Celebrate with a New Year cruise – which one will you choose?

Are you looking for a great cruise over the New Year that gets you on board for the best celebration of the year? A New Year cruise could be just what you need after the busy holiday season when most of us need a rest. Or at least we need someone else to organize a great party for us to see out the old and ring in the new.

New Year cruises often sell out far in advance of the departure date. They are one of the most popular times of year to cruise. And for a good reason. You can be sure there will be a party, and you are guaranteed an invite. The food will be delicious, you can dress up to the nines if you like, or you can escape to your cabin to order room service and watch fireworks from your balcony.

However you spend your New Year’s Eve onboard, it will probably be one of your best ever.

Here is our top pick of New Year’s Eve cruises. Pick the one that suits you the best, and ring in the New Year in style.

Royal Caribbean – 7-Night Eastern Caribbean Holiday Cruise

Port Canaveral, Florida, is one of the busiest passenger cruise ports in the USA. Most major cruise lines have at least one cruise ship here as their home port to sail passengers to the Caribbean and the Bahamas. A top favorite for sun-seekers everywhere, a visit to this region doesn’t happen just once for many cruise guests—especially those living in cooler climates needing to escape the chill of winter.

Departing from: Orlando, Florida
Cruise Ship: Wonder of the Seas
Departure date: 31 Dec 2023
Cruise route:
Day 1 - Embarkation Orlando (Port Canaveral)
Day 2 - Cruise day at Sea 
Day 3 - Puerto Plata, Domincan Republic
Day 4 - Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
Day 5 - Philipsburg, St Marteen
Day 6 - Cruise day at Sea
Day 7 - Cruise day at Sea
Day 8 - Disembarkation Orlando (Port Canaveral)

Note that itineraries can be subject to change by the cruise line at any time before and during your cruise. But as it stands right now, this is a great cruise. Here’s why:

  • You cruise onboard one of Royal Caribbean’s newest ships, Wonder of the Seas
  • Your embarkation port is Port Canaveral, about 45 minutes east of Orlando International Airport in Florida. This is a major airport servicing many airlines, with good transportation options to the cruise port or your hotel.
  • Orlando Airport also has good hotel options either at the airport or in Orlando to enjoy the city for a few days before you start your cruise. And the weather is often good over the holiday season.
  • You are cruising to one of the warmest areas in the northern hemisphere during this season. Getting away from the winter chill and into the sun is undeniably a good thing!
  • You have three whole days at sea cruising the warm waters of the Caribbean. That means plenty of time to enjoy everything this fantast new cruise ship has to offer. You will be spoilt for choice with endless activities, shows, fitness and health possibilities, dining options, and good fun onboard with other cruise guests.

Celebrity Cruises – 13-Night New Zealand Holiday Cruise

The natural wonders of New Zealand, in the Pacific Ocean, draw visitors back time and again. Consisting of the two main islands, North Island and South Island, New Zealand is also made up of 700 smaller islands.

The sheer diversity of floral, fauna, and landscapes, coupled with the fascinating Māori culture, has ensured that this beautiful country tops many the bucket list of world travelers like yourselves. 

New Zealand (Maori: Aotearoa (“Long White Cloud”) will breathe new life into travelers who are wondering where the next “big” vacation should be. We say that folk here are friendlier than in any other place on earth.

And as you are in the middle of the summer season when you cruise over New Year, there is no better place to be. Book early to ensure the best flight price possible. This Celebrity cruise starts and ends in Sydney, so of course, you have time to experience a taste of Australia too – in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Departing from: Sydney, Australia
Cruise Ship: Celebrity Eclipse
Departure date: 20 Dec 2023
Cruise route:
Day 1 - Embarkation Sydney, Australia
Day 2 - Cruise day at Sea 
Day 3 - Cruise day at Sea 
Day 4 - Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sound, (Fjord landscape, New Zealand)
Day 5 - Dunedin, New Zealand
Day 6 - Cruise day at Sea
Day 7 - Picton, New Zealand
Day 8 - Gisborne, New Zealand (Tender Port)
Day 9 - Tauranga, New Zealand
Day 10 - Bay of Islands, New Zealand (Tender Port)
Day 11 - Cruise day at Sea
Day 12 - Cruise day at Sea
Day 13 - Eden, Australia
Day 14 - Disembarkation Sydney, Australia

Note that itineraries can be subject to change by the cruise line at any time before and during your cruise. But even with variations cruising from Australia to New Zealand offering fantastic ports of call, and an unforgettable vacation, here’s why:

  • You can experience Australia and New Zealand in one vacation without worrying about booking expensive flights between the two.
  • Sydney is a fantastic city, and you can extend your vacation by spending some time here before you board your cruise ship. Check out our cruise from Sydney page for hotels, daily sightseeing itineraries, and port information!
  • After your cruise, if time and budget allow, you can head north from Sydney and visit Queensland – the Great Barrier Reef, the Gold Coast, and endless other bucket list destinations await.
  • During the holiday season and over New Year, you are experiencing the summer season in Australia and New Zealand – you can be assured of warm weather!
  • Getting around is very easy. Transportation is excellent, and medical care is of the highest standard – super important when you are a long way from home.

