Holidaymakers all over the world are looking to get different things out of their trips. Whether it’s relaxing and recharging, trying new foods, seeing famous landmarks, or understanding other cultures, there’s a holiday out there to suit everyone. The world of cruising is no different. With ever-developing technology, and a will to explore every inch of the seven seas, cruise lines are making it easier and easier to get exactly what you want – so all you need to do is decide what that is. Let’s start with a basic question; do you want hot weather or cold weather?
What cold destinations can you cruise to?
There are always cold places to see on a cruise no matter what the time of year, and of course as winter sets in around the world the possibilities only increase. Here are our favourite destinations for a cold weather cruise:
• Antarctica – cruises here well and truly expose you to nature. You’ll see views you’ve only dreamt of and have some incredible, unique experiences – and all without any sacrifice where comfort and cuisine is concerned.
• Canada & Alaska – this picturesque part of the world is waiting to be explored, and a cruise allows you to ensure that you do this thoroughly. See some stunning wildlife and meet some beautifully friendly people along the way.
• European Cities – a river cruise to a European city in the winter is honestly the stuff of dreams. With the sweet smell of cinnamon and mulled wine and twinkling lights overhead, get wrapped up warm and bask in the ambience.
How to prepare for a cold weather cruise
In addition to packing layers and thermal coats and boots, if you’ve chosen to go cruising in the cold there are a few more things to think about. Firstly you should remember that some of the outdoor facilities on the ship might not be available for use – pools, al fresco dining, and outside shows are unlikely to be happening. Similarly, you should be aware that there could be changes to your schedule due to the weather. If it’s particularly snowy or stormy in a port, you could be delayed in seeing it or perhaps miss it altogether.
What hot destinations can you cruise to?
The world’s sunniest spots are no secret, and there are plenty of choices to consider. The most popular tend to be the islands of the Caribbean and Canaries, and the sunny shores of the Mediterranean, however if you’re after something a bit more exotic consider these:
• Africa – this vast continent is one that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. There is so much to be seen, eaten, and experienced here, and a cruise allows you to do just what you want while having comforts and familiarity onboard your ship.
• South America - see iconic Machu Picchu in Peru, salsa in Buenos Aires, and drink coffee in Columbia on a cruise to South America. Enjoy the warmth of the sun as you explore and experience all kinds of exciting new things.
• India – cruising in the Indian coast is a rich and rewarding experience, with ports including the historic Mumbai and blissful Goa. Try authentic cuisine, see some of the world’s most famous relics, and relax on the soft and sandy beaches.
How to prepare for a hot weather cruise
As well as packing in preparation for sun – with sun lotion, sun glasses, a hat etc – there are other factors that should be considered when cruising in hot destinations. One of the most important is hydration; be sure to drink enough water every day to avoid headaches and illness, even if you’re feeling cool and as though you don’t need it. Another thing to remember is to pack some warm layers. It’s easy to become preoccupied with the thought of sun and simply pack shorts and t-shirts, but a shawl or long sleeved shirt at the least will be useful on cooler evenings, and if you’ll be visiting any religious sites.
Those cruisers fortunate enough to experience a bit of both hot and cold cruising, perhaps on a world cruise, will need to consider all of the above for their holiday. Take a look at our guide on what to wear on a cruise for more hints and tips for what to pack.