A month-by-month guide to cruising

Whether you’re after the wintry Arctic wonderlands or want to cruise in warmer climes on sunnier shores, get an idea of the best months to sail to particular destinations.

Some destinations are seasonal, and some cruises are only scheduled for a few months of the year. Others, like the Mediterranean, are perfect for year-round cruising.

Here is a breakdown of the best places to cruise, month by month:

  • January: This is the best time to head to Asia. Sail around sunny Thailand, or enjoy the dry season in Cambodia and Vietnam or join a river cruise to Mekong.


  • February:Although people cruise the Canary Islands year-round, February is one of the best months to visit. Warm sun is guaranteed across these seven islands most of the year, but they are at their lushest in February, after the rainy season has passed. From March, the tourist season really gets under way in the Canaries. But beyond the loud holiday resorts and buzzing nightlife of the main islands, there are wild forests, volcanic craters, beautiful lunar landscapes and ancient towns.


  • March: Still the off-season, March means fewer crowds and even better deals when it comes to cruising. The best March destinations include South America, exploring Buenos Aires, Argentina and Santiago. Be ready for tropical beaches and iconic cities such as Rio de Janeiro. It’s high summer, so you’ll get a real exotic summer-holiday vibe.

  • April: Time to cruise through Belgium and the Netherlands and watch the famous kaleidoscopic tulip fields pass your window in April. Cruises in the Netherlands explore Amsterdam’s beautiful canals, stop off in Rotterdam, a place recovered from the devastation of World War II and home to the world’s busiest port.


  • May: It’s May, so Caribbean here we come. The winter crowds and spring-break craziness have subsided, and the hurricane season is over. Another cruise-worthy location for May is the Mediterranean, when temperatures have warmed up, but the prices haven’t hiked for the summer rush.

  • June: Before the hurricane season kicks in, June is a great time to visit magical Bermuda and enjoy its warm weather. Explore its pink sandy beaches and vibrantly painted streets, historical landmarks and thrilling island adventures, especially water activities, like snorkelling and fly-boarding.


  • July: For good weather in Alaska, your best bet is to visit in July. It tends to be busy and bustling, with lots of crowds and higher prices, but any other month sees lashings of rain. Also, it’s the only month which guarantees every attraction will be open.


  • August: It goes without saying that to enjoy the beauty of the British Isles, the weather really does help. So August tends to be the best month to venture on a cruise trip around the British Isles. And, if you’re looking for a heritage-filled getaway that’s not going to break the bank, this is the one.From the white cliffs of Dover and the Scottish islands to the port cities of Newcastle and Southampton, a British Isles cruise shows you the very best of our spectacular home-grown scenery.

  • September: If the Big Apple is high on your bucket list, September is the best month to take a cruise to New York. Just before the cold snap arrives, cruising to New York in September allows you to see the bright lights of the Big Apple and explore the melting pot of cultures, cuisine, architecture and art whilst the weather is on your side.


  • October:  Take in the beauty of Canada in October. You can experience the breath-taking fall foliage in the Canadian Maritimes and immerse yourself in stop offs in Québec’s cities and countryside.October is ideal for whale watching and seeing the stunning autumn colours arrive on the Atlantic coast whilst you cruise.


  • November: Hawaii in November sees temperatures around the 25 degrees mark and minimal winds (although you can expect winds year round).  Hawaii tends to be a little less crowded in November, and prices are lower than in the December holiday rush. For the full ‘Aloha spirit’, cruising to Hawaii rather than flying means you can stop by Maui, Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island, exploring all four jewel islands at once.


  • December:This is the perfect month for exploring the rivers of Northern Europe and visit some of the continent’s most stunning Christmas Market hotspots. River cruises to cities such as Cologne, Nuremberg, Budapest and Strasbourg provide plenty of shopping opportunities, plus the chance to enjoy mulled wine and holiday foods in quaint riverside towns. Cruises along the Danube or the Rhine are the most popular.These do get booked up, though, so plan ahead!

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