Travel insights from Taylor Coulson, contributing editor of The Compass

Cruising Through the Holidays

Remember when Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis almost ditched all Christmas traditions and set sail for the Caribbean? Everyone was talking about it and not in a good way. That was 2004. With 2019 almost here, it’s time we realize “I won’t be home for Christmas” has a nice jingle-bell ring to it, sounding rather luxurious, extravagant and quite jolly. It’s time to put down the tinsel, unless you’re hanging it on your cabin door.

In the spirit of “merry everything and happy always,” whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s or any holiday at all, come sail away in holiday cheer with one of these three cruises lines, and see how they celebrate this special time of year.

Holland America Line

Sing classic holiday favorites near the piano onboard with Holland America and then join your choice of religious service to celebrate. Whether this is the dream cruise you’ve been preparing for your entire life or an annual trip, the festive atmosphere with lights, trees and wreaths throughout the ship will take your breath away. If it’s a family getaway, kids can put their imagination to use and create seasonal crafts before or after visiting Santa in Club HAL. Envision dancing the night away and counting down to midnight under the glimmering stars at the New Year’s Eve Ball.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

Depart from Miami, a great port city, and sail to the eastern Caribbean for a holiday adventure onboard Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas. As soon as you’re onboard, the holiday spirit comes to life with exclusive experiences like decking the halls and lighting the magnificent tree or menorah, as well as saving polar bears by joining in on a walk around the ship to support World Wildlife Fund’s arctic programs. Flaunt your newly decorated ugly sweater at holiday trivia or while decorating ornaments and gingerbread cookies in an interactive class. Santa will be cruising too, and he won’t forget to drop a “suite surprise” off in each suite to thank the cruisers for spending the holidays onboard!

Viking River Cruises

The Rhine is one of Europe’s most-loved rivers and a holiday voyage with Viking River Cruises reveals spectacular scenery, medieval towns, charming cities and grand cathedrals uplifting every passenger’s holiday spirit. From Amsterdam to Basel, passengers will enjoy onboard music performances, tree trimming and cooking demonstrations. Exploring land excursions provides a glimpse into storybook villages and dusty, snow-capped cathedrals and castles along the river. Yuletide cookies and freshly baked treats accompany hand-carved toys and ornaments atop the cobblestone streets decorated by dazzling holiday lights.

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