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Winter, your way

28/11/2016

Whether you’re after white sand beaches and endless sunshine or Christmas markets and snowy surroundings, we can take you where you want to go this winter

A beach in St Lucia

A dose of vitamin D might be on your wish list this winter

When it comes to winter, are you a warm sands or warm scarves type of person? Only you know how you’d like your holiday to feel. Whether it’s snowy Sweden, atmospheric Amsterdam, balmy Barbados or the captivating Canaries, we’ll take you where you want to be this winter.

 

Some like it hot

As the nights get longer and the skies get greyer, you’d be forgiven for dreaming of white sandy beaches, cocktails, endless sunshine… Inject some summer into your winter with one of our Caribbean cruises. You can choose to sail round-trip from Southampton to make the most of the on-board relaxation, or if you’re in desperate need of some vitamin D, why not fly straight to the sun on one of our Caribbean fly-cruises?

 

Laid-back, welcoming and a little bit British, Barbados is the perfect starting point for your adventures, which is why it is the main embarkation point for our Caribbean fly-cruises (on Britannia, Caribbean fly-cruises also embark/disembark from St Lucia). But the Caribbean islands have such different landscapes and cultures that variety really is the spice of life there. Experience three cultures on one tiny island on the half-French and half-Dutch St Martin/Sint Maarten; delight at the luscious scenery of St Lucia; snorkel the pristine waters of Grenada; soak up the sunshine on one of Antigua’s 365 beaches; or get active on the mountainous island of St Kitts. And that’s just scratching the surface. Wherever you go, you’ll be seduced by the relaxed atmosphere, beautiful surroundings and winter warmth of the Caribbean.

 

When it’s winter at home, there’s always hot weather somewhere else in the world, and not just the Caribbean. Join one of our Exotic fly-cruises and you could be whisked away to all four corners of the globe. Soak up the summer sunshine on one of Sydney’s many beaches, go for a dip in the astoundingly blue seas of Bora Bora, take in the cosmopolitan delights of Singapore, shop to your heart’s content in Dubai or enjoy immersing yourself in the culture of colourful Mumbai. The world is your oyster.

 

Sunshine closer to home

If you’d prefer to spend the winter closer to home but still crave some sunshine, then a cruise to the Canary Islands could be for you.

As one of the sunniest spots in Europe and with pleasant temperatures year-round, the volcanic archipelago of the Canary Islands is a winter favourite. There’s also the amazingly varied landscape, from the lush banana plantations of Gran Canaria and the ‘valley of a thousand palms’ in Lanzarote, to the surreal moonscapes of Tenerife’s Teide National Park. Four of Spain’s seven major national nature reserves are located among the islands – Mount Teide and Lanzarote’s Timanfaya National Park being just two. And when it comes to beaches, the Canaries are home to more than 500, with sands of all colours: gold, black and even red.

 

A dose of culture

 With often mild winter temperatures, the coastline of Iberia is your gateway to a range of spectacular Spanish and Portuguese cities that offer year-round cultural exploration. Rattle up the winding roads of Lisbon on one of the city’s classic trams followed by a visit to a pasteleira (cake shop) to try the famous pastéis de nata. In Cadiz (tours from Seville), marvel at the history at your fingertips – the city is generally considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in Europe. Or in Valencia, take a stroll through The Garden of Turia. Created in the dry riverbed of the Turia following a catastrophic flood in 1957, the gardens offer 120 hectares of lush greenery, split into 12 areas. On a stroll along the riverbed you’ll find native and non-native plants, playgrounds, running tracks, sports equipment, statues and much more, all leading to the famous City of Arts and Sciences, an architectural surprise created by Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava. What better way to while away some winter days than by exploring the treasures on offer so close to home?

Bruges looking festive

Chocolate-box Bruges is perfect for a winter getaway

Winter wonderlands

If you prefer your winters wrapped up, ideally with a dusting of snow, we’ve got a wide selection of cruises that will whisk you away to a winter wonderland. Cruising to destinations such as Amsterdam, Bruges, Hamburg and Scandinavian stunners including Oslo, Copenhagen and Gothenburg offers a holiday alternative that will make you appreciate those crisp, cold, clear winter days.

 

Despite the temperatures, these picture-perfect cities come into their own during the winter months. The Danish even have a word for enjoying the simple pleasures and cosiness of winter that is enjoyed across much of Scandinavia during the long, dark days: hygge. It’s all about enjoying the good things in life, with good people around you.

 

Amsterdam’s pretty canals, lined with stepped gabled houses, world-famous museums and cosy bars and cafés, are perfect for a winter stroll. Bruges (tours from Zeebrugge) looks like it’s been lifted from a storybook whatever the season. But during the winter months, when the canals freeze over, dustings of snow cover the stepped gable roofs and cobbled streets and the tempting smells of hot chocolate lure you into snug cafés, you’ll feel a million miles away from home. In Copenhagen the beautiful coloured bars and restaurants that line Nyhavn will certainly entice you, but make time to explore the wonders of the Tivoli Gardens, one of the oldest operating amusement parks in the world, as well as exploring the canals of Christianshavn, an area strikingly like Amsterdam. Fika is the Swedish practice of taking time out of your day to relax and chat with friends and enjoy a coffee, preferably with a sticky cinnamon bun in hand. There’s no better time to make the most of the comfy, bohemian cafés in Gothenburg than in the winter months.

 

If you’re in the mood for getting festive then look no further. Add sparkle to gift shopping on our Christmas market cruises, where you can stock up on beautiful Christmas presents and treats at the famous markets of cities such as Bruges, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Oslo or Copenhagen, surrounded by the seasonal scents of mulled wine, roasted nuts, cinnamon treats and spiced biscuits. These Christmas markets are the stuff of festive dreams. After a day strolling around the cute stalls, stocking up on seasonal treats and interesting trinkets, sipping on something warming and nibbling sweet treats, you have your warm, welcoming ship to look forward to, where you can carry on your festivities. You’ll arrive home in time for Christmas, shopping done, feeling refreshed and ready for more merrymaking.

 

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