Christmas at Sea: 10 Fun and Festive Holiday Cruises

Skip the holiday shopping and cruise through Christmas instead! These special sailings bring all the merriment without the holiday stress.

Photo By: ChristmasAtSea

Photo By: Disney Cruise Line

Photo By: Princess

Photo By: ChristmasAtSea

Photo By: ChristmasAtSea

Photo By: ChristmasAtSea

Photo By: ChristmasAtSea

Photo By: Carnival

Photo By: Viking Ocean Cruises

Photo By: ChristmasAtSea

Norwegian Cruise Line

Mele Kalikimaka! Trade your Douglas fir for swaying palm trees with Norwegian Cruise Line. The Hawaiian holiday cruise, aboard the Pride of America, sails round-trip from Oahu and visits Maui, Kauai and the island of Hawaii. Have a White Christmas with white, powdery sand or a Green Christmas with unique green and black sand beaches!

Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line gets even more magical around the holidays with Very Merrytime Cruises. These special holiday-themed sailings feature a Deck the Deck party (with candy cane limbo), meet-and-greets with Disney characters in adorable winter attire and a tree-lighting ceremony with Mickey himself. For cruises that include Disney’s private island Castaway Cay, guests will experience the Caribbean retreat with a wintry twist — from a reindeer-themed tram to real "snow" flurries.

Princess Cruises

Love a winter wonderland but hate the cold? With Princess Cruises, you can have both. December sailings feature a daily "snowfall" of faux flurries in the atrium and staterooms have virtual yule logs.

Cunard Cruise Line

If holiday dance parties aren't your scene, Cunard offers more of a sophisticated sailing with gingerbread village decor, traditional eggnog in the lounges and a festive afternoon tea with stollen and other European Christmas cakes.


Experience Europe’s Christmas markets along the Rhine River and Danube River with AmaWaterways. Special Christmas-themed sailings include stops to iconic markets in France, Germany, Austria and Hungary for mulled wine, artisan crafts and dazzling light displays. On board, guests can experience more European traditions such as leaving stateroom slippers out for St. Nick on Christmas Eve.

Royal Caribbean

Christmas sailings with Royal Caribbean pack tons of fun for the whole family, from an ugly sweater party to gingerbread decorating classes. Holiday movies are shown poolside at the AquaTheater. And, there are special Christmas menus including a Christmas brunch and a cookies-and-milk corner.

Viking River Cruises

Celebrate Old World Christmas and experience the magic of European holiday markets with Viking River Cruises. Several holiday sailings (including a bucket list worthy, 12-day Paris to the Swiss Alps journey) feature a stop in Strasbourg, France to visit one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe. Browse handmade toys, artisan crafts and ornaments while sampling traditional ginger bread, pastries and candies.


If you like the idea of cruising for Christmas but don’t want to skip out on holiday traditions, Carnival brings the merriment aboard with in-room Christmas music, tons of decorations and a traditional Christmas Day meal with turkey and pecan pie. Christmas sailings also offer a midnight mass. As part of Carnival’s fleetwide Seuss at Sea program, The Grinch himself makes a special appearance on board.

Viking Ocean Cruises

Spend your Christmas break cruising the French and Italian Riviera with Viking’s Iconic Mediterranean Holiday. The sailing includes bucket-list destinations such as Barcelona, Florence and Rome. While onboard, guests can attend cooking demonstrations with a touch of holiday spirit.

Adventures By Disney River Cruise

Got a sweet tooth? Cruise the Danube River with Adventures By Disney and AmaWaterways this December, and learn how to make iconic European holiday treats. Excursions include marzipan-making in Germany and strudel-making in Hungary. On board, activities include gingerbread cookie decorating and mulled wine tasting for adults.

Shop This Look