Top Winter Cruise Destinations
Winter does not have to be a cold and colorless prelude to spring, with so many hot winter cruise destinations to suit every preference. Cruising is a treat by itself, but adding exciting ports of call to the itinerary makes for an unforgettable vacation adventure. Some of the best winter cruises feature tropical destinations as well as phenomenal winter sight-seeing.
Loads of sunshine and tropical beauty await those cruising to the Caribbean island of Barbados. Barbados offers its visitors great surfing and scuba diving opportunities, historic sites, scenic golf courses, boutique shops, and delicious island cuisine. While cruises offer limited time in their ports of call, travelers are sure to take in one or more of these fun activities.
Barbados beaches offer challenging surfing venues for all skill levels. The south coast presents the best surfing experience for all skill levels. Expert surfers, however, head to legendary Bathsheba beach on the island’s east coast for the ultimate wave challenge. Barbados also is an ideal scuba diving location for year round diving. The water stays a toasty 80 degrees, and the turquoise water provides great visibility. Barrier reefs just a mile offshore beckon divers to view some of the islands fascinating marine life.
Barbados is also rich in history and some of the remaining buildings from the era of sugar cane plantations attest to the fact. Though parts of its history are darkened by participation in the practice of slavery, one cannot deny the historic and architectural significance of the Jacobean styled structures of the early 1600s.
There are hundreds of golf courses in Barbados. The courses offer challenging greens and oft-times breathtaking ocean views. The Royal Westmoreland is just one of the island’s top ranked golf courses.
Australia and New Zealand
Northern Hemisphere winter cruise travelers will enjoy a real treat in Australia and New Zealand because the two Southern Hemisphere nations will be right in the middle of their peak summer tourist season. Australia offers scenic beaches, cosmopolitan cities, and outdoor hiking and camping adventures. Historic beaches such as Coogee beach is a must see while in port, and Sydney’s Royal Botanical Gardens bloom fully during this time. New Zealand offers visitors the opportunity to fly fish on the Motueka river and swim with the dolphins near Kaikoura. Australia and New Zealand equals perfect weather in perfect ports.
Although its Mayan ancestors predicted cyclic changes to the known world, right now Central America appears to be a mighty good winter cruise destination. Common Central American ports of call include Panama, Guatemala, Puerto Quetzal, and Costa Rica. The region features tropical rainforest adventures, scenic beaches, and river rafting excursions.
Whether cruising in winter or summer, Hawaii is always a great destination choice. The Hawaiian islands consist of a cluster of small islands in the Pacific Ocean. Popular ports of call are Oahu, Maui, and Kauai. Oahu is famous for its shopping, pretty beaches, and its monument to Pearl Harbor vessel USS Arizona. Maui is known for its lush rainforests, surfing venues, and dormant volcano Haleakala. Kauai boasts beautiful tropical gardens and lush waterfalls.
Norway is cold in the winter without a doubt, but a cruise to the area may be well worth the chill to see the Northern Lights. The natural light show is seen from limited locations and only during certain times of the year. A cruise ship is a comfortable way to view this natural phenomenon known as the aurora borealis.
Gary Gardner knows about international ocean travel, as he contributed this post on behalf of the International Freight Forwarders of Hawthorne Global.