Image source: Paul Gauguin Cruise Media Image (Bora Bora)
If the snow is falling and you want to trade your winter coat in for shorts and flip flops, why not consider a cruise? There are a number of interesting options and cruises available to fun-in-the-sun destinations all around the world. Here are a few of the regions that are ideal winter cruising spots.
You don't have to go far from the United States to find warmer temperatures in the Caribbean. Consider one of the many Florida departures that takes you through Mexico, Belize, and Honduras, or one that includes ports like the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, or the Cayman Islands.
Winter in the United States means it's summer Down Under. There are a number of options for cruises in the South Pacific that will keep you far away from any polar vortex.
Book a 7-night cruise from Sydney through parts of Australia and Tasmania. Longer options include stops in other countries like Indonesia, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Fiji, and New Caledonia.
French Polynesia is also a great option for a winter escape. Cruise lines like Paul Gauguin specialize in small luxury cruises around the islands. Tahiti is just an eight-hour flight from Los Angeles, and cruises depart right from Papeete. Longer itineraries may be a repositioning cruise, which could save you on airfare and the cruise cost itself. Start your cruise in Tahiti, hit Bora Bora, Moorea and then continue across the South Pacific up to the Hawaiian Islands, ultimately disembarking in Los Angeles.
For a truly exotic winter escape, consider a cruise in Asia. A number of options exist to cruise through beautiful spots in South East Asia such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Longer cruise itineraries include stops in ports in the Philippines and Hong Kong.
If it's summer in French Polynesia, that means epic destinations like the Galapagos Islands are gearing up for high season as well. Luxury cruises and live-aboard dive boats start running during this time. Galapagos cruises can be pricey, so it's best to review the variety of options available, many of which may not be listed on big cruise booking sites.
Some Panama Canal cruises are available during North America's winter season. Consider a 7-night Windstar cruise that starts in Costa Rica and takes passengers to multiple ports in the region and then through the Panama Canal, ending up in Colon, Panama.
If you want to stay closer to home, a cruise through the Hawaiian Islands is also an option. 7-night cruises tend to stick to cruising the islands alone, while longer cruises may end in Ensenada, Mexico.
One thing to remember when booking travel to the Southern Hemisphere during summer is that it's cyclone season in many cases. While the occurrence of storms is relatively minor in most areas, travel insurance can definitely protect you in the event your cruise is canceled or weather delays in the United States delay your international arrival.
Where is your favorite place to cruise?