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Find the best cruise vacation for you

How can i find a cheap cruise.

Cheap cruise deals are fairly easy to find in most cases, and you can begin by considering what kind of features and itinerary you want. The more simplistic the experience is, the cheaper it is in general. On Expedia.com, you can filter for specific features and sort your results by price. By mixing and matching certain features, unforgettable experiences may be available with discount cruises. For example, booking a cruise with stunning restaurants and live performances while opting for an inside cabin without an ocean view window or balcony could be ideal for a traveler who doesn't plan on spending much time in their cabin anyways

What is the cheapest month to take a cruise?

The cheapest month to take a cruise varies based on your destination and the cruise line company that runs the ship. A Caribbean cruise , for example, is generally cheapest in the late summer and early fall since it's the local hurricane season.

Can I cancel my cruise booking?

Yes, you can cancel, but there may be fees for canceling depending on how far in advance you cancel and what kind of booking you have. You can check the specific cruise lines’ cancellation policies in your itinerary on Expedia.com.

Are river cruises worth the money?

River cruises are quite relaxing, with much more varied scenery than you'd experience on an ocean cruise. These ships often also feature several stops along the river, so passengers can enjoy a greater variety of destinations to explore. Viking river cruises are especially adept at providing this unforgettable experience.

What cruises are best for families?

The best family cruises in 2024 / 2025 tend to be Disney cruises with plenty of offerings for kids and adults alike, though MSC cruises are known for their iconic Children Cruise Free promotion. Disney cruises, specifically, are essentially a Disney theme park on a boat with live shows, rides, and attractions with your kids' favorite characters.

How much does a cruise ship cost?

Cruise prices can vary quite a bit, with cheap cruises and especially luxurious all-inclusive cruises available. Budget lines can offer cruise tickets as low as $50 per night in some cases, while the more high-end experiences can reach up to $1,000 per night and more.

What are some of the best cruise lines?

Several different cruise lines have a lot to offer, such as Viking cruises , which are known for traversing oceans and rivers with a style that blends outdoor and indoor splendor. Celebrity cruise line is more upscale with luxurious features like WiFi, included beverages, champagne, and suites with panoramic views. Other top cruise lines include Royal Caribbean International , Carnival Cruise , Disney Cruise , and Norwegian Cruise .

How far in advance do you need to book a cruise?

It's generally best to book a cruise about 6 to 12 months before your cruise departure. That's the safest way to balance availability and affordability. Technically, you can book earlier or later than that, with some last-minute cruise deals occasionally available up to a weekbefore cruise departure.

Are cruise trips affordable?

They can be, and it's especially simple to search for more affordable cruises with Expedia.com. Not only can you filter by cruise length, cruise line, and cabin experience, but you may also sort your results by price to put the more affordable options first on your search results page.

What is it like to go on a cruise?

A cruise is generally designed to offer the most relaxing experience possible. Despite the size of the ship, it's possible to feel the wave. Many passengers report that the movements help them sleep. Additionally, many fun cruises offer live stage performances, several restaurants, and shopping opportunities. When the ship is in international waters, you may even be able to enjoy a bit of tax-free shopping.

Are cruises a good way to travel?

Cruise travel is great if you're looking for some varied fun. Compared to a plane or a train, cruises have their own attractions and can be considered an integral part of cruise vacations. Plus, a cruise can hit several different destinations as well, with plenty of time to enjoy the cruise and scenic locales. It's certainly worth it for a unique experience no other method of travel can match.

Which cruise line is the cheapest?

The actual cheapest cruise available depends on a variety of different factors. Still, Carnival Cruise tends to be very affordable overall, most of the time with great options like the Carnival Sunrise and Carnival Horizon . Royal Caribbean is also another fantastic cruise line offering great deals if you are watching your budget.

How can I get the best cruise deals in 2024 / 2025?

If you're looking for some of the best cruise deals, booking through Expedia.com makes it easy since you can sort your cruise search results by price and have access to special deals. One Key members can earn  OneKeyCash  on all eligible bookings and get instant discounts with Member Prices. Sign up today!

What do I need to know when I book a cruise?

To book a cruise, you'll need to know where you'll be setting off from and where you'll be going, in addition to how many people will be with you and the features of the specific cruise you book. Keep in mind that you'll want to factor in spending money in your budget for the cruise's restaurants and shops in most cases.

Where should I go on a cruise in 2024 / 2025?

Plenty of incredible cruise destinations are accessible such as cruises to the Bahamas and cruises to Mexico . You may also be interested in cruises to Alaska or cruises to Europe for something outside of the Caribbean.

What countries are best to visit by cruise ship?

A lot of countries are accessible via a cruise, but the best include a cruise to Australia . However, a cruise to Australia is quite a long trip at sea and really allows you to take in everything the cruise ship has to offer.

Can I get last-minute cruise deals?

Yes, last-minute cruise deals are often available, and you can find them on Expedia.com by inputting your travel dates in your search and sorting your results by price. The deals will automatically be applied to the price estimates so that the cheapest estimates will show up first on your search results page.

Are cruises all-inclusive?

Cruises aren't always all-inclusive, but they can be. If you're interested in all-inclusive cruises, you can activate a search filter for it to ensure your search results only show cruises that meet your all-inclusive standard.

Is food free on a cruise?

Food is sometimes free on a cruise, but there are often specialty restaurants that aren't included with the general booking that you'll have to pay for separately. Check the details of each cruise before you book in the "What's included" section after clicking the cruise on your search results page.

What cruise lines are adults only?

Several lines offer adults-only cruise experiences, including Viking cruises , Carnival cruises , and Princess cruises . With an adults-only cruise, you can relax in a tranquil and laid-back setting without kids running around and enjoy all the cocktails you want.

What cruise lines are considered to be the most luxurious?

Viking cruises are considered exceptionally luxurious, with smaller ships and larger cabins that make them feel more exclusive, but Celebrity cruises offer luxury cruise lines too. Booking a luxury cruise means you can expect high-end amenities including gourmet restaurants, sizable suites, top-tier performances, massive pools, and much more.

What are the best cruises for couples?

Viking Cruises have much to offer for a more romantic experience. Holland America Line cruises can be quite refined and romantic as well, with an adult-oriented experience that's sophisticated rather than rowdy. Romantic cruises offer exceptional service as well as cozy suites for you and your partner to enjoy that's complemented by delicious food often themed around the cruise destination.

Why should I go on a cruise for my honeymoon?

Going on a cruise is a great way for you and your new spouse to be pampered with luxury while also being able to explore a new destination. Whether you're taking a cruise to Hawaii or a cruise to Bermuda , a particularly romantic experience is almost guaranteed thanks to the sheer number of things to do.

Are there any Christmas cruises?

Yes, quite a few cruise lines operate around Christmas, and you can find them easily by entering travel dates around Christmas into your 2024 cruise search. Some of the most popular Christmas cruises are available with Carnival and Disney.

Do I need a passport to go on a cruise?

Whether or not you need a passport depends on where you're going and the kind of cruise it is. Any US territory like Bermuda and Puerto Rico won't require a passport, of course, but you also don't need one if you're on a closed-loop cruise. This is a cruise that begins and ends at a US cruise terminal, even if there are stops in other countries on the way.

Why should I book a cruise with Expedia.com?

Booking a cruise with Expedia.com makes it easy to find a cruise type that works best for you. You can use the cruise finder and sort by cruise line, type, destination, length, and itinerary. One Key members also earn OneKeyCash on all eligible bookings that can be used to save on future eligible trips.

What happens if a cruise is canceled?

Every cruise has a different cancellation policy, but generally, passengers are entitled to either a full refund or a credit for a future cruise at a later date. Remember that they may automatically change your booking to their rescheduled date, so you may have to contact them if that date doesn't work for your schedule.

*OneKeyCash is not redeemable for cash and can only be used on Expedia,  Hotels.com  and Vrbo.

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Holiday Cruises

Reconnect with loved ones on a holiday cruise. Leave the prep and party planning to us as you enjoy world-class cuisine inspired by our culinary masters. Take in views and explore legendary lands as you navigate the world’s waterways in the comfort of our perfectly sized ships. Rejuvenate with hydrotherapy at the Greenhouse Spa & Salon®. Start new traditions this holiday season.

2024-2025 Holiday Cruises To Celebrate

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The Best Holiday Cruises Are With Princess!

Holiday celebrations at sea.

A variety of holiday activities on board offer fun for the whole family. Don’t forget to pack your festive outfits and take part in the holiday cheer! Enjoy games & activities including:

  • Stanley breakfast event – wear your family pajamas
  • Holiday Wishes Variety Show
  • Menorah Lighting
  • Ugly Holiday Sweater Competition 
  • Lighting of the Lights Ceremony
  • Family Gingerbread House Making Competition, judged by the Executive Chef, Pastry Chef, Captain and Entertainment Director*
  • Holiday Family Movie Nights, featuring favorites like “Elf,” “A Christmas Story” and “The Grinch” 
  • Holiday Caroling in the Piazza
  • Santa’s Arrival and Gift Giving
  • ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas reading, where kids are encouraged to wear their PJs and enjoy hot chocolate
  • Interdenominational Church Services, led by guest volunteers or onboard teammates

*Subject to availability

Christmas Cruises

Take a Christmas cruise with Princess

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  • The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Regardless of where you're sailing, it actually snows in the Atrium of your decked‐out Princess ship. And of course, Santa visits each of our ships for gift giving — we offer cookies for him, and carrots for his reindeer. Experience the Christmas tree lighting and mingle with Kris Kringle as Yuletide Carolers sing joyful classics onboard your ship. And our very own Stanley the bear joins in on the fun for holiday storytime and breakfast event. Don't forget to pack and wear your family holiday matching pajamas!

But it’s warm and toasty onboard a Princess ship! Enjoy Christmas on a cruise ship as you sip eggnog, compete in a magical gingerbread house‐making contest, snowman building competition or design a special keepsake ornament. Revel in the Ugly Sweater party (don't forget to pack it!), Holiday Family Fun Fair, and countless joyful activities await you on your holiday cruise.

The most wonderful time of the year should be wonderful for everyone. That’s why Princess, voted the best cruise line for multigenerational families (Portholes) offers the best Christmas cruises for families and guests of all ages. Kids can go play in our youth and teen centers, where they’ll enjoy fun holiday parties (and you’ll enjoy evening kid-sitting for a nominal fee so parents can celebrate a festive night out too!). Then the whole family can reunite for a stress-free Christmas dinner, feasting on a delicious banquet while cherishing each other’s company.

Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and New Year's Cruises

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Enjoy lovely autumn décor, take part in a Turkey Calling Contest, and add a special message to our annual Tree of Thanks in the ship's Atrium.

Leave the cooking to Princess, and join us for an elaborate traditional holiday feast in the dining room, complete with all the trimmings.

What would Thanksgiving be without football? Watch the games on our Movies Under the Stars® outdoor big screen.

The Festival of Lights burns brightly with a menorah‐lighting ceremony, themed crafts, festive décor and special events, like a reading of Sammy Spider's First Hanukkah on the first night of Hanukkah.

Enjoy traditional Hanukkah delicacies specially prepared by our professional chefs, such as potato latkes and gefilte fish. You can even pre-order kosher meals!

Take a New Year's cruise. Count down and count your blessings on the biggest night of the year with a special New Year’s Eve dinner followed by a midnight celebratory Champagne toast.

The Best Holiday Cruises — All Year Round

  • Chinese New Year
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  • Easter & Passover
  • Mother's Day
  • Father's Day

Mark the beginning of the Lunar New Year, with time–honored traditions for an immersive experience. Our Chinese New Year celebrations include symbolic red decorations that adorn the Piazza, mythological Lion Dancers thrill spectators, and much more.

Love, life’s sweetest reward, is celebrated with hearts and flowers and special touches throughout the ship. Onboard, you can make a card for your sweetheart, send a singing telegram, renew your vows, watch themed Movies Under the Stars, and so much more.

Celebrations of hope and springtime abound during this holy period. Onboard, you can participate in a Seder service, sit down with family for a traditional Easter dinner, and enjoy special visits from the Easter Bunny, and a candy egg hunt.

