Unwind after the busy holiday season and escape gray winter skies and frigid temperatures on a luxury vacation to some of the best places to cruise in January.
The best winter cruises visit warmer, sunnier destinations guaranteed to lift your spirits and banish those seasonal blues.
Start planning your next getaway to one of the best cruise destinations in January.
Unwind on the powdery white beaches of Aruba while watching sunlight sparkle on the brilliant blue ocean. Discover the vibrant marine life on sailing and scuba excursions, or board a submarine and see coral fields, shipwrecks, vibrantly colored fish, and sea sponges up close.
Commune with Aruba’s wildlife on a visit to the butterfly farm, or tour the island on horseback. Indulge in retail therapy in Oranjestad, the capital, and delight in Aruban cuisine that blends Dutch, Portuguese, and Spanish influences.
Bonaire is an island bursting with color, both on land and in the surrounding sea. Pastel-colored houses in shades of pink, orange, and lime green cluster on the island, and flocks of pink flamingos feed near mangroves and saltpans. Under the sea, a dazzling variety of colorful fish and corals await.
A national marine park surrounds the island of Bonaire, making it one of the most spectacular diving spots in the Caribbean—and one of the most eco-conscious, too. Paddle a glass-bottom kayak for a scenic look above and below the water, or catch a water taxi to the uninhabited Klein Bonaire to swim, sunbathe and snorkel in a pristine paradise.
On a January cruise, pick any one of Curacao’s 38 beaches and enjoy stunning views, pristine stretches of white sand, and conveniently located bars and restaurants. Take time to stroll Willemstad, the island’s capital and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its colorful colonial buildings and European ambiance.
Visit the floating market along the waterfront where locals shop for produce and fresh fish. Tour the Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue, the oldest active synagogue in the Western Hemisphere.
Explore Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castillo de San Cristobal in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, then savor a local coffee or rum drink at any of the cute cafés and bars near Plaza de Armas. Discover meticulously preserved Spanish colonial art, artifacts, and iconography at the Tomb of Juan Ponce de Leon, just steps away from the main sites and attractions of the Old Town.
For a more nature-focused adventure, try stand up paddle boarding at Laguna Condado, or experience diving and snorkeling in Puerto Rico in the Desecheo National Wildlife Refuge.
In Tortola, you’ll find plenty of shopping, delicious food, and local culture to take in at Wickams Cay in Road Town, just adjacent to the cruise terminal. Sun-seekers will love Smuggler’s Cove, a beautiful quiet beach in the Lower Belmont Bay along Tortola’s western coast.
One of the best things to do in Tortola is to take a tour of Tortola’s historic Callwood Distillery, believed to date back to the mid 1700s, and continuously operated by the Callwood family since the late 1800s. This family-run distillery is still operational today, and its rum makes for the perfect gift to take back home to friends and family.
On the island of St. Maarten, you’ll find some of the best dining, shopping, and Dutch-inspired art, architecture, and culture anywhere in the Caribbean. Take a thrilling ride down the Flying Dutchman, the world’s steepest zipline located at the Rockland Estate eco adventure park.
Then, relax and recharge your energy at Mullet Bay Beach, one of the best beaches in St. Maarten. This sun-soaked white sand sanctuary has options for snorkeling, windsurfing, and places to eat just a few minutes’ walk away.
In Nassau, take a culinary tour of the old town where you can savor delicious Bahamian flavors, sample authentic spiced rum, and eat like a local. Walk up the majestic Queen’s Staircase, carved out of solid limestone over 200 years ago to honor Great Britain’s Queen Victoria, surrounded by lush tropical flora.
Try your luck at the Baha Mar Casino, then shop at one of Nassau’s bustling artisan markets for handmade straw gifts, silver, and local art before heading back on board.
Explore the many Mayan ruins in Cozumel, where indigenous history has been brilliantly preserved for thousands of years. Take a swim in the Cenote Chaak Tun, one of many beautiful underground sinkholes created over time by erosion, and now popular places to dive, swim, and explore local underground geology.
End your stay in Cozumel with a traditional Cochinita Pibil slow-roasted pork sandwich, or take a taco class and tequila tasting for a tasty memory of Mexico.
One of the best places to cruise in January is the island of Grand Cayman. Here you can immerse yourself in the outdoor exhibits at Cayman Turtle Center, where you’ll learn about these gentle sea creatures up close.
Paddle a kayak in the warm waters off West Bay, then stroll along the famous beach in Grand Cayman, Seven Mile Beach, to catch the first colors of sunset before making your way back on board.
