It’s that time of year again when we share unforgettable moments with loved ones, and what better way to do that than by setting sail on a Christmas cruise? Immerse yourself in the ultimate holiday experience as you cruise through serene waters, enjoying festive decorations and partaking in a plethora of holiday-themed activities. From exploring enchanting Christmas markets in Europe to basking in the tropical warmth of the Caribbean, there are a multitude of Christmas cruises to choose from, each offering its own unique brand of holiday cheer and enchantment.
We have put together a comprehensive guide featuring the top 10 Christmas cruises that will sweep you off your feet. Whether you’re after a snowy winter wonderland, a tropical escape, or an eco-conscious adventure, we’ve got you covered. We’ve delved into the cruise details and provided insightful recommendations to ensure your holiday voyage is nothing short of spectacular.
Embark on a virtual journey with us as we explore the Rhine River’s festive charm or get wrapped up in the Hawaiian luau celebrations. Discover the best Christmas cruises that will make your holiday season truly unforgettable. So, grab a cup of hot cocoa, sit back, and join us as we take you on a magical exploration of the top 10 Christmas cruises. Let’s make this holiday season one to remember!
- Christmas in Italy: Customs and Traditions
- Christmas in the Netherlands: Customs and Traditions
- Christmas in Norway: Customs and Traditions
- Christmas in Germany: Customs and Traditions
- Christmas in France: Customs and Traditions
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Viking River Cruises
Sale date: December – 8-12 days tours
Cruise name: Rhine Getaway
If you’re looking to get into the holiday spirit, Viking River Cruises has the perfect Rhine Getaway for you. Experience the magic of Christmas markets as you cruise along the Rhine River and visit charming towns like Basel and Amsterdam. You’ll be surrounded by sparkling lights and artisanal gifts, sipping on warm mulled wine and savoring gingerbread cookies as you stroll through the market stalls. And don’t forget to take a scenic cruise past the mesmerizing Rhine Gorge, adorned with dramatic castles and vineyards. Be sure to pack warm clothing for the chilly European winter and explore the markets at night when they are at their most magical.
Viking River Cruises offer quite many different Christmas Cruises in different countries, from France to Germany and Czech Republic. During these cruises you will be able to visit multiple Christmas markets and magical locations.
Check out all their Christmas Cruises here: Viking Christmas Cruises
- Christmas In the Czech Republic: Customs and Traditions
- 10 Must-See Christmas Markets in Switzerland
Royal Caribbean’s Symphony
Sale date: December
Cruise name: Symphony of the Seas
Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas transforms into a spectacular winter wonderland during the holiday season. Witness towering Christmas trees, festive decorations, and even an ice-skating rink on board. Get ready to enjoy ice-skating shows and heartwarming holiday performances, as well as sumptuous holiday feasts and special treats like holiday-themed cocktails. Make sure to book your reservations for the ship’s specialty restaurants early, as they tend to fill up quickly during the holiday season.
Check out all their Christmas Cruises here: Royal Caribbean
Sale date: December – 4-14 days tours
Cruise name: Christmas in the Caribbean
MSC Cruises offers an idyllic Christmas in the Caribbean, sailing through the turquoise waters of the Caribbean to sun-kissed destinations like St. Thomas. Enjoy snorkeling in crystal-clear waters and relaxing on pristine beaches, and indulge in Caribbean-inspired cuisine and festive cocktails onboard. Pack sunscreen and beachwear, and consider booking shore excursions in advance to make the most of your time in port.
Check out all their Christmas Cruises here
Disney Line’s Very Merrytime Cruises
Sale date: December
Cruise name: Very Merrytime Cruises
For a truly magical Christmas experience, Disney Cruise Line’s Very Merrytime Cruises will transport you to a world of enchantment. Disney characters don their holiday attire, and you can participate in festive activities like Mickey’s Tree-Lighting Magic Ceremony. Enjoy special holiday-themed shows, meet-and-greets with your favorite Disney characters, and indulge in delightful treats. Take advantage of the onboard kids’ clubs, which offer holiday-themed activities, allowing parents some relaxation time.
