0203 848 3600

Over 1.5 Million Happy Cruise Customers

{0} out of 10 Rated Excellent
ATOL Protected
02038483600

Cruise Blog

Family Cruising at Christmas

clock 21st December 2017 | comment0 Comments

With so many cruise lines offering a variety of entertainment for all ages, it’s no wonder a cruise is a great gift for the whole family! During the festive season there’s no need for the chaos of preparing an extensive dinner, or battling to put up the decorations. On a Christmas cruise, the details are taken care of for you.

Family on the beach

From the moment you step onboard you’ll find your favourite ship has been enhanced into a festive wonderland. Cunard Queen Mary is a real sight to see especially, with awe-inspiring gingerbread models and Hans Christian Andersen -esque displays. With a huge programme of activities, many of which are Christmas themed, you can be rest assured that the whole family will find entertainment they love this winter. Below are just some of the highlights.


Movies and Shows

Cruise lines are constantly going above and beyond to offer a huge range of shows onboard. From theatrical shows and comedy to the latest movies and live music, you are spoilt for choice across all venues. Our favourites include MSC Cruises’ exclusive Cirque Du Soleil shows, as well as Disney Cruise Line’s magical Tangled: The Musical! Of course at Christmas time, make sure to look out for the festive classics showcased in theatres and outdoor screens.


Pools and Spas

All the family will enjoy the range of pools that can be found onboard the majority of cruise ships. Meanwhile, you will often find adult-only spaces including relaxing spa facilities, pools, and whirlpools, as well as areas designed especially for kids. Carnival Cruises’ Dr Seuss-themed water park has some brilliant features including a tipping bucket and splash zone, while MSC Cruises ships MSC Preziosa and MSC Seaside have some incredible water slides.

Carnival Cruises Waterpark


Dining Options

You’ll be thrilled to find that you won’t be missing out on a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings, as well as all your favourite festive sweet treats! With many restaurants serving mince pies, yule log and Christmas cookies, you’ll feel right at home (without all the cleaning up afterwards!). For those looking to break tradition though, opt for a speciality restaurant such as Johnny Rockets with Royal Caribbean, or pile your plate with all your favourites at the informal buffet restaurants.


Action-Packed Fun

As well as the swimming pools, many ships are home to rock-climbing walls, surf-simulators, zip-lines and even go-kart tracks, with much more in the works. Norwegian Cruise Line have excitingly revealed upcoming plans for laser tag venues as well as the largest at-sea racetrack! From meeting their favourite TV and film characters to climbing high above the top deck, kids of all ages will be spoilt for choice during sea days.

As well as all this, don’t forget to check out the programme of activities onboard. Many cruise lines will offer seasonal extras which are great for the whole family. Expect visits from Santa or maybe even a Santa’s grotto, Christmas craft workshops, spell-binding carol singers, and beautiful gingerbread villages.


Kids Clubs

Don’t forget that parents can still enjoy a special evening together too! Thanks to onboard Kids Clubs offered on many larger cruise ships, you and your partner will be able to relax knowing that the little ones are in good hands. These clubs are usually separated into age-appropriate groups with entertainment to cater towards toddlers, children and teenagers. A team of fun and friendly hosts will be on hand while the kids enjoy the latest video games, dance classes and sports.


Couple dining


Treat the family this Christmas

Although there are a few common misconceptions about cruising at Christmas time, it’s easy to see why this is actually one of the best ways to spend the festive season! Not only will the whole family enjoy more traditional celebrations, but you’ll also explore new destinations and try new activities, all without the stress. The weather won’t be bad to depending on where you decide to go! There are a huge range of December cruises available, though if you’re feeling stuck get in touch with our helpful team for more advice here.



Tips for River Cruising in the Festive Season

clock 18th December 2017 | comment0 Comments

The infamous European Christmas markets are right on our doorstep, and yet so many Brits are yet to see them. With cities like Cologne, Vienna, Strasbourg, and Copenhagen all offering some of the best options around, it can be difficult to decide just where to visit when you do finally make the decision to go! One way to remedy this, however, is to opt for a river cruise in December. This way it’s possible to see multiple destinations on one trip.

 

Which Christmas markets can I see?

Europe is not short of waterways by any means, and as such there are a number of strategically-positioned, important cities that can be accessed on a river cruise. In December, The Rhine, The Danube, The Rhone, and The Seine are just some of the most popular rivers that can transport you to some incredible winter wonderlands. The Rudesheim market, in The Rhine valley boasts over 100 stalls with gifts and treats from all over the world, Budapest on The Danube offers a traditional Hungarian feel, and of course in Paris on The Seine visitors will find delicious crepes, tartiflette, and all manner of keepsakes. These are just a handful of the top Christmas markets you could see.

