Winter sun cruise hotspots: The best destinations & cruises for winter 2022 & 2023 - Cruise International

Winter sun cruise hotspots: The best destinations & cruises for winter 2022 & 2023

By Claire Benktander | 20 Jul 2022

caribbean-small-ship-cruise

St Lucia. Credit: Claudio Trigueros via Unsplash

Escape the chilly northern winter with our pick of the top winter sun cruise destinations for winter 2022 and 2023 to book now.

Azure skies, sparkling seas and an abundance of cultural attractions: it’s not surprising that winter sun cruises are more popular than ever for travellers looking to escape the chilly northern winters.

Winter sun cruise hotspots: The best destinations & cruises for winter 2022 & 2023

Here’s our pick of the best destinations to visit in winter 2022 and 2023 and which winter sun cruises to book now.

Caribbean winter sun cruises

Royal Caribbean’s 10 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise

caribbean-small-ship-cruise

Antigua. Credit: Rick Jamison via Unsplash

For an excellent-value cruise to one of the most typical winter sun destinations – and for good reason – Royal Caribbean‘s 10 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise is the perfect showcase of the Caribbean’s azure-blue waters and white-sand beaches.

Start in buzzing Fort Lauderdale in Florida before island hopping to Haiti, Puerto Rico and St Maarten, exploring jungle-framed shores and turquoise shores. Then anchor in at upmarket St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia and Antigua for everything from ziplining and snorkelling to sunbathing and boat trips. It’s all done alongside Royal Caribbean’s package of all-inclusive delights, from gourmet dining to included shore activities.

Royal Caribbean’s 10 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise on board Vision of the Seas departs once a month from November 2022 to April 2023, from £452pp. Find out more and book at royalcaribbean.com.

Seabourn’s 14-Day Exotic Caribbean In Depth

Seabourn Ovation

Seabourn Ovation

For a more luxurious take on the Caribbean head to Seabourn Ovation for its January sailing. You’ll disembark at all the Caribbean’s most beautiful destinations, from Bequia, St. Vincent And The Grenadines to lesser-explored Martinique.

Then, island hop to Guadeloupe, St Kitts And Nevis, Antigua And Barbuda, Saint Maarten and BVI – and alongside it all, expect Seabourn’s signature brand of luxury, from butler-served suites to included Caviar and Champagne afternoons on the beach, a luxurious spa and much more.

Seabourn’s 14-Day Exotic Caribbean In Depth on board Seabourn Ovation departs January 7, January 21 and February 4 2023, from £5,999pp. Find out more and book at seabourn.com.

Canary Islands & Madeira winter sun cruises

Azamara’s 16-Night Portuguese Pursuit Voyage

Cableway on Teide volcano, Tenerife

Teide National Park, Tenerife. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Betelgejze

The Canary Islands are charmingly sleepy, but definitely not dull. Experience them with Azamara’s 16-Night Portuguese Pursuit Voyage where you’ll begin in Lisbon, one of the world’s oldest, most vibrant cities and the perfect place to immerse yourself in Portuguese culture.

Explore Madeira’s colourful market stalls before sailing to the Canary Islands where you’ll discover lush La Palma and volcanic Tenerife, with the chance to visit Mount Teide, a volcanic peak in the heart of the island in its own national park. It’s the highest mountain in Spain and often has a dusting of snow on its summit, which means you get the chance to throw snowballs and lie on a beach in the same day. Then, finish among Cape Verde’s white-sand beaches and the world-famous sights of Rio de Janeiro alongside spa treatments, gourmet cuisine and Broadway-calibre entertainment.

Azamara’s 16-Night Portuguese Pursuit Voyage on board Azamara Pursuit departs November 30 2022, from £1,343pp. Find out more at www.azamara.co.uk.

TUI’s 7-Night Colourful Coasts

Funchal on the island of Madeira, Portugal © Shutterstock

Funchal on the island of Madeira, Portugal. Credit: Shutterstock

Begin in Tenerife, the largest of the Canaries, and its capital, Santa Cruz, on this excellent-value Marella Cruises voyage. If you want history, head for nearby La Laguna, the atmospheric former capital with plenty of characterful old houses and churches.

Then, swap it all for lush Madeira, the beaches of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura and Agadir’s Moroccan coast before sailing to Gran Canaria’s Las Palmas, the capital’s historic district, filled with sleepy streets and squares cobbled with volcanic stone, graceful houses with wooden balconies and beautiful churches. Don’t miss the delightful Columbus’s House or the array of mummies and more at the Canary Island Museum before sailing back to Tenerife.

