If you’re considering traveling for the Christmas holiday season this year, now is the time to start planning. In some cases, it may already be too late. Savvy travelers often book their next Christmas holiday vacation while traveling on their current trip. This ensures they get the best accommodations, ship and experiences they desire.
Rates for cruises, air, hotels and car rentals are at their highest during Christmas and New Years when families travel together. It’s not a good idea to wait for last minute cruise deals and air discounts because it’s not going to happen. Planning as far ahead as possible is the name of the game. Below are five Christmas holiday trip ideas I highly recommend for your 2019 Christmas vacation.
Rhine Christmas Markets luxury cruise along the Rhine River from Amsterdam to Basel (or reverse) on Crystal Debussy December 6-16 (10 nights).
Explore Rudesheim’s famed Christmas Market of Nations along the city’s iconic Drosselgasse, and the dazzling wonder of Cologne Cathedral’s market, hosted beneath Rhineland’s largest Christmas tree. Enjoy a private cheese tasting in the heart of Amsterdam, as well as a private canal boat tour and visit to Rijksmuseum.
Crystal River Cruises offers all-inclusive, all-suite butler service in every category.
From $3,429 pp based on double occupancy. Roundtrip air not included.
European Holiday Markets River Cruise 8 Days from Nuremberg to Vienna (or reverse) on Uniworld S.S. Beatrice December 1, 8 & 15.
Enjoy unforgettable tours such as a Bavarian Christmas celebration in a country barn, a Durnstein village stroll with exclusive spiced wine tasting, as well as an organ concert in a monastery church to name a few.
Uniworld offers all-inclusive service in every category. Family and multi-generational voyages available on select Christmas markets sailings. Single supplement waived on select voyages.
From $3,699 pp based on double occupancy. Roundtrip air not included.
New Year’s Eve in Rio Voyage December 21, 2019: 15-nights on Azamara Pursuit roundtrip Buenos Aires, Argentina with stops in Montevideo, Sao Paolo, Rio de Janeiro, Copacabana Beach and Punta del Este. New Year’s Eve at Copa is second only to Carnaval in the ranks of Rio’s highly developed party culture. Stunning fireworks at the stroke of midnight welcome the New Year with explosions of color and light. Now this is how you ring in the New Year!
Azamara is an upper-premium cruise line known for its cuisine, service, destination immersion and overnight stays. This is not typically a cruise line for children. However, you will find more families on board during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.
From $3,219 pp Club Interior stateroom based on double occupancy. Taxes, fees, port charges and roundtrip air not included.
You can also ring in the New Year on the beautiful French island of Martinique on the Island Dreams 11-day Voyage on Oceania Insignia December 28 – January 8, 2020. Roundtrip Miami with stops in St. Maarten, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, Antigua, Puerto Rico and Great Stirrup Cay.
Relax on a catamaran tour of the favorite beaches of St. Maarten. Tour Martinique’s Chateau Depaz Estate, which has been producing rum from fresh-cut blue cane since 1651. Stroll through the exhibits at the well-preserved Brimstone Hill Fortress atop Basseterre.
Oceania is an upper-premium cruise line known as having “The finest cuisine at sea.” This is not typically a cruise line for children. However, you will find more families on board during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.
From $2,699 pp interior stateroom based on double occupancy. Includes roundtrip air, free internet plus one complimentary amenity.
Couples, Singles or Multi-Generational family trip to an All-Inclusive Resort in the Caribbean & Mexico
An all-inclusive resort vacation to the Caribbean and Mexico is one of my favorite winter getaways – especially living in the mid-Atlantic. While there are several resorts I highly recommend, I find that Iberostar Resorts checks off all the boxes for singles, couples, families and multi-generational travelers.
What I love about Iberostar is that they tend to have three resorts adjacent to each other that appeals to all budget levels. Similar to some other resort chains, Iberostar also offers exchange privileges (down) to the other sister resorts giving you access to even more restaurants, amenities and entertainment.
Focusing on two of their three resorts, Iberostar Suites and Iberostar Grand (mid and highest respectively), I find that these properties offer a tremendous value for your vacation dollar. The beach front resorts always have amazing ocean views, outstanding cuisine and lively activities and entertainment.
Iberostar Suites offers an included mini kids club. Iberostar Grand offers butler service in every category, as well as an included mini bar stocked with your favorite beverages and spirits.
Iberostar Suites accepts families, couples and singles while Iberostar Grand is adults only. Iberostar has all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.