What’s the #1 travel gift moms want? A Mother's day cruise. Celebrate and pamper mom onboard with a relaxing spa treatment, a specially-themed balcony breakfast, complimentary sparkling wine and a rose at dinner, and much more.

Watch the big game on our giant Movies Under the Stars screen, complete with grilled burgers and craft beers on deck. Treat your special dad to a hand–cut steak cooked to order at the Crown Grill. Celebrate the day with a whiskey tasting at the Wheelhouse Bar. It will be a Father’s Day he never forgets!

Halloween on a Princess cruise ship promises more treats than tricks. Delight in spooky décor while carving pumpkins in the Princess Piazza. Ghostly grown-ups can attend our Halloween Fright Night Party, while little pumpkins can enjoy a costume parade, scavenger hunt, and, of course, lots of candy!

Gifting for someone special?   It's easier than ever! Buy gifts online for anyone sailing with Princess.

Already booked with Princess?   Login to Manage Booking to buy a gift for yourself or others on your booking .

To speak to a member of our Celebrations support team,  call 1-855-500-7690

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Welcome to Holidays & Cruises

We are your local independent travel agent offering all things travel..

Holidays & Cruises Travel Agency is a specialist family business headed up by Sherina Hale who has vast experience within the travel industry and notably the Group sector.

Holidays & Cruises Travel Agency offer a personalised service, from negotiating the best deal for collectives of people wishing to travel together to couples or individuals seeking support with the planning and sourcing of their personal holiday arrangements.   Read  more >>>

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ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. Please see our booking conditions for more information and for information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertifcate

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Cruise and Stay Deals

Cruise and stay.

Looking for a holiday where you can cruise  and  stay? Well Cruise Nation love Cruise & Stay Packages. We incorporate the best holiday deals with unbeatable cruise prices, and we have a range of fantastic Cruise & Stay packages to accommodate virtually all budget types.

There are a variety of cruise destinations available across the world - meaning all tastes are catered to. Our most popular Cruise & Stay packages include  Barcelona ,  Venice ,  Athens ,  New York  and  Dubai , and we take pride in offering the best deals to these stunning locations.

Our unique service means that we can help pick the perfect destination for every one of our customers, so whether you fancy strolling along the idyllic volcanic sands of Santorini , or experiencing the glacial wonders of  Alaska , you’ll never be stuck to find a cruise unique and personal to you.

Cruise Nation’s Cruise & Stay packages take our customers around the globe, to some of the most exciting and popular holiday destinations in the world. Whether you are looking for adventure, relaxation or culture, we have the perfect Cruise & Stay package for every holiday-style and budget:

MEDITERRANEAN

Discover the delights of the Mediterranean - highlights include the eclectic city of Barcelona, the romantic waterways of Venice and the historic city of Athens.

NORTHERN EUROPE

Discover the beautiful scenery and amazing landscapes in Scandinavia and Northern Europe.

Escape to the Caribbean where a bounty of the world’s most beautiful beaches awaits and a colourful culture is just waiting to be discovered.

NORTH AMERICA

New York, Miami, Las Vegas and San Francisco are just a few of the destinations on offer with our North America Cruise & Stay deals.

SOUTH AMERICA

From the towering statue of 'Christ the Redeemer' in Rio, to the cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires - South America has something for everybody and has to be seen to be believed!

Visit the breathtaking region of Alaska, home to spectacular, wintry scenes and one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world.

DUBAI & EMIRATES

A world of wonderful sights, sounds and attractions awaits when you visit the wonderful cities of Abu Dhabi or Dubai. Discover them with one of our Cruise & Stay deal.

Remarkably beautiful and sophisticated Africa is one of the most intriguing wildlife destinations in the world.

AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

Take a trip 'down under' to some of the most spectacular cities on earth! Incredible cities and stunning scenery awaits!

ASIA & INDIAN OCEAN

From the mystique of India to the historic culture of Indonesia, this region has something for everyone.

Experience the contrasting cultures of spectacular cities such as Singapore, Tokyo and Shanghai with our Far East Cruise & Stay Deals.

WHY BOOK A CRUISE & STAY PACKAGE?

Here at Cruise Nation, we understand that not everyone wants their trip to be over, just because their cruise is. Cruise & Stay packages give travellers more freedom to design and tailor their vacation, exactly the way they want it – whilst still experiencing all of the great highlights that come with a cruise holiday.

Whether you choose a pre-or post-cruise stay, our popular Cruise & Stay packages give you more time to explore, more time on the beach, and simply more time to sit back, relax and enjoy your holiday.

WHAT’S INCLUDED?

Our Cruise & Stay packages have been created to make booking your next combined cruise and holiday as simple, and as  budget-friendly , as possible. As well as a huge selection of Cruise & Stay packages to choose from online, our expert staff can also help to tailor packages to ensure you have the holiday you’ve always dreamt of.

With flights and accommodation, along with the cruise itself, included in our exclusive Cruise & Stay packages, you won’t find a better deal for your budget anywhere else.

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Everything about a vacation should be easy, especially the planning stage.

Create an all-inclusive cruise experience by combining our vacation packages to elevate your vacation to the next level. With our standard cruise-only rate, you’ll get to enjoy a stay in one of our spacious staterooms, delicious gourmet meals at our restaurants, and a slate of activities and entertainment shows—without ever worrying about the tab.

We also have a number of cruise, hotel and flight packages, Alaska and Galapagos cruise and land tours, and our unrivaled vacation experience at The Retreat, where you're attended too by a dedicated team of butlers and concierges who make sure you don’t lift a finger throughout your customized all-inclusive cruise.

Create Your All-Inclusive Cruise Package

With Flights by Celebrity, we’ll get you from the tarmac to the top deck. Our dedicated Flights by Celebrity specialists find the best available rates for flights to your departure port and back, and are available 24/7 to assist you with any help you may need along the way.

Spectacular suites, an exclusive restaurant, and a private lounge are all a part of the all-inclusive cruise package when you book a stay at The Retreat, our luxury vacation experience.

Extend your vacation in Alaska with one of our Alaska Cruisetours, which combines a seven-night cruise with a fascinating land tour around destinations including Anchorage, Talkeetna, and Denali.

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Discover the beauty of the Galapagos Islands on one of our all-inclusive cruises to this ecological paradise. Our Galapagos cruises include vacation options that combine a stunning cruise with a few nights in Quito, Ecuador or the ruins of Machu Picchu.

The best way to experience our port destinations is by signing up for one of our shore excursions, which vary from cultural tours and activities to exciting outdoor adventures and water sports.

Embark on an in-depth experience in the city where your cruise starts or ends. Stay in accommodations we’ve carefully selected. Enjoy tours guided by experts to see the must-sees and do the must-dos. Take private transportation between your airport, hotel, and ship.

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Plan your next vacation aboard one of our all-inclusive cruises. Take the entire family on a cruise of a lifetime, where they’ll enjoy world-class dining, unparalleled entertainment, and impeccable service. Celebrate a special occasion and escape on a romantic getaway at sea. Or simply take some much needed time off on one of our award-winning cruises, where you’ll find it impossible not to relax and unwind.

Our cruises travel to some of the world’s most beautiful destinations. Soak in the sun during a cruise to the idyllic islands of the Caribbean . Discover ancient history and exquisite cuisine while sailing around the Mediterranean . Find adventure when taking a Alaskan cruise , where glaciers, icebergs, and wildlife roam. And take the journey of a lifetime across the Atlantic Ocean. Book one of our all-inclusive cruise deals, and take the guesswork out of your next getaway.

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5 Best Holiday Cruises You Can Still Book for the Festive Season

Holiday Cruises 5 Festive Voyages Through Wintry Escapes and Tropical Getaways

Embarking on a holiday cruise is one of the best ways to celebrate the festive season at the end of the year. With kids out of school and adults with time off work, it’s an opportunity to bring together family and friends to experience a once-in-a-lifetime trip. And holiday cruise itineraries don’t disappoint, whether you’re interested in meandering through bustling Christmas markets that line Europe’s cobblestone streets, venturing around the coast of sub-Saharan Africa for a safari, or ringing in the New Year in the glacial waters of Antarctica, there’s something for every type of traveler. With ports awash in twinkling lights and ships decked out with trees and garlands, many travelers find taking a cruise an enchanting way to spend the holidays.

Although many voyages sell out well in advance, it’s not too late to book some of the top lines’ best offerings for this December. Here are five of the best holiday cruises around the world that are still bookable for the 2022 festive season. 

All listings featured in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, when you book something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Viking's Christmas on the Rhine cruise offers beautiful scenery along the entire route.

Viking's Christmas on the Rhine cruise offers beautiful scenery along the entire route.

Christmas markets on the Rhine with Viking 

When envisioning a Christmas cruise , most travelers likely conjure up images of a river voyage through Europe, winding through picturesque towns laden with festive holiday markets. Viking has this itinerary in spades: Its new eight-day Christmas on the Rhine voyages meander from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland, stopping at nine other cities in the Netherlands, Germany, and France along the way. Excursion highlights include visits to picture-perfect Christmas markets in Dusseldorf and Cologne, awash in glowing lights, with stalls offering artisan wares and towering, decked-out trees. In Strasbourg, travelers are whisked to the town’s Christkindelsmärik, the oldest Christmas market in France, where visitors can procure mulled wine and local bredele spice cookies to stave off the chill.

Back on the ship, the scenery ambling by while sailing ranges from Middle Rhine’s historic castles, to verdant Dutch farmland with its iconic windmills, to Germany’s snow-dusted Black Forest—all visible from passengers’ personal verandas, which come with the majority of the staterooms on board Viking’s longships. 

There are still a handful of bookings available for December 2022, but many of the sailings for this year—and even some in the 2023 season—are selling out fast.

Holiday safari through Africa with Regent Seven Seas

Sailing round-trip from Cape Town aboard  Seven Seas Voyager , this Regent itinerary combines two of our favorite travel experiences: luxury cruises and African safaris . With stops in Namibia, Mozambique, and South Africa, Regent’s Holiday Safari cruise is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

In Namibia , cruisers will be treated to excursions like an off-road tour through the moon-like dunes of the Namib Desert, as well as spotting terns, osprey, and African black oystercatchers while bird watching at Walvis Bay. Throughout the voyage, there will be plenty of opportunities for passengers to try to spot the Big Five—lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards and Cape buffalo—as well as hippos, zebras, giraffes, vervet monkeys, and more, at numerous South African game reserves in Durban, Richards Bay, Mossel Bay, and Port Elizabeth. Each park offers slightly different varieties of wildlife that could potentially be spotted, allowing travelers to rack up an impressive list of rare animal sightings.  

Outside of the game reserves, additional excursions vary from a visit to an African healer in the Zulu township of Umlazi outside of Durban to a walk through the bustling Maputo market in Mozambique’s capital city. After long days in the sub-Saharan sun,  Seven Seas Voyager , with its specialty restaurants and immersive spa menu, will be a haven for passenger relaxation.

Kayaking to glaciers is one of the adventurous activities offered by Silversea.

Kayaking to glaciers is one of the adventurous activities offered by Silversea.

Travelers can spot five different penguin species with Silversea's Antarctica sailings.

Travelers can spot five different penguin species with Silversea's Antarctica sailings.

The Falkland Islands and Antarctica with Silversea

With calving glaciers, waddling penguins, and breaching whales, Antarctica gives a whole new meaning to the term “winter wonderland.” Silversea’s 14-day itinerary to The White Continent, which sails roundtrip from Puerto Williams, Chile , first makes calls on several of The Falkland Islands, home to elephant seals, sea lions, king cormorants, and at least five different species of penguins. The rugged coasts are lined with scrubby grasses and smatterings of wildflowers, all the way up to the turquoise waters.

Cruisers will ring in the New Year on the Antarctic Peninsula, with two back-to-back overnights in the serene glacial waters, then it's onward to the South Shetland Islands, home to natural wonders like a collapsed volcano caldera on Deception Island and warm geothermal waters in Pendulum Cove. 