Can I bring my children?

While most river cruise lines are designed for adults, in general children are also welcome onboard. Amawaterways have taken steps to make their ships more family-friendly, by introducing adjoining staterooms on both AmaViola and AmaStella. Tauck River Cruises and Uniworld River Cruises are also slightly more geared towards children than some other river cruise lines, offering excursions like scavenger hunts and family bike rides. Selected Uniworld ships also offer a games room for kids and activities like craft workshops and cookery lessons which can be especially fun at Christmas. It is worth keeping in mind however, that some Christmas market locations can get very busy, and can involve a considerable amount of walking, so it’s important to consider this if bringing children.

 

What’s it like for solo travellers?

River cruising can be a fantastic option for solo travellers, owing to the extremely relaxed and sociable atmosphere onboard. Generally, river cruise ships have multiple public lounges where entertainment such as live music and quizzes will take place. This makes it all the more easy to meet fellow cruisers and converse with new friends. Excursions on these cruises are also perfect for solo travellers. Take part in an organised group tour of a new city and, of course, its Christmas markets. River cruise lines like Scenic River Cruises and Avalon Waterways often do great deals for solo travellers too.

Are there other Christmassy things to do?

While river cruises in December do have a real focus on European Christmas markets, there are other festive things to do and see in these beautiful cities. When you’ve had your fill of gluwhein and pretty trinket stalls, take a look around and you will find all sorts of other activities. Why not show off your skills on the ice rink on the Champs-Elysees, sip on a hot chocolate while becoming enchanted by the twinkling lights and decorations in Vienna, or admire the magnificence of German Christmas trees – or Tannenbaum – in Cologne.

 

 

River cruises in December can be anything from a few days to a few weeks, depending on your preference and time limitations. Considering this, and the wide selection of destinations, dates, and types of cruise, it is usually possible to find a European Christmas market cruise to suit everyone.



River Cruising at Christmas

clock 13th December 2017 | comment0 Comments

The infamous European Christmas markets are right on our doorstep, and yet so many Brits are yet to see them. With cities like Cologne, Vienna, Strasbourg, and Copenhagen all offering some of the best options around, it can be difficult to decide just where to visit when you do finally make the decision to go! One way to remedy this, however, is to opt for a river cruise in December. This way it’s possible to see multiple destinations on one trip.

 

Which Christmas markets can I see?

Europe is not short of waterways by any means, and as such there are a number of strategically-positioned, important cities that can be accessed on a river cruise. In December, The Rhine, The Danube, The Rhone, and The Seine are just some of the most popular rivers that can transport you to some incredible winter wonderlands. The Rudesheim market, in The Rhine valley boasts over 100 stalls with gifts and treats from all over the world, Budapest on The Danube offers a traditional Hungarian feel, and of course in Paris on The Seine visitors will find delicious crepes, tartiflette, and all manner of keepsakes. These are just a handful of the top Christmas markets you could see.

Can I bring my children?

While most river cruise lines are designed for adults, in general children are also welcome onboard. Amawaterways have taken steps to make their ships more family-friendly, by introducing adjoining staterooms on both AmaViola and AmaStella. Tauck River Cruises and Uniworld River Cruises are also slightly more geared towards children than some other river cruise lines, offering excursions like scavenger hunts and family bike rides. Selected Uniworld ships also offer a games room for kids and activities like craft workshops and cookery lessons which can be especially fun at Christmas. It is worth keeping in mind however, that some Christmas market locations can get very busy, and can involve a considerable amount of walking, so it’s important to consider this if bringing children.

 

What’s it like for solo travellers?

River cruising can be a fantastic option for solo travellers, owing to the extremely relaxed and sociable atmosphere onboard. Generally, river cruise ships have multiple public lounges where entertainment such as live music and quizzes will take place. This makes it all the more easy to meet fellow cruisers and converse with new friends. Excursions on these cruises are also perfect for solo travellers. Take part in an organised group tour of a new city and, of course, its Christmas markets. River cruise lines like Scenic River Cruises and Avalon Waterways often do great deals for solo travellers too.

Are there other Christmassy things to do?

