The Caribbean
The Caribbean

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Sometimes Christmas is more stress and trouble than it’s worth and the desire for a Christmas holiday grows stronger with every festive TV advert.

The idea of relaxing on a beach a thousand miles away from last minute dashes to the supermarket for emergency cranberry sauce is very appealing. Nearly as appealing as being waited on hand and foot while cruising around these stunning destinations.

The Canary Islands
If you fancy a bit of sun outside of the summer season while remaining in Europe, the Canary Islands are perhaps your best bet. Geographically closer to Africa than Europe, the Canary Islands can still reach temperatures up to 22°C during December. While many of the traditional European sun destinations go into hibernation during the winter months, a number of cruise lines including P&O Cruises, Holland America Line and Thomson Cruises continue itineraries to the Canary Islands throughout December. With endless stretches of beautiful beaches and quieter town centres than during the summer months, the Canary Islands are a truly relaxing winter sun destination right here in Europe.

The Caribbean and the Bahamas
If you’ve saved a little money by not splurging on Christmas decorations and bottles of sherry, then you might have a bit extra in the budget for a sun-filled cruise to the Caribbean. The most popular cruise region in the world, December is the perfect time to enjoy a beautiful cruise to the Caribbean following the official end of the hurricane season on 30 November. There is almost limitless choice in terms of ships and itineraries, with all the major players dedicating prized members of their fleet to the region. Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas will be completing Caribbean itineraries throughout the month, and as one of the world’s largest cruise ships, it provides plenty of festive dining choice when you tire of turkey.

Alternatively, if you are looking for a cruise holiday to complement your festive plans then a cruise to Amsterdam might just complete your Christmas. Home to one of Europe’s best loved and biggest Christmas markets, Amsterdam is awash with festive spirit at this time of the year. Specialist travel agent, Cruise1st, offers a special Christmas Market itinerary on board Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ Magellan, which gives passengers the chance to explore the markets of Amsterdam as well as the Belgian city of Antwerp during a three-night roundtrip from Tilbury.

The Norwegian Fjords
Embrace the cold with a cruise through the Norwegian Fjords this Christmastime by exploring the beautiful scenery and charming capital cities of Scandinavia. Snow-capped hills flanking the waterways of the Fjords could not possibly evoke a more festive setting. Feast on local delicacies and warm up in your cabin at night as the cold air makes the top deck only suitable for very brief visits. Many of the larger cruise lines send their ships to sunnier climes at this time of year, so it may be worthwhile seeking trips from specialist Scandinavian lines such as Hurtigruten.

New York
Christmas in New York is perhaps the quintessential setting for the classic rom-com film (and Home Alone 2), with regular snowfall, ice-skating rinks and huge department store displays. If you are looking to create unforgettable Christmas memories, without having to worry about the turkey, New York could be the setting for a dream festive trip. A one-way transatlantic cruise on board a Cunard liner is the perfect way to make your way to New York while enjoying the incredible attention to detail and levels of service this luxurious cruise line is famous for.

If you’ve been inspired to take a cruise, use our Cruise Finder to find your perfect voyage.