This holiday cruise has four days at sea—when the ship won’t stop at any port—but those might end up being passengers’ favorites, as the 296-passenger ship  Silver Wind  is more like an ultra-luxe retreat than a polar ice-breaker. Among the numerous perks passengers can indulge in are all-suite staterooms, a full onboard spa, complimentary Champagne upon boarding, and butler service in each suite.

Island-hopping through southern Caribbean with Princess Cruises 

Even over the holidays, sometimes you just need to relax in the sun and sand. That’s what Princess Cruises’ 10-day voyage through the southern Caribbean islands offers, along with unique cultural immersion in some of the region’s coolest cities. 

In San Juan, Puerto Rico , explore the shops and restaurants of the Old City or venture to the waterfalls and lush flora of the nearby El Yunque National Rainforest. On Martinique, drink in Creole culture with a walking tour of capital city Fort-de-France, or snorkel in the cobalt-blue waters near the island’s famous Bat Cave, home to angel fish, parrotfish, and other colorful aquatic species. Among the other four ports on this island-hopping itinerary are Point-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Princess Cays, Bahamas; and St. Maarten.

This European Country Is Set to Become the Most Visited Place in the World by 2040

This holiday cruise has no shortage of merriment: On board your ship  Enchanted Princess , there'll be activities like ugly sweater parties, visits from Santa and carolers, and gingerbread house making. And even though you’ll be in the Caribbean, you can expect a white Christmas, as Princess dusts the atrium of its ships with artificial snow.  

Seabourn Encore has plenty of places for passengers to relax.

Seabourn Encore has plenty of places for passengers to relax.

Exploring Thailand and Vietnam with Seabourn

On this 16-day sojourn through Thailand and Vietnam, holiday activities dominate the programming. Holiday decorations abound, with menorah lightings, garlands wrapped around railings, and lush Christmas trees—some guests even decorate their own suite doors.

As for ports of call, expect visits to golden temples and tuk tuk rides through thronging streets during an overnight stay in Bangkok ; a traditional Vietnamese dinner at the iconic Majestic Hotel in Saigon , and ride a funicular tram to the 2,750-foot-high peak of Penang Hill in the eponymous Malaysian city.

Another highlight? Seabourn's beach barbecue on Thailand’s Koh Kood island, with its pristine white-sand beaches. Dubbed “Caviar in the Surf,” the beach party offers watersports in clear turquoise waters, and crew members serve up chilled Champagne and bites of caviar while Seabourn chefs grill up a decadent spread. After you’ve had your fill, retire to the ship,  Seabourn Encore , for a nightcap under the stars at the Sky Bar or a sumptuous bubble bath in your suite.

Booking tips for holiday cruises

How much is a holiday cruise.

The cost of holiday cruises varies depending on many factors such as the destination, cruise line, and length of the voyage. These holiday cruises start at $999 per person for an interior stateroom aboard Princess Cruises, all the way to $20,000+ per person for a suite aboard Regent Seven Seas.

Is a Christmas cruise worth it?

If you’re looking for holiday cheer from a travel experience, it would be hard to beat a Christmas cruise in terms of festivity—many ports on Christmas market cruises are chosen because of their historic reputations for going over-the-top with holiday frivolity. Think: snow-capped towns with thousands of twinkling lights, wreaths and garland adorning every doorway, ice skating rinks in quaint city centers, wandering cobblestone streets with mulled wine or hot chocolate, and hole-in-the-wall bakeries offering traditional cookies.

What is the best month to cruise in?

When it comes to holiday cruises, the best months to book a voyage for are from November to early January. These months offer the most festive atmospheres and activities. But be aware that cruise ships and ports might feel more crowded during the holidays, which are a peak travel time when many families try to vacation together during time off from school and work. If you’re looking to avoid crowds, avoid sailing during the winter holidays and the summertime.

This story has been updated with new information since its original publish date.

Contributing reporting by Janice Wald Henderson.  

holidays and cruises

holidays and cruises

Mediterranean cruise guide: Best itineraries, planning tips and things to do

Erica Silverstein

No two Mediterranean cruises are the same. Some bring travelers to the French and Italian rivieras for food, wine and cultural pursuits. Others head east to the Greek islands, where passengers alternate days sipping ouzo at a beachfront taverna with trips to ancient sites. Each itinerary is a mix of urban tourist capitals — Barcelona! Rome! Istanbul! — and sleeper gems, such as Portofino, Italy, and Kotor, Montenegro.

If you've never been to Europe, you might feel overwhelmed by destination choices. If you know which ports are on your must-see list, you might be more stumped by which cruise line to choose or which specific itinerary will be the best for you.

For cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG's cruise newsletter .

Know that you can't see everything in one Mediterranean cruise — even on sailings that run multiple weeks. Once you let go of your need to see and do it all and accept that you're on a sampler tour, you'll be better able to make your cruise selections and enjoy the ports your ship does visit.

Get started on your journey with this Mediterranean cruise guide. You'll learn the basics of itineraries, cruise lines, destinations, when to go and when to book your European adventure at sea.

Why cruise to the Mediterranean?

holidays and cruises

Many of the European countries on your travel bucket list lie along the Mediterranean Sea: Spain, France, Italy , Greece , Turkey, Israel and Egypt. A cruise lets you hit many of the hot spots (the French Riviera, Barcelona and Venice, Italy) on one trip without having to navigate multiple hotels, transportation between cities and dinner reservations in foreign languages.

For some people, those experiences are a key part of travel. However, for vacationers who want all the attractions without the hassle, a cruise is an ideal way to explore the Mediterranean. This type of European cruise can be especially alluring to honeymooners, families and older couples.

Mediterranean cruises beckon travelers with a love of culture and history. Visit the Parthenon in Athens, Greece, or the Colosseum in Rome; see Michelangelo's David in Florence, Italy; or make a pilgrimage to the Hagia Sophia or Blue Mosque in Istanbul. Take a tour to a medieval town, or marvel at the construction of a soaring cathedral. If you've always wanted to see the ruins in Ephesus, Turkey, and Pompeii, Italy, Antoni Gaudí's Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and the famous casino in Monaco, you can do it easily on a Mediterranean sailing.

You can also eat your way through the markets, cafes, trattorias, gelato shops and crepe stands in the ports you visit. Sample local wines at vineyards in France and Italy, or sip ouzo or limoncello made on the premises.

When do cruises go to the Mediterranean?

You might be surprised to learn that cruise ships sail the Mediterranean year-round.

The majority of ships, however, arrive in spring and depart in fall, choosing warmer climes like the Caribbean for winter holiday sailings. Only a few hardy stalwarts remain through the colder months. Several of those are European-based lines, such as Costa Cruises and MSC Cruises , but Viking also braves chilly weather for its destination-focused itineraries in Europe.

Related: The best time to cruise the Mediterranean

Best Mediterranean itineraries

You can find a variety of weeklong Mediterranean cruises, but if you have the time, nine- to 14-night sailings are not uncommon. Seven-night cruises are best if you're short on time or want to tack on a few days in Barcelona, Rome or Athens before or after your cruise. Longer itineraries are ideal for experiencing a greater variety of destinations and traversing more of the Med.

Here are some of the best Mediterranean cruise itineraries you should consider for your European vacation.

Related: Best Mediterranean cruises in 2024 and 2025

Western Mediterranean

The classic Western Mediterranean cruise sails between Barcelona and Rome and calls in ports in Spain, France, Monaco and Italy. This is your chance to explore Tuscany and the French Riviera, as well as hit up Florence; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Naples, Italy; and islands such as Corsica in France, Mallorca in Spain and Sicily and Sardinia in Italy. Just watch out: Marquee destinations like Rome and Florence are both located an hour or more from the cruise port, so get ready for long bus rides and long days off the ship.

Greece and Turkey

The classic Eastern Mediterranean cruise sails out of Athens or Istanbul and visits a mix of historic places (Delphi, Greece; Ephesus via Kusadasi, Turkey; the Greek island of Rhodes) and sun-drenched islands (Mykonos and Santorini, Greece).

Adriatic Sea

Some so-called Mediterranean cruises actually spend most of their time on the Adriatic Sea, sailing from Venice and visiting ports in Croatia and Greece, and sometimes Montenegro and Albania. You might also find an Adriatic sailing wrapped into longer Western or Eastern Mediterranean cruises.

The most easterly of the Eastern Mediterranean itineraries, Holy Land cruises spend time in Israel and sometimes Egypt, often with overnight stops or multiple days spent in each country to maximize touring opportunities. These sailings might also call on Cyprus or ports in Greece and Turkey.

Due to the war in Gaza, the majority of cruise lines are not calling on ports in Israel in 2024. Some have also scrapped calls to ports in Egypt and Jordan.

Best Mediterranean cruise lines

holidays and cruises

Most major cruise lines send at least one ship to the Mediterranean every year. Even Carnival Cruise Line , known for its affordable cruises out of U.S. home ports, offers some Mediterranean sailings, as does Disney Cruise Line , which typically bases its ships near its theme parks.

If you're looking for a bigger ship, Celebrity Cruises , Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean are the best choices, as they base a handful of ships in the Mediterranean each year, arriving in spring and departing in fall. These lines offer a variety of itinerary choices, so you can find the Mediterranean ports you most want to visit. You'll also find lots of restaurant choices and evening entertainment options to keep you occupied at night when the ship is sailing.

For a more international vibe on board, try MSC Cruises, a European cruise line that offers a great variety of ships and itineraries in the Mediterranean.

Couples or families with grown children looking for longer sailings and a destination focus should consider Viking. It offers eight- to 15-night cruises through the Mediterranean, including three- and four-week voyages for retirees (or digital nomads) who have time for a thorough exploration of the region.

Which luxury line is best for your Mediterranean cruise will depend on your preferences for a European itinerary and ship amenities and style. However, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Silversea Cruises stand out for including a wide variety of shore excursions in their cruise fares. If you're a foodie, these two lines, plus Oceania Cruises , are notable for their culinary tours in port and destination-themed cooking classes on board.

Things to do in the Mediterranean

Sightseeing is a big component of Mediterranean cruises, whether that's exploring a historic site like the Roman Forum or the walled city of Dubrovnik, Croatia; visiting cathedrals in Florence and Barcelona; or touring medieval villages, forts and old towns. You might want to skip the formal tours and merely wander around the port town, browsing local shops or grabbing a coffee or snack in a local cafe.

Culinary tours are also popular here. You can choose from roving food tours, cooking classes, winery visits and tastings, and meals made with local produce and cheeses in beautiful villa or farmhouse settings.

Travelers looking to stretch their legs might want to sign up for cycling tours in city and country settings, hike around a volcano on Santorini or Sicily, or even take a kayak for a spin in Croatia or Greece.

A beach day is possible in the Greek islands or along the French Riviera, and many ports will have sightseeing cruises.

Related: Best Mediterranean cruise shore excursions

Best Mediterranean cruise ports

holidays and cruises

Everyone has their favorite list of the best Mediterranean cruise ports. Some travelers want to hit all the most popular cities, while others prioritize the ability to walk right off the ship into the heart of the town. Some ports are better for historical attractions, others for cafe culture or outdoor activities.

The following cruise ports are generally standouts, no matter your travel style.

Barcelona : Both an embarkation port and a port of call, depending on your itinerary, Barcelona has much to offer first-timers and repeat visitors. Cruise ships dock at the end of Las Ramblas, the main thoroughfare in the old part of the city, so it's easy to leave the ship and simply wander. Don't miss Gaudí's fantastical buildings or a meal of tapas.

Monte Carlo : Monte Carlo is both a fascinating port on its own and a gateway to the French Riviera. In town, you can walk to the casino, palace and stunning oceanographic museum. From town, you can take the twisty-turny Corniche coastal roads to destinations like Nice, Eze, Cannes and Grasse, France.

Dubrovnik : Even if you're not in it for the "Game of Thrones" tour, you will be captivated by Dubrovnik and its famous walled city. Walk the walls or take to the water for scenic views of the Old Town.

