To some people, cruising may mean sailing to the sun. For others, it’s packing your winter woollies for icy breezes.
Depending on whether you’re looking to enjoy basking in the rays or cosying up with a cup of tea, here are some of the best destinations to visit for the weather.
Golden sunshine and winter sun
Probably the most popular reason to set sail is to catch a glimpse of the sun and tot up on your vitamin D. Top destinations include the Caribbean, the Canaries and the Mediterranean.
Sail here between December and April, when hurricane season has passed and the sun welcomes you once more with a warm embrace. Caribbean islands such as Aruba, Turks and Caicos and the Cayman Islands offer some of the best beaches, while Jamaica, Cuba and St Lucia are perfect for adventurers.
A prime destination for winter sun, cruise to the Canaries between December and March and you can still experience 18°C temperatures. Walk along white beaches and take gentle bike rides across these islands just off the coast of Morocco for sun, sea and sands perfect for winter cruising.
The Mediterranean is one of those destinations that, no matter how many times you cruise there, you will always experience something different. The high season runs from May to September, so optimum cruising times would be in September, as the crowds die down and you can explore at your leisure.
Snowy breezes and glaciers
At the opposite end of the spectrum, chilling winds and icy waters are top of some cruisers weather needs. Alaska, Northern Europe and even Antarctica are popular choices for these cruises, with sailings offered throughout the year.
Often referred to as the Great Land, Alaska is home to abundant wildlife, endless plains and stretches of snow, mountains and glaciers. An ideal time to travel here would be between April and October when the landscape is dusted with fresh snow and wandering critters can be spotted, perhaps even the Northern Lights?
The Baltics, Norway, Finland and Sweden are top destinations for Northern Europe cruises, with a melting pot of cultures to enjoy during visits here. Temperatures are warmer earlier in the year, but for quieter crowds and cool morning walks, September is perfect.
The cold chill is something you can never escape when cruising to this polar region, but picking when to travel here can really make the difference. Wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy December to early February, as penguin chicks hatch and whales pass your ship. November is better for adventure as the region is untouched with fresh snow and breath-taking scenery. Mid-February to March are quieter months to travel, as fewer ships visit here during this period, offering better access to ports.
Autumn leaves and colourful trees
Witness the colours change on a leaf-peeping cruise, a colloquial term for sailings to Canada and New England during the turn of the fall season.
Canada and New England
Visiting here during the months of September and October are prime time to see green leaves turn to gold, crimson and orange – transforming the landscapes into glittering jewels. Weather in these regions at this time of year is favourable, not too hot or cold – though you will still need plenty layers to take the edge off.
Blossoming spring and blooming flowers
Experience more colour changes during the blossoming season of spring and the flowers that follow it. Europe and Japan are perfect for enjoying the warm weather as well as blooming splashes of colour.
The turning of the tulips in Holland is an iconic destination, with plenty opportunities to visit here in spring, some cruises even set out here purely to witness it! Crete is another favoured region, with wildflowers blanketing the countryside. The region boasts 1,700 species of plant which bloom into hues of pretty pinks, deep purples and bright yellows.
Considered an icon throughout Japan, the cherry blossoms are only seen in the country for a few weeks before completely falling from the trees until the next year. Peak times to witness these first hand depends on the islands you are cruising to; Okinawa is often early January whereas Hokkaido can be as late as May.
Seasonal sights are an important influencer on your cruise, offering once-in-a-lifetime experiences and unique visits to really make your cruising journey special. Whether you’re seeking sunny shores or golden forests, take your pick of these destinations for an iconic sailing you won’t forget.
Call our Cruise Concierge team today on 0808 1234 118 for award-winning assistance with any questions you may have or help with your booking.