The best cruise deals for Christmas

December cruises generally are very popular, and if you really want to celebrate Christmas at sea you will find there are plenty of great cruise deals. An Eastern Mediterranean cruise, for example, leaves Southampton just before Christmas Eve and will take you to Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, La Palma, Madeira, Cadiz and Lisbon, for a lovely dose of winter sun, before returning to Southampton two weeks later.

Alternatively, you can choose to spend Christmas Eve in Lisbon, a festive Christmas Day and Boxing Day at sea and then continue your voyage to the Canary Islands taking in Gran Tarajal, Jandia Beach and Las Palmas. Santa Cruz is a delight, as is San Sebastian, and you can celebrate New Year’s Eve in style in Madeira, enjoying a spectacular firework display back on board your ship. La Coruña in Spain is your final destination before the return journey to Southampton.

Christmas cruises often feature traditional Christmas dinner and festive themed entertainment, including films in the onboard cinemas. Family-friendly cruise deals usually include a children’s Christmas tea party and a visit from Father Christmas. This is also a great time of year to seek out the best Caribbean cruise deals, with itineraries that take in Barbados, St Maarten, St Lucia, Antigua and Dominica, to name just a few of the ports you can visit. If you book early you will find there are some very good deals available for cruises at Christmas to the Caribbean and Azores, in particular.

Short cruises from Southampton in December are also an option if you simply want a trip to the Christmas market in Bruges, for example, however if you prefer to combine a delightful Christmassy cruise with a little extra retail therapy then you should look towards some of the best European river cruises, specifically those that take in several of the wonderful Christmas markets. Typically, sailing for these begins in late November and some continue during Christmas and the New Year. To be certain of visiting a good range of European markets aim to travel during December and the first week of January.

The UK and European cruise lines are particularly good value for Christmas markets, with some of them taking in Oslo, Bruges and Bremen as well as the Christmas markets in Ireland. Irish cruise ports include Belfast, Dublin, Cork and Waterford. Occasionally cruise ships have also visited the port at Derry/Londonderry. European river cruise deals are probably the best for Christmas markets, although you will need to pack warm clothes at this time of year.

For a luxury cruise treat you can visit the shores of Australia and explore Canberra and Sydney at Christmas, discovering those amazing cityscapes and familiar vistas in this outstanding country. Alternatively, travel to Cuba and enjoy the festive season in the Caribbean sunshine, sailing from Miami to Havana. If you’re looking for last minute deals look out for the flash sales that some cruise operators undertake quite close to cruise departure dates, so they can make sure their ships are fully occupied.

Fly cruises enable you to sail from Miami to Los Angeles by way of interesting stops at Georgetown, Cartagena, Costa Rica, Acapulco and more. There are also enchanting Hawaiian cruises at Christmas as well as trips from Singapore to Hong Kong.