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Top Events to Experience on a Cruise in 2024

05 October 2023

Mardi Gras Celebrations in New Orleans

There are so many incredible events that happen around the world every year. From Mardi Gras festivities in Louisiana to Oktoberfest events in Germany, there’s so much to do throughout each month in different international destinations. But which ones are the best to experience?

We’ve collected the top events that you should go to whilst cruising in that destination. Fun, exciting and unforgettable, the following events are bound to elevate your cruise experience and create everlasting memories!

Read on to find out more.

January - New Years Eve in Dubai

If you want to bring in the new year in style, there’s no better place to do it than in Dubai. A modern metropolis, there’s so many incredible attractions that you can explore before heading for your New Year’s Eve celebrations. From the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, to the AquaVenture Waterpark and the Palm Jumeirah, you’ll be spoilt for choice on how you spend your time there.

New Year’s Eve at Burj Al Arab
New Years Eve at the Burj Al Arab

On New Year’s Eve there’s lots of events to enjoy, from New Year’s Eve parties to a dazzling fireworks display at Burj Khalifa. And if you book a cruise to Dubai that falls at this time, you’ll be able to spend a day or more (depending on the cruise you opt for) exploring the city and bringing in the new year in a unique way!

See our wide selection of Dubai New Year’s Cruises. Alternatively, if you need more travel inspiration, check out our blog - Top 8 Things to do In Dubai.

February - Mardi Gras in New Orleans

When you think of Mardi Gras, the first place you’ll think of is New Orleans. Known as the heart of the festival, celebrations last up to two weeks every February and consist of parades, themed food (such as king cakes and beignets) and other exciting events. A spectacle that’s attended by over 1 million visitors each year, Mardi Gras has origins that date back to the 17th and 18th centuries in Italy.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans
Mardi Gras in New Orleans

The Mardi Gras as we know it now was established in 1718 and has since become an incredibly popular event that’s known by local residents as the “greatest free show on Earth”.

Discover our range of February 2024 New Orleans cruises and our other incredible cruises to North America sailing in 2024 and beyond.

March - Cherry Blossom Season in Japan

A majorly popular season to visit Japan is when the cherry blossoms are blooming. An event that happens from mid-March to April each year, the right climate is needed to allow the blossoms to reach their full bloom.

Cherry blossoms in Japan
Cherry blossom season in Japan

Located near to Shibuya, the Cherry Blossom Festival takes place each year, in which more than 800 cherry trees line the Meguro River, and people bring food and picnic blankets with them to enjoy the sight.

Explore our range of March 2024 Japan cruises and delight in this unforgettable event. Alternatively, check out our other cruises to Asia, sailing in 2024 and beyond.

April - Whale Watching in Vancouver

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or are simply looking for an experience of a lifetime, whale watching in Vancouver is magical. April is the start of the season for whale migration, when thousands of grey and humpback whales populate the waters near Vancouver, making it a hotspot for this fun activity.

Whale breaching in Vancouver
Whale

With so many tours available, you can head out on the water and see these incredible mammals as they make their way through the Canadian waters to their summer feeding grounds in the Bering Sea. As you gaze out to the sea, you’ll have the opportunity to try and spot the whales breaching above the waves!

See these extraordinary mammals for yourself with a April 2024 Vancouver cruise.

May - Cinco de Mayo in Mexico

Celebrated each year on the 5th of May to mark the 1862 Battle of Puebla (when the Mexican army declared victory over France), Cinco de Mayo is a vibrant event in Mexico that consists of numerous parades, decadent cuisine, Mariachi music, folklore dancing, battle reenactments and other celebrations.

Dancing on Cinco de Mayo
Dancing on Cinco de Mayo

A colourful and fun event, you’ll feel fully immersed into the history and culture of Mexico when attending the Cinco de Mayo celebrations. And by opting for a cruise that stops off in Mexico on the 5th of May, you’ll be able to experience this extraordinary festival in all of its glory!

Check out our selection of May 2024 Mexico cruise deals. Alternatively, you can discover our collection of cruises to South America.

June - Midsummer in Sweden

Midsummer is a popular, whimsical celebration that’s held around the summer solstice in June each year. With pagan roots, Midsummer is a celebration of love, life and new beginnings.

Midsummer flower crowns
Midsummer in Sweden

A national holiday in Finland and Sweden, Midsummer festivities include lighting bonfires, collecting flowers, singing and dancing. A unique time of the year to visit Scandinavia, the magical and enchanting nature of Midsummer make it a very welcoming celebration for visitors to enjoy.

Discover our collection of June 2024 Sweden cruises and our selection of June 2024 Finland cruises to experience the traditional festival of Midsummer. Or, you can explore our other cruises to Northern Europe!

July - Calgary Stampede in Alberta

Calgary Stampede is a bustling festival that’s held each year in Alberta, Canada. Throughout the 10 days of celebrations, there’s the world’s largest outdoor rodeo show, chuckwagon racing, agricultural competitions, stage shows and other exciting events.

