While pondering your holiday shopping list, you might want to consider an extra-special stocking stuffer.
Treating you and your family to dream cruise would make this the most amazing Christmas ever. If you want to be a holiday hero, start by checking this magical lineup of cruise vacations.
A Christmas Markets Cruise
A cruise along the Danube or Rhine Rivers in Europe is a wonder during the holiday season, and a Christmas Markets Cruise is a natural for your holiday wish list.
AmaWaterways features amazing itineraries on both of these great waterways, with voyages that visit vibrant and festive markets in Germany, Austria, Hungary and other countries. Cities and villages reach back in time to preserve a centuries-long tradition of the Christmas markets that mark the holiday season from Thanksgiving through the New Year.
You’ll delight in strolling the bustling town squares filled with twinkling Christmas trees, strung lights, caroling residents, vendors in wooden huts selling hand-made crafts, live music, free-flowing gluhwein, all kinds of delicacies like sausages and sweets, as well as an effervescent holiday spirit.
AmaWaterways’ “Iconic Christmas Markets” and “Christmas Markets on the Rhine” itineraries feature a lineup of immersive holiday- and history-related tours as well as onboard programming in keeping with the season. You travel on the award-winning ships that offer premium service, meals and comfort. AmaWaterways also offers a wellness program and carries a fleet of bikes for active travelers.
A Caribbean Cruise
While the holidays deliver a warm spirit as you gather with family and friends, you also might be dreaming of a sunny getaway in the coming year.
MSC Cruises has a fleet of newer ships sailing from Florida on Caribbean itineraries. MSC is an affordable option and great for family cruising, with one of the best kids’ club programs out there.
MSC Cruises features Chicco Toys, developed by a children’s research center, the Doremi and family mascots to keep kids entertained and the popular LEGO activities program. Families also enjoy playing at the Aqua Park, in the pools and on the waterslides. Additional activities include F1 driving simulators, Virtual World and gaming consoles and a 4D cinema.
Look for cruises on MSC Seaside, MSC Meraviglia and MSC Divina out of Miami. Cruises start as low as $299 per person for seven nights and include MSC’s new Ocean Cay Marine Reserve private island destination in the Bahamas.
If you decide to splurge, a luxury cruise to the faraway paradise of French Polynesia just might be the cruise of your dreams.
Paul Gauguin Cruises has been the leader in French Polynesia for years. The company’s MS Paul Gauguin ship provides an intimate environment, carrying up to only 332 passengers who get to enjoy exclusive access to serene motus (small private islands) for beach parties, snorkeling and other watersports, as well as delicious cuisine and enrichment programming onboard.
Paul Gauguin Cruises’ “Tahiti and the Society Islands” voyages are roundtrip from Papeete, Tahiti, and include visits to Huahine, Ta’a, Bora Bora and Moorea to experience the beautiful lagoons, mountain ranges and blue waters of this paradise. The weeklong cruises start around $5,100 and include airfare from Los Angeles.
The Med cruise offers so much to enjoy — from sunny weather to discovering new foods and cultures to learning about ancient history. These voyages transport travelers to the Old World via a group of fascinating blue waterways, such as the Adriatic Sea, Aegean Sea, Tyrrhenian Sea, Balearic Sea and Ionian Sea. This is a vast region, and the cruises can visit places destinations in countries like Greece, Turkey, Croatia, France, Italy, Montenegro, Spain and Tunisia.
Viking Ocean Cruises features some of the best voyages at moderate prices with plenty of inclusions. We love the Viking Ocean ships because they offer upscale comforts with a smaller passenger complement (930 passengers), alongside fantastic food and service.
One of the itineraries that catches our eye is the epic 15-day “Cities of Antiquity and the Holy Land” that starts at $4,999 and visits Athens, Cyprus, Jerusalem, Naples and Rome, among other destinations.
Alaska Expedition Cruise
A frontier built for adventure, Alaska is a natural wonderland, and no cruise line knows this rugged and beautiful region better than UnCruise Adventures. The company has been delighting passengers for more than two decades with its lineup of small-ship expeditions that provide thrills that last a lifetime.
UnCruise trips place you in the wilderness with dozens of fellow cruisers who crave exploration through challenging hikes or forays into fjords on skiff rides and kayak tours. You are led by an energetic staff of passionate guides and pampered onboard by attentive staff. Expect to see glaciers, waterfalls and verdant forests. Marine wildlife spotting also is at a premium, with whales, sea birds, otters, bald eagles, brown bears and much more.
UnCruise Adventures offers a broad range of cruises that last a week or longer and visit places like Glacier Bay National Park, Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, Baranof Island and an array of other sounds and fjords.
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