The Best Luxury Cruises For Celebrating Christmas

Emily Becker

Senior Contributor

Holiday traditions are beloved for a reason, but make this December truly memorable by spending the season visiting the pristine beaches of Tahiti or touring through the festive markets along the Danube on a holiday cruise. Check out one of the following trips to cruise through the holidays in luxury.

Christmas Markets On The Rhine - AmaWaterways

Amsterdam to Basel (Return)

Duration: 7 Days

This cruise along the Rhine River in Europe hits all the traditional Christmas markets in the area. You’ll have the chance to sip some gluhwein in Cologne and visit France’s largest holiday market in Strasbourg, all while taking in the history and merriment in each city. Onboard, it might be too chilly to fully enjoy the swim-up bar or the personal balcony available in most rooms, but that gives you all the more reasons to fully enjoy the award-winning food and unlimited drinks instead.  


Dashing Through The Danube - U Cruises

Budapest to Regensburg (Return)

Duration: 8 Days

Prepare to be awed and inspired by the Christmas markets and holiday light displays on this eight-day cruise on the Danube River designed especially for millennials. With tours during the day and nights out to experience each city after dark, you might not find yourself spending a lot of time on the actual boat. But if you do, you’ll be treated to multiple lounges perfect for meeting your friends - or making new ones - before the day’s adventure and an ice bar on the rooftop deck. 

Danube River in Budapest, Hungary

Photographer: Tatiana Popova

Dubai Roundtrip - Crystal Cruises

Dubai - Oman - Qatar - Dubai

Duration: 11 Days

Get prepared to pamper yourself in modern luxury on this 11-day cruise through the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Qatar. You’ll have the opportunity to visit ancient cities, take a ride across dunes in a 4x4, and book a tour to see Dubai from a seaplane. Or, spend your time relaxing with daily yoga classes and the onboard spa. All this plus a New Year’s Eve celebration in Dubai that includes a can’t-miss fireworks and lasers display. 

Cove bar aboard Crystal Cruises

Holiday and Caribbean Odyssey - Seabourn

Saint Maarten to Barbados

Duration: 21 Days

This winter, give yourself the gift of 21 days of island-hopping around the Caribbean. This cruise passes through both tourist hotspots and laid-back beach towns so you’ll have the chance to experience your version of paradise. Onboard, you can start your mornings with coffee (or end your evenings with drinks) in the Observation Bar, a lounge with panoramic views, or book yourself a special treatment at the salon. 

Seabourn Odyssey

Grand Caribbean Celebration - Cunard Cruise Lines

Southampton, England - New York - Caribbean

Duration: 27 Days

Your journey begins with a trip across the Atlantic Ocean to New York City, but don’t worry, between the library, planetarium and daily afternoon tea, you won’t have time to get bored. After a special Christmas celebration at sea, the boat docks in St. Thomas, and from there, it visits five Caribbean islands in five days, for a holiday you won’t soon forget.  

Caribbean cruise

Photographer: NAPA

New Year's Eve In Rio - Azamara

Buenos Aires, Argentina - Uruguay - Brazil - Argentina

Duration: 16 Days

This South American excursion starts in Buenos Aires before heading north to Uruguay and Brazil to arrive in time to celebrate New Year’s Eve at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro complete with a stunning fireworks display at midnight. Onboard, you’ll be able to experience a full spa, culinary classes and wine tastings with professional chefs, and a self-serve frozen yoghurt bar for whenever you need a sweet treat. 

Azamara Quest

Credit: Mundycruises

Antarctic Cruise - Silver Sea

Ushuaia, Argentina to Ushuaia, Argentina

Duration: 18 Days

If you want to spend your holidays on an adventure you won’t soon forget, this is the cruise for you. On this trip, you’ll wake up to icebergs and glaciers outside your window, as well as the occasional appearance of a penguin, seal, or whale. Off-ship excursions include hiking in the Falkland Islands, taking boat tours through glaciers, and visiting penguin colonies - not to mention the chance to spend New Year’s Eve at the end of the world. 

Silversea Cruises

The Greatness of Australia - Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Singapore - Indonesia - Australia

Duration: 19 Days

PSA: While it’s cold and snowy in the northern hemisphere, it’s summertime down south. You’ll have plenty of time to bask in the sun as you travel from Singapore to Indonesia to Australia.

Spend the day exploring beaches, gardens, and ancient temples at each port and then spend your evenings sipping cocktails in one of the several lounges or try your luck with a couple of rounds of blackjack in the casino. 

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Dreams of Tahiti - Windstar Cruises

Papeete, Tahiti to Papeete, Tahiti

Duration: 7 Days

Forget blasts of cold air. On this cruise, you’ll be passing the afternoons sipping cocktails on the open deck while a cool tropical breeze fills the four sails of the ship. On this trip, you’ll check out all the major islands in Tahiti and have time for snorkelling, hiking through the rainforest and joining in a traditional celebration in Bora Bora. 

Dreams of Tahiti

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