If you find yourself daydreaming of tropical beaches and sunny skies during the frigid winter months, escape the cold on one of the best winter cruises to unforgettable destinations across the globe.
In the winter, our ships transition from seasonal locations like Alaska and Europe to sunny locales in the Caribbean and Southern Hemisphere. Lucky for you, this means you have even more cruise ships and itineraries to choose from during the winter months.
Here are the best winter cruises that will warm you up in no time.
1: Mexico and Key West
For a quick sunny jaunt, take a cruise to Key West, Florida and Cozumel, Mexico.
Key West is known for its quirky beach town vibe and gorgeous coastline. During your time in port, explore the charming Old Town and walk around its kitschy shops, restaurants, and lively bars, where the party never ends.
At the Ernest Hemingway House and Museum, see where the literary legend once lived and spot one of the famous six-toed cats that roam the property. If you’re into geographical landmarks, don’t miss heading to the Southernmost Point of the United States, where a colorful buoy marks the spot.
Explore the underwater world and spot stunning coral reefs and various species of marine wildlife on a snorkeling or diving excursion.
Cozumel, Mexico’s dreamy island in the Caribbean, offers a little bit of everything. Lounge all day in the sun with a book in hand at a pristine beach resort, where the sparkling turquoise water is always refreshing.
Dive in one of its crystal-clear reefs and discover an underwater world full of stingrays, sea turtles, and exotic fish. For a truly unforgettable day in port, head to the nearby Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, where you’ll walk among ancient temples and pyramids that date back to 600 A.D.
2: Aruba, Bonaire, & Curacao
Head farther south on a cruise to the ABC Islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. These three islands have the highest percentage of sunny days per year in all of the Caribbean, and you can easily spend your entire time at port lounging on pristine white sand beaches and doing little else.
It’s no surprise that Aruba is one of the best winter cruise destinations for travelers. Enjoy the happy island’s idyllic beaches full of powder white sand, transparent water, and seaside bars.
Walk around the capital of Oranjestad and shop ‘til you drop, or head on a UTV adventure through the rugged landscape of the Caribbean island.
In Bonaire, hang out with pink flamingos, the island’s national bird, and discover why it’s known as a diver’s paradise after swimming in the coral reefs teeming with wildlife.
And while the beautiful beaches of Curaçao will be hard to step away from, no stop in the Dutch island is complete without a stroll past the colorful colonial buildings of Willemstad’s waterfront.
Our Southern Caribbean cruise itineraries also visit Barbados, full of sultry beaches and colorful reefs perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving; St. Lucia and its lush, green pitons; and St. Kitts, home to old sugar plantations and a beautiful rainforest.
3: Chile, Argentina, & Uruguay
Winter in North America is summertime for countries that lie south of the equator. Take advantage of the weather and kick off a South American cruise in Buenos Aires, the cultural capital of Argentina and one of the best winter cruise destinations. Feast on Argentine steak and empanadas, drink local red wine, and take a tango lesson for two.
Read: Argentina Culture Guide
In Uruguay, you’ll find a perfect mix between Montevideo’s bustling arts scene, some of South America’s best beaches on the coast of Punta del Este, and the rustic landscape of the countryside.
Combine sightseeing and culinary delights with a trip around the cultural landmarks of Montevideo and an afternoon at Juanico, where you’ll try award-winning wines and traditional Uruguayan food.
Nature and animal lovers will appreciate stops in Puerto Madryn, Argentina, where you’ll experience some of the best whale watching in the world, and Ushuaia, a stunning city in the mountains that is often referred to as the doorway to Antarctica.
Feel like you’re at the end of the world at Punta Arenas, Chile, the gateway to Patagonia and the most southern city on the planet. While in Puerto Montt, take in the majestic Patagonian landscape full of snowy mountains, volcanoes, lakes, and forests.
4: The Galapagos
The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago off the coast of Ecuador filled with breathtaking nature and wildlife. Visiting these islands is one of the best winter cruises to take, thanks to its year-round mild weather.
Marvel at the Galapagos tortoises, which can live to be over 100 years old. Snorkel alongside seals, and see the birds that helped shape Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.
Enjoy the surreal landscapes from vantage points on both land and at sea. For an especially luxurious viewing experience, sail on Celebrity Flora, which was designed exclusively for trips to the Galapagos.
5: Australia’s Great Barrier Reef
Explore one of the seven wonders of the world on a cruise to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Sign up for unforgettable excursions to the world’s largest and most diverse coral reef system during your port days in Airlie Beach and Cairns, which are considered gateways to the Great Barrier Reef.
Visit the Great Barrier Reef and discover the treasures that await underwater. Grab your gear and go snorkeling or scuba diving and see hundreds of species of fish and marine mammals. Board a helicopter and soar over the reef and the nearby Wet Tropics of Queensland.
In Newcastle, see a different side of Australia at the Australian Reptile Park, where you’ll be able to spot koalas, kangaroos, and Tasmanian devils.
In Brisbane, head to Queensland’s dreamy Gold Coast, where you can enjoy an afternoon surfing or sunbathing on one of its perfect beaches. Cap off your trip in Sydney, where cultural landmarks, modern architecture, and picturesque parks are all on the agenda.
