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Christmas cruises 2016: Our top 10 luxury festive escapes

Cruise Advice

I know Christmas is only just out of the way, but was this the year you thought 'never again'? I remember the days when driving to visit someone on Christmas day used to be a delight - deserted roads allowed you to speed to your destination, arriving refreshed and ready for fun. Am I the only one who sat in tailbacks on a dreary Christmas morning this past December, wondering if there might be a better solution?

If you have decided that for Christmas 2016 you are going to leave the family behind and swan off to the sunshine - or indeed take them all with you and have someone else take the strain - then don't delay. Although flights are already extremely busy, a few choice itineraries are available. Here are my top ten...

1. Dubai Christmas Cruise on Crystal Esprit

The latest addition to the Crystal Cruises fleet, the intimate 62-guest Crystal Esprit, sails from Dubai on 23rd December for 11 relaxing days in the Persian Gulf including a festive New Year's Eve in Dubai.

2. Christmas in the Indian Ocean with Silversea Expeditions

Sail on Silversea Expeditions' Silver Discoverer from the magical Maldives on an Indian Ocean voyage via the Seychelles to Mozambique and the African coast, finishing in the spice island of Zanzibar. A festive holiday with a difference, packed with wildlife and water adventures!

3. Seabourn Malaysia & Myanmar Christmas Cruise

Take an easy flight to Singapore and you could be exploring on a 16-day cruise on Seabourn Sojourn, as you sail the western coast of Malaysia to captivating Myanmar, with time to take an excursion to Bagan or magical Mandalay.

4. Christmas Down Under with Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Regent's all-inclusive pricing means that when you pick Seven Seas Voyager's 21-night cruise departing Singapore on 22nd December en route to Sydney, everything is included in your fare, from flights to shore excursions, to all drinks and gratuities.

5. Caribbean Christmas Cruise with SeaDream

Christmas in the Caribbean would be perfect on board SeaDream, conveniently departing Barbados on 17th December for ten dreamy days of sun, sea and outstanding food and service, with an easy flight home from Barbados at the end of your trip.

6. New Zealand & Australia on the world's best cruise ship

New Zealand and Australia are great winter destinations, and you may have family and friends you would like to visit, so why not combine that with Europa 2's 19-day voyage from Auckland to Sydney, experiencing the ship that the Berlitz Guide identifies as the best in the world.

7. South Africa at Christmas with Oceania

South Africa is the perfect destination for a winter getaway. Oceania Cruises' intimate Nautica sails from Cape Town on a 15 day round-trip voyage departing 21st December, with captivating calls along the coasts of South Africa and Namibia.

8. A guaranteed white Christmas...

The ultimate December destination has to be Antarctica, where a white Christmas is guaranteed. Lindblad's National Geographic Explorer sails from Ushuaia on 19th December for a once in a lifetime trip to the Antarctic peninsula.

9. Christmas river cruise on the Danube

If you prefer to be closer to home, why not fly the short hop to Munich for an amazing Christmas and New Year Danube river cruise on Uniworld's River Beatrice, eleven days from Passau to Budapest departing 23rd December.

10. Ex-UK Christmas Cruise with Saga

And finally, what could be more convenient at Christmas than a UK departure? Saga Sapphire departs Southampton on December 20th for a 21 night Mediterranean Cruise with a New Year celebration in Valletta.

Edwina Lonsdale
Meet the author

Edwina Lonsdale is Managing Director and, together with husband Matthew, owner of Mundy Cruising.

More about Edwina
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