Everyone’s Christmas is different, whether it’s a blend of national and family traditions, religious observation or just a few days off work. But, has the thought of taking a Christmas cruise ever occurred to you? Many people are surprised to learn that cruise ships even set sail at this time of year as they only associate cruising with sipping cocktails on sun-drenched decks. At Fred. Olsen, we know that summer is only a small part of the calendar, and that’s why we’re delighting our guests all year round, with Christmas being a particularly special time. Here’s why...
One of the main reasons why people are averse to a Christmas cruise is that this is the time of year for families to get together. In today’s atomised society, it’s often the only time whole families can meet up, so going off on a cruise isn’t to everyone’s taste, however much they love the pastime. But who’s to say you can’t go on a cruise with the family? Can you imagine a more exciting time for children than to be in the icy landscapes of Norway on Christmas morning? And what could be more relaxing than being waited on for every meal rather than getting up at 5 a.m. to start cooking the turkey?
The Northern Lights
We can’t talk about Christmas cruising without mentioning nature’s most spectacular light show – the Northern Lights. The technical name for the Northern Lights is Aurora Borealis, and the sharp-eyed among you will recognise the name Borealis as it’s one of our ships – the sister ship of our flagship, no less. With a Northern Lights cruise holiday we head north with the intention of catching this display, which can still bring a tear to the eye of a seasoned Baltic sailor. Of course, we can’t guarantee a show, as it’s driven by solar activity, but the further north you go, the better your odds of seeing one. But show or no-show, a cruise to Norway will end up making memories that last forever.
One thing our regular Christmas guests always remember is how the ships themselves transform themselves. Whether you are enjoying a piping hot mulled wine after enjoying the views from the deck, or sampling the many festive themed cocktail and menu options, you wont ever lack the feeling of festive magic.
You don’t have to miss Christmas
“Christmas” doesn’t have to mean December 25th. You can go on a Christmas cruise and still be home for the key date, as the word covers the whole festive period, lasting a good six weeks. If you just love the atmosphere of this time of year but wouldn’t miss Christmas night at home for the whole world, you can take a lovely cruise and still be home in good time to wrap your presents. And speaking of presents, what better place to buy them than at one of the world famous European Christmas markets? You can even find out how they do Christmas in Spain and Portugal, and of course come back with some wonderful gifts of food and drink.
See in the New Year
If you’ve never seen in the New Year on board a cruise ship, you’re missing out. The atmosphere is exuberant, with just the same countdown, fun and letting yourself go as you’d expect on dry land. Cruise ships will often visit coastal cities to watch the fireworks reflected in the sea, or disembark guests so that they can experience a New Year in a buzzing place. Some may even have fireworks displays of their own. And again, you’ll have your easiest ever “morning after the night before” thanks to the cabin stewardesses who are dedicated to your comfort. Whatever your taste in New Year celebrations, there will be a cruise just for you – check out the Christmas and New Year cruises with Fred. Olsen.
It's summer in the south
There’s one point that’s often lost on us shivering northern folk: south of the equator, it’s the height of summer in December and January. Around the equator itself, these months are pretty much the same as the rest of the year, and even in relatively northern regions like the Canaries, it remains mild and balmy in winter, which is why a Canaries cruise is just as popular in January as are other Canaries holidays.
If you’d rather be in your swimwear and splashing about in the pool in December or January, find yourself a cruise that takes you away from the long nights and gaudy TV ads, and places you in the warm glow of the Caribbean.
"This cruise brought the magic of Christmas back for me."
Mr Abbott, River Cities and German Christmas Markets - Feefo Independent Review
Choose your dates and destination
As you can see, there’s no single meaning of a “Christmas cruise”. It could be anything from a Norway cruise to getting away from winter altogether in the equator or even further south. And for the complete Christmas experience, don’t forget you can do it all with all your loved ones, for truly memorable times, on board a Fred. Olsen cruise.