6: New Zealand
To the east of Australia lies another island nation of the South Pacific: New Zealand, one of the best cruise destinations in the world.
This gorgeous, nature-filled country comprised of the North Island and the South Island offers a wide variety of exciting activities, making it one of the best winter cruises to take.
Witness landscapes you won’t soon forget by taking a cruise to New Zealand, where you’ll sail through its magnificent fjords. Spend a day traversing Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, and Dusky Sound, three natural treasures located in New Zealand’s Fiordland, which are surrounded by rocky cliffs, towering waterfalls, and exotic wildlife.
Stop in fascinating cities like Dunedin, Christchurch, and Wellington, which was recently named one of the world’s most livable cities in part because of its vibrant arts scene and eco-friendly environment.
Foodies will love Napier, where you can experience a traditional tea ceremony and visit one of the wineries at Hawkes Bay. While in the seaside town of Picton, discover the islands of the Marlborough Sounds, where nature excursions and outdoor adventures await.
7: Southeast Asia
Discover the magic of Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam on a cruise to Southeast Asia. Immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of Singapore, where you’ll stay overnight and see architectural wonders like the Gardens by the Bay and the impressive Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel.
Soak in the culture and history of Bangkok with two days in Thailand, where you can walk the grounds of the imperial Grand Palace, board a flower-laden boat and tour the floating market, and pay a visit to the reclining Buddha at the temple of Wat Pho.
Read: Two Days in Bangkok
In Vietnam, you’ll stop in Ho Chi Minh City, where you’ll explore historical landmarks, take a boat down the Saigon River, or bicycle through the bucolic countryside.
In Da Nang, take a traditional Vietnamese cooking class, see Thien Mu Pagoda perched alongside the Perfume River in Hue, or cross a footbridge that curves over two giant hands in Ba Na Hills.
In Hanoi, savor the stillness and untouched beauty of Vietnam’s stunning Halong Bay, an archipelago of over 1,000 islets and pillars surrounded by emerald green water. Fly above the magnificent landscape on a seaplane, float by the scenery on a bamboo boat, or wander into the hidden lagoons and caves of Halong Bay on a guided kayak trip.
Get your heart racing in Hong Kong, a city of unlimited energy and delights. See an unparalleled view of the cosmopolitan city by boarding a tram to the top of Victoria Peak.
Schedule in a traditional dim sum meal for lunch in the day, and at night, head to one of the city’s many Michelin-starred restaurants. Every Hong Kong itinerary includes capping off your evening with the thrilling Symphony of Lights show in Victoria Harbour.
8: Puerto Rico, Tortola, & St. Maarten
Get your share of sunshine and relaxation on a cruise to Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. In historic San Juan, visit ancient fortresses, walk through the cobblestoned steps of the old city center, and savor delicious Latin American foods and drinks such as mofongo and mojitos.
When you cruise to the British Virgin Islands, you’ll stop in Tortola, which holds the promise of a long, lazy day on white sand under the palm trees. If you feel like being a little more active, you can head to nearby Jost Van Dyke or Virgin Gorda on a day excursion, where there’s plenty of excellent diving sites for avid snorkelers and scuba divers to enjoy.
While in St. Maarten, if you’re a foodie, you’ll love sampling the French, Creole, Dutch, and Caribbean cuisine available on the multicultural island, which is known as the “culinary capital of the West Indies” for a reason.
Experience a tropical paradise on a cruise to the Bahamas, where you’re always surrounded by white sand beaches, pristine water, and swaying palm trees.
Spend the day in Nassau and take advantage of the perfect weather by lounging under the sun as much as your heart desires or shopping in Nassau’s famous open-aired Straw Market.
Take the kids to the Aquaventure Water Park at Atlantis for a fun-packed afternoon of riding down water slides, gliding through rapids, and swimming with dolphins.
If you want to venture off a little further, there are plenty of gorgeous beaches and islands within a short distance of Nassau, including Pearl Island, Balmoral Island, and Blue Lagoon Island, where it’s easy to lose track of time and leave your worries behind.
10: South Pacific
If you’re looking for an exotic winter cruise, look no further than an escape to the South Pacific.
In Noumea, feast in one of the many French-inspired bistros around town, or board a short boat ride to Îlot Maître, where white bungalows are perched on top of impossibly blue water.
At the Isles of Pines, you’ll find a beautiful contrast between the thick pine trees that line the landscape and the light blue water of the sea.
Find out what it’s like to live on a deserted island when you dock in Mystery Island, Vanuatu, a tiny, untouched paradise, where you’ll feel lightyears away from civilization.
Discover another undisturbed haven in Lifou, Loyalty Island, where many off-the-beaten-path adventures are in order. Climb up the black cliffs of Xodre, swim into breathtaking hidden grottoes, or simply bask under the warm sunshine on Luecila Beach, which is the definition of heaven on Earth.
Best Winter Cruises: Book Yours Today
Stop dreaming of your next warm-weather escape and start planning your winter cruise now. Browse our cruise itineraries to some of the best winter cruise destinations around the world. Book your next vacation on our website, or speak to one of our travel experts.