While river cruises in December do have a real focus on European Christmas markets, there are other festive things to do and see in these beautiful cities. When you’ve had your fill of gluwhein and pretty trinket stalls, take a look around and you will find all sorts of other activities. Why not show off your skills on the ice rink on the Champs-Elysees, sip on a hot chocolate while becoming enchanted by the twinkling lights and decorations in Vienna, or admire the magnificence of German Christmas trees – or Tannenbaum – in Cologne.

 

 

River cruises in December can be anything from a few days to a few weeks, depending on your preference and time limitations. Considering this, and the wide selection of destinations, dates, and types of cruise, it is usually possible to find a European Christmas market cruise to suit everyone.



Best Winter Destinations for Christmas and New Year

clock 4th December 2017 | comment0 Comments

Updated September 2018

 

Have a Christmas or New Year celebration like no other this year, by visiting a new and exciting destination on a cruise. The world is full of incredible places at every corner, and many of these play host to some wonderful parties and Christmas festivities throughout December and January. Here are our top 5 spots, that we recommend everyone see at this time of year - at least once in their life.

New York

For many people, New York at winter is the epitome of Christmas spirit. This is in no small part thanks to movie classics like Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life, in which New York is the setting for warm Christmas tales. Whether you cruise to New York in the run-up to Christmas or are there for New Year’s Eve, the glittering city that never sleeps will undoubtedly provide you with everything you need to feel like celebrating. From the buzzing atmosphere and lights in Time Square to a frosty, romantic moonlit carriage ride in Central Park, New York offers some truly special experiences.

 

 

Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a fantastic destination for those who want a change of scenery, but don’t want to travel too far. Close to the UK, there are a number of options for a no-fly cruise here. In the winter months, the city comes to life with music, lights, and decorations, and the friendly residents will welcome you with open arms. See the stunning Amsterdam Light Festival, at which global artists put together some beautiful displays through the streets and canals. There are of course Christmas markets as well, and some fabulous parties and fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

 

 

Paris

The famous City of Lights is, of course, a hub of illumination and bustling activity at this time of year, boasting some stunning views and wonderful options when it comes to festive things to do. Revel in Christmas spirit at the Christmas Market on Avenue des Champs-Elysees, where you can also take a spin on the ice rink. If you have time, a visit to Disneyland is an absolute must. Whether you’re 6 or 66, a bit of Disney magic at Christmas is a great recipe to get you feeling merry and bright. Start planning your trip and ask us about our cruises to Paris.

 

 

Norway

Visit the land of Frozen and get lost in a real Winter Wonderland. A cruise in Norway is a great option for this time of year, particularly because of the chance to see the Northern Lights. December and January often have a high number of clear nights, meaning the vibrant lights are more likely to be visible. The sparkling scenery and welcoming ambience in this part of the world is perfect for celebrating during the festive season, simply gazing at the stars with a hot chocolate, sat on the top deck of your cruise ship is truly the stuff of dreams. Find out more about our great range of Norway cruises.

 

 

Sydney

The New Year’s Eve firework display at Sydney Harbour is a well-known event that causes visitors to flock to the city every year. Sydney is a port of call on many world cruises, and if you are lucky enough to be here at the right time, you can have one of the best views of the show available. The famous Sydney Opera House also holds glamourous New Year’s Eve celebrations, giving you the opportunity to get dressed up and enjoy a bit of luxury during your holiday. See the New Year in with style on an Australasia cruise.

 

 

Whether you are considering a cruise during the main events, or are merely seeking a few days away before or after, you can rest assured that there are plenty of options out there. Take a look at all our December and January cruises, and book your next adventure today.



Five alternative ways to spend Christmas this year

clock 26th October 2016 | comment0 Comments

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



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.

 

Flam Norway



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.

 

Greek Orthodox christmas



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.

 

new york 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.

 

santa onboard cruise ship



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 



Book with Confidence

We are ATOL Holders and members of ABTA for your financial protection.


Price Match Guarantee
Search Cruises
Your Shortlist

You do not currently have any cruises in your shortlist.


What our customers say


"I booked a Fred Olsen cruise with IGLU last month and was so impressed by the service I received. The staff member I spoke to was Kimberley and she was exemplary. Capable, kind, professional, patient, friendly and knowledgeable. She went through every step of the way calmly and thoroughly. IGLU were recommended to me by friends and I have no hesitation in passing the recommendation along. Well done IGLU and thank you. "

Christina
(March 2019)

"So easy to deal with, I studied the Cruise I wanted, did my research with different company's and returned to Iglu. I had three quotes matching Iglu’s cost, but with one phone call they beat the price themselves by £40 without me even asking, how easy was that! "

Gary
(February 2019)


Read more feedback