20/04/2024 7:59 AM

Torontoshabab

Tour The Wise Choice

Holiday Cruises: 5 Festive Voyages Through Wintry Escapes and Tropical Getaways

Condé Nast Traveler

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.

Richard Sidey

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

Michel Verdure

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.