A Christmas Cruise is a spectacular way to spend the festive season. Is there anything more magical than sailing around on a grand ocean liner?

Many cruise lines offer sailings on the big day itself, but the month of December sees a host of Christmassy cruises put on. Whether you want to be traditional and visit the Christmas markets in Cologne or be unconventional and enjoy some winter sun in the Caribbean, here is our pick of the six best Christmas cruises for 2019.

Christmas Cruises: Budapest
Experience the magic of Budapest at Christmas

 

Bright lights in Budapest

Make your Christmas even more magical by celebrating it on one of the most beautiful waterways in the world. Visiting the Christmas markets of Budapest, Vienna and Salzburg, plus sailing down the breathtaking Wachau Valley, Tauck is offering a 7-night ‘Holiday Magic: Danube Family River Cruise’ aboard MS Savor, from Regensburg to Budapest. Bring the children, let your hair down and truly get into the Christmas spirit.

7-night Holiday Magic: Danube Family River Cruise on MS Savor, from Regensburg to Budapest, departing on 22 December 2019, from £3,140 including flights (£2,800 for children aged 12 and under), tauck.co.uk

Christmas cheer in Cologne

Get in the festive spirit by enjoying a whirlwind tour of the most magical Christmas markets in Europe. Soak up the Gothic architecture of Cologne and make your way around Frankfurt, with its 200 Christmas market stalls and thousands of twinkling lights. You’ll return home in time for Christmas, with gallons of festive cheer.

6-night The Rhine’s Enchanting Christmas Markets cruise A-Rosa Silva, round trip from Cologne, departing 6 December (by coach from UK) or 7 December (rail/air), from £699, shearings.com

Christmas cruises: Frankfurt Christmas market
Frankfurt’s dazzling Christmas market has over 200 vendors

 

Presents from Provence

Provence for Christmas? Why not? Go on a French, festive adventure with Croisi Europe, sailing from Avignon around Arles and Tarascon. Experience the provincial Christmas markets and visit a candle factory, guaranteed to get you in the festive mood.

4-night ‘Christmas Traditions of Provence’ cruise, round trip from Avignon via Arles and Tarascon, departing 5 December, from £594, croisieurope.com

Delights on the Danube

The Blue Danube is undeniably romantic and magical, which means it’s the perfect location for Christmas cruise. Luxurious AmaWaterways is taking passengers on a seven-night Christmas markets adventure, showing the festive best of Austria, Germany, Hungary and Slovakia, while travelling aboard the brand new, uber spacious AmaMagna.

7-night ‘Christmas Markets on the Danube’ cruise on AmaMagna from Vilshofen to Budapest, departing on 1 December, from £1,951 including flights, amawaterways.co.uk

Christmas cruises: Caribbean Coast
Christmas at home, or Christmas in the Caribbean?

 

Caribbean dream

Who wouldn’t want to spend Christmas Day in the Caribbean? This ultimate Eastern Caribbean Holiday Cruise departs from Florida’s Fort Lauderdale and sails around Puerto Rico and the British Virgin Islands, before docking in Tortola for Christmas Day. Forgo the turkey for cocktails on the beach, before sailing to the Bahamas and back to Florida.

7-night Eastern Caribbean Holiday Cruise on Celebrity Equinox, departing on 21 December 2019, from £849 cruise only, celebritycruises.co.uk

Sparkling Southeast Asia

Get away from it all by escaping the Christmas madness, and cold, to the sprawling beaches, glittering megacities and bustling food markets of Southeast Asia. Sailing from Singapore, with its world-class shopping and cosmopolitan vibe, you’ll head on a tour of Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia, spending Christmas Day at sea off the coast of Ko Samui.

11-day Southeast Asia with Solar Eclipse cruise on Sapphire Princess, round-trip from Singapore, departing on 17 December 2019, from £799 cruise only, princess.com