Rome : It's actually a pain to get to Rome from the cruise port of Civitavecchia by bus or train, but it's worth it to experience the Eternal City firsthand. Tour the Vatican and Sistine Chapel at St. Peter's Cathedral, step back in time at the Colosseum and Roman Forum, climb the Spanish Steps, throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain and meander through the Borghese Gardens. When your feet give out, take a breather with a gelato or plate of pasta.

Rhodes : The historic port of Rhodes no longer has a Colossus, but that doesn't take away its appeal. Ensconced within ancient stone walls, the island's Old Town is easily walkable, composed of cobblestone streets lined with restaurants and stores housed in structures dating back to the 14th century. If shopping isn't your thing, keep walking until you reach the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, where you can take a tour, or venture out to one of the city's beaches.

Naples : Naples is one of our favorite ports because you have so many options for things to do. It's the jumping-off point for Italy tours to Pompeii, Mount Vesuvius, Capri and the Amalfi Coast. Or, if you want to explore the city on your own, perhaps sitting down to a lunch of the region's famous pizza, it's a quick walk right into town from your cruise ship.

Istanbul : Istanbul is the vibrant city you might not know you need to visit. Serving as both a departure port and port of call on Mediterranean cruises, the city offers something for everyone: the cultural icons of the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, intense shopping experiences at the Grand Bazaar, Byzantine palaces, traditional Turkish baths (called hammams), flavorful cuisine, Bosporus day cruises between Europe and Asia and plenty of neighborhoods to explore.

Related: Best Mediterranean cruise tips to enhance your European vacation

When to book a Mediterranean cruise

It's a good idea to book your Mediterranean cruise early, even nine to 12 months in advance. You can take advantage of early booking discounts and promotions and have the widest selection of available cabins and suites and dining times (if applicable). An early booking is ideal if you're planning on using miles to book your flights or points for a precruise hotel. Look for fall sales when the current Mediterranean season is winding down.

Another smart time to book a Mediterranean cruise is during January or February when cruise lines run their wave season sales, often with extra freebies thrown into the cost of the sailing. You might find last-minute deals on spring cruises to Europe or still be considered early for fall itineraries.

Related: When is the best time to book a cruise?

What to bring on a Mediterranean cruise

The Mediterranean region has a temperate climate, but it still gets chilly in spring and fall and can be brutally hot in summer. Check the weather before your sail date, and pack for the predicted temperatures — with layers, in case the forecasters are wrong and it's unseasonably hot or cold.

You'll likely do a good deal of walking on a Mediterranean cruise, so a good pair of walking shoes is a must. Bonus if you can find cute options you can wear on sea days or sneakers that can do double duty in the ship's gym.

If your tours take you to religious sites, you might need a modest outfit that covers shoulders, arms and knees. Ladies, a shawl is a versatile option you can toss over your shoulders (or hair, if need be), use for warmth with your strappy formal night attire or wear as a blanket on the airplane.

Of course, North Americans taking Mediterranean cruise vacations will need a passport to fly to and from their ship's departure and arrival ports.

Related: Mediterranean cruise packing list: What to pack when cruising Europe

Bottom line

The Mediterranean is an amazing region to cruise, and a sailing there is a wonderful introduction to Europe for travelers who have never been. The varied choices of itineraries, cruise lines and ships can be intimidating, but rest assured, you can't really go wrong with any of them. Just know that once you go, you might feel a need to return — either to see a port you loved more in-depth on a land vacation or to sail to the Mediterranean countries you missed on your first go-round.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

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10 top christmas cruises for 2024 & 2025.

Set sail for the holidays on your next cruise vacation.

Top Christmas Cruises

Laughing Azamara crew members in Christmas attire walking arm-in-arm on deck.

Courtesy of Azamara

If you're ready for a break from holiday traditions and family gatherings at home, consider booking a Christmas cruise. What makes a better present than the chance to leave all the planning, cooking, cleaning and decorating behind – and celebrate the holidays in beautiful destinations in the U.S., the Caribbean or other countries around the world?

If you're dreaming of a white Christmas, you can book a festivity-filled river cruise along Europe's iconic waterways and bundle up in your winter gear to explore the Christmas markets in the snow. If you prefer sunshine and warm temperatures, celebrate the holidays in an exotic locale in the South Pacific Ocean, sailing crystal-clear turquoise waters and relaxing on white sand beaches surrounded by palm trees.

Whether you prefer to stay close to home or jet off for a bucket list adventure, one of these cruises may just be the perfect gift to celebrate your holidays in style.

Find your perfect cruise

Hallmark Channel Christmas Cruise

Christmas on beach -chair lounges with Santa hats at sea beach

Getty Images

Put your name on the waiting list for November 2024 if you want to set sail on what Hallmark touts as the "jolliest vacation ever." The Hallmark Channel – known for its year-round holiday-themed programming with Christmas in July, Countdown to Christmas and Christmas Fridays – will host the first-ever Hallmark Channel Christmas Cruise sailings in November 2024 from Miami to the Bahamas . Lucky fans of the television channel will travel with their favorite Hallmark stars on one of two four-night cruises on Norwegian Cruise Line 's Norwegian Gem during the 2024 holiday season.

Highlights of the Hallmark Channel Christmas Cruise include photo opportunities and panels to meet the stars. Attend Christmas craft workshops or tastings with Hallmark's winemaker – the wines have names like Jingle (cabernet sauvignon) and Joy (sauvignon blanc). Guests can also look forward to "carol-oke" singalongs, cookie decorating, an ugly sweater contest and a world premiere viewing of the new Hallmark Channel Christmas movie "Countdown to Christmas."

AmaWaterways

A Christmas market stand at an AmaWaterways cruise destination.

Courtesy of AmaWaterways

AmaWaterways offers more than a dozen itineraries to visit the Christmas markets in 2024 and 2025 along the Rhine, Moselle, Main, Danube and Rhone rivers – and to see the holiday splendor of Europe's grand cities, such as Vienna , Budapest, Amsterdam and Prague. Travelers can stroll through snow-dusted medieval squares and fairytale markets. Enjoy the chalet-inspired stalls, thousands of colorful lights, festive decorations, ice skating rinks, whimsical handmade gifts, Christmas carolers, carousels and more.

The river cruise line's seven-night Iconic Christmas Markets itinerary sails from Nuremberg, Germany, to Budapest, Hungary , along the Danube. It features a visit to Nuremberg's Christkindlesmarkt – one of the world's oldest and most famous Christmas markets. Sip hot mulled wine or feuerzangenbowle (a red wine and rum punch) and sample savory specialties like Nuremberg bratwurst, flammkuchen (pizza) and kartoffelpuffer (fried potato pancakes). Be sure to save room for sweet delights like schaumkuss (also known as schokokuss), a chocolate-covered marshmallow, or lebkuchen, a traditional spiced cookie.

While on board the ship, guests can participate in festivities like tree-trimming, cookie decorating, caroling and "Shoes for St. Nick." This European tradition encourages passengers to leave their slippers outside their stateroom door before bed. In the morning, they wake up to slippers filled with tasty treats like children in Europe find on Saint Nicholas Day.

Celebrity Cruises

The Celebrity Infinity ship on the Celebrity Cruises' Canaries, Morocco, Spain Holiday itinerary.

Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

Celebrate Christmas Day at sea in the South Pacific Ocean during Celebrity's 2024 New Zealand Holiday cruise on board Celebrity Edge. This round-trip 13-night itinerary embarks on Dec. 20, 2024, from Sydney . It includes seven ports of call and five sea days. After ringing in the new year sailing between the Bay of Islands, New Zealand and Sydney, guests will disembark the ship on Jan. 2, 2025.

If you'd prefer to travel to the Canary Islands to celebrate Christmas and usher in the new year on the Mediterranean Sea in 2025, then reserve a stateroom or suite for Celebrity Cruises ' Canaries, Morocco & Spain itinerary. The 12-night voyage sails round-trip from Barcelona , embarking a few days before Christmas 2025 on Celebrity Infinity. The festive voyage features eight ports of call, including island of Gibraltar; the Moroccan cities of Casablanca and Tangier; three destinations in the Canary Islands; and Malaga, Spain.

On the ships, guests can revel in the joyous spirit of the season with festive Christmas trees, traditional holiday meals created by a Michelin-starred chef, themed shows and pop-ups, carolers, gingerbread winter villages, and even a visit from Santa. The onboard bars serve up holiday-inspired cocktails along with other seasonal favorites, including spiked apple cider and classic mulled wine. On New Year's Eve, plan to join in the merriment with fellow cruisers during the big countdown bash.

Christmas carolers on the Azamara Onward cruise ship.

If you want to cross South Africa off your list of must-visit destinations , consider spending Christmas and New Year's Eve sailing round-trip from Cape Town on Azamara 's 15-night South Africa Intensive Voyage. The 2024 voyage departs Dec. 20 on Azamara Quest and includes stops in Port Elizabeth, home to one of the densest elephant populations in the world, and Richards Bay, which is teeming with exotic wildlife and stunning landscapes. For a once-in-lifetime experience, reserve a spot on the Safari 4X4 Hippo Cruise in the Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park. This protected park is a white rhino sanctuary, home to South Africa's "big five": lions, elephants, buffalos, rhinos and leopards.

If the Land Down Under is at the top of your list of places to visit, plan ahead for next year to spend the holidays aboard Azamara Pursuit in 2025. The line's 21-night Australia Intensive Voyage will set sail on Dec. 14, 2025, from Singapore . This extended sailing features 10 ports of call in three countries, with two overnight stays, before travelers disembark in Melbourne, Australia , on Jan. 4, 2026.

Guests on board the holiday cruises will be treated to Christmas performances, including singalongs and carols performed by the crew. There will be special menus in the restaurants, holiday-themed buffets, religious services and a tree-trimming party. Festive treats like hot chocolate, cookies and snacks are provided throughout the cruise. The New Year's Eve White Night party, where all the guests don their best white attire, will take place throughout the ships and on the pool deck with entertainment, music and light bites.

People stand on the front deck of a Viking Christmas cruise on the Rhine.

Courtesy of Viking

Viking's 12-day Christmas on the Main & Moselle cruise sails between Paris and Prague in 2024 and 2025. The adults-only sailing affords passengers 18 and older the opportunity to visit four European countries: France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic. In addition to browsing the chic boutiques in Paris and a variety of Christmas markets in Germany, you'll want to explore iconic landmarks like Reims Cathedral in France and the Luxembourg American Cemetery. Don't miss the famed wines produced in the regions, including Champagne, Moselle, riesling, Müller-Thurgau and gewürztraminer. In Cochem, Germany, you'll want to sample white mulled wine and regional delicacies produced from the red vineyard peach.

The holiday spirit continues on board the ships with Christmas-themed cooking demonstrations in addition to festive decorations with garland, lights and gingerbread houses. Guests will also taste regional cuisine, enjoy cultural performances on board the ship and ashore and learn about the history of the Christmas markets and local holiday traditions.

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Disney Cruise Line

Goofy, Mickey and Minny characters on a Disney Cruise Line Very Merrytime cruise.

Kent Phillips | Courtesy of Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line offers dozens of Christmas-themed cruises from November through December in 2024. Cruisers looking to celebrate the holidays with Disney's cast of characters can book a Very Merrytime cruise as short as a three-night sailing from Port Canaveral, Florida, to the Bahamas . For a weeklong getaway, consider the line's seven-night Eastern Caribbean voyage on board Disney Fantasy that sails round-trip from Port Canaveral. Ports of call on the itinerary include Tortola in the British Virgin Islands; St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands; and the cruise line's private island , Disney Castaway Cay.

On the first evening of every sailing, guests can gather around the 24-foot-tall Christmas tree for the tree lighting ceremony, a holiday singalong and the introduction of Santa Claus. Other festivities on Disney Cruise Line include the fun-filled Mickey and Minnie's Holiday Party, themed Very Merrytime activities for children of all ages, carol singers, and Christmas-inspired food and beverages. Disney characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse will be sporting jolly new holiday attire during the special voyages.

Windstar Cruises

Christmas tree next to a winding staircase on a Windstar Cruises ship.

