Christmas River Cruise – An Excellent Alternative To A Traditional Christmas

Whenever someone mentions Christmas, the first thing that springs to mind is a gathering with your family, at home. You have gifts, you have the holiday atmosphere, and it’s all in all a great time of the year. However, that’s pretty traditional, and many of us actually want to replace that with something a bit unconventional.

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If you’re one of those people who want to swap that traditional Christmas atmosphere for something else, you might want to consider a Christmas river cruise. For example, you could visit the Komodo national park, or have a tour on the Amazon or Mekong rivers. When it comes to river cruises in Asia, it’s usually the months from October to May that are best, due to the rainy season that may affect your experience.

So, what can you expect from a river cruise? Why is it a good alternative to a traditional Christmas? Let’s find out.

You get to visit a lot of interesting places

When you think about a cruise, many people’s first thought is the ocean. And while there’s plenty of things to do on an ocean cruise, an ocean cruise mostly consists of long days spent out on the open water, with occasional stops to visit popular port destinations.

With a river cruise, things are a bit different. The rivers mean that you’ll be near land most of the time, and you’ll be able to visit a lot of locations as you go. You’ll actually spend quite a lot of time visiting tourist locations, from national parks to interesting cities and safari locations. You will get a lot of time to spend there, as river cruises are more focused on that instead of you spending time on the boat itself.

Another thing with river cruises is the fact that most (if not all) of the excursions you can attend are completely optional. You often even have multiple choices, so you can decide what you want to do with your time. Or, you can just take a nap if you’re tired.

You will meet a lot of new people

The other main difference between an ocean cruise and a river cruise is that with river cruises usually use much smaller boats, and there’s less people on them. However, they’re also more crowded, and you’ve got a lot more opportunities to interact with the other passengers on the cruise. Not only do you run into people all the time as you’re walking around the boat itself, but the activities on the ship are made to keep you hanging out with people.

For example, you’ll find that formal dinners and events on the boats will put you on a table with others you don’t know. The buffet and bars are often made in such a way that you have new people around you at all time. This is a major reason why many people opt for river cruises, especially solo travelers who want to expand their group of friends.

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However, it must be said that for people that don’t have a good tolerance for crowds, this might actually be a con. You might not be able to avoid that couple that insists on you having dinner again, and you’ll have to put up with that.

You will be away from the typical Christmas craze

While some enjoy all the Christmas atmosphere where everyone is in that Christmas mood, it’s no secret that others actually don’t find it that attractive, and would rather avoid that crowd if possible. If you’re one of those folks that actually want a break from that craze, a Christmas river cruise can be the perfect vacation for you.

Aside from visiting new places and meeting new people, you will have plenty of time to spend on that boat in a relaxed atmosphere. Whether you want to chill in your cabin or have a glass of good wine in the ship’s restaurant, you will enjoy every moment of the cruise.

You get to have a vacation without the stress of organizing one

The paradox with vacations is that they do offer relaxation, but organizing them is pretty stressful. When it comes to river cruises, all you need to do is choose an itinerary, pay, and show up on embarkation day. That’s it. You can also choose optional excursions and activities, but you don’t have to.

You do get the benefits of a vacation – time away from home, new places, new people, a relaxed atmosphere on the boat, but those hours of booking your accommodation, making an itinerary yourself, and then worrying whether everything is going go according to plan are all gone. All you’ve got to do is show up and enjoy!

Countdown of The Best Cruise Destinations From The UK

I have been into cruises for around 5 years now and for me, they truly are the ultimate way to take a holiday. Something which surprised me when I first started taking cruises was the incredible number of destinations, far and wide, which you are able to travel to. I generally take my cruises from Southampton which is one of the UK’s busiest ports. If you haven’t considered a cruise before then I would really urge you to give it a try. Assuming that you are going to go on a cruise from Southampton like myself, here are just a handful of the wonderful destinations which you could travel to.

New York

New York is exactly like what you would expect, busy, iconic, varied and in general a place which will captivate you from the moment that you arrive. The cruise itself will be a great deal of fun, spending much time abroad as you cross the Atlantic, but the destination will be even better. You will have enough time in New York to tick off all of your must see places, you could catch a show on Broadway, relax in Central Park, visit some of those incredible skyscrapers and of course, stand in the crown of the Statue of Liberty. What I loved most about NYC were the details, a Pretzel in Madison Square Garden, a New York slice of pizza in Brooklyn, riding a yellow cab and standing in Times Square watching the world go by.

Dubai

There are few places that you cannot travel to on a cruise and one of the most exotic adventures that I have been on was a cruise to Dubai. This is a city like no other in the world, an ostentatious display of urban design and immense architecture which will simply blow you away. My highlights were skiing on real snow inside the Emirates mall, heading to the top of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest structure, and enjoying brunch in the 7 star Atlantis hotel on the Palm archipelago. You won’t find anywhere else quite like Dubai.

