The Best Winter Cruises for Culture, Sunshine, and Wildlife
When the temperature drops, most people begin dreaming about tropical beaches and sunny skies – somewhere they can go for a warm getaway that will leave them feeling rejuvenated and sun-kissed. An excellent way to achieve this is on a winter cruise.
During the winter months, cruise lines transition their ships from places like Alaska and Europe to warmer locales such as the Caribbean and Southern Hemisphere. This means more ships and itineraries to choose from for your vacation so you can have your ideal winter cruise. Here are some top choices if you need some inspiration on where to sail away this winter.
Bermuda Winter Cruises
A Bermuda cruise is an island vacation that is especially convenient for east coasters in the U.S. You can hop on a Bermuda cruise from Cape Liberty, New Jersey. On these itineraries from the northeast, you’ll typically have a couple days at sea while you make your way down to Bermuda.
A neat thing about our Bermuda cruises that you may not know is that you spend multiple overnights in port in Bermuda on most of our itineraries there. Our Bermuda cruises rarely visit other ports of call, choosing instead to spend most of the itinerary docked in King's Wharf, the cruise port for Bermuda.
This lets travelers have the ease of getting to Bermuda in comfort and style without having to worry about flights and hotel transfers (particularly for those that live in driving distance of the embarkation port), and they can choose to go explore the island and then retire to the luxury of the ship at their leisure.
Western Caribbean Winter Cruises
The Western Caribbean is another area off the southeast coast of the U.S. that has convenient itineraries in multiple lengths. If you’re short on time you can take off on a 3-night cruise that visits Key West, Florida, and Cozumel, Mexico. If you have more vacation time to spare and want to get away for a longer winter cruise, you can hop on 7-night cruises to the Western Caribbean, some of which visit the aforementioned ports as well as Puerto Rico and the Cayman Islands.
Southern Caribbean Winter Cruises
If you’re looking for something more exotic for your Caribbean winter cruise, get farther away from home on a Southern Caribbean cruise. You’ll visit one or all of the sun-filled ABC Islands: Aruba, Barbados, and Curacao. These three islands have some of the highest percentage of sunny days each year in all of the Caribbean. In addition, southern Caribbean cruise itineraries often visit Barbados, lined by sultry beaches and colorful reefs perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving; St. Lucia and its lushly green pitons; and St. Kitts, home to old sugar plantations and a wildly beautiful rainforest.
Winter Cruises in the Southern Hemisphere
When it’s winter in North America, it’s summer for the countries that lie south of the equator. Two great destinations to cruise to in the winter to find some summer weather are Australia and New Zealand and the countries along the coast of South America.
South America Cruises to Iconic Countries and Remote Islands
In South America, you can visit wineries or wildlife and much more during your winter cruise. Embark on a cruise from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and spend your ports of call in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, lying on Brazil’s famous beaches. You can also visit vineyards and do some wine tasting while in port in Montevideo, Uruguay, or take some tango lessons in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Other ports of call in Argentina and Brazil as well as Chile are also often visited during South America cruises.
Another South America cruise destination that has mild weather year-round due to its close location to the equator is the Galapagos. The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago of Ecuador that stunningly presents nature and wildlife at its finest. You’ll get the chance to see Galapagos tortoises that can live to be over 100 years old, snorkel alongside seals, marvel at the birds that helped Charles Darwin form his theory of evolution, and enjoy the scenery from vantage points on both land and at sea (an especially luxurious experience if you sail on our new Celebrity Flora ship, designed just for the Galapagos).
Australia and New Zealand Winter Cruises Take You to Summer Bliss
An Australia and New Zealand winter cruise will take you to some of the best parts of the land down under and “Middle Earth.”
In Australia (nicknamed the "land down under") our cruises don’t just visit hot spots like Sydney and Cairns (the latter of which is the gateway port to the Great Barrier Reef). You can opt for itineraries that take you all the way around the vast continent, including ports of call on the less visited western coast and port stops in the ruggedly beautiful island of Tasmania.
If you’re looking for summer fun, there are plenty of water sports, beaches, and scenic hikes to visit or do. Or you can grab a drink and sit on one of the bar or restaurant terraces in the vibrant cities you’ll be visiting and soak in the southern hemisphere summer sunshine.
To the east of Australia lies another island nation of the South Pacific: New Zealand. A gorgeous, nature-filled country consisting of a North Island and South Island that offers a wide variety of activities to do.
While your friends and family are toiling away in the winter weather back home, you can enjoy summer sights and activities like kayaking in Abel Tasman, lying on a beach and doing some snorkeling in the Bay of Islands, biking through the vineyards of Marlborough County, or doing a scenic hike in Queenstown. And don’t forget to visit the Hobbiton movie set and see a life-size depiction of some of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth descriptions that helped put New Zealand on the map after the filming of the Lord of the Rings trilogy occurred here.
Book Your Winter Cruise and Escape to Some Sunshine
After returning from one of these winter cruises, you’ll be ready to don some more sweaters and take on the remaining months of winter….ok, maybe not completely – but you’ll at least be ready to book the following year’s winter cruise!