The Galapagos Islands
Temperate weather, breathtaking scenery, and spectacular wildlife found nowhere else in the world make the Galapagos Islands one of the best places to cruise in January. This is a unique destination that combines unprecedented natural access to one of the world’s most remote places with luxury, style, and comfort provided for you during every day at sea.
Cruise between these volcanic islands on one of four itineraries aboard one of our superbly equipped expedition ships, including those in Celebrity’s fleet that are designed specifically for Galapagos cruises.
Watch giant tortoises, which can live to be over 100 years old. See Darwin’s finches, the Galapagos birds that helped Charles Darwin formulate his theory of evolution. Marvel at blue-footed and red-footed boobies, flightless cormorants, Galapagos penguins, and prehistoric-looking iguanas. Get a first-hand look at animals and plants found nowhere else in the world on your January cruise.
Our all-inclusive cruises to the Galapagos include shore excursions guided by a team of expert naturalists, as well as everything you’ll need on board.
In St. Thomas, head to Honeymoon Beach on Water Island where you can snorkel with sea turtles, or simply sit back and sunbathe as you sip on a freshly made daiquiri. Browse the island’s boutiques, luxury stores, and duty-free shopping centers in Charlotte Amalie, one of the best places to shop in St. Thomas.
See the spoils from sunken ships and precious artifacts at the Pirates Treasure Museum, where you can also purchase unique gifts like Spanish coins and silver sextants. Wrap up your St. Thomas adventure with a delicious mango smoothie or walnut rum cake from Gladys’ Cafe, a local favorite on the island.
In St. Kitts, swim in crystal blue Caribbean waters, then take in breathtaking views as you enjoy a scenic railway ride around the dormant Mt. Liamuiga volcano. Soak up the sun in the golden sands of Cockleshell Beach, located in a beautifully sheltered bay towards the southern end of the island.
Some of the best things to do in St. Kitts include touring a local sugarcane plantation by jeep, or going on a nature safari through the lush, rolling green hills surrounding the island’s famous volcano. Before boarding your ship, be sure to taste some salt fish and dumplings, a local favorite that is easy to find at any of the many eateries in and around the cruise port.
Embrace the beauty of both land and sea in Belize, one of the best places to cruise in January.
The Belize Barrier Reef is one of the best spots in the world for scuba diving and snorkeling. It teems with sea creatures in dazzling colors amid rainbow corals, steep walls, and drop-offs.
Inland, the rainforest is just as vibrant. Take a river safari cruise and look for crocodiles basking in the sun and black howler monkeys scampering through the trees. You’ll see the occasional flash of bright green or red as parrots swoop from the canopy.
This magnificent jungle surrounds ancient Mayan sites, including Altun Ha, a ceremonial site dating back 3,000 years, and Xunantunich, near the Guatemalan border. You could head underground, too, for an otherworldly adventure in Belize as you drift in an inner tube through the dramatic Crystal Caves.
Barbados is packed with activities, whether you want to swim among sea turtles in the limpid Caribbean or surf on the wilder Atlantic coast.
The island has its own distinctive character, whether you’re browsing local galleries, tasting rum, sampling luscious tropical fruits at street food stalls, or sampling cou-cou (a mixture of cornmeal and okra) and fried flying fish, the national dish of Barbados.
Head to Harrison’s Cave to admire the stalactites and stalagmites, or see green monkeys in their natural habitat at the Barbados Wildlife Reserve. Dive under the waves in the Atlantis Submarine, or jump on a beach-hopping safari to see what gives this lush island its legendary charm.
Explore Bridgetown, an enchanting little city dotted with colonial-era British architecture, like the Garrison and the Parliament Museum. Sports lovers should stop by Kensington Oval, one of the world’s most famous cricket grounds.
Sunny Antigua claims to have 365 beaches, one for every day of the year, so you’ll no doubt be intrigued to find out which is the best.
You could join a beach yoga class, paddle a kayak through mangroves, or take part in a guided coastal hike with a cooling dip at the end. Or go stand-up paddle-boarding, windsurfing, snorkeling, or simply unwind on the impeccable sands.
Discover more of the island’s history at English Harbour. Here, you’ll find the stately Nelson’s Dockyard, which dates back to 1725 and served as a base for the English navy.
Join a guided tour, explore the historic buildings, which have been beautifully restored, and check out the galleries and gift shops. The harbor is a magnet for superyachts, which lends this already beautiful spot an aura of glamor.
