Celebrate the Holiday Season in the Caribbean with Oceania Cruises

Author: Olivia Sharpe

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Cruise the Caribbean and open your presents while living in the lap of luxury on one of Oceania Cruises' 2022/23 itineraries

While snow and icy cold nights are often seen as the perfect accompaniment to the Christmas season, for others it’s all about escaping the wintry weather for a distinctly sunnier festive period.

The Caribbean is one of the top choices for those who fall into the latter category, and if you’re reading this and thinking, ‘yes, that’s a bit of me’, you should consider a Christmas and New Year voyage with Oceania Cruises.

The cruise line has a comprehensive programme for 2022/23, sailing on Sirena, Marina, Insignia and Riviera. Ranging from seven to 22 days in duration, voyages are scheduled to depart from Miami and Bridgetown.

And, with direct flights to Barbados, it’s truly never been easier to pack your bags and presents and end the year on a high with Oceania Cruises.

The big hitters and smaller ports

Bridgetown, Port of Spain, Oranjestad, Castries, St Kitts and many more. That’s a small sample of the destinations Oceania Cruises has to offer for 2022/23. These famous ports of call are well known for their lush and colourful backdrops.

Bridgetown, for example, is a city of cane fields, exquisite gardens and glorious beaches, while Port of Spain, another capital, is a cosmopolitan setting with a vibrant beat. Then there’s the colourful Dutch colonial architecture of Oranjestad, first settled back in 1796.

However, Oceania Cruises also takes you to the smaller ports. One such port is Gustavia, St Barts. Home to the rich and famous and rarely visited by cruise ships due to its small harbour, Gustavia has some beautiful beaches, great snorkelling and swimming, amazing homes, high-end boutiques and one of the smallest, scariest airports to land into in the world – which you can view from viewpoints.

Making memories on land

As with any Oceania Cruises' itinerary, much of the focus is what happens on land.

The cruise line’s exclusive excursions are designed to showcase the lives of the local people, giving you the opportunity to look beyond what review websites say and immerse yourself in a destination.

You could spend Christmas Day wandering through the city of San Juan, enjoying an in-depth tour of Old San Juan to learn about the legend of Cristo Chapel, or on the cruise line's 18-day 'Golden Gala' cruise, why not celebrate the dawn of a new year with a walk through the old town of Cartagena.

In Castries, you can look forward to time at the open-air market, where farmers have been bringing locally grown fruits, vegetables and spices for nearly 100 years. Let the aromas fill your lungs as you explore the stalls offering an array of fruit and veg, spices and homemade trinkets.

Next, you might decide to head to the residential area of the Cap Estate, built on a former sugar cane plantation. Here, you’ll set up for a cooking class to learn how to prepare authentic Saint Lucian cuisine.

Meanwhile, on the cruise line's 12-day 'Alluring Caribbean' voyage, you can explore the butterfly island of Guadeloupe, in particular the city of Pointe-à-Pitre.

Get your swimming gear ready, as here Oceania Cruises will take you to the Grand Cul-de-Sac Marine Nature Reserve for a snorkelling expedition. The reef, a Unesco World Biological Reserve, is home to countless species of fish, sponges and crustaceans. What makes this extra special is the fact the port of call is on 31 December ­– so a very different New Year’s Eve celebration.

St. George's, Grenada, will welcome you with the smell of the cinnamon and nutmeg as you prepare to dock on the 12-day 'Island Jubilee' cruise on Sirena – a tour of the spice estates is a must, as is the verdant Sunnyside Garden, described as a botanical oasis that overlooks the city.

On the cruise line's 'Crystalline Caribbean' 10-day voyage – again on Sirena and departing 20 December 2022 – you’ll sail from Bridgetown, roundtrip, and spend a sea day to get accustomed to your new home for the next week and a half, in preparation for Gustavia; St John’s, Antigua; Îles Des Saintes, Guadeloupe; Roseau, Dominica; Fort de France, Martinique; Castries, St Lucia; Kingstown, St Vincent, and Port of Spain.

This cruise, which incorporates Christmas Day in Roseau, is perhaps the finest example of Oceania Cruises' Caribbean offering, with plenty of island-hopping, one sea day and landmark destinations interspersed with some lesser-known, but equally magical, port calls.

With all Oceania Cruises sailings, you can receive the OLife package, featuring free airfare, plus the option to choose one other great benefit, such as free shore excursions, a free beverage package or free shipboard credit.

All Oceania Cruises' ships sailing the 2022/23 Caribbean programme offer the finest in luxury amenities and a small-ship, intimate atmosphere. On board you can expect spacious staterooms, well-appointed public spaces and fine dining as standard.

Visit oceaniacruises.com for more information.