Courtesy of Windstar Cruises

Celebrate the holidays with a bucket list getaway to the sun-drenched islands of Tahiti . On this voyage, you'll set sail a few days before Christmas 2024 aboard the 312-passenger, all-suite yacht Star Breeze for Windstar's seven-day Dreams of Tahiti cruise. The round-trip sailing from Papeete, Tahiti, includes stops in the islands of Moorea, Raiatea, Motu Mahea (Tahaa), Bora Bora and Huahine. In Bora Bora, guests will be treated to a special evening Windstar Destination Discovery Event with dinner under the stars and traditional Polynesian fire dancing.

For an extended European holiday in 2025, the line's Star Collector: Winter in Spain and the Rivieras cruise sails from Malaga, Spain, to Rome on Dec. 13 aboard the intimate Star Legend. The 14-day itinerary includes ports of call in Spain, France, Italy and Gibraltar. During the cruise, you can visit must-see attractions like Michelangelo's sculpture of David in Florence and explore the historic Roman theater ruins in Cartagena, Spain. Cruisegoers will also have a chance to sample wines from the famed appellations of Tuscany in Italy and Andalusia in Spain, and taste culinary specialties like bouillabaisse in France.

On board the ships, guests can join in the holiday spirit with festive Christmas trees and decorations as well as holiday-inspired cocktails and treats. Special programming for the voyages includes a Christmas movie, a gala tea, an interdenominational Christmas service and a Christmas Eve dinner. Christmas morning brings more celebrations throughout the day, with holiday meals, a Yuletide afternoon tea and a Christmas dinner followed by a variety show in the evening.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Gem on open water.

Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

Grab the swimsuit, flip-flops and sunglasses – and check the Panama Canal off your must-visit list – for a tropical holiday aboard Norwegian Cruise Line 's Norwegian Gem. The line's 11-day cruisetour begins Dec. 9, 2024, and includes three days to see the canal that some consider the "eighth wonder of the world" and visit vibrant Panama City. After embarking on Dec. 11, you'll transit the canal and then sail to ports in Costa Rica; Jamaica; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico; and Norwegian's private island, Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas, before disembarking in Miami on Dec. 20.

Plan ahead to Christmas 2025 by reserving accommodations on Norwegian's newest vessel – and the first in the Prima Plus class – Norwegian Aqua. The seven-day Caribbean round-trip voyage from Miami on the new ship (scheduled to launch in April 2025) will set sail on Dec. 21, 2025. The cruise includes tropical ports of call in the Dominican Republic, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, and Great Stirrup Cay. For a special celebration, splurge on luxurious suite accommodations in The Haven. The ship-within-a-ship retreat features a private restaurant, a lounge, a sundeck, a concierge desk and 24-hour butler service.

Holiday-themed activities on Norwegian's vessels vary by itinerary and ship. Still, guests will find plenty of festive fun on board, including traditional holiday fare and holiday-inspired musical sets, trivia, and family and youth programming. Guests are invited to offer interdenominational services for fellow passengers during the sailing. You'll also find Hanukkah services listed in the Freestyle Daily Program.

Holland America Line

Christmas trees and other decor on a Holland America Line cruise ship.

Courtesy of Holland America Line

Celebrate the Christmas holidays in Hawaii during Holland America Line 's round-trip Circle Hawaii Holiday voyage from San Diego on the ship Zaandam, embarking on Dec. 18, 2024. Guests aboard this voyage will sail to Honolulu, Hilo and Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii as well as Kahului, Maui . You'll also get to enjoy scenic cruising at the Kilauea Volcano; visit Ensenada, Mexico; and join in the holiday festivities on the ship during relaxing days at sea.

If you've been dreaming of visiting far-flung destinations in Asia, such as Halong Bay, Vietnam, or Bangkok, Thailand – or seeing Komodo dragons in the wild in Indonesia – the 28-day Far East & Indonesian Holiday Collector itinerary will be an adventure of a lifetime. The voyage on board Westerdam embarks in Hong Kong on Dec. 7, 2025, with exotic ports of call in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. On Christmas Day, guests will visit the picturesque port town of Probolinggo on the coast of East Java in Indonesia. On New Year's Eve, the ship docks in Semarang, Indonesia; here, you can visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Borobudur, home to an impressive Buddhist temple site dating back to the eighth and ninth centuries.

Back on board the ships, holiday celebrations include a Christmas tree lighting, Santa's arrival, a midnight mass, a Christmas concert, special menus for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and a New Year's Eve Party and countdown. There are Hanukkah festivities with candle lightings and latkes served in the Lido. Guests will also enjoy viewing the holiday villages around the ship created by Holland America's culinary team.

Silversea Cruises

Penguins on an iceberg seen from a small excursion boat from the Silversea Cruises Silver Cloud cruise ship.

Courtesy of Silversea Cruises

For a life-changing experience and the merriest Christmas of all, spend the holiday with several species of waddling penguins, giant seals and majestic whales while visiting the ice-covered shores of the White Continent. The 10-day round-trip expedition from Puerto Williams, Chile, on Silversea 's Silver Cloud sets sail a week before Christmas in 2024 for the Antarctica Peninsula. Five days of excursions allow travelers on this Antarctica cruise to explore this surreal and magical part of the world. Weather permitting, guests will even take a Zodiac cruise with the expedition team in the South Shetland Islands the day after Christmas.

If you're planning ahead to 2025, consider a longer adventure where you'd fly the infamous Drake Passage one way from Puerto Williams (saving two days at sea) and land on King George Island in Antarctica. This 15-day expedition aboard Silver Cloud begins on Dec. 21, 2025, and features four days of excursions in Antarctica and three days in the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands. You'll also spend three days in the Falkland Islands, where you'll have more chances for unforgettable wildlife encounters with black-browed albatrosses, fur seals, Commerson's dolphins, imperial cormorants, and adorable rockhopper and Magellanic penguins.

Festive touches on the ship include Christmas trees and lights, gingerbread houses, holiday arts and crafts, caroling, religious services, and musical performances by the crew and professional entertainers. Guests will also enjoy a traditional holiday dinner on Christmas Day.

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Gwen Pratesi has been an avid cruiser since her early 20s. She has sailed to destinations around the globe on nearly every type of cruise ship built, including the newest megaships, luxury yachts, expedition vessels, and river ships in Europe and on the Mekong River. She used her extensive knowledge and experience with the cruise industry to write this article. Pratesi covers the travel and culinary industries for major publications, including U.S. News & World Report.

You might also be interested in:

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Five essential things you should know before you board a P&O Cruises ship

S ailing from its home port of Southampton, P&O Cruises flies the flag for British cruising with wallet-friendly holidays tailored to UK tastes. Alongside “no-fly” cruises it offers good-value fly-cruise holidays from London and nine regional airports to the Caribbean , Northern Europe, North America and the Mediterranean . 

The line’s seven ships have Britons in mind. Along with curated cocktails, Elemis facials and body sculpt boot camps, there are kettles (and Twinings tea) in every cabin and passengers will always find a decent pint. Shore experiences and drinks can be pre-purchased in sterling and passengers can spread the cost of their holiday with monthly payments at no extra cost when booking directly with the line.

A new partnership with children’s cookery author Annabel Karmel will see refreshed kids’ menus rolled out across dining venues and children’s tea is offered as an early dinner option.

Along with theatre shows, live bands and comedy the line offers supervised round-the-clock complimentary children’s clubs on its family-friendly ships. “Food Heroes” chef partnerships with Marco Pierre White, José Pizarro, Shivi Ramoutar and Kjartan Skjelde are popular, and wine critic Olly Smith curates an interesting selection of wines in The Glass House.

Fares include service, dining in the main restaurants and at pool-side venues, children’s clubs, babysitting and flights and transfers on fly-cruise holidays. 

1. Where does it cruise?

There’s a choice of more than 200 destinations in the British Isles, Northern Europe (including Iceland and Norway), the Mediterranean, Portugal and Spain (including the Canary Islands) and North America and the Caribbean. P&O Cruises offers World Cruises and short-break cruises to Bruges, Amsterdam, Cherbourg, St Peter Port and Hamburg.

Fly-cruise winter 2024/5 holidays to the Caribbean are available on Arvia, from Barbados or Antigua and Britannia. Britannia will offer new Caribbean fly-cruise holidays in winter 2025/26 featuring calls in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Grand Turk. 

Iona will continue to offer a programme of Spain, Portugal and Canary Islands holidays and Azura will visit Tangier for the first time, on its Canary Islands fly-cruise itinerary. In December 2025, Aurora will go on an extended 14-night northern lights cruise departing from and returning to Southampton.

In January 2025 Arcadia will sail round-trip from Southampton on a 99-night Western Circumnavigation World Cruise visiting the US, Central America, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Shorter sector fares are available to book.

2. Who does it appeal to?

Five family-friendly ships, Arvia, Iona, Britannia, Azura and Ventura have several pools, movie screens, children’s clubs and babysitting services. All fit the bill for families seeking short-haul fun and winter sun.

Performer Nicole Scherzinger is the creative force behind contemporary late night shows performed in the SkyDome on board Iona and Arvia and Gary Barlow is music director of The 710 Club on these ships.

Aurora and Arcadia cater to adults only.

3. The P&O Cruises fleet

There are seven ships in the P&O Cruises fleet and no two are the same. Do your homework before booking.

Arvia (5,200 passengers) 

The line’s newest ship offers 30 places to eat and drink and the ship’s SkyDome puts some of these plus a pool and entertainment under a retractable glass roof. Elsewhere guests will find a spa, three more pools, a swim-up bar and a 54 metre-high ropes course. Guests can pay a premium for a VIP open-deck area with cabanas, drinks and snacks and alfresco spa treatments. 

Sails to: The Caribbean, Mediterranean and Spain, Portugal and France

Iona (5,200 passengers)

Both Arvia and Iona are powered by liquified natural gas (LNG). Iona also has more than 30 places to eat and drink plus four pools and 18 whirlpool spas. She features the first gin still at sea, in collaboration with Devon’s Salcombe Gin, and live music at the 710 Club is curated by Gary Barlow.

Sails to: Norwegian fjords, Canary Islands, Northern Europe and Scandinavia 

Britannia (3,647 passengers)

Fresh from a refit ahead of her 10th anniversary in 2025, Britannia has contemporary spaces, an opulent spa and a premium open-deck Retreat area and Salon. Eleven dining venues include the intimate Limelight Club, the Epicurean and The Glass House, a Mediterranean-style tapas venue headed up by wine expert, Olly Smith and Local Food Hero, José Pizarro. 

Sails to: Caribbean, Mediterranean, Norwegian Fjords

Ventura (3,100 passengers)

Family-friendly Ventura has broad appeal. Four pools and a sports court for tennis, cricket, five-a-side and basketball will appeal to young cruisers. Children can make friends in the age-specific Reef children’s club and adults can kick back at the spa. Nine restaurants include Olly Smith’s The Glass House, The Waterside and the whole family can enjoy meals in relaxed venues such as The Beach House.

Sails to: Caribbean, Canary Islands and Spain, Portugal and France

Azura (3,100 passengers)

Family-friendly Azura is a good all-rounder and has a similar offering to sister ship Ventura. There are four pools and good sports facilities (tennis, cricket, five-a-side and basketball) and there’s cinema under the stars for all the family. The theatre hosts shows and talks and there is a small casino and a spa. Nine restaurants include The Glass House and The Waterside. Try the Indian-inspired Sindhu and The Epicurean for speciality dining. 

Sails to: The Mediterranean and Canary Islands

Aurora (1,874 passengers)

The smallest ship in the fleet has a more intimate feel and will suit those who prefer their cruising low-key. The adults-only ship has a luxurious spa and a retractable roof over her pool and two-tier Penthouse Suites for those looking for fancier cabins. The ship will enter dry dock in April 2025 for a refurbishment.

Sails to: Spain, Portugal and France, the Mediterranean and the British Isles 

Arcadia (2,094 passengers)

This is a mid-sized adults-only ship for passengers seeking fine dining and fewer on-board distractions. There’s a large spa, an art gallery, a three-tiered theatre and a boutique cinema. Arcadia is the only ship in the fleet with a Marco Pierre White restaurant, the Ocean Grill. It also has the upmarket Indian restaurant, Sindhu. Cabins are comfortable, if slightly dated; the ship was last refurbished in 2017.