Free-spirited Key West, the southernmost point of the continental USA, is known for its quirky, eccentric feel. The Old Town is packed with cool restaurants, bars, and independent shops, while the leafy streets are lined with colorful houses.
Join a Conch Republic cycling tour to see the sights, including President Truman’s Little White House and the villa where Ernest Hemingway wrote some of his classic novels. Six-toed cats, descendents of Hemingway’s own cat, Snow White, still roam the grounds.
Key West is famous for its aquatic activities, whether you want to snorkel among wild dolphins or explore the underwater world at the Florida Reef. Here, shoals of brilliantly colored fish teem over the corals and rays and reef sharks drift through the deeper water.
The island has several beaches for a welcome dose of winter sunshine. Fort Zachary Taylor is one of the best, with a Civil War fort to explore, shady palms, excellent snorkeling, and a café offering hot snacks and cold beers.
St. Lucia has to be one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean, its profile distinguished by the forested twin peaks of the Pitons mountains.
If you’re intrigued by these ancient volcanic plugs, which plunge straight into the sapphire sea, you could join a hike up Gros Piton. From the summit, the whole island stretches away beneath you, with neighboring St. Vincent visible on the horizon.
Other options include a 4×4 adventure through banana plantations and sleepy fishing villages, ending with a refreshing shower under a waterfall. You could head out on a sailing trip or go horseback riding on Cas en Bas beach, with a chance to swim in the surf with your horse.
In Castries, the bustling capital, you could take a guided tour to explore vibrant streets, the bustling market, and the imposing 19th-century cathedral, the largest of its kind in the Caribbean.
Indonesia’s climate in January is perfect for a tropical escape that isn’t too humid, giving you plenty of energy for sightseeing. There’s a lot to take in, as this is a vast country and every island is different.
The south of Bali is all about vibrant Hindu temples, emerald rice paddies, colorful art, and a rich culinary scene. On the island’s quieter north coast, Celukan Bawang is the gateway to ancient pagodas and mountain lakes.
Neighboring Lombok has a wilder feel, the landscape dominated by the steaming Gunung Rinjani volcano, jungly foothills, and magnificent beaches.
Senggigi is one of the best, a seemingly endless stretch of golden sand fringed by palm trees and gently sloping bays in sparkling aquamarine.
Thailand is a fascinating mix of urban sophistication and rural serenity. There’s nowhere like Bangkok, a buzzing metropolis of frenetic activity, glassy skyscrapers, gleaming malls, and shimmering temples.
The intricate Grand Palace in Bangkok is a sight to behold, incorporating Wat Phra Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, while Wat Pho is where you’ll see the iconic golden Reclining Buddha. Take a trip to the ancient capital, Ayutthaya, a spectacular archaeological site, or explore bustling floating markets for a glimpse into local life.
Ko Samui, in contrast, is a desert island paradise of long, sandy beaches, coral reefs, and forested islands to explore. Snorkel in the Angthong National Marine Park, or have a Thai massage on Chaweng Beach. Sample spicy local cuisine at a beachfront restaurant and shop the markets for colorful beach fashions.
From Phuket, you can visit Ko Phi Phi, one of the most beautiful settings in Asia, where bottle-green hills plunge into the turquoise sea. Nearby Phang Nga Bay offers a landscape of verdant limestone towers scattered across the sea and a fascinating floating village.
Ice-strewn Antarctica is like nowhere else on Earth and is one of the best places to cruise in January. Jagged black mountains tower over bays clogged with blue-white icebergs, the pristine air so clear you can see for miles. Vast glaciers are reflected in the mirror-like waters of tranquil bays.
Penguins bustle around, building nests with stones and tending their chicks, while enormous elephant seals bask on stony beaches. The freezing water teems with life; you could see pods of humpback whales, as well as minke, orca, and even blue whales.
Where you can go is dictated by the ice conditions, which is all part of Antarctica’s wild appeal. The Schollart Channel is a great place to spot wildlife in Antarctica, while Paradise Bay is almost hemmed in by towering peaks.
You’ll also see Elephant Island, made famous by the epic rescue effort mounted by Sir Ernest Shackleton in 1914. He left his crew here while he went for help after his ship, the Endurance, was crushed by ice.
Today, it’s the perfect spot to see elephant seals (from which the island takes its name), three types of penguins, and numerous seabirds, including cape and storm petrels.
Plan your January cruise escape now. Browse itineraries on our website and book your getaway today.