Norway

Norway was the trip that really turned me on to cruise holidays, we went on a 12 night trip which will I will remember forever, Throughout the trip we saw whales swim past us, we sailed through the spectacular Fjords, a truly remarkable feat of nature, and we even had time to get on land and scratch beneath the surface of this magnificent country. Norway makes for a great trip for those who do not have a huge amount of time on their hands, but who are looking to have a holiday experience which is altogether very different from the likes which they have taken before.

I would recommend all of these places as cruise destinations, they all offer something a little different, but none of them really trump the rest as they differ so much. Next time you are booking a vacation, why not consider one of these amazing cruise destinations?

Cruise Myths Which Must Be Dispelled

For many years my husband had wanted to take me on a cruise trip to the Caribbean, then the Med and then he wanted to go to Scandinavia. What quickly became apparent, was that not only did this basically mean that he was itching to take a cruise, but also that I very much didn’t want to. All of the destinations sounded fantastic but it was just this idea of going on a cruise that didn’t sit well with me, and I had no idea why. I had never been on a cruise and decided that I would take the plunge, given that I had no real reason not to. Thankfully I absolutely loved my time that I spent on a Cruise and Maritime ship, and they helped to change my mind forever. 

Since my trip, I have worked out that I got sucked into the myths that surround cruises, and I wanted to write a piece in order to set the record straight.

Myth 1 – Cruises are Full of Pensioners

If you are not a pensioner then it is unlikely that you would want to spend your vacation with a large group of them. Thankfully, this is absolutely not the case with a cruise, despite what any marketing campaigns may have you believe. I found there to be a great mixture of people on board our ship from families, singletons, groups of friends, couples, and of course, there were some pensioners. Any ideas that a cruise is some kind of over 80s club is just plain wrong.

Myth 2 – Cruises Cost The Earth

I was extremely surprised and delighted in equal measure when I began searching for cruises and saw the prices. I had bought into the myth that cruises were a once-in-a-lifetime-blow-all-your-savings kind of trip but this just isn’t the case. Naturally if you want to go around the world and stay in the first class suite, dining with the captain each night then it could cost you and extraordinary amount of money, but that is no different than flying no frills to New York, or going first class! Cruises can cost the same amount as any other vacation which you plan on doing, so don’t let the price myth put you off.

Myth 3 – Bored at Sea

I enjoy getting on boats but after a day or so, I find that the novelty wears off, and I become slightly bored. This was one of the concerns which I had about being upon the cruise ship for such a long time, something I now concede was a ridiculous notion. In fact these boats are packed with just about everything that you could need and are far more of a floating shopping centre than a seafaring vessel. On board our ship there was a swimming pool and jacuzzi, 6 different restaurants, a cinema, a theatre, a small casino and a huge number of shops, and places to relax. If you have any fears that you are going to be bored during your time at sea, you can forget about that right now, as the truth is the opposite of this.

6 Reasons Why Everyone Should Choose a Cruise in 2018

I long thought that cruises were for rich or old people, perhaps both in fact but last year I was forced to eat my words after one of the best vacation experiences of my life. My husband took a risk and booked us on a 2 week cruise last year, I accepted the gift with a forced smile, but I really wasn’t looking forward to it. Fast forward 3 months and I am having the time of my life aboard a Star Clippers ship, staring out across the ocean wishing that the trip would never end. There was so much to love about the cruise and here are my 6 reasons why you should join me, and book yourself on a  cruise in the coming year.

Destinations

I enjoy relaxing on a beach but I am a traveler at heart and I love to scratch beneath the surface of each destination that I go to. Thankfully on this cruise, I was able to see 9 destinations in a single trip. We had a day or two in each destination which forces you to be effective with your time on land. The result is that you jam in plenty of exploration and discovery, into a single vacation.

The Ocean

I have been on many boat tours as I love to sail away from it all, with a cruise, you could do this every single day. There is something thrilling and strange about being out there in the middle of nowhere, without another vessel in sight and it gives you a great opportunity for reflection.

The Boats

I don’t have high hopes for the living questers or entertainment on board the cruise ship, but I was miles off in my expectations. These days cruise ships are like moving shopping malls with cinemas, theaters and a multitude of bars and restaurants for you to enjoy. On board you’ll find swimming pools, jacuzzis, wave machines, sunbathing decks and just about everything that you could possibly think of to thoroughly enjoy your time on board the ship.

The Service

I don’t always like to mention good service as I feel that if you are in a  service industry, you shouldn’t be congratulated on doing your job well. With this being said however, my experience on the service which the staff gave us was absolutely exceptional and they really went the extra mile to ensure that we had the best time both on board, and on land.

The Price

Contrary to what I had thought in the past, the price of a cruise was far, far lower than I expected it to be. Now, I didn’t receive this as a gift but I naturally started doing a bit of digging and I was pleasantly surprised. If you are like I was, thinking a cruise was only for high rollers, I am here to tell you that this is no longer the case.

The People

And finally, my other fear, that the purple rinse brigade would be taking my sun loungers and giving me nobody new to talk to, absolute nonsense. There is a huge range of people who go on cruises from families to single people, the older generation and teenagers. This blend of people made for a great time on board and I really enjoyed the variety of people that I met.