Celebrate the Season at Sea on a Holiday-Themed Cruise
you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas or Kwanzaa, on a holiday
cruise in December, cruise ship guests of all faiths
feel like they're at home — but with the added bonus
of warm weather, blue skies and a host of exciting ports
to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA),
the 150+ ships in its member-line fleets will be decorated
in festive style, with twinkling Christmas trees, garland,
wreaths and mistletoe. Many vessels have nightly lightings
of menorahs on display as well. Best of all, CLIA cruise
lines offer a mix of ships and destinations to choose
from, including the Caribbean, French Polynesia, Mexican
Riviera, South America and even Antarctica.
ship, entertainers may lead guests in caroling and favorite
holiday movies like "It's A Wonderful Life "
and " Miracle on 34th Street" — as well as
college bowl games — might be aired in theaters or cabin
televisions. And on December 25, most will offer an
ecumenical Christmas worship service, with a Roman Catholic
Mass also celebrated on some lines. Culinary highlights
typically include gala holiday meals on Christmas Eve,
Christmas and New Year's Eve. Plus, guests can expect
eggnog Christmas morning and champagne and noisemakers
on New Year's Eve.
there's plenty of holiday cheer for younger cruise guests
as well. In many cases, Santa makes an appearance and
hands out gifts to kids and ships' staff read favorite
holiday stories like "Twas the Night Before Christmas"
and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."
is literally something for everyone on a holiday cruise,"
said Terry L. Dale, president and CEO of CLIA, the primary
marketing organization for the cruise industry. "Guests
reap all the benefits of holiday cheer — yet the more
cumbersome tasks of preparing meals and entertaining
are relegated to the ship's staff. These cruises enable
guests to spend quality time with loved ones, which
is, after all, what the holidays are all about."
we've listed some of the best ships to celebrate with:
CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES
Aboard Carnival Cruise Lines, the holidays are celebrated
"Fun Ship" style with elaborate decorations,
food, music and entertainment reflective of the season.
These special voyages are highlighted by a spectacular
"Holiday Extravaganza" production show featuring
elaborate sets and costumes, as well as a special performance
by kids participating in the line's "Camp Carnival"
For more information, visit Carnival
DISNEY CRUISE LINE
Disney ships are decked with boughs of holly and sparkling
Christmas trees. A tree-lighting ceremony in the atrium
lobby comes with magically falling snow. Christmas Day
brings a visit from Santa Goofy, with surprises for
all the kids. Castaway Cay, Disney's private island,
is transformed into magical wonderland, complete with
snow and tropical Christmas tree.
For more information, visit Disney
HOLLAND AMERICA LINE
From the exotic — celebrating Christmas with penguins
in Antarctica or toasting Hanukkah beneath Hawaii's
Kilauea volcano — to a popular Caribbean or Mexico cruise,
Holland America Line guests can celebrate the holidays
on one of 20 voyages. Santa pays a visit to ships —
sometimes arriving by parasail. Sports fans will enjoy
college bowl games broadcast onboard.
For more information, visit Holland
Princess ships celebrate the holidays around the globe
with Christmas and New Year's cruises in the Caribbean,
Mexico, the Panama Canal, Australia, Asia, South America,
Hawaii and the South Pacific. Ships are trimmed from
stem to stern in festive holiday décor, complete
with wreaths, holly, mistletoe and, of course, Christmas
trees, which often even decorate the ship's mast. Santa
always makes a visit for junior cruisers, and passengers
enjoy a Christmas dinner of traditional
more information, visit Princess
ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL
On Royal Caribbean International ships, guests will
be treated to festive holiday menus, Christmas caroling
and a special television interview with the Captain
on how Santa will find the ship to deliver presents
— followed by a visit from Santa himself bearing presents.
The line's Adventure Ocean children's program includes
Christmas story readings, crafts and caroling.
For more information, visit Royal
Silversea Cruises' ships are outfitted with imaginative
decorations that echo the spirit of the holiday season.
Whimsical gingerbread cottages and festive cookies often
adorn lounges and add a touch of old-fashioned holiday
charm throughout the vessels. Activities can range from
special workshops that offer instruction in creating
origami Christmas boxes to a holiday-themed variety
For more information, visit Silver
Official trade organization of the cruise industry,
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) also works
in partnership with nearly 17,000 affiliated travel
agencies throughout North America to ensure the highest
caliber of cruise sales expertise and service for cruise