Calgary Stampede parade
Calgary stampede Parade

Visited by over one million people each year, there’s a buzzing party atmosphere felt throughout the city, and what’s more, you can try the beloved Midway food, which is known for being unique; such as the $100 ‘Jalapeno Cheddar Gut Buster’ hot dog! Calgary itself is a beautiful city, with spectacular scenery and friendly locals; making this a great setting for this thrilling event.

Although Calgary is a city that’s not located next to the coastline, you could opt for a cruise to Vancouver in July that offers a stop over in Calgary. Alternatively, you could enjoy a 2024 Vancouver to Alaska cruise, or a cruise that’s similar and stop off in Calgary as an extension to your getaway!

You could also opt to add on a magical trip onboard the Rocky Mountaineer; as certain itineraries will begin in Calgary.

August - Edinburgh Comedy Festival in Scotland

Throughout the month of August each year, the streets of Edinburgh come alive with street performances, comedy shows, and other incredible events as part of the iconic Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The world’s largest performance arts festival, over 60,000 performances take place across the city in August.

Street performance at Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Street performance for Edinburgh Fringe

An event that first began in 1947, Edinburgh Fringe is a month of raucous fun, immersive productions and celebrations that will have you captivated from start to finish!

Experience the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with a August 2024 British Isles cruise or discover our other cruises from the UK for other tempting getaways!

September - La Mercè Festival in Barcelona

If you’re looking for a party atmosphere, then La Mercè in Barcelona, Spain is bound to go down a hit! Closing the end of September, La Mercè is the largest street festival hosted by the city each year. Lasting for around 5 days throughout September, this exciting festival is held in honour of Mare de Deu de la Mercè, who is the Patron Saint of Barcelona.

Human tower performance at La Mercè
Human tower performance at La Merc

Throughout the festival, there are events such as the fire run (which features a fire-breathing dragon float), a performance in which people form a Casteller (human tower), a projection show, a giant’s parade and other whimsical performances!

Visit Barcelona in September with one of the fantastic 2024 Mediterranean cruises we have on offer or discover our other cruises to the Mediterranean.

October - Oktoberfest in Germany

An annual festival that’s held in Germany every October, Oktoberfest includes beer festivals, traditional music, delicious German food and other festivities. Held over a two week period, the most famous Oktoberfest celebrations happen in Munich, where there is a travelling carnival and beer tents galore.

Oktoberfest celebrations in Germany
Oktoberfest celebrations in Germany

A significant part of Bavarian culture, Oktoberfest has been celebrated since 1810. And although there are now celebrations for it throughout the world, including large scale events in London, Munich is said to be the best place to experience it as it’s where it all began.

Choose from one of our October 2024 Germany cruises and venture to Munich or another German city to experience this bustling event. You can also check out our other cruises to Europe for some incredible getaways!

November - Diwali in India

India’s biggest festival, Diwali is frequently referred to as the ‘Festival of Lights’. Celebrated each year as a way of marking new beginnings, although Diwali is also celebrated in Malaysia, Singapore, Fiji and Nepal, it’s primarily celebrated in India and has a fascinating story behind it. In southern India, it celebrates Krishna defeating a demon known as Narakasura, and in northern India, it celebrates King Rama defeating Ravana and returning to Ayodhya.

Lady lighting candles for Diwali
Lady lighting candles on Diwali

Throughout Diwali there are religious rituals, parties, feasts and other captivating events to enjoy throughout the country. Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs.

If you book a cruise that visits India in November, you can enjoy the five day long festival and all that comes with it! Discover our selection of November 2024 India cruises.

December - Christmas in New York

There’s no denying that Christmas is a magical time of year that’s filled with festive joy. An exciting holiday for people of all ages, there’s lots of traditions that make it a truly unforgettable celebration, from hot chocolate to gingerbread. And whilst it’s lovely to spend this time at home, there are certain destinations that will turn your celebrations up a notch.

Christmas display in New York
Christmas display in New York

New York is one of them. A bustling metropolis, in the festive season New York transforms into a winter wonderland, with sparkling decorations and the occasional snowfall. Top highlights that you can take advantage of when visiting New York at Christmas time is visiting the iconic Rockefeller Christmas Tree (where there’s also an ice skating rink within the vicinity), seeing the magical Brooklyn Botanic Garden, seeing the New York City Ballet perform, shopping on 5th avenue and admiring the holiday décor in Central Park.

Discover the mystical and heartwarming atmosphere of New York with a December 2024 New York Cruise. Alternatively, opt for a December 2024 transatlantic cruise, taking you across the sea from Southampton to New York in style.

You can also read all about the other Christmas cruises we have on offer in 2023 in our recent blog - Top Christmas Cruises 2023.

Book Your Cruise Getaway


Whether you’re looking to travel to New Orleans for Mardi Gras or India for Diwali, Iglu Cruise has a wide selection of incredible cruise deals to choose from. Enjoy a year unlike any other with a cruise celebrating one of these extraordinary events and return with memories that last a lifetime.

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