Top of the wish list: Christmas cruising is more popular than ever
Those looking for a Christmas getaway to remember are opting to go by sea more than ever before. Leading travel retailer CruiseDeals.co.uk has reported a recent surge in interest for Christmas and New Year cruises, with bookings for the 2016/17 season already selling out.
It’s supported by the latest statistics from Google, which show that UK searches for the term ‘Christmas cruise’ were up 60% during the first 6 months of 2016 when compared with the same period in 2015.
Whether it’s catching some winter rays in the Caribbean or exploring the glittering Christmas markets of Europe, there’s an increasingly diverse range of festive itineraries to choose from.
“Cruising takes the stress out of the Christmas break, which I think is one of the key factors behind this growth in demand”, explains CruiseDeals.co.uk representative Ian Crawford. “Every year we’re under pressure to make the festive season perfect. With cruising, you’re able to step onboard a luxury ship safe in the knowledge that Christmas dinner will be cooked and prepared by somebody else, while all of the family entertainment is sorted for you, too”.
For those not wanting to break quite so heavily with tradition, there’s the option to join 1.8 million others and set sail from a UK port in the weeks leading up to the big day. Sample the festivities while travelling through some of the most beautiful destinations across the globe, before heading home in time to pull a cracker with your loved ones.
The 2016/17 season has seen a huge variety of destinations to choose from over the festive period. Itineraries cover the Canary Islands, Miami and the Mexican Riviera, while those still dreaming of a white Christmas may prefer to sail through ice-laden Amsterdam or take a transatlantic journey to the festive wonderland of New York.
Disney Cruise Line proudly lead the way with their annual Very MerryTime cruises, complete with the ‘Deck the Deck’ Christmas party and a spectacular tree lighting ceremony. Celebrity Cruises are set to welcome Santa Claus onto their ships over the holiday season, while the festive-free zones offered by P&O Cruises are sure to appeal to any grinches among us -although they do still expect to be cooking around 1,100 turkeys across their fleet on the big day.
Cruising doesn’t have to mean foregoing your fond memories of Christmas entirely though, as many major cruise lines have taken to holding seasonal services onboard. Group bookings have also seen a surge in popularity at this time of year, suggesting that a greater number of families are ditching routines of old and embracing the chance to enjoy Christmas from another corner of the world.
“Cruising is the ideal way to feel truly relaxed and pampered over Christmas”, concludes Crawford. “The festive season is becoming increasingly synonymous with feelings of stress and a pressure to make the day run smoothly, so it’s easy to see why so many families are choosing to set sail and leave the finer details to somebody else. Kick back, enjoy the holiday of a lifetime and come home feeling thoroughly refreshed in time for the New Year.”