatemala’s highlands.
Although you may have escaped the cooler climates of the UK for the holiday period, you’ll find plenty of activities to keep you in the festive spirit while onboard. Set sail on this epic adventure with Princess Cruisesand you can expect daily snowfalls in the atrium onboard purpose-built Coral Princess throughout December. This slender vessel also offers free group babysitting for children aged 3-12 in the youth centre on New Year’s Eve, meaning parents can take advantage of the exciting celebrations across the ship.
The wonders of the Arctic
Start the year as you mean to go on with a Christmas and new year cruise that sets sail in search of the northern lights. Surrounded by seven mountains, travel through the mysterious UNESCO listed alleyways in Bergen, take part in summit hikes on islands jutting from the sea and glimpse glaciers as you navigate through the spectacular Norwegian fjords. As you breathe in the fresh air on deck, glowing houses along the shoreline add even more charm to this magical winter wonderland.
With menus tailored to your itinerary, Hurtigruten are at the forefront of authentic cruises to Norway. Named after the spectacular northern lights, MS Nordlys offers guests a fully immersive journey into the Arctic, complete with an onboard Expedition Team that offer interactive lectures from the outdoor explorer deck and cosy observation lounge. From dog sledging and whale watching to decorating festive gingerbread houses, you can also enjoy a traditional new years banquet on top deck.
Have yourself a Caribbean Christmas
Despite December to April being the optimum months to visit the Caribbean, you can find some fantastic new year cruise offers to this stunning collection of islands. Fly and cruise from the likes of Fort Lauderdale in Florida and discover the elegant side of Puerto Rico, the maze of narrow streets in the bustling capital of St. Kitt’s and the rainforests and banana plantations on St.Lucia. While sipping coconut cocktails on white sand beaches may not scream traditional holiday spirit, back onboard your ship you can expect plenty of festive fun and exclusive experiences.
Cruise with Royal Caribbean® and enjoy snow days on deck and classic Christmas movies in the Main Theatre. Whether you opt for the fabulous Jewel of the Seas® or the magnificent Serenade of the Seas®, you can expect a ship-wide party across the luxury cruise line’s entire fleet. There’s even complimentary champagne, live music and a balloon drop from the top of the atrium as the clock strikes 12.
Prepare for a party in South America
Each country across South America has its own new year’s traditions. For instance, the Brazilian’s insist on wearing white and throwing flowers into the sea, while the Argentinians tuck into Pan Dulce – a sweet bread made with dried fruits. If none of that floats your boat, you can even make like the Columbians and run around the block with your suitcase before enjoying spectacular firework displays across the water in Cartagena.
Famed for throwing some of the best parties in the world, Rio De Janeiro is one of the best cities to see in the new year. Explore the exotic sights of South America with MSC Cruises onboard the stylish MSC Poesia. Enjoy a special new year’s eve gala dinner in the elegant main dining room before heading to the pool deck for the ship’s annual party, watching the fireworks light up Rio’s vibrant harbour.
Traditional festive fun in Europe
From three-night mini cruises to two week voyages, the waterways around Western and Northern Europe make for a cosy and atmospheric winter cruise. Meander through medieval Bruges as you embrace the festive atmosphere of the Christmas market in the main square, cycle through the charming cobbled streets of Amsterdam or enjoy a tour of one of Hamburg’s craft breweries.
With an array of round trips on offer from Southampton, Cunard’s royal fleet offer a wonderful selection of new year cruises. Step onboard Queen Victoria and voyage to the cosmopolitan city of Amsterdam, where you can discover the Museumplein Christmas village. Back onboard, the homemade gingerbread village created by the Chef Patissier fills the ship with seasonal fragrances, while carols echo through the Grand Lobby.
These are just a few of our favourites, but if you’re still looking for inspiration check out our guide to Christmas and New Year cruises and start planning your best New Year’s Eve party yet.
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