While you might dream of cruising on the high seas in the heat of summer, it's worth thinking about setting sail during your destination's winter, too.
There are many reasons why embarking on a cruise in the winter months is a great idea no matter where in the world you're heading.
Here are just some of your options when it comes to winter cruising, and why you're bound to enjoy the experience.
Europe is magical in the winter
Think you can't enjoy a cruise around the Scandinavian nations in winter? Think again. Europe is particularly magical during winter, covered in blankets of romantic snow and lit with up gorgeous lights, particularly nearing Christmas.
Pack a winter-friendly wardrobe full of comfortable coats and you'll find no reason to get chilly. When you're not spending time on the ship itself, enjoy shore excursions to festive village-style bars and pubs off the cobbled lanes in destinations such as Tallinn, Estonia and Oslo, Norway, which will welcome you with hot chocolates and mulled wine.
Or perhaps you're on a cruise to Italy. Visit the enchanting destination of Venice during the winter months, when the main and usually-crowded attractions are much quieter. Explore impressive sites such as St Mark's Square and Basilica, the Doge's Palace and the Rialto Bridge without having to wrestle with a crowd for a good look.
Or imagine exploring the ancient treasures of Athens with ease. After all, the ruins are even more magical and mysterious when experienced in tranquillity.
In addition to this, many European destinations are sweltering during summer, which can make exploring them challenging. In the winter months, you don't need to worry about temperatures soaring into the 40s and having to sweat your way up the stairs to the Acropolis.
The benefits of your cruise ship in winter
As fewer people tend to travel to a winter destination, your ship is likely to be quieter, which means you can enjoy an even more serene experience - which is what cruising is all about.
Enjoy the many benefits of being on board a cruise liner, including plenty of entertainment options, eateries, bars and relaxation facilities.
While you might not be swimming on the pool's top deck, you're sure to enjoy spa and sauna facilities that will provide a wonderful respite from everyday life back home.
Many cruise ships also have beauty and massage therapists on offer, which means you can truly indulge and pamper yourself. Whether it's a full-body massage or a facial, there's nothing like really treating yourself on holiday and cruise ships make that easy.
You can always warm yourself up with a hot meal at one of your cruise ship's eateries. Most ships have multiple dining venues on offer, so no matter what wintry comfort food you're craving there will be plenty on offer.
Winter nights don't have to mean hunkering down for an early sleep, either. On a cruise ship you don't have to venture outside to get to a bar or club, just simply head down the corridor for a night's worth of entertainment. Expect musicians, comedians and performers of all varieties - or you can simply unwind with a quiet drink.
Indulge in a holiday during your destination's cooler months and you'll be well rewarded with the cities and towns you visit transformed into veritable winter wonderlands. All the cruise services you can dream of will be at your disposal, so you can enjoy living a luxurious lifestyle as you wrap up nice and warm - what could be more appealing for your next holiday?
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