It’s Not Too Late to Book a Festive Holiday Voyage – All Over the World!
Fort Lauderdale, FL — November 9, 2012 —
“Home for the holidays” is taking a back seat as Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) members offer top value on popular cruises for the holiday season – whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or New Year’s Eve. Increasingly, couples, families and extended families are choosing to combine the holidays with a vacation, including three- and four-night getaways in The Bahamas, week-long island-hopping voyages in the Caribbean, cruises to the Mexican Riviera, luxury river adventures showcasing the historic Christmas markets of Europe and even holiday sailings in Australia, the South Pacific, the Amazon and Antarctica. Holiday cruises fill up fast so now is the time to book.
Throughout the season, more than 200 CLIA ships large and small will be decorated with garlands, wreaths, holiday sprays, Christmas trees, and thousands of twinkling lights. Spectacular holiday buffets, gala Christmas and New Year’s Eve dinners, Christmas high teas, tasting menus, and mimosa brunches will be among the holiday dining options. Concerts, caroling, festive balls and seasonally-themed entertainment revues, religious services, children’s activities ranging from arts and crafts to building gingerbread houses, free gifts, and, of course, surprise visits from Santa – in one case on water skis – guarantee lasting memories for all.
Here is a sampling of ways to celebrate the holidays on a cruise:
- Spend a week basking on the beaches of as many as five Caribbean islands. Numerous CLIA member cruise lines offer Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean cruises from Port Everglades, Miami and other Florida ports, Galveston, New Orleans, Baltimore and New York. Cruises departing from San Juan, Puerto Rico feature up to five different island nations during a one-week cruise. Or, get away to The Bahamas on a three-, four- or five-night voyage from Florida, an ideal choice for those families who need to celebrate in a hurry.
Among the choices for cruises to the Caribbean and The Bahamas are Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and Princess Cruises.
- Spend the holidays with Mickey and all the other Disney characters: Disney Cruise Line will have four ships celebrating the holidays in the Caribbean, making five- to eight-night voyages from such ports as Miami, Galveston and Port Canaveral.
- Go yachting in the Caribbean: SeaDream Yacht Club’s two luxurious 110-passenger yachts will offer seven-night voyages departing December 22, from St. Thomas to Puerto Rico or Puerto Rico to St. Thomas, showcasing many of the Caribbean’s smallest and most exclusive islands, including St. Barts, Jost van Dyke, Montserratt, Saba, St. John and Virgin Gorda. Windstar Cruises also offers holiday voyages in the Caribbean but on modern, elegant sailing ships, and the ultra-luxurious Yachts of Seabourn will pamper travelers with fine dining, festive activities and romantic destinations in the Caribbean as well.
- Discover venerable Christmas traditions on the great rivers of Europe: AMAWaterways, Avalon Waterways and the Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection all have holiday voyages on the Rhine, Main, Danube and other rivers that flow through Austria, Germany, France, Hungary, Switzerland and the Netherlands. In addition to the great churches, music and cultural traditions that have shaped much of America’s celebration of Christmas, many of the trips feature the historic Christmas markets where tourists mingle with local residents in cobblestoned village squares to shop for handcrafted ornaments and celebrate the season with mulled wine, Schnapps, gingerbread, pastries and sweets.
- Escape to the South Seas: Paul Gauguin Cruises features Tahiti and the Society Islands in the South Pacific where guests can save as much as 50 percent, including airfare from Los Angeles, on seven-night sailings to such romantic destinations as Moorea, Bora Bora, and Papeete. For young travelers, Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program which explores the sea life of the region is an extra treat.
- Discover the Amazon: Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ all-balcony Seven Seas Mariner will make a 22-night cruise from Rio de Janeiro to Miami departing December 16. In addition to several Caribbean islands, the centerpiece of the voyage is the legendary Amazon River. Regent also offers a 21-night South Pacific Secrets voyage from Bali to Auckland departing December 19.
- Ring in the New Year in Sydney, Australia: Crystal Cruises will treat passengers to the world’s largest fireworks display from under the famed Sydney Harbour Bridge. The 16-day itinerary begins December 20 in Auckland, New Zealand. Crystal also offers a 14-day, port-intensive Caribbean holiday cruise departing December 21 from Miami and featuring seven islands as well as Key West.
- Sail to the bottom of the world for Christmas and New Year’s: Holland America Line’s Veendam departs December 20 from Rio de Janeiro for Antarctica, calls at Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Puerto Madryn, the Drake Passage, Cape Horn and Strait of Magellan before arriving on South America’s west coast in Puerto Montt, Chile.
To find a CLIA travel professional for assistance in booking a holiday cruise, please visit www.cruising.org
and click on Vacations for access to the Cruise Expert locator function