From Tropical Beaches to Ecological Wonders, Find Out Where to Cruise in December
December is one of the most popular travel months due to the holiday season and the desire to escape some winter weather. Many people get extra vacation days in December, making it a prime time to take that vacation you’ve been dreaming of so you can disconnect and unwind before the new year begins. Cruising is a great way to do so, whether you’re looking for family friendly cruises or a romantic couples getaway. Here are four of the best places to cruise in December.
Tropical Caribbean Sunshine on a December Cruise
The Caribbean is a quintessentially perfect place to head in December. Hurricane season is over, perfectly sunny days are common, and picture-perfect beaches beckon travelers looking to escape the cold, slushy winter.
You’ll have plenty of options for what ship you want to sail to the Caribbean on in December since ships often relocate from summers in Alaska and Europe to the warm waters of the Caribbean in winter. This year, you’ll find Celebrity Summit sailing Caribbean itineraries after a fall spent in New England and Bermuda, Celebrity Reflection back in the Caribbean after a couple seasons in Europe, and Celebrity Infinity sailing Caribbean itineraries in between seasons along the Panama Canal and in Europe.
There’s also the highly anticipated Celebrity Edge, a new ship debuting in December of 2018 that will sail alternating 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises before repositioning to the Mediterranean in the spring.
Cruise to the Galapagos Islands in December
Thanks to a subtropical location on the equator, the Galapagos Islands can be cruised to year-round for incredible sights and experiences, and December is no exception.
The weather in the Galapagos is typically mild, but does vary depending on the sea currents. In December, the cooler season is approaching its end, which starts in June after the Humboldt Current brings colder water the region. This also brings with it a high atmosphere mist that curls around the scenery as the cold water hits the warmer air. This gives the Galapagos Islands almost a mystical feel, making December an enchanting time of year to see the plants and animals that call the Galapagos home.
Being right at the end of the cooler front, the Galapagos in December is also warmer than earlier in the year, but typically has less rainfall than the warmer, rainier season that lasts from January to April.
The endemic animals that reside in the Galapagos year-round are the Galapagos tortoises, Galapagos sea lions, marine lizards, Galapagos penguins, and Galapagos finches (also referred to as Darwin finches after Charles Darwin, who spent a considerable amount of time on the islands). December is also typically the last month you can see blue whales, humpback whales and whale sharks before they migrate away for the rest of the winter and spring before returning in June to feed in the waters of the Galapagos once again.
It's Summer in Australia and New Zealand in December
While the northern hemisphere is mostly covered in frost and snow in December, the land down under and its neighbor to the east are warm and sunny.
Australia and New Zealand have sunshine and warm weather in December courtesy of residing in the southern hemisphere and one of the best cruises in December is an itinerary that visits both these countries located within the South Pacific.
The ports of Australia and New Zealand greatly vary depending what region you’re in.
Western Australia has rugged terrain and remote beaches. On the eastern side of Australia you’ll find vibrant cities like Sydney and Cairns sharing the coastline with scenic beaches and the Great Barrier Reef. Australian cruises visit the island state of Tasmania, too, often while en route to or from New Zealand.
New Zealand is known for its epic landscapes made famous in the Lord of the Rings movies. Depending on the port you’re in, you’ll find fjords, glaciers, beaches, and vineyards. The South Island is more famous for its charming mountain towns, exhilarating extreme sports excursions, and scenic hiking trails. The north island is home to the country’s largest city, Auckland, as well as its capital city of Wellington, both of which can be visited on a New Zealand cruise. The North Island is also home to Hobbiton (which Lord of the Rings fan will recognize) and the Bay of Islands (a must-visit for water sport enthusiasts).
Southeast Asia is One of the Best December Cruises
Southeast Asia is another region of the world that has ideal weather in December, but this time its not because the winter months are warmer, it’s because they’re cooler. Southeast Asia has a monsoon season in the summer months that bring heavy rainfall and swelteringly high temperatures. The temperature stays warm, but on a much lower scale in the winter months. December is generally quite pleasant with low rainfall, though it varies depending what part of Southeast Asia you’re visiting and if you’re traveling to the mountains or beaches.
A December cruise to Southeast Asia will take you to the best ports for that time of year. If traveling at the end of December, you can even have an epic New Year’s Eve. You’ll be able to say good-bye to December and ring in the New Year in style with an overnight in a cosmopolitan and historical city like Bangkok, Thailand, or Hanoi, Vietnam.
Other southeast ports of call you may sail to in December during a Southeast Asia cruise are Ho Chi Minh and Hue in Vietnam, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
Book Your December Cruise with Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity Cruises makes it easy to find the right December cruise for you thanks to its easy to use booking platform. You can reserve your stateroom or suite, find airfare using Flights by Celebrity (which comes with a Lowest Airfare Guarantee and added protection for your vacation investment by giving you access to a team of Flights by Celebrity Specialists who will assist you in the event of a flight interruption to make sure you still get to your cruise on time), and reserve shore excursions and other onboard activities all in one convenient place.