Take away fluffy jumpers, cosy nights by the fire and the thrills of Christmas holidays, and you’re left with a typically drab British winter, complete with drippy noses and mornings spent de-icing the car. Whether you’re seeking winter sun or just prefer to enjoy the season’s chilly charms in sea-faring style, it’s not hard to see why escaping on a winter cruise is such a tempting offer.

Swap cold nights for scorching days in the Eastern Caribbean, bring in the New Year on a cruise to the Canaries or head to New York for some serious gift shopping. Take a look at just a handful of winter cruises setting sail in 2014 and 2015, ready to warm your cockles.

Princess Cruises: Eastern Caribbean

Setting off from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in November, the Ruby Princess takes guests to the Bahamas, St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Temperatures usually remain warm in this glorious part of the world, so it is the perfect choice for those looking to prolong their recent summer tan. Begin your journey with a party on the beach in Fort Lauderdale, where you can dig into the barbecue and cocktails, before moving on to take advantage of the water sports and private cabanas on the exclusive Princess Cays’ beach in the Bahamas. If you have some Christmas presents still to buy, the duty-free shopping in St. Thomas will keep you occupied.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines: Canarian New Year & the Caribbean

Start the new year as you mean to go on: relaxing in a beautiful country with friends, family and fun times. Starting its adventure in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, guests will belt out Auld Lang Syne on the Braemar, before heading to Antigua, St Maarten, Dominica, St Lucia and Barbados. Scenes of the Caribbean are sure to delight you after a seven day voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, from the colourful capital of St Johns in Antigua to the rainforests and waterfalls of Dominica’s Roseau, and the Sulphur Springs of La Soufriere in Castries. Offering lots of winter sunshine, this is another great option for explorers hoping to avoid the British chill.

Cunard: Westbound Transatlantic Crossing

Sail to the Big Apple from Southampton just in time for the holidays on the infamous Queen Mary 2. Making its seven day journey on the 15th December, life on-board epitomises the classic cruise experience. It might get a little cold up on deck but you’ll be too busy being entertained indoors to care.

Unwind with a massage in the Canyon Ranch Spa Club, or choose from 8,000 books in the library, which overlooks the bow. When night falls you can catch a performance at the award-winning Royal Court Theatre or recline in your seat at the Planetarium to take in a starry view. On reaching your port of call, step out and shop like never before in Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s and FAO Schwarz. Those traveling with a spouse might even want to take a trip to Tiffany & Co…

Talk to a CruiseDeals expert and find out all about the itineraries setting sail during the grey months. The perfect way to beat the blues, really is by booking a cruise.

Have you been on a winter cruise? What tips would you give to fellow cruise fans looking to book one? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.

Images by Derek Hatfield, Roger Wollstadt and Tinou Bao, used under the Creative Commons license.

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