Another Christmas is now in the history books and typically at this time of year, interest in cruising surges. As families come together for the festive season, the question then turns to just who is going to play host next year.

In order to provide some post-Christmas conversation, we’ve found six of the best cruises for you to consider encouraging the family to join you on next Christmas, with destinations both close to home and abroad providing a bevy of options for those looking to leave the cooking and cleaning to someone else.

The Christmas Wonderland – Scenic

Ship: Scenic Amber

Duration: 16 Days

Sailing from: Amsterdam

Sail Date: 14 December 2017

Embarking in the Dutch city of Amsterdam, this 16-day itinerary down the Rhine and Danube rivers highlights some of Europe’s most beautiful towns as they get into the Christmas spirit.

The five country itinerary winds its way through quaint towns such as Passau in Germany and big cities including Vienna in Austria, giving you the chance to see picturesque and relaxed agricultural areas and bustling metropolis hubs.

Scenic’s usual inclusive nature is extended further on its holiday sailings with special menus in the dining room which draw upon inspiration from the regions in which the vessel is sailing. The voyage culminates in Budapest on December 29, allowing guests ample time to explore the Hungarian capital before jetting home (or somewhere else) for New Year’s Eve.

Vienna's Christmas markets are some of the best in Europe.
Vienna’s Christmas markets are some of the best in Europe.

Jewels of New Zealand’s North – Norwegian Cruise Line

Ship: Norwegian Jewel

Duration: 14 Days

Sailing from: Sydney

Sail Date: 23 December 2017

Debut in the Australian market in November 2017, Norwegian Cruise Line will become the latest cruise line to call Australia home for a summer season.

Norwegian Jewel, which will offer more restaurants than any other ship in Australian waters, has its sights set on making a splash for food fans, while its exclusive ‘ship within a ship’ complex known as “The Haven” is another Australian first.

With all these exciting innovations, it’s little surprise that its scheduled 2017 Christmas cruise is already proving popular nearly a year out from sailing. The ship will sail a two week round-trip itinerary from Sydney, calling in Melbourne and the Tasmanian port of Burnie before crossing the ditch to New Zealand’s North Island.

The cruise, which mixes time in port with sea days very well, is a great opportunity to catch up with family in the southern states prior to enjoying Christmas at sea.

Prices for the maiden full season of Norwegian Cruise Line in Australia is now available.
Norwegian Jewel will become the latest ship to be deployed to Australia.

South Pacific Explorer – P&O Cruises Australia

Ship: Pacific Explorer

Duration: 10 Days

Sailing from: Sydney

Sail Date: 17 December 2017

Another ship set for relaunch under a new name in the Australian scene (currently sailing locally as Dawn Princess) is P&O Cruises’ Pacific Explorer, a vessel which according to P&O will be just as good as a new ship.

A multi-million dollar refurbishment of all public spaces and most staterooms will see the former Princess Cruises ship transformed, with new spaces such as a hidden bar and a supper club to be developed for the vessel. For Christmas 2017, the ship will be embarking on a 10-night South Pacific itinerary calling at all the usual ports such as Noumea, Port Vila and the Isle of Pines among a selection of other New Caledonian hotspots.

The warmer weather of the South Pacific will afford guests the opportunity to discover some of the ship’s new features such as a top deck water park featuring a bevy of new water slides and a revamped poolside movie screen experience.

The water park on Pacific Explorer will be both inside and around the ship's funnel.
The water park on Pacific Explorer will be both inside and around the ship’s funnel.

South East Asia – Royal Caribbean

Ship: Mariner of the Seas

Duration: 6 Days

Sailing from: Singapore

Sail Date: 23 December 2017

If you’re a little poor on time, this quick five-night adventure from Singapore allows for a nice Christmas break without breaking the bank or taking too much from your annual leave.

Mariner of the Seas – Royal Caribbean’s recently upgraded Singaporean flagship and sister ship of local favourites Explorer of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas – calls on three ports over the five nights away, including the Malaysian port of Penang on Christmas Day.

Time in Kuala Lumpur and Phuket will allow for last minute Christmas shopping. The voyage returns to Singapore where guests can enjoy the island state’s delights prior to hopping on the plane home.

The tropical waters of Malaysia are on offer for next Christmas Day aboard Mariner of the Seas.
The tropical waters of Malaysia are on offer for next Christmas Day aboard Mariner of the Seas.

Arabian Sea & India – Celebrity Cruises

Ship: Celebrity Constellation

Duration: 14 Days

Sailing from: Abu Dhabi

Sail Date: 19 December 2017

This is a great cruise for those wanting to combine the pleasures of both Christmas and New Years Eve in a single cruise itinerary.

Embarking in the booming city of Abu Dhabi, guests on this two-week itinerary get to spend a whole night in the Emirati capital before continuing on to Muscat, Oman. Next up are four Indian ports, with opportunities there to discover famed sites such as The Taj Mahal and the well-trodden Golden Triangle.

Two more relaxing days at sea give guests the chance to recharge before hitting Dubai and relishing in the opportunity to see one of the world’s most spectacular fireworks displays off the Burj Khalifa – currently the world’s tallest building and home to one of the world’s greatest New Year’s Eve parties.

A late night departure from Dubai allows guests to continue the party on December 1 prior to disembarking in Abu Dhabi the next day.

Dubai's Burj Khalifa lights up local skies each year for New Year's Eve celebrations.
Dubai’s Burj Khalifa lights up local skies each year for New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Antarctica & Falkland Islands – Seabourn

Ship: Seabourn Quest

Duration: 24 Days

Sailing from: Valparaiso (Santiago de Chile)

Sail Date: 20 December 2017

For a Christmas like no other and if the budget allows for it, you can embark on a 24-day mega adventure covering the best of Antarctica, Patagonia and The Falkland Islands.

Literally hundreds of opportunities are offered on this itinerary to discover the southern-most latitudes, with a week spent on ice in Antarctica and a further three days on South Georgia & The Falkland Islands – home to some of nature’s most stunning sites.

Seabourn Quest – a fine example of luxury at sea, is a stunning home for this long voyage, with all suite accommodations and pretty much an all inclusive nature. The ship is home to numerous watercraft such as kayaks that can be used to discover some of the natural bays and glaciers on this itinerary – really making for a Christmas like you have never had before.

Seabourn Quest in Antarctica.
Seabourn Quest in Antarctica.