Sara Macefield is an award-winning journalist and Contributing Editor for Cruise International

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Q. My husband hates flying and I want to surprise him with a cruise. Which itineraries would you recommend for winter sunshine?

The obvious answer is to depart from a UK port, but if you’re looking for winter sunshine your options will be more limited. It really depends how much time you have and how much money you want to spend, as there are long voyages to the Americas and Asia and world cruises that depart Southampton in January on the likes of P&O Cruises and Cunard. Such circumnavigations usually take in Australasia, Asia and the Caribbean and last around three months. Cruise & Maritime Voyages offers world cruises and sailings to Australia, the Caribbean and South America from Tilbury and Bristol, and Fred. Olsen and Saga Cruises also offer UK departures for similar sailings.

If you’re looking for somewhere closer to home, the Canary Islands are arguably the closest winter sun spot and departures on these aforementioned lines take 12 nights or more. It’s worth noting such sailings include around six days at sea, which is a highlight for some, but others may find this restrictive. Round-trip Caribbean voyages take around 28 days and promise a wonderful tropical escape.

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