A Cruise for Christmas?
I’ve got an other guest post for you today, this time all about taking a cruise for Christmas, which I’m sure would be lovely. Although, I’d have to check with Santa to make sure he could still find us if we were away on Christmas Eve!
A Cruise for Christmas?
With Christmas approaching, sometimes you just get the urge to escape for a few days – away from the cold, the present-wrapping and the event organising. Over the past few years, more and more people are finding a last minute holiday, in particular a cruise, to be the answer to their festive woes.
Thousands of people are expected to jump on board a cruise ship this December – whether it be a mini cruise to a European city, or a Christmas blow-out with two weeks round the Caribbean. Either way, cut-price, last minute places on cruise ships are being snapped up more quickly every year.
Travelling by boat is often the best way to see some parts of the world. Take the Norwegian Fjords for example; as a destination only accessible by water, you can sail from Bergen, coast up the side of Russia and take in some spectacular views on this journey around one of the most scenic places on earth.
Mini cruises to Amsterdam, Rotterdam or Bruges from one of the north of England’s ports have also increased their offerings in the past few years. Spend two nights on board the ship, and explore a new country before you sail back home – all in a weekend.
Theses cut price cruises (they’re often on offer for £75pp during off-peak times) are ferrying hundreds of passengers around the continent every week – many of them groups of friends wanting to get away, or couples on a romantic weekend – and the stop-offs are the ideal place to pick up some Christmas gifts.
Last year, a friend organised one of these mini-cruises for her employees’ Christmas party. It might seem extravagant, but, she argued, once you’ve added up the cost of a 3-course meal, wine and transport for each of her five colleagues, it didn’t cost much more for a two-day escape at sea.
It’s also a much easier way to see a country that normally can be quite time-consuming (and expensive) to organise travel permits for. For example, many companies which offer a stop off in St Petersburg, Russia, will provide a fully organised tour of the city, without the need to purchase any additional visas.
And it isn’t just close-to-home cruises which are feeling the effects of a nation which wants to get away and do something different. More than 1.76 million people are estimated to have taken a cruise by the end of 2013, a rise of 40,000 on the 2012 figures. The Caribbean is consistently one of the most popular destinations (it accounted for almost 40% of all cruises taken in 2012, according to one piece of research from the industry).
For some escapism near the festive period, diving into a totally new environment seems like a perfectly logical escape. The whole family can be waited on hand and foot, visit a host of new places and celebrate Christmas together – without the huge heating bill and having to paint on your ‘surprised and pleased’ face when you open you tenth pair of socks on Christmas morning.