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Want to Enjoy the Warm Sun on a Winter Afternoon? Go Cruising!

By Deborah Lambeth

When people think of winter vacations, they usually think of Aspen and going skiing. Or going to the mountains to stay in a cabin. Or there are those who believe that there are two separate times of the year for vacation―summer and winter―and for a true winter vacation one has to experience the parkas, the gloves, the bitter cold, the hot chocolate by the warm fire, etc. The idea of a winter cruise never occurs to many people longing for a cold-weather getaway, but they don’t know what they’re missing.

Where does one cruise in the winter? Obviously, it’s cold in Alaska but is it worth cruising there in the winter? Why not? Alaskans don’t go into hibernation. According to the Travel Alaska website, winter is when the fun begins. Contrary to what people believe, in the winter Alaska has 6-13 hours of daylight sandwiched between lots of twilight on one end and lots of dawn on the other. Temperatures average around 20°F, which is similar to what you would experience skiing down those mountain slopes in Colorado.

For those who don’t like cold weather, the winter is the perfect time to take a cruise to the Caribbean, Mexico, and places to the south of the US. Hurricane season is over, the temperatures are milder―usually in the 70s or 80s―and the waters are still warm. Compared to the summer months, the number of tourists is relatively low, so it’s not such a busy time. Many of the cruise line sites, such as Norwegian Cruise Lines, Costa Cruises, Cunard Lines, and Royal Caribbean, give detailed information about the climate and weather according to the time of year you want to travel.

Most, if not all, regions south of the US tend to hover between 65-85 degrees during the winter months. Other countries that have similar temperatures in the winter are the West Indies, the Dominican Republic, the Canary Islands, Australia, India, Malaysia, North Africa, Singapore, and Thailand, to name a few. How about a safari in Africa? Not exactly a cruise, but still something different than sitting in a cabin in 20-degree weather. The winter is an excellent time to go, as the temperatures range between 70-80 degrees during the day.

When you’re in the throes of deciding what to do about a vacation during the winter months, consider things you and your family enjoy. Consider also those things that you have ‘never done in the winter’ and consider cruising to a warmer climate.

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