Sails to: the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and a World Cruise

4. Loyalty Scheme

The P&O Cruises Peninsular Club has six tiers. Nights on board accrue points for future cruises. Benefits include priority booking and on-board credit.

5. Accessibility on board

Types of accessible cabins include fully wheelchair accessible, partially accessible and cabins suitable for a mobility scooter or profiling bed. 

This story was first published in 2023 and has been revised and updated.

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One of P&O Cruises' newest ships, Iona, has stylish suites with spacious balconies

The best cruises for solo travellers

Set sail on an independent adventure

best cruises for solo travellers

There are so many reasons you might want to travel solo : perhaps you’re single, or want to try something your friends and family don’t, such as traversing India or discovering the historic cities along the Danube . Or maybe you want some proper, away-from-it-all me-time. It could also be that travelling solo isn't out of choice, but why should a lack of a holiday companion stop you from exploring the world?

Cruise holidays are the perfect trip for solo travellers, as you can spend as much time in your own company as you wish, but you’re never truly alone. You’ll step aboard a beautiful ship , where you’ll stay for the duration of your holiday, visit lots of new places and along the way have the choice to meet and socialise with others – or not. A solo cruise offers the alluring combination of comfort and adventure, which can be essential when travelling solo, particularly for the first time.

If you’re weighing up a cruise by yourself, do be aware of solo supplements (increased cabin rates for single guests), which can prove a bit of a sting. That said, some cruise companies and agents offer fares with no single supplements .

Excited to set sail? We’ve rounded up the best cruises for solo travellers below...

A dazzling cruise for singles along the Danube

night view of budapest skyline in autumn

Can’t tempt your other half to join you on the Danube ? Sail away with those that also want to get to know a beautiful pocket of Europe on a round-trip voyage from Engelhartszell in Austria, stopping in Vienna, Budapest , Bratislava, Esztergom and Austria's Wachau Valley.

Along with brilliant ports of call, you'll get to cruise with Lucy Worsley , one of the UK's best-loved historians. Lucy will join you for a private tour of the Royal Lipizzaner Stables and Spanish Riding School in Vienna plus take part in an audience Q&A.

FIND OUT MORE

Alternatively, join us for this eight-day Danube cruise onboard the ultra-luxury S.S Maria Theresa. Stopping at the likes of Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava, Dürnstein and Passau in Germany, opulent interiors, world-class fine dining and exquisite service make this one of the most indulgent sailings around. The cherry on top? There's no single supplement. Anchors away!

A luxury Venetian cruise for solo travellers

best cruises for solo travellers

Who says you need a partner to explore Venice , a city known for its intimate alleyways and romantic gondola rides? Explore beautiful Venice and the nearby islands of Burano, Mazzorbo and Chioggia solo on this eight-day cruise aboard luxurious S.S La Venezia.

Onshore, you'll have the chance to tick off bucket-list landmarks, such as Doge's Palace, which you'll get to visit early in the morning, before the general public are let in. Onboard, you can revel in the grandeur of your ship (which is finished with early 20th century Venetian aesthetics), relax in the spa and enjoy a spritz in the bar, where you're bound to make a friend or two.

If you like the sound of the itinerary above but fancy a foodie twist thrown in, join us for an eight-day Venice cruise that includes a talk, Q&A and delectable gala dinner with much-loved chef James Martin.

A solo cruise around the Scottish Highlands

best cruises for solo travellers

New to travelling solo and don't want to stray too far? This Scottish Highland sailing is one of best cruises for solo travellers wanting to stay on UK soil.

A seven-night roundtrip sailing from Inverness in September 2024, cruise around the Highlands and islands of Scotland, and down beautiful Caledonian Canal, where you'll visit the likes Loch Ness, Loch Nevis, the Sound of Mull, Isle of Eigg and Isle of Skye.

Glistening lochs, verdant forests, rolling fields and stunning ancient ruins will be your surroundings for the most part, views of which you'll be able to enjoy from an outward-facing cabin aboard Lord of the Glens. With a maximum of just 54 passengers on the ship, this cruise is an intimate affair, so you'll have no problem striking conversation with fellow guests should you wish.

A bucket-list India cruise for single travellers

best cruises for solo travellers

A trip to India should be on everyone's bucket list and cruising around the country is a great way to see it as a solo traveller. Group shore excursions, pre-arranged transfers and comfortable accommodation make exploring on your own easy and reassuring.

This fabulous 15-day itinerary begins with a guided land tour of India's famous Golden Triangle , which comprises the cities of Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra, home to the truly breath-taking Taj Mahal. For this part of the holiday, double Michelin-starred Indian chef Atul Kochhar will join you for a talk, local food market visit and cooking demonstration.

You'll then head to Kolkata to board the elegant Ganges Voyager II for a seven-night cruise, where you'll stay in a river view stateroom with its own private balcony. As you journey down the Ganges, stops will take in Hindu temples, traditional villages, ancient architecture and more.

A life-affirming Northern Lights solo cruise

best cruises for solo travellers

Escape the British winter blues on the solo trip of a lifetime: a cruise to the Arctic Circle to witness the Northern Lights .

Departing February 2025, our 12-day Good Housekeeping cruise will sail from Bergen through the fjords of Norway and along its coastline, heading north to the Arctic, where you're almost certain to see the breath-taking aurora borealis.

On this once-in-a-lifetime voyage, you'll be travelling with the world's first Chief Aurora Chaser, Tom Kerss, who's an astronomer, astrophotographer and author. Onboard the intimate MS Midnatsol, Tom will host a series of lectures, teaching guests about stars, planets and constellations.

Along the way, your ship will stop in the likes of Trondheim, home to Nidaros Cathedral, considered one of the most sacred buildings in all of Norway, and Tromsø, where you'll learn more about the Northern Lights at the city's awe-inspiring Planetarium.

A springtime Japan cruise for solo travellers

best cruises for solo travellers

If seeing the pretty pink sakura of Japan is top of your travel to-do list then wait for no one to see this floral spectacle.

One of the best cruises for solo travellers, Good Housekeeping's 17-day spring cruise in Japan will transport you from Tokyo – one of the best places to see the cherry blossom – to the likes of Kochi, Kagoshima, Nagasaki and even buzzing Busan in South Korea on a comfortable ship.

On land, you'll be able to see 17th-century Kochi Castle, enjoy a traditional sushi dinner and take a dip in some onsen (hot springs) as part of guided group tours, while there will be opportunities to explore in your own time too, should you wish.

Departing in March 2025, you'll sail on Holland America's smart Noordam ship. Capacity is up to 1,924 guests and ideal for solo travelling – join in onboard activities or head out on deck in search of new pals, or simply sit back and people watch all by yourself.

A magnificent singles cruise from Bordeaux

beautiful view with vineyards at sunset in bordeaux, france

Solo travellers looking for maximum adventure should find a cruise with a busy itinerary, stopping somewhere new every day.

Cue our Best of Bordeaux sailing , which has no single supplement on select dates and takes in the traditional wineries and charming châteaux of Cussac Fort Médoc, Cadillac and Saint-Émilion.

Embarking from Bordeaux on beautiful S.S. Bon Voyage, there are numerous departures in 2024, but we suggest opting for a summer sailing to take advantage of sunny days in ship's outdoor infinity pool.

You may want to find fellow passengers to share the photogenic scenery with, but you’d be forgiven for wanting to soak up the views all on your own.

A solos cruise to Spain in winter

best cruises for solo travellers

If the frenzy of Christmas has you craving some alone time, set sail on a solo cruise around northern Spain this December.

A round-trip itinerary from Liverpool , embrace the festive season Spanish-style as you call at the city of Vigo, where around ten million LED bulbs make up its extensive and truly dazzling Christmas light display, and La Coruña, where you can tuck into hearty Galician seafood dishes, embark on refreshing coastal walks, and springboard to Santiago de Compostela, the finishing point of the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route.

You'll also stop in Getxo, a beautiful port town in Basque country and gateway to food and contemporary art destination Bilbao (pictured).

For this ten-day cruise, you'll sail on the elegant Bolette, which offers some downtime from all the festivities in the form of its onboard Atlantic Spa and thermal suite.

Looking for more inspiration for your next holiday? Grab a cuppa and browse our brochure packed with unique escapes.

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6 Beaches to Love This July 4 (and All Summer Long)

From Hawaii to Rhode Island, here are some of our favorite shores on which to enjoy some hard-earned R & R this Independence Day holiday.

People frolic on a coastline whose shore grows with wild grasses. The sky and the water are a tranquil blue.

By The New York Times

Perhaps you already have a favorite beach — one where already you know how to nab a free parking space, where the best shady spot is and when the soft-serve truck makes its rounds.

If you’re looking to mix it up this July 4, or throughout the summer, here are six beach destinations around the United States to inspire a new adventure.

Keep in mind that AAA projects that this Independence Day holiday period will be a record breaker . Nearly 71 million people are expected to travel 50 or more miles from home between June 29 and July 7, including more than 60 million on the roads — so be safe and leave plenty of time for the drive.

Which U.S. beach do you think is unbeatable? Let us know in the comments (or protect your secret — we get it).

Discover a refreshing gem in Rhode Island

The next time you’re sitting in traffic, inching toward the Hamptons, Cape Cod or another congested beach hot spot, consider the virtues of South County, R.I. (known officially as Washington County). This gem of the Ocean State, with 100 miles of coastline, is two and a half hours from Manhattan and one and a half hours from Boston, and it requires no planes or ferries. Between the coastal communities of Watch Hill and Charlestown, 14 public beaches beckon.

Sprint down an epic dune to sparkling Lake Michigan

Racing down the Dune Climb, a 300-foot sand dune, is one of the most popular activities in a corner of northwest Michigan called Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Kids gallop and roll down, their squeals as high-pitched as the cries of the herring gulls overhead. At the bottom you’re sweaty and breathless — but awaiting you is shimmering, sapphire-blue Lake Michigan, endless as an ocean. Just be ready for the oxygen-sucking, slipping-and-sliding clamber back uphill.

Stroll and splash along a serene beach path on Maui

The Wailea Beach Path, which meanders along Maui’s southern coast, reflects the island’s almost contradictory personas: On one side of the path, opulent resorts flaunt swim-up bars and nightly torch-lighting ceremonies. A subtler drama unfolds on the opposite side, where native flora like honey-scented naio bushes, spiky hala trees and hibiscus blossoms flourish along the rocky shoreline. Cool off along the way with dips in the waves.

Take a loop to hidden Oregon beaches

West Coast road trippers who stick to U.S. 101, the main north-south coastal highway, miss out on something spectacular. The Three Capes Scenic Loop winds 40 miles along windswept cliffs, through towering forests of centuries-old Sitka spruce and past charming beaches, including those along Netarts Bay, home to a string of oyster farms.

Seek your “perfect beach” on Puerto Rico’s northern coast

Ever visited a beach so impossibly sublime, you fear it may not live up your fond memory of it? For the writer Mya Guarnieri, that superb stretch of golden sand was Punta Caracoles Beach (as it is listed on some maps) in Puerto Rico, about an hour’s drive west of San Juan. Her journey to rediscover it took her to several others on the island’s northern coast — including La Poza del Obispo, whose natural rock formation creates a crystal clear pool that is perfect for floating — that could become your perfect beach, too.

Pick your paradise along Florida’s 30A

The coast along State Road 30A — a 24-mile stretch of the Florida Panhandle — is famous for its soft “sugar sand,” pulverized quartz crystal washed downstream from Appalachia thousands of years ago. Dig your toes in at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, which offers three miles of undeveloped coast. Look for the sail-shaped dune rising 25 feet that gave the park its name. (Before swimming at beaches along 30A, visitors should check the beach for warning flags that may indicate dangerous conditions.)

Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram and sign up for our weekly Travel Dispatch newsletter to get expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation. Dreaming up a future getaway or just armchair traveling? Check out our 52 Places to Go in 2024 .

