1. Hobart Yacht Race
The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is a 630-mile annual event starting in Sydney on Boxing Day and finishing in Hobart on the island of Tasmania almost a week later. Known as one of the world's toughest races, around 150 yachts take part - and watching the boats start or end their journey is a sight to behold.
Explore the best of this lesser-explored region's natural coastal wonders and food and wine with Ponant's December 2023 itinerary on board 184-guest Le Lapérouse, celebrating New Year in Hobart and watching the yachts race to the finish in a truly electrifying atmosphere.
2. Grand Prix in Monaco & Abu Dhabi
The Grand Prix needs no introduction: a glamorous, thrilling battle between the world's top racing drivers and their teams is sure to be a highlight of any cruise. Spot the likes of Verstappen, Hamilton and Leclerc battle it out in glittering Monaco or superlative Abu Dhabi, complemented by beach relaxation, boutique shopping and the finest of dining.
Windstar offer comprehensive itineraries in both destinations, with exclusive access to private Prix du Monde events in Monaco next May and grandstand tickets to the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi this November.
3. Paris Olympics
Paris will host the 2024 Olympic Summer Games from 26 July to 11 August next year in what will be the biggest event France has ever hosted. If you enjoyed the buzz of London during the 2012 Olympics, you can be sure Paris will be similarly lively.
A small ship, too, means you can escape the hustle and bustle each evening to relax in your cabin or on the sundeck of your river ship. Uniworld, Scenic and AmaWaterways offer 7-, 14- and 20-night all-encompassing France explorations along the Seine next July and August, with at least two full days docked in Paris.
4. Rio Carnival
Carnival in Brazil's vibrant capital, Rio de Janeiro - the biggest in the world - is something everyone should experience at least once. The eight-day festival, held just before Lent, is a celebration filled with elaborate outfits, colourful floats, samba music, street parties, parades and more.
A cruise gives you an authentic taste of carnival alongside an accompanying guide, and Silversea offer a 9-night February 2024 sailing on board new ship Silver Nova that includes a guided visit to the Sambodrome and parade with Grandstand tickets, while Azamara have 9- and 12-night voyages from Buenos Aires with three days in Rio during the frenetic celebrations.
5. Mardi Gras
World-famous Mardi Gras is rooted in the custom of using all the fats in the home before Lent - it literally means 'Fat Tuesday'. Nowhere is it more iconic than in New Orleans in Louisiana, where people dance through the streets alongside torch-lit processions, marching bands and rolling floats in the iconic purple, gold and green Mardi Gras colours.
The day falls on February 13th 2024, though the city is filled with festivities for about two weeks. Viking has a fantastic 9-day itinerary four times each February along the Mississippi as well as other historic towns and cities in Mississippi and Tennessee. These cruises sell out quickly so keep an eye out for the release of February 2025 itineraries.