Christmas cruising is becoming hugely popular –  and with good reason. You get all the fun of the celebrations, and none of the chores.

I well remember our first Christmas cruise.  The family had a long debate about whether we wanted to leave family and friends.  Could a cruise ship recreate all the festive magic? How will we be able to share the joy without good internet?

And more importantly, can Santa climb down a funnel instead of a chimney?

We needn’t have worried. There was plenty of magic and more fun than we could handle!

It was a cruise around Asia, and on Christmas eve we slept under the stars on deck.  In the morning, our room attendant brought mince tarts and coffee, followed by a breakfast of presents and carols. We anchored off a beach in Thailand, swam in the Andaman sea before a sumptuous turkey lunch with all the trimmings on shore.

After that, the crew put on their own pantomime. And we got starring parts.

Today, there are lots of options.

Lonely Planet suggests the Antarctic – as Christmas occurs during the region’s brief summer, and the snow makes for a perfect traditional celebration, bringing Bing Crosby’s famous White Christmas song to life in spectacular fashion.

And few experiences can compete with Europe’s astonishing Christmas market cruises.  Mulled wine, castles, choirs and carols and presents galore.

Princess Cruises specialises in Christmas, and offers an array of alternatives that will satisfy families large and small, as well as the solo traveller.

Do they deck the halls? Yes, they certainly do. And to get you into the festive mood, see our video aboard the amazing Majestic Princess below.

Once you’ve see it, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t considered Christmas on a cruise before.

And to make sure you have a jolly good time, here are the Cruise Passenger team’s tips for booking your Yuletide journey next year:

  1. Book early:  Flights are expensive and heavily in demand. Cruise lines publish their holiday itineraries well in advance, and family cabins go quickly. So don’t wait until the last minute!
  2. Choose you itineraries carefully: make sure you book a line that understands the Christmas experience. You don’t want to end up in port with all the shops shut and the only entertainment at the local Cathedral.
  3. Prepare for lots of fun: If you are after a quiet cruise, this won’t be it. Families with kids, crew members looking for fun means getting into the spirit of Christmas is a must.  If you’re a bit of a Grinch, then choose an adults only line.
  4. Christmas market cruises really are the real deal: a chill in the air, warm food and plenty of mulled wine. River cruise lines get into the spirit, so you will have a lots of Ho! Ho! Ho!.
  5. Your New Year cruise will be party central: particularly in warmer climates, where disco deck parties will be the order of the night. Expect young couples out for a good time.