XMAS AFLOAT

Santa waves from the funnel of a P&O ship that will be cruising the South Pacific islands of Vanuatu and New Caledonia over Christmas.
Santa waves from the funnel of a P&O ship that will be cruising the South Pacific islands of Vanuatu and New Caledonia over Christmas.

With Christmas sneaking up fast several cruise lines are set to take the work out of the holiday equation with festive sailings that focus on fun without the seasonal stress.

Inter-generational families – mum, dad, the children, and grandparents – have already snapped up Christmas cruises, as have singles and couples all set to escape the seasonal chores.

Ocean cruise lines usually factor in Christmas Day at sea so that passengers can nibble on gingerbread, listen to Christmas carols, eat turkey and plum pudding, and welcome Santa on board.

But the classic Christmas cruise is on a European river that sails past hilltop castles dusted with snow and  medieval towns with Christmas markets in full swing. As australiancruisingnews.com has found, the markets are usually close to where river ships berth with seasonal decorations and gifts on sale as well as roasted chestnuts and warming gluhwein.

APT’s Christmas 15-day cruise aboard AmaVerde from Budapest to Amsterdam has Australian musical theatre’s Rhonda Burchmore hosting carols and a New Year’s Eve concert onboard, www.aptouring.com.au

In the USA, those searching for a kids’ Christmas celebration can join Mickey Mouse and friends on a Disney cruise from Florida to the Caribbean islands, www.disneycruise.disney.go.com

P&O’s Australian-based Pacific Jewel, Pacific Pearl and Pacific Dawn will be sailing to the Pacific islands of New Caledonia and Vanuatu over Christmas, www.pocruises.com.au

Also celebrating the festive season amid the sunny South Pacific islands are Carnival Spirit, www.carnival.com.au; Celebrity Solstice, www.celebritycruises.com Radiance of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas, and Voyager of the Seas, www.royalcaribbean.com.au

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