The holiday season is right around the corner, which means the arrival of colder temperatures and lots of festivities. However, it can also be a stressful time with end-of-year deadlines, holiday parties, large family get-togethers, and treacherous driving conditions. Why not plan a short vacation that gets you into a relaxing state of mind? These quick cruises let you relax while enjoying some seasonal décor and holiday festivities. We’ve rounded up five short cruises that are sure to put you in the holiday spirit.
Disney Cruise Line’s Merrytime Cruises
When it comes to creating holiday magic, it’s hard to beat Disney Cruise Line. You can choose three or four-night Merrytime Cruises from Port Canaveral, Florida starting in early November. Once on board, there's plenty of Christmas cheer for kids of all ages and adults alike. There are meet-and-greets with Santa Claus and your favorite Disney characters in their holiday attire, holiday parties, a Wonderland Ball, youth parties, a tree-lighting ceremony, and much more.
The magic doesn’t end there. Once you get to Disney Castaway Cay in the Bahamas, you’ll find that the island has been transformed as well. There are snow flurries, another Christmas tree, Mr. and Mrs. Snowman, and an island tram decorated to resemble a reindeer.
Disney also offers a special New Year’s Eve at Sea mini cruise as well, which is a four-night Bahamian cruise from Port Canaveral that departs on December 30th. This special sailing includes a New Year’s Eve deck party, a special dinner menu, character meet-and-greets, holiday-themed giveaways, and more.
P&O Cruises’ Western European Cruise
For a really short holiday getaway, consider P&O Cruises’ two-night Western European Cruise. You’ll depart Southampton, England and cruise towards Bruges for a day where you can experience a real-life fairytale setting. Bruges is beautiful any time of the year, but the transformation of the Market Square at Christmas is a sight to behold. The merchant guild houses provide the perfect backdrop for the Christmas Markets, where you can buy handmade gifts, learn about local cuisine, and eat some of the best chocolate in the world.
Royal Caribbean's Western Caribbean Cruise
Perhaps you’re looking to escape the winter temperatures and just need a few days to thaw out. Royal Caribbean has just the cure for your winter blues. Consider a quick four-night getaway to Cozumel, Mexico as part of a round-trip journey from Galveston, Texas. Choose from Thanksgiving weekend or Christmas and trade in turkey and ham for tacos and tequila on the beach. With two days at sea, you can be as busy as you want or opt to relax onboard and enjoy the warmer weather and sunshine Cozumel is known for.
Avalon Waterways' Taste of the Danube
Have you always wanted to go on a European Christmas Market cruise, but don't have a week to spend? Many European river cruises are six to eight nights, however, Avalon Waterways has a shorter option for the 2020 holiday season.
Plan ahead and book the four-day Festive Season on a Taste of the Danube cruise. You’ll cruise westbound on the Danube River from Budapest, Hungary on a ship specially decorated for the holidays. Stops include Bratislava, Slovakia and Melk, Austria before you disembark in the final destination, Vienna. You will explore impressive historical sights, visit Christmas Markets, and marvel at the winter scenery along the banks of the Danube. This cruise is a special one-time itinerary that is only available on November 30th through December 3rd. Mark your calendars and book soon as it’s likely to sell out.
Carnival Cruise Line's New Year’s Eve Cruise to Baja
If you can’t escape on holiday before Christmas, why not ring in the new year on the high seas? Carnival has several select New Year’s Eve cruises still available including a four-night cruise to Baja, Mexico. The journey is round-trip from San Diego, California on December 30th through January 3rd. You’ll end 2019 at sea and start 2020 off on Catalina Island before heading south to the Mexican port city of Ensenada for a day.
Ensenada is a popular weekend destination for many southern California residents. Oenophiles should definitely have Baja on their radar as it’s home to the Guadalupe Valley, where award-winning Mexican wines are produced.
Another similar itinerary departs from Long Beach instead of San Diego on December 29th. On this trip, you'll spend December 31st in Ensenada and January 1st at sea before arriving back in Long Beach on January 2nd.