Check out all their Christmas Cruises here: Merrytime Cruises
Holland America Line’s Mexican Riviera Holiday Cruise
Sale date: December
Cruise name: Mexican Riviera Holiday Cruise
Holland America Line’s Mexican Riviera Holiday Cruise offers a unique Christmas experience as you cruise along the Mexican Riviera. Indulge in traditional Mexican posadas onboard as you savor the flavors of Mexico through specially crafted holiday menus. Explore vibrant ports like Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas, where you can relax on beautiful beaches or embark on exciting excursions. Try local Mexican dishes like ceviche and tacos at the onboard restaurants for an authentic culinary experience.
Check out all their Christmas Cruises here: Holland America Christmas Cruise
Carnival Cruise Line’s Festive Bahamas Cruise
Sale date: December 22-26
Cruise name: Festive Bahamas Cruise
Attend Carnival Cruise Line’s Festive Bahamas Cruise to experience an unforgettable holiday in paradise. Soak up the sun on the beautiful island of Nassau as you explore pristine beaches, indulge in water sports, or even swim with friendly dolphins. Be greeted by festive decorations, live music, and themed parties that will fill your holiday with cheer. Don’t forget to pack your beach essentials for the Bahamas, including sunscreen, swimsuits, and snorkeling gear. And be sure to join in the ship’s holiday festivities, from themed parties to holiday cocktail tastings.
Check out all their Christmas Cruises here: Carnival Christmas Cruise
Sale date: December
Cruise name: Christmas Down Under
Princess Cruises takes you on a Christmas adventure to remember with their Christmas Down Under voyage. Journey Down Under to explore the stunning coastlines of Australia and New Zealand, celebrating the holidays in a traditional Aussie way with a BBQ Christmas dinner on the ship’s deck while sailing past iconic landmarks like the Sydney Opera House and Milford Sound. Bring comfortable walking shoes for onshore excursions and a sense of wonder to appreciate the unique natural beauty and culture of Australia and New Zealand.
Check out all their Christmas Cruises here: Princess Christmas Cruise
Sale date: December
Cruise name: Hawaiian Christmas Cruise
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Hawaiian Christmas Cruise offers you a chance to escape to paradise this holiday season. Spend Christmas Eve at a beachside luau on the shores of Maui, complete with hula dancing and traditional Hawaiian cuisine. Explore the breathtaking beauty of Hawaii with stops in Oahu, Kauai, and the Big Island, where you can witness the power of active volcanoes and soak in the natural wonders of the islands. Pack lightweight clothing, swimwear, and hiking shoes for your Hawaiian adventures. Also, be sure to participate in the onboard Polynesian-themed activities and enjoy the diverse Hawaiian cuisine.
Check out all their Christmas Cruises here: Norwegian Christmas Cruise
Celebrity Cruises – Galapagos Holiday Expedition
Sale date: December
Cruise name: Galapagos Holiday Expedition
Experience a unique and eco-conscious Christmas journey with Celebrity Cruises’ Galapagos Holiday Expedition. Connect with nature while exploring the pristine beauty and unique wildlife of the Galapagos Islands in a sustainable way.
To truly appreciate the natural beauty of the Galapagos Islands, pack sturdy walking shoes, a good camera, and binoculars. You can also participate in conservation efforts during the cruise, fully immersing yourself in the eco-conscious spirit!
Check out all their Christmas Cruises here: Galapagos Holiday Expedition
Avalon Waterways – Danube Dreams & Christmas Markets
Sale date: November – December: 8 days cruise
Cruise name: Danube Dreams and Christmas Markets
Join Avalon Waterways to discover the magic of European Christmas markets on their Danube Dreams & Christmas Markets cruise. Experience the enchanting atmosphere of Vienna’s Christmas markets, as twinkling lights and artisanal crafts create a winter wonderland.
To brave the winter weather and explore the Christmas markets in Europe, dress warmly and be prepared with layers. Make sure you try traditional Austrian treats like strudel and roasted chestnuts while immersing yourself in the magic of European holiday markets.
