While the Caribbean and the Mediterranean stand out as year-round options, each boasting unique charms, there are specific periods that are the perfect opportunities to explore other destinations. Explore the best places to cruise month by month, ensuring you make the most of your seafaring adventures.
The Caribbean season peaks from October to March/April, while the Mediterranean season takes over from April through to September/October. Cruise lines often transition their ships between these two regions, offering ample opportunities for exploration.
Beginning with January, it’s an ideal moment to set sail for the Southern Hemisphere, where summer is in full swing. South America takes centre stage for recommendations this month. Despite the heat and humidity, the weather is fantastic, offering a plethora of options for cruise enthusiasts. January is great to explore the captivating regions of South America, venture into the lower parts of the continent, and embark on cruises that navigate through the Panama Canal, providing a unique and unforgettable experience.
February is the perfect month for a Caribbean getaway, and here’s why. The weather is still pleasantly warm without being excessively hot, offering an ideal climate for exploration. What makes it even more enticing is that February marks the post-holiday season. This means fantastic deals, abundant choices, and a more relaxed atmosphere without the hustle and bustle of peak travel times. If your travel plans aren’t constrained by school holidays, it’s an excellent opportunity for an adult-oriented cruise during a less hectic term time.
March presents an excellent opportunity for those with an adventurous spirit to head down under to Australia and New Zealand. As the peak Australian period winds down, March provides an ideal window to experience these stunning destinations without the crowds that dominate January and February. Additionally, this time of year often sees parts of extended voyages and world cruises passing through Australia, offering even more choices for those eager to explore the seas.
April marks an excellent time to embark on a voyage to the enchanting destination of Japan. This time of year signifies the onset of spring, bringing a pleasant and gradually warming climate and the beauty of cherry blossoms in full bloom. April in Japan is accompanied by numerous festivals celebrating the cherry blossom season, adding to the allure of the experience. However, it’s worth noting that popularity comes at a price, and the demand for cruises and land-based holidays during this time may lead to higher costs. One key consideration is Golden Week, typically occurring around April 29th to May 5th, a period of numerous holidays when things can get quite hectic.
May marks the beginning of the season in Alaska, extending until around October. Opting for May comes with distinct advantages: it typically receives less rainfall and isn’t overly crowded. The serene ambiance and fewer tourists, allows for a more immersive experience with the true allure lies in the breathtaking scenery rather than the temperature.
For an exceptionally experience, explore Tahiti and the French Polynesian islands in June. This month unveils the region’s magnificence as it transitions into the drier season, minimising the likelihood of rain. June offers a serene escape with fewer rain showers, stunning landscapes, and a more intimate atmosphere—truly an optimal time to immerse yourself in the splendour of this paradise.
July stands out as the ideal month for exploring the Norwegian fjords.The fjord season typically spans from around April/May to September/October. While Norway also offers winter attractions like snow-related activities and the chance to witness the northern lights in the Arctic Circle, July shines as the perfect time for those seeking the natural beauty of the fjords. With warmer temperatures and breathtaking scenery, July provides extended daylight hours, allowing you to cruise through the fjords and experience the enchanting Midnight Sun well into the night. Although it’s a busy time due to holidays, the true magic of a fjord cruise lies in the serene journey through the majestic landscapes.
Regardless of the weather, August is considered the best time to visit Iceland, thanks to the longer days that allow you to fully appreciate the magnificence of the destination. While it can be bustling, the unique landscape and scenery make it a must-see. From incredible geysers to phenomenal waterfalls, Iceland offers an extraordinary experience.
If, however, you’re set on a warm getaway during the school holidays, the Mediterranean is an excellent choice, though it may come with higher costs and increased crowds.
Canada and New England is amazing in September when the breathtaking foliage begins to emerge. While the weather may be a bit chilly, touring major cities like Ottawa or Montreal becomes more comfortable without the oppressive summer heat.
October is best time to embark on a Mediterranean cruise, especially voyaging between Venice and Athens. With temperatures comfortably in the low 20 degrees Celsius range, abundant sunshine, and a notable lack of crowds, October represents a post-season sweet spot. Although it’s after the peak period, everything remains open, activities are ongoing, and beachside relaxation, including a swim, is still very much on the table.
November emerges as a fantastic month for a Caribbean getaway. Following February, November is a prime time to consider exploring this vibrant region.
However, for those seeking a truly extraordinary and once-in-a-lifetime experience, Antarctica in November offers an unparalleled adventure. As the season begins, Antarctica is at its most pristine, with virtually no other visitors having set foot in these locations throughout the entire winter period. The landscape is adorned with abundant ice, creating a truly magnificent spectacle. While the weather may be more unpredictable compared to later in the season, the unique and untouched beauty of Antarctica in November is well worth it.
Embracing the festive season in December takes on an enchanting twist with the option of a river cruise, particularly in Europe, where many river cruise lines now tailor their itineraries to focus on the magical Christmas markets. These delightful cruises, ranging from five to seven days, offer a chilly yet magnificent experience, immersing you in the festive spirit and the charm of Christmas markets.
For those seeking a different winter experience in Europe, there are also cruises heading to the Canary Islands, often departing from the UK or other parts of Europe. Daytime temperatures typically range from around 18 degrees Celsius up to the early 20s.