Open Up Your World

Considering a trip, or just some armchair traveling here are some ideas..

52 Places:  Why do we travel? For food, culture, adventure, natural beauty? Our 2024 list has all those elements, and more .

Boston:  A destination steeped in history, as ever, has reinvented itself with outdoor spaces for drinking, dining and recreating, and more change in the air .

Spain:  By welcoming visitors with glorious scents and a natural beauty that rivals Provence in France, the annual lavender harvest has revitalized the medieval town of Brihuega .

Santa Fe:  Every spring, hundreds of bicyclists gather in the New Mexico city to ride through a high-desert landscape  rich in art, history and Indigenous culture.

Lausanne:  A new arts district, stylish restaurants and a museum that pays homage to the Olympics greet visitors to this Swiss city , home to the International Olympic Committee.

Orient Express:  The luxury version of this classic train journey costs $50,000. But for $1,000 or less, you can book the trip from Paris to Istanbul yourself .

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The Best Prime Day Travel Deals 2024

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Many, or all, of the products featured on this page are from our advertising partners who compensate us when you take certain actions on our website or click to take an action on their website. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

It’s Christmas in July! At least, that’s what Amazon wants you to believe. Amazon Prime Day, an annual two-day sale of products for Prime subscription members, has turned into a commercial holiday for many companies — even travel service providers. Airlines, cruises and rental car companies are piggybacking on the buying frenzy, offering a slate of deals for travelers.

And you might not even have to wait until July 16 and 17. Some early Prime Day travel deals are already up on Amazon.

Here are some of the best 2024 Prime Day travel deals we’ve seen so far:

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines has partnered with Amazon for an early Prime Day deal: 50% off of buying Southwest Rapid Rewards points. With this discount, the cost per point equals NerdWallet’s valuations .

These are the second most valuable U.S. airline miles. Expect each point to cost and be worth about 1.5 cents when redeeming them for award flights. Since the sale essentially lets you buy points at face value, this would be an excellent time to top off your Rapid Rewards account if you don’t already have a Southwest credit card or a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® (which earns Chase Ultimate Rewards® points that transfer to Southwest).

» Learn more: 4 times it makes sense to buy airline miles

Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line is giving Prime members up to 40% off and reduced deposits per person, starting at $50. At the time of writing, we found 4-day Caribbean cruises starting at $334 per person for double occupancy staterooms. This is part of Prime Day’s early deals, so you can start booking your Carnival Cruise now.

Rental cars

Avis , Sixt and Turo are also participating in early Prime Day deals. Avis is offering up to 30% off car rentals booked through the Amazon Prime Day travel deals page and a gift card worth 10%. Meanwhile, Sixt is offering up to 15% off, and the Turo deals vary by host.

You might even be able to use this sale to help you decide on where to go. Turo recently unveiled a new “Anywhere” feature that lets you choose a dream rental car first and then narrow down your destination .

Experiences

Tour operator Viator is offering 10% off select travel experiences. Book through the Amazon Prime Day travel deals page.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024 :

Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

1x-5x 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.

60,000 Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

1.5%-5% Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

Up to $300 Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

2x-5x Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options.

75,000 Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

holidays and cruises

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Cliff Greece Village and Beach Santorini

ADVENTURE ON THE AEGEAN

Greece & greek isles cruises.

Discover idyllic beaches and ancient ruins in the birthplace of poetry and art with a cruise to Greece and the Greek Isles.

Cruise to Greece and Greek Isles where temples, amphitheaters and villages preserved in volcanic ash still reveal the mysteries of the past. Enjoy dramatic sunsets across translucent waters while exploring the white cliffs of Milos, or transport yourself to the ancient past at ruins found on nearly every Greek island. The Temple of Aphaia looms over Aegina, while Delos Island hosts the incredible Terrace of the Lions. You'll find the world-famous Acropolis on Rhodes Island and the Akrotiri on Santorini. But don't forget to watch the sun rise over the Aegean while visiting the renowned windmills of Mykonos. Discover the magic with a Greece and Greek Isles cruise.

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Save Big With These Greece And Greek Isles Cruise Deals

Explore more while spending less with Greece and Greek Isles cruise deals onboard our best cruise ships

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Corfu Cave Beach Rock Greece

ISLAND EXPLORER

Get in touch with traditional customs and soak in the Mediterranean waves on the sun-soaked Greek Isles onboard the best Greece and Greek Isles cruises. 

Restaurant  Tables Near Ocean in Santorini, Greece

VIVA LA VILLAGE LIFE

Santorini only has villages, not towns, and these diverse areas provide a firsthand glimpse into Greek life. Because the whole island is less than 28 square miles, it's not difficult to take in most of the sights from the looming cliffs and still have time for shopping, eating and some down time on the Aegean Sea.

Greece Marine Life and Scuba Diver

DIVE TO THE DEPTHS

Greece's underwater worlds complete with seahorses, eels and plenty of fish are almost too perfect not to grab your scuba gear and take the plunge. Santorini has an excellent dive center that will get you into the water fast with instructors who will guide you through the warm Mediterranean waters.

Greece Nea Kameni Volcano

THE THRILL OF THE CLIMB

Another great thing to do while in Greece are the daily tours of the volcano Nea Kameni, which is located on an uninhabited island close to Santorini, begin with a short boat ride, followed by a climb up to the volcanic craters that takes just over an hour. The tour then takes in hot springs and mud baths, where you can recharge your batteries.

Greek Isles Archaeological Site

UNEARTH THE PAST

Go on an archaeological exploration of the ancient world's most renowned sites, from Bronze Age excavations to temples dedicated to the Greek gods with your cruise to Greece and Greek Isles. 

Greek Isles Ancient Ruins

ANCIENT ADVENTURES

The largest of the Greek islands, Crete is both a beach paradise and home to some of the country's premier archaeological finds and attractions. Visit Greece and tour the Palace at Knossos, built by the Minoans more than 4,000 years ago, before exploring the Archaeological Museum, where the treasures of Knossos — including sculptures, jewelry and mosaics — are exhibited.

Akrotiri Historical Site Santorini Greece

Excavations of Akrotiri on Santorini Island date back to the Manoan Bronze Age, where the settlement was preserved in ash following a volcanic eruption in 1627 B.C. The site is still being excavated today, and you can witness history firsthand by exploring the vast settlement and the enormous ongoing archaeological dig.

Ancient Greece Ruins Delos Apollo and Artemis

GUIDED BY GODS

Delos is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world, and it's also the mythological birthplace of the sun god, Apollo, and his twin, Artemis, goddess of the moon and the hunt. You can spend hours exploring the ruins and learning about Greek history on the most sacred place of worship in Ancient Greece. Even the nearby old port has its own charm, with an amphitheater, sanctuary and various dwellings waiting to be explored.

Beach Cave in Greece

AN AEGEAN ADVENTURE

This is not your average summer vacation in Europe — it’s an all-out culture trip you’ll never forget. Offering longer stays in port, Odyssey of the Seas℠ takes you deeper into the culture, history and natural beauty of some of Europe’s most incredible destinations. Cruise to Greece and explore the most beautiful isles in the Aegean.

Sunset in Santorini, Greece

GO FOR GREEK

There’s nothing like spending a summer in Greece, and an adventure on Odyssey of the Seas℠ , is the perfect way to experience it. Scope picture-perfect sunsets in Santorini. Tour a local vineyard in Crete. And spend a day soaking up the sun on a golden-sand beach in Mykonos . You’re in for adventure no matter how you choose to isle away the time.

EXPLORE CRUISES TO SANTORINI

The ancient city of Ephesus Selcuk Izmir Turkey

EXPERIENCE MORE OF EUROPE

Experience the journey of a lifetime on a 12-night cruise on Odyssey of the Seas℠. Explore the stunning landscapes and rich history of Greece, Turkey, and Italy. Indulge in exquisite cuisine, relax in luxury, and embark on unforgettable shore excursions, all while enjoying the world-class amenities of our cruise ship.

EXPLORE EUROPE CRUISES

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO Greece and Greek Isles Cruises Insider

You'll find excellent weather on the Greek islands throughout the year, but the best time to visit is between April and October, when temperatures range from the low 70s to the mid 80s, and the sun is nearly guaranteed.

Countless ruins like the Acropolis and the Akrotiri overlook the world-class beaches that are around nearly every corner on the islands. Whether you're more interested in a private cove on Zakynthos or a central beach with a party scene on Mykonos, the options are limitless.

While you will have no difficulty finding a wealth of fish and seafood on the islands, the history of trade on the islands create amazing international cuisine.

563091901

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Happy woman with open arms stands on the viewpoint and enjoys the panorama of Kas resort town of the Mediterranean sea in Turkey

10 Facts About Turkey the Country

Planning to visit Turkey? We have the top 10 facts about Turkey the country, giving everything, you need to know to plan the best vacation trip.

Explorer of the Seas Docked at the Valleta Malta Port

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Pulpí Geode lined with beautiful crystals in the crystal caves in Spain

Traveling to the Crystal Caves in Spain

Visit the crystal caves in Spain as you take a travel vacation to uncover a view of the magnificent Pulpí Geode. Enjoy a tour guide tailored to you.

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The Ultimate Sparkling Wine Cheat Sheet. Before you say "cheers" with your next glass of sparkling wine, take a moment to learn about what's inside the glass you're clinking.

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Planning the best European summer vacations? We’ve curated the ultimate guide to visiting some of the most relaxing and legendary destinations to travel to in Europe.

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The Spookiest Places in Europe for Ghost Hunters | Royal Caribbean Cruises

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Seeking scary places to visit? These are some of the spookiest places in Europe, from the streets of London to the forests of Transylvania.

View of Big Ben over Westminster Bridge on a sunny day. United Kingdom.

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Discover the most fun Big Ben facts, plus facts about the royal family and its connection to Elizabeth Tower and the Houses of Parliament.

Athens (Piraeus), Greece, View of city and Acropolis

Best Things To Do in Athens, Greece, on Your Cruise Vacation

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A Barcelona vacation is always a good idea, but arriving at this iconic port of call by sea is a truly unique experience. Here's why.

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An epic vacation doesn't have to mean depleting all your vacation days. Can you take days off without PTO? Yes! Here are some ways to do it.

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Berlin for Oktoberfest is one of the world's best parties. Here's everything you need to know before you go on your cruise to Berlin.

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Hamburg, Germany, Christmas Market

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View seen when visiting the famous Millennium Bridge in London. UK

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From Notre Dame to the iconic La Sagrada Família, here are some of the most famous European cathedrals.

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Pablo Picasso Facts and How He Influenced the Art World | Royal Caribbean Cruises

Headed to Europe on a cruise for art immersion? Enjoy these Pablo Picasso facts for your vacation travels and save your favorite destinations.

View of a Dock and a Fjord, Flam, Norway

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How to Get Travel Tuesday Cruise Deals | Royal Caribbean Cruises

Travel Tuesday cruise deals go live at midnight on Cyber Monday, and are designed to bring you discounts on experiences that you'll remember for a lifetime.

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Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy Aerial View

Enjoying Breakfast in Rome

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Singapore City Landscape at Sunset

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Spain Barcelona La Sagrada Familia Interior

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the golden fountain of the Piazza de Spagna at sunrise. Europe.

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There's more to a European cruise vacation than just packing your bags! Plan the perfect trip on your travel getaway to visit the best places in Europe.

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Couple's Weekend Getaway | Paris Vacation

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Greece Athens Family Selfie with Greek Temple in the Background

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Kotor Montenegro Castle During Sunset

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Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy Roman Forum

Italian Architecture | Italy Tours

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6 Popular Farm Foods from Spain

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Norway Mountain Landscape

Wildlife You'll See on Your Norway Vacation

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Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey, Celsus Library Close Up

10 Best Places to Visit in Turkey

Cruising to Ephesus soon? Here are the 10 best places to visit in Turkey, with something for every traveler.

The Arena and Palazzo Barbieri at night in Verona. Italy.

Italian Music Culture & its Famous Operas

Plan a trip to Italy to discover opera as the largest influence on Italian music culture. Create an unforgettable getaway vacation cruise!