Check out all their Christmas Cruises here: Avalon Waterways Christmas Cruise
Christmas Cruises FAQs:
1. Are Christmas cruises more expensive than regular cruises?
Yes, Christmas cruises can be pricier due to high demand. But booking well in advance and taking advantage of early-bird deals can help you secure a better rate.
2. What should I pack for a Christmas cruise?
Bring festive attire for special events, swimwear for warm destinations, and layers for cooler climates. Don’t forget to bring holiday-themed accessories for that extra charm.
3. Are Christmas cruises family-friendly?
Yes, most Christmas cruises are family-friendly and offer special activities and programs for kids. Check with the cruise line for age-specific amenities.
4. What are some must-try holiday treats on these cruises?
Each cruise offers its own special holiday treats. Be sure to try the local and themed cuisine offered onboard, from gingerbread cookies to traditional Mexican posadas.
5. Is it common for Christmas cruises to have special holiday-themed entertainment?
Yes, many Christmas cruises offer a range of festive entertainment, including holiday shows, live music, and themed parties. Check the cruise itinerary for details on the onboard festivities.
6. What should I do if I have dietary restrictions or food allergies during a Christmas cruise?
Most cruise lines can accommodate dietary restrictions and allergies. It’s advisable to inform the cruise line of your specific needs before the cruise. Onboard, you can also speak with the dining staff to ensure your dietary requirements are met.
7. Are there any age restrictions for participating in Christmas-themed activities on these cruises?
Most Christmas cruises offer activities suitable for all ages. However, some events may have age-specific restrictions or require parental supervision. Review the cruise’s activity schedule for age guidelines.
Additional Recommendations for Christmas Cruises:
1. Book Early:
It’s never early enough to start planning for your Christmas cruise. With high demand for Christmas cruises, it’s wise to secure your spot as early as possible to get the best deals and cabin choices. Therefore, don’t wait until the last minute, book early, and start the countdown to your holiday of a lifetime.
2. Pack Festive Attire:
Get ready to deck the halls with your holiday-themed clothing. Bring your Christmas outfits, from ugly Christmas sweaters to Santa hats. Saddle up and fully embrace the holiday spirit onboard.
3. Participate in Holiday Activities:
Join in onboard holiday festivities, such as tree lighting ceremonies, caroling, and gingerbread house decorating. Get in the spirit of the season and enjoy the festivity of the holiday mood on the ship.
4. Enjoy Themed Dining:
Savor special holiday menus that our onboard chefs have prepared. Indulge in traditional dishes and seasonal treats. Don’t miss out on our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day feasts. Let the aroma of holiday dishes tantalize and fill your senses.
5. Plan Shore Excursions:
Discover all that the Christmas season has to offer. Research and book your shore excursions in advance to make the most of your time in port and explore local holiday traditions. Explore each destination’s unique holiday customs, from Christmas markets in Europe to island festivities in the Caribbean.
6. Embrace Local Culture:
Immerse yourself in the local holiday customs at each destination. Immerse your senses in the local holiday vibe, whether it’s enjoying mulled wine at a German Christmas market or listening to Christmas carols in Brazil.
7. Bring Travel Decorations:
Bring along your travel holiday decorations to personalize your cabin and make it feel like home for the holiday season. Your mini ornaments or table-top Christmas tree will add a bit of magic to your cabin.
8. Attend Holiday Shows:
Cruises have prepared special onboard entertainment, including holiday-themed shows, live music, and theatrical performances. So, sit back and enjoy the show while we keep you entertained throughout the sailing.
9. Exchange Gifts:
If your cruise allows, participate in gift exchanges with fellow passengers for a fun and memorable experience. Get involved in the secret Santa for a touch of fun and surprise during your sailing.
10. Relax and Unwind:
While it’s exciting to embrace the holiday spirit, remember to take time to relax and enjoy the scenery. Take advantage of all the ship’s amenities like spas and lounges. Take a moment and relax, watch the sunset and enjoy your holiday of a lifetime.
In conclusion, we wish you a Merry Christmas on board. With these tips, we hope you enjoy the sailing and make unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime. Our holiday sailings are the perfect opportunity for you to relax, unwind, and immerse yourself in the festive season.