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Five alternative ways to spend Christmas this year

26 October 2016

Christmas Tree

Updated October 2018

If the pressure of planning Christmas feels like a little too much for you this year, it might be time to consider Christmas abroad. Instead of deliberating over stocking fillers, turkey dinners, and your Christmas card list, how about deciding what to pack for the ultimate getaway.

Whether you’re wishing for warmer weather, a shot of culture or simply a change of scenery, a Christmas cruise could be just the answer.

Christmas in the Caribbean

Swap your scarves for sunnies and the snow for sand with a Christmas cruise holiday to the Caribbean. With the best time to visit being from December to April, Christmas is the ultimate season for some Caribbean flavoured fun in the sun. Sway to the infectious reggae beat, trade your mulled wine for a rum cocktail (with a kick) and work on your tan. January blues? It doesn’t exist in this part of the world.

Caribbean Christmas Tradition: Junkanoo festival every boxing day in the Bahamas is a high energy street parade with creative masks, costumes, and infectious music.

Find Christmas and New Year cruises in the Caribbean

Christmas in Norway

If you long for a white, snowy Christmas, glowing open fires, and plenty of Christmas cookies, Norway could be the festive destination of your dreams. From the end of November, you can expect to see Christmas decorations, fairy-lit trees and Christmas markets as the locals prepare for the joyous season ahead. Trade fireworks for the natural northern light phenomena known as Aurora Borealis.

Norwegian Christmas Tradition: Try some Risengrynsgrøt, hot rice pudding with cinnamon and butter.

Christmas in the Mediterranean

Get your fill of culture on a Christmas cruise to the Mediterranean. Traverse captivating cities and unique Christmas markets. Pick up one of a kind presents for your loved ones back home and try fresh seafood, flavourful Mediterranean meat or succulent vegetable dishes for your Christmas dinner. Religious references take centre stage during a Mediterranean Christmas and ancient buildings make for a fascinating and historical backdrop.

Mediterranean Christmas Fact: In Greece, St. Nicolas is the patron saint of sailors, saving seamen from the ferocious sea.

Find Christmas and New Year cruises in the Mediterranean

Christmas in North America

Christmas in America is largely a grand occasion involving family, home cooking, decorations, sing-a-longs, Santa Claus, and lots of festive decorations. Today the U.S.A is home to a real mixed bag of cultures and Christmas traditions can differ largely from one state to the next. In the south the Texan Longhorn takes Rudolph’s role pulling Santa’s sleigh, whilst in California Santa Claus is a surfer. If you are in New York City at this time of year, swing by the Rockefeller Centre to admire the iconic Christmas tree, recognised worldwide as a symbol of an American Christmas.

American Christmas Tradition: Eggnog is a popular and indulgent drink enjoyed here during the festive season. The ingredients include eggs, sugar, milk, cream, rum and nutmeg.

Spend Christmas in New York City

Christmas at Sea

A cheerful Christmas atmosphere can be felt from around the 10th of December at sea, with many cruise lines decking the halls and public spaces of their ships with Christmas lights and decorations. Entertainment takes on a festive theme with Christmas cookery classes, craft lessons and live productions. Father Christmas may also make an appearance and has been known to take to all sorts of stunts to make it onboard.

Meats and cheeses galore can be expected for a hearty Christmas dinner with plenty of wine and champagne to wash it down. Sweet treats are in abundance, from Christmas puddings to trifles, gingerbread houses, yule log and much more. Christmas at sea is a bubble of good times and a holiday you will treasure for years to come.

Christmas at Sea Fact: Princess Cruises have been known to have snowmaking machines onboard bringing the magic of a white Christmas to their ships.

Getaway this Christmas with a last minute December cruise

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