Plan the Best London Day Trips Ever

Set sail on a getaway cruise vacation and discover the best things to do in London while enjoying your day trips. Experience history, Harry Potter, and more!

Greece Fira Principal Town View

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Take a moment to make the most of your Greek island hopping travels, reveal the best places to visit in Greece. Plan your unique vacation with ease.

Visiting the famous Stonehenge landmark. British Isles

Visit Famous Landmarks in the British Isles

Uncover the most famous landmarks while making the most of your British Isles vacation. Adventure awaits those who seek it, enjoy a tailored guide.

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How to Choose the Best Olive Oil

Uncover the secrets to having the best olive oil in the world as well as the know-how on all the many types and their uses. Enjoy a guide tailored to you.

View of the Salvador Dali House in Spain in a coastal hillside. Spain

Visiting the Salvador Dali Museum in Spain

Explore the Salvador Dali Museum and Garden in Spain as you make the most of your cultural traveling adventures. Enjoy a guide tailored to your vacation.

Original Italian Gelato

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Colosseum, Rome, Italy

Gladiators of the Roman Colosseum

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Turkish desert baklava with peanut,  pistachio, hand on fork and Turkish tea

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Turkish desserts are as pivotal to the experience of traveling in Turkey as a cruise through the Bosphorus Strait. Enjoy a guide tailored to your vacation.

Colorful hot air balloon riders hovering over the rock formations of Cappadocia, Turkey.

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366817340

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Closeup view of Urquhart Castle.

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Olive orchards often offer tours and tastings, so grab the chance to try it fresh from the tree.

Santorini is known for one-day yacht tours that give you a unique view of the island and its neighbors.

Ftelia Beach, on the northern side of Mykonos, is the place for watersports and windsurfing, as well as those sunsets everyone dreams about.

CUISINE EVERYTHING'S BETTA WITH A LITTLE FETA

The Greek islands are known for famous foods like feta cheese, but the location is also home to a slew of other delicacies. Olive oil plays a big part in the local cuisine, as does local produce such as tomatoes and other Mediterranean vegetables. Feast on feta me meli, baked feta wrapped in filo, or choriatiki, greek salad with tons of vegetables. While meat such as lamb, pork and veal are found everywhere, especially in gyros or keftethes (meatballs), fish and seafood are the undisputed stars, due to proximity to the sea.

Greek Feta Cheese and Kalamata Olives

SAY CHEESE!

Kefalonia is home to the legendary tiropita cheese puff, which is basically cheese baked in cheese, although you'll also find puffs filled with vegetables, particularly spinach, and even sometimes meat. You can also find local cheeses like feta, manuri or kefalotiri everywhere.

Greek Kreatopita Meat Pie

EYES ON THE PIES

Meat pies filled with lamb, veal or sometimes pork are called kreatopita, and they are cooked with wine and tomatoes, garlic, cinnamon and nutmeg, creating a medley of flavors. There's also a variety called pastitsio that combines pasta and meat.

Greek Fresh Seafood Platter

FLEX YOUR MUSSELS

Your choices are endless when it comes to fresh seafood prepared according to local tradition. Try a simple shrimp and pasta dish, or go wild with octapodi kokkinisto, octopus in tomato sauce during your Greece cruise.

RELATED PORTS

The beautiful Greece and Greek Isles cruise ports, from the in-progress archaeological digs at Delos to the Old Towns of Crete and Rhodes, the Greek Islands are brimming with history. And while it's wonderful to explore the past, the beaches of Mykonos and the architecture of Santorini and Athens are just a few of the many pleasures that await you.

Argostoli, Greece Kalamia Beach

Argostoli, Greece

Mykonos, Greece Windmills From Restaurant

Mykonos, Greece

Santorini, Greece Oia White Blue

Santorini, Greece

Chania, Crete Pristine Beach

Chania (Souda), Crete

Katakolon, Greece, Ancient Pilar Ruins

Olympia (Katakolon), Greece

Athens (Piraeus), Greece, View of city and Acropolis

Athens (Piraeus), Greece

Rhodes, Greece, Beach

Rhodes, Greece

Corfu, Greece, Paleokastritsa Beach

Corfu, Greece

Aerial view of Porto Zorro Azzurro beach in Zakynthos (Zante) island, in Greece

Zakynthos, Greece

Saint Paul cathedral in Thessaloniki, Greece

Thessaloniki, Greece

Skiathos Old Port with a Blue Sky, Skiathos, Greece

Skiathos, Greece

Street view of Pirgi, a village in Chios, Greece

Chios, Greece

Related Destinations

Beautiful, Mediterranean Coastal Town

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Carnival

Keyword / Category

Location Select Miami Miramar

Work Style Select Hybrid Onsite Remote

REMOTE | Personal HOLIDAY Planner Agent

Company overview.

At Carnival Cruise Line, our mission is to create safe, fun, and memorable vacations at a great value. As a valued member of our team, you'll actively contribute to developing exceptional travel experiences and unforgettable moments, every single day. Your Carnival journey begins here!

Our Culture Essentials

Joining the Carnival team means embracing our six Culture Essentials, which are the cornerstone values shaping our identity, principles, and actions. These beliefs and behaviors not only define who we are but also unite us as a team, guiding us in decision-making, fostering relationships, tackling challenges, and reaching milestones. These culture essentials propel us toward a shared vision of success, ensuring a collective effort in shaping our future.

  • Respect & Protect
  • Listen & Learn
  • Communicate

Responsibilities

Job description.

We are seeking  REMOTE | Personal Holiday Planner Agent for a start date of Monday, August 19, 2024. Currently considering residents from ONLY Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Texas.

Essential Functions:

  • Promote and sell Carnival Cruise Line cruises for Australia, by initiating contact with guests and acting on leads and/or prospects by phone both inbound and outbound calls. Required to meet or exceed assigned sales goals. 
  • Present cruise products and make travel recommendations. 
  • Establish and maintain customer relationships by delivering excellent customer service such as making changes, upgrades and additions to current bookings. 
  • Continue the relationship building of past and current guests. Actively solicit new business. 
  • Maintain customer database of new and existing accounts to close sales. 
  • Attend and participate in mandatory training and meetings as required with their coach and management team on a regular and Ad-hoc basis. 

Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

  • ONLY considering residents from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Texas.
  • Preferred sales experience.
  • Cruise line or travel industry experience a plus. 
  • Proficient in Microsoft Suite including Teams and Outlook. Ability to learn and adapt to new technology. 
  • Excellent attendance and punctuality. 
  • Must have the ability to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • Ability to quickly learn and adapt to other country business practices for calling and adhering to customer telemarketing standards, (i.e. Australia). 
  • Excellent communications skills both written and verbal. 
  • Ability to be persuasive, build rapport quickly and easily. 
  • Ability to overcome objections. 
  • (EST) 11:00 AM - 08:00 PM on the 1st day ONLY and forward 
  • (EST) 01:00 PM - 10:00 PM,  Monday through Friday for the duration of the training
  • ( EST ) 07:00 PM - 04:00 AM Sunday through Thursday / ( AU GMT+10 ) 09:00 AM to 06:00 PM Monday through Friday
  • The starting hourly pay rate for this role is $15/hour. 
  • Currently considering residents from ONLY Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Texas.
  • Please upload an updated resume (PDF Version) to be considered for this role.
  • FOR INTERNAL CANDIDATES : Candidate cannot be on a verbal, written or final warning in place. All applicants must advise their Coach/Manager of their interest in applying for the role.

Carnival provides comprehensive and innovative benefits to meet your needs, including:

  • Cost-effective medical, dental and vision plans
  • Employee Assistance Program and other mental health resources
  • Additional programs include company paid term life insurance and disability coverage
  • 401(k) plan that includes a company match
  • Employee Stock Purchase plan
  • Holidays – All full-time and part-time with benefits employees receive days off for 7 company-wide holidays, plus an additional floating holiday to be taken at the employee’s discretion.
  • Vacation Time – All full-time employees at the manager and below level start with 14 days/year; director and above level start with 19 days/year.  All employees gain additional vacation time with further tenure.
  • Sick Time – All full-time employees receive 80 hours of sick time each year. 
  • Complementary stand-by cruises, employee discounts on confirmed cruises, plus special rates for family and friends
  • Personal and professional learning and development resources including tuition reimbursement

ETHICS & COMPLIANCE:

In addition to other duties/functions, this position requires full commitment and support for promoting ethical and compliant culture. More specifically, this position requires integrity, honesty, and respectful treatment of others, as well as a willingness to speak up when they see misconduct or have concerns.

In addition to other duties/functions,this position requires full commitment and support for promoting ethical and compliant culture. More specifically, this position requires integrity, honesty, and respectful treatment of others, as well as a willingness to speakup when they see misconduct orhave concerns.

CarnivalCruise Line is the most popular cruise brand in North America and operates a fleet of ships designed to foster exceptionally safe, fun and memorable vacation experiences at an outstanding value. Our employees have a responsibility to be accountable for all actions. We consider the environment in all aspects of our business and have a responsibility to put safety and sustainability first. We live and share a positive attitude which is based on fostering an environment of inclusion, trust, a willingness to listen, openness and integrity. Doing this helps us to achieve our ultimate goal, which is to include FUN in everything we do! Speaking of fun, we are officially certified as a Great Place to Work aboard our ships as well as in our global corporate headquarters!

Carnival Corporation & plc and Carnival Cruise Line is an equal employment opportunity/affirmative action employer. In this regard, it does not discriminate against any qualified individual on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin,religion, sexual orientation, age,marital status, mental, physical orsensory disability, or any other classification protected by applicable local, state, federal, and/or international law. 

Employee Benefits

Hybrid work environment.

Empowering work-life integration and flexible opportunities for your personal and career success

Wellness Programs

Comprehensive employer wellness programs featuring mental health support and fitness options, including an on-site gym

Cruise Benefits

An array of qualified complimentary and heavily discounted cruise options for the ultimate dream getaway

Parental Programs

Generous parental leave time and adoption assistance programs

Retirement Plan

Secure your future with our exceptional Traditional and Roth 401(k) options complemented by valuable company contributions

Employee Stock Purchase

Invest in tomorrow with the opportunity to purchase Carnival shares at a discounted rate from their fair market value

In addition to the above, we offer PTO and company holidays as well as a variety of medical, dental, and voluntary plans

In our virtual contact center, we're all about unlimited growth opportunities and creating a supportive, inclusive environment. We believe in fostering professional development and providing our team members with the tools and resources they need to excel in their roles. Our community values diversity, ensuring that everyone feels respected and supported in a welcoming atmosphere where personal and professional growth knows no limits. Above all, we're committed to delivering an exceptional guest experience, making customer satisfaction a top priority in everything we do.

holidays and cruises

I love the variety in my work at Carnival. Each day brings new challenges that require creative thinking. Collaborating with different team members on projects keeps things fresh and interesting, making every day unique and exciting. Moreover, being part of Carnival means being part of a culture that values initiative and fosters continuous improvement. This sense of empowerment fuels my passion for what I do and inspires me to strive for excellence every day.

Miguel Fleet Technical Document Center Manager Summit Seeker

holidays and cruises

Carnival is a great place to learn and grow.

Tyrone Lost Mail Clerk Chess Master

holidays and cruises

Carnival’s culture is fun, welcoming, vibrant, flexible, fast-paced, diverse, and innovative. Carnival welcomes guests from all over the world to sail on our ships. Our crew members are caring and make the guest experience awesome. The fun continues to connect shoreside where I have an opportunity to interact with employees from all levels of the organization to assist them with their HR questions. From the guest to shoreside experience, we embrace the FUN!

Annelys HR Services and Shoreside Immigration Supervisor Fitness Guru

holidays and cruises

Carnival has been instrumental in my personal growth by providing opportunities to step out of my comfort zone and develop essential skills like flexibility and teamwork. Professionally, their commitment to continuous learning and career development has empowered me to take on new challenges and advance in my field.

Conchita Senior Revenue Business Analyst Culinary Explorer Restaurant Explorer

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IMAGES

  1. What You Need To Know Before You Book Your First Cruise Holiday

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