TUI’s 7-Night Colourful Coasts on Marella Explorer departs January 10 2023, from £708pp. Find out more at tui.co.uk/cruise.

Ambassador’s Christmas and New Year Voyage

Pool deck on Ambassador Cruise Line ship Ambience

Pool deck on Ambassador Cruise Line ship Ambience

Enjoy the festive season with a sun-kissed twist with Ambassador. Setting sail on December 2022, you’ll voyage from the Christmas markets of Rotterdam before exploring Lisbon and Madeira and the sleepy lanes of its charming capital Funchal. From Funchal, take the cable car up to Monte with its beautiful old palaces, tropical garden and old-world grace.

Then, hop along the Canary Island’s balmy coasts at Arrecife, Lanzarote, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Leixoes before sailing back to Rotterdam. Book now to enjoy savings on all-inclusive Ambassador Fares, 20% off their top two drinks packages, up to £40 per cabin per night onboard credit, free matchday tickets to Essex Cricket and free standard Wi-Fi.

Ambassador’s Christmas and New Year Voyage on Ambience departs December 22 2022, from £1,239pp. Find out more at ambassadorcruiseline.com.

Galapagos Islands winter sun cruises

Celebrity Cruises’ Galapagos Northern Loop

celebrity-cruises-galapagos-Xpedition

Celebrity Xpedition

For a winter sun cruise with a hint of adventure, visiting the Galapagos Islands during South America’s peak warm summer period is the perfect pick as one of the world’s most famous and unforgettable wildlife adventures.

On board Celebrity Cruises’ expedition ship Celebrity Xpedition, you’ll island-hop among Galapagos’ most famous islands, from snorkelling at Isabella Island to following in Charles Darwin’s footsteps and seeing blue footed boobies, marine iguanas and sea lions. Come back each night to all the luxuries of Celebrity Xpediton and its all-inclusive delights.

Celebrity Cruises’ Galapagos Northern Loop on Celebrity Xpedition departs January 7 2022, from £4,440pp. Find out more at celebritycruises.com.

Hurtigruten’s From Machu Picchu to the Galápagos Islands

Blue footed boobies in the Galápagos Islands. Credit: iStock

Join expedition cruise leaders Hurtigruten at the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu and the natural wonders of the Galápagos Islands. Visit Lima and the capital of the Inca empire at Cusco, Peru, before travelling up the Sacred Valley to the enigmatic lost city at Machu Picchu, then step aboard Santa Cruz II, a comfortable and stylish expedition vessel that’s ideally suited to remote adventures.

You’ll experience the very best the Galápagos has to offer, getting closer to the natural wonders with the use of small expedition boats, kayaks, snorkelling gear and paddleboards and a glass bottomed boat alongside a wide range of activities to choose from with the Expedition Team.

Hurtigruten’s 7-Day From Machu Picchu to the Galápagos Islands on MS Santa Cruz II departs monthly from November 2022 to March 2024, from £8,760pp. Find out more at hurtigruten.com.

Australia & New Zealand winter sun cruises

Viking’s Australia & New Zealand

sydney-australia-cruises

Sydney. Credit: Caleb Russell via Unsplash

Australia and New Zealand in their summer months are a fabulous winter sun cruise option. Go to the “Land Down Under” with Viking to gain an insight into the native and European cultures of Australia and New Zealand, from the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House to the UNESCO-listed Blue Mountains.

Then, discover New Zealand’s verdant South and North Islands filled with historic Maori culture and natural wonders, from the Victorian treasures of Dunedin to the fragrant English gardens of Christchurch and Wellington.

Viking’s 15-Day Australia & New Zealand cruise departs monthly from December 2022 to March 2023, from £6,690pp. Find out more at vikingcruises.co.uk.

Silversea’s 12-Day Auckland to Melbourne

Milford Sound, New Zealand. Credit: Tourism New Zealand/Matt Crawford

Experience the very best of Australia and New Zealand on Silversea’s luxurious 12-day voyage that takes in stunning beauty, rugged shores, fascinating history and some very fine wine to boot.

Experience everything from historic Wellington and rolling vineyards in Dunedin in New Zealand to world-class wonders in Australia. Finish each day with the gourmet dining, luxe spas and endless entertainment on offer with Silversea onboard the glamorous Silver Muse.

Silversea’s 12-Day Auckland to Melbourne cruise on  Silver Muse departs January 4 2023, from £5,250pp. Find out more at silversea.com,

Read More: