Updated October 2018
With this year's festive period just around the corner, many people will already have plans for Christmas this year, but what about next?
We are often asked about Christmas cruises, and so thought it might be useful to put together this short guide, to tell you all about what you can expect on a December cruise.
The celebrations start early
Most people considering a Christmas cruise tend to look at the exact week of Christmas, however, it can be worth looking at cruises just before then as well.
Cruise lines generally start their onboard celebrations at the beginning of December, so you can often have a similar experience, at a lower price.
Considering many people like to be at home with their families on Christmas day, a cruise just before Christmas can be a great option. What better way to start the festivities than with a pre-Christmas cruise?
An enchanted wonderland
Nothing puts you in the joyful mood like Christmas decorations and of course a Christmas tree. Of all the hotels, resorts, and attractions around the world (OK, maybe apart from New York's Rockefeller Centre), there is nowhere that does Christmas decorations quite like a cruise ship.
Cruise lines really go to town with the decorations onboard, and truly turn the vessels into an enchanted haven of festive delights. From pretty lights, garlands wrapped around grand staircases, festive flower arrangements, and of course, a large Christmas tree – every inch of the ship sparkles.
The grand Christmas tree is the main feature onboard, providing perfect photo opportunities and a focal point to gather around to watch festive entertainment. Usually placed in the main atrium, it's a spectacular sight.
Christmas activities on the high seas
A cruise at any time of the year provides a wide range of activities and entertainment for everyone, however, this is stepped up during December. Whether you're with family, a partner, or by yourself, you will love all the special activities onboard. Expect Christmas trivia, festive cookery lessons, craft classes, performances, and lots of family-friendly activities – the smiles will not stop.
Disneyland and Lapland are often thought of as the ultimate playground for a kids Christmas treat, however, a cruise can also offer them a fantastic time thanks to the array of special kids activities. Adults be warned - it will make you wish you were a child again!
Some cruise lines really go the extra mile to make sure guests have an incredible Christmas. On Oasis of the Seas, for example, children are invited to write a letter to Santa and post it in a box at the Guest Services desk, before midnight on Christmas Eve. Then, during the afternoon on Christmas day, Santa will appear sailing alongside the ship on a rescue boat, waving to all the children. A truly magical moment that your little ones will dream about for years to come.
A festive feast
We all love a Christmas dinner, and rest assured that wherever in the world your cruise is taking you, the ship will stock up on all of your favourite festive treats.
The food may differ according to where the ship sails, but a delicious Christmas feast is sure to be served. Most cruise lines prepare exclusive Christmas menus in the main dining room during the month of December.
Expect gingerbread houses, Christmas puddings, and an array of different meats, cheeses, and more.
The celebrations do not stop at Christmas
New Year is another great time to cruise. Your ship will turn into one big party, and everyone is in the mood to celebrate. With both guests and staff in joyful spirits, dancing the night away on a stunning ship, while travelling to an amazing part of the world – this is surely one of the best ways to ring in the New Year.
With great prices, fantastic dining, exciting entertainment, and a playground of festive wonder, you will not experience anything like this on land. Guaranteed to create everlasting memories – what are you waiting for? Take a look at our Christmas & New Year cruise deals