The holiday season can be an expensive time of year – and exhausting if you have to shop, wrap and cook.
But we’ve found a deal for as little as $119 per person, per night – that’s all the cooking, cleaning and decorations taken care of.
Cruise Passenger’s survey of what’s on offer for the Festive Season 2019 has uncovered deals for the entire family, and special prices in premium and luxury if you want to ignore your inner Grinch and splash out.
Here’s what’s in Santa’s sack this year:
12-nights Pacific Islands on the Carnival Spirit – from $170 a night
The Sydney return sailing departs December 18, 2019 and visits Noumea, Port Denarau, Suva, Mystery Island and Isle of Pines. An interior cabin is going from $2,049.
The line is also offering a shorter nine-night sailing on the brand new Splendor from Sydney this Christmas. The sailing goes to Noumea, Mare and Lifou Isle and starts from $1,699 for an interior cabin.
Book by July 18, 2019 on selected sailings to save up to $1,200 per cabin plus reduced deposits per person. Sailings include itineraries departing December 19 and 28 on the Spirit and for itineraries departing December 18 and 28, 2019 on the Splendor.
12-day Australia & New Zealand – from $168.50 per night
The itinerary departs Sydney on the Majestic Princess on December 15, 2019. It sails to Melbourne, Hobart before cruising to the highlight ports of New Zealand. Spend Christmas at sea before arriving at Tauranga the next day and concluding the sailing at Auckland the morning after. An interior cabin starts from $2,022. From $2,449, you can also get a one-way flight and post cruise stay in Auckland.
17-day ‘Komodo and the Australian Coast’
The itinerary sails from Bali to Sydney and departs December 11, 2019, on the Viking Orion. Visit Lombok and Komodo in Indonesia as well as Darwin, Thursday Island, Cairns, Townsville, Whitsunday Islands, Brisbane and Newcastle in Australia. Spend Christmas Eve in Brisbane, Christmas Day cruising the Australian coast and return to Sydney on December 27, 2019. Fares from $6,995.
Eight-day ‘Rhine Getaway’
A sailing on the Viking’s river itineraries will also let you experience an old-fashioned white Christmas. The Europe’s Christmas market come alive in November and December. Explore medieval town squares and cobbled laneways filled with fairy lights and Christmas market stalls offering an array of handmade toys, ornaments and nutcrackers. Rug up, enjoy the scent of mulled wine and freshly baked gingerbread and feel the crunch of fresh white snow underfoot.
This is the classic Amsterdam to Basel itinerary, visiting The Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland. Fares from $3,495.
Norwegian Cruise Lines
12-day Australia & New Zealand – from $169 a night
NCL’s itinerary on the Norwegian Jewel departs Sydney on December 22, 2019. The sailing visits Dunedin, Akaroa, Marlborough, Napier, Tauranga and Auckland. The interior cabin starts from $2,027.
Seven-day Hawaii round trip – from $307 per night
Tour the Hawaiian Islands on this week-long sailing on Pride of America. The itinerary departs Honolulu on December seven, 14, 21 and 28, 2019 and visits Kahului, Hilo, Kona and Nawiliwili. You will get overnights in both Maui and Kauai as well as visits to Oahu and the Big Island of Hawaii. Fares start from $2,151.
31-day Australian Circumnavigation – from $317 per night
The voyage departs Sydney on December 6, 2019 and returns on January 6, 2020. You’ll be spending both Christmas and New Year at sea, exploring Australia as well as Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. Prices start at $9,855 for an inside stateroom, 43 per cent off the brochure fare.
10-day ‘Caribbean Melody’ Miami return – from $306 per night
The sailing on the Insignia departs Miami on December 18, 2019. The itinerary visits St Barts, Martinique, St Lucia, St. Kitts, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. The sailing is currently discounted, with prices starting from $3,060, up to 67 per cent off the brochure fare.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
18-night Singapore to Sydney – from $668 per night
This voyage spans across Christmas and New Year, departing Singapore on December 20, 2019 and concluding in Sydney January 7, 2020. Visit Jakarta, Bali and Komodo in Indonesia and Darwin, Cairns, Airlie Beach, Brisbane and Australia on this voyage. The fare is starting at $12,032 for a deluxe veranda suite H, a 45 per cent discount from the standard fare.
10-night Pacific Islands, Brisbane return – from $125 per night
The sailing departs Brisbane and sails from December 17 to 27, 2019 on Pacific Dawn. The itinerary visits ports in the Pacific Islands which include Santo, Champagne Bay, Port Vila, Lifou and Noumea. Sailings start from $1,254.36.
12-night Pacific Islands, Brisbane return – from $119 per night
The line offers a similar but slightly longer Christmas sailing from December 16 to 28, 2019 on the Pacific Aria as well. Ports in the Pacific Islands include Santo, Champagne Bay, Port Villa, Suva and Port Denarau with prices from $1,436.81.
Seven-night ‘Eastern Caribbean Holiday’ – from $250 per night
The sailing departs December 20, 2019 on Celebrity Reflection and makes a return trip from Fort Lauderdale. Visit ports like San Juan, Charlotte Amalie, Philipsburg. Prices start from $1,751.
12-night New Zealand Holiday Cruise – from $303 per night
Celebrity Cruises will also have Celebrity Solstice sailing to New Zealand in local waters in the Christmas season. The Solstice leaves Sydney on December 23, 2019 and heads to Picton, Napier, Wellington, Akaroa, Dunedin and the fjords. Welcome the New Year at sea, stopping at Newcastle before returning to Sydney. Sailings start from $3,641.
14-night New Zealand Cruise – from $235 per night
The two-week Christmas and New Year sailing is a Melbourne return cruise and departs on December 22, 2019. The itinerary visits Burnie, Tasmania before heading to the New Zealand highlights like the fjords, Dunedin, Akaroa, Wellington and Auckland before returning to Melbourne. On this sailing you’ll also be one of the first in the world to ring in the new year with Sky Tower’s fireworks in Auckland. Prices start at $3,299 for a Britannia Inside on the Queen Elizabeth.
7-night ‘Japan and Philippines’, Hong Kong return – from $240 per night
The sailing departs from Hong Kong on Spectrum of the Seas from $1,683. It starts on December 22, 2019 and visits Okinawa, Japan, Ilocos and Subic Bay in the Philippines before returning to Hong Kong.
5-night Spice of Southeast Asia Cruise, Singapore return – from $260 per night
The sailing departs Singapore on December 23, 2019 on Quantum of the Seas from $1,298. The short break visits ports like Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), Penang in Malaysia and Phuket in Thailand.
Vote in this year’s special Readers’ Choice Awards
No doubt 2020 will go down in cruise history as the year of the pandemic – a once in a generation event. And this year’s Cruise Passenger Readers’ Choice Awards will reflect it.