This year, international travel during Christmastime has been made a tad difficult. However, Christmas 2021 is another matter altogether! To whet your appetites, here are three amazing Christmas cruises, all taking place in December 2021 which are guaranteed to generate the yuletide spirit.
With travel restrictions still in place across the globe, the UK’s safe travel list changing regularly and many sailings postponed until next year, dreams of getting into the festive spirit with a Christmas cruise have started to dissolve. But, whilst merry holidays might not be possible this year, cruise-goers can pre-plan their festivities for 2021.
From ticking off the world-famed Christmas markets across Europe to spending Christmas a little differently in Asia, below is the top pick of holiday cruises recommended by Iglu Cruise and Planet Cruise.
Christmas Markets of Europe with Emerald Waterways, departing 1 December 2021
Those looking to enter the holiday month with something spectacular can join this jolly 14-night cruise through Europe. After an overnight onboard stay in Budapest and a day exploring the ancient Castle district, guests will set sail for Bratislava, where they can purchase handcrafted festive ornaments and sip traditional Slovakian warm spiced wine.
Upon arriving in Vienna, guests will enjoy an exclusive tour of Ringstrasse, peppered with Christmas decorations and markets offering baked goods and warm hot chocolate. Sure to be feeling in the Christmas spirit by now, guests will move onto the quaint German town of Rudesheim, enjoy an overnight stay in Amsterdam, visit Wurzburg’s Bishops’ Residenz and hike Durnstein and Wertheim’s castles.
Whilst onboard Emerald Waterways Destiny (main image), guests can watch city life drift by from their spacious suite complete with floor-to-ceiling windows, or head to the outdoor cinema for a cosy evening watching Christmastime favourites.
With up to £500 savings per person and a deposit protection programme, Iglu Cruise is offering this cruise from just £3,645 per person including return flights (Eurostar available), complimentary excursions, an inclusive drinks package, all tips, up to €150 complimentary onboard spend per cabin, complimentary WiFi and a complimentary bottle of Veuve Champagne.
Danube Christmas Markets with Scenic River Cruises, departing 6 December 2021
Cruise-goers wishing to celebrate the festive season can join this seven-night cruise ticking off eight festive cities dotted along the Rhine. Following an overnight onboard stay in Nuremberg, with a gingerbread baking class in the city, guests will embark on their magical journey before reaching Regensburg, home to fairytale-like Christmas markets gently lit with lanterns and candles.
Later in the week, guests will visit Passau, filled with charming markets and numerous World Heritage sites, as well as Durnstein, an enchanting village offering delightful delicacies. En route to the final overnight stop of Budapest, guests will have a full day excursion in Vienna where they can join a morning bicycle tour of the market stalls and spend the evening sipping Austrian wine at a private classical concert.
Onboard Scenic River Cruises Amber, guests can unwind in the spa or indulge in one of the six restaurants offering seasonal dishes inspired by their surroundings. With a saving of up to £1,200 per cabin, Iglu Cruise is offering this cruise from just £2,270 per person including return flights (Eurostar available), complimentary excursions, inclusive food and drink package, all tips, complimentary WiFi, a complimentary bottle of Veuve Champagne and complimentary private door-to-door chauffeur transfers.
Vietnam & Thailand Christmas with Celebrity Cruises, departing 16 December 2021
Those willing to venture a little further afield for next year’s festivities can celebrate the holiday season in style onboard this 20-night cruise, taking guests right through to the New Year. Following a two-night hotel stay in the heart of Hong Kong, guests can kick start the trip with a Symphony of Light evening boat trip in Victoria Harbour, the world’s largest decorative light and sound show.
After finding their sea legs with a day sailing, guests will reach Hanoi where the streets are lit up with Christmas decorations from the Catholic churches. Guests will then spend Christmas Day in Chiang Mai, home to one of the largest Christmas trees enclosed by fake snow and carol singers. The celebrations don’t end there, with an overnight onboard stay in Bangkok on New Year’s Eve – one of the best places to celebrate entering a new year with rooftop dinners, firework shows and romantic evening river cruises.
Before flying home, guests will have the chance to independently explore Singapore, followed by an overnight onboard stay and a two-night hotel stay in the heart of the island. Whilst onboard Celebrity Cruises newly refurbished Solstice (above), guests can enjoy afternoons in the ship’s art gallery, unwind in the Persian garden with loungers looking out at the views or visit one of the 12 restaurants for dinner with alfresco options available.
Planet Cruise is offering this cruise from just £2,879 per person including return flights, hotel stays, port taxes, fees, full board cuisine and a complimentary drinks package.
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