Royal Caribbean – 7-Night Western Caribbean Holiday Cruise

One of the most popular cruise ports to drive to for American cruise guests, the port of Galveston offers excellent secure parking facilities making your day of departure a breeze—book in advance to secure your spot. If you are flying in to start your cruise in Galveston, find a flight to the nearest airport Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston. It is the hub for American Airlines, with regular domestic and international flights landing daily, plus numerous other airlines.

From here, you can easily cruise to the Caribbean and enjoy New Year in the sunshine.

Departing from: Galveston, Texas 
Ship: Allure of the Seas 
Departure date: 30 Dec 2023 
Cruise route: 
Day 1 - Embarkation Galveston
Day 2 - Cruise day at Sea  
Day 3 - Cozumel, Mexico 
Day 4 - Puerto Costa Maya, Mexico 
Day 5 - Roatan, Honduras 
Day 6 - Cruise day at Sea 
Day 7 - Cruise day at Sea 
Day 8 - Disembarkation Galveston

Note that itineraries can be subject to change by the cruise line at any time before and during your cruise. This is an excellent option for a Caribbean cruise over the holiday season and New Year; here’s why:

  • As an Oasis-class ship and fully renovated, expect a better and more exciting cruise experience than ever before. Activity highlights include water parks, ziplines, ice rinks, and surf waves. There are “neighborhoods” such as The Boardwalk and beautiful Central park and a great selection of specialty dining options in addition to the excellent cuisine offered in the main dining rooms.
  • Galveston is a popular port due to its proximity to Houston and the international airport. It’s an ideal starting point for a Caribbean cruise without having to get down to the ports in Florida.

P & O – 16-Night Western Europe Cruise

A cruise from Southampton, England, over the holiday season and the New Year is a perfect way to find the sun. Sailing as far south as Gran Canaria on P & O’s newest cruise ship, Iona, this itinerary has some great ports to visit in Meditteranean favorites of Portugal and Spain.

Southampton is located on England’s south coast, about 1.5 hours from London, and is the leading cruise port on the British Isles. Logistically it’s easy to reach, transportation links are excellent, and there are plenty of accommodation options, of course, in either London or Southampton before your cruise begins.

This 17-day cruise itinerary means you celebrate the holiday and the New Year onboard without all the stress of doing it yourself at home. Bring the family along so you can all join in the fun.

Departing from: Southampton, England  
Ship: P&O Iona
Departure Date: 17 Dec 2023  
Cruise route:  
Day 1 - Embarkation Southampton (England)
Day 2 - Cruise day at Sea   
Day 3 - Cruise day at Sea  
Day 4 - Cruise day at Sea  
Day 5 - Funchal, Madeira (Portugal)  
Day 6 - Santa Cruz, Tenerife (Spain)  
Day 7 - Las Palmas, Gran Canaria (Spain)   
Day 8 - Pto. del Rosario, Fuerteventura (Spain)
Day 9 - Cruise day at Sea
Day 10 - Arrecife, Lanzarote (Spain) 
Day 11 - Cruise day at sea
Day 12 - Càdiz (Spain)
Day 13 - Lisbon (Portugal)  
Day 14 - Vigo (Spain)  
Day 15 - Cruise day at Sea  
Day 16 - Cruise day at Sea 
Day 17 - Disembarkation Southampton (England)

P&O knows how to party so that you can be assured of a grand New Year celebration onboard for the following reasons:

  • 15 different dining options onboard. Some are included in the price of your cruise, and others are specialty restaurants that cost a little extra.
  • Iona is one of the newest cruise ships, built in 2020 and launched in 2021 by P&O Cruises, the most popular cruise line amongst British cruise guests.
  • Iona’s sky dome means that if the weather turns chilly in the evening, the enormous glass dome roof means the party never stops.

Celebrity Cruises – 5 Nights Bahamas and Mexico Holiday

How does a 5-night break cruising in the Bahamas sound to ring in the New Year? Not only is this short cruise affordable, but you are also sailing on the much-loved Celebrity ship Celebrity Equinox.

With a stop first in Nassau, then onto warm and sunny Cozumel, you will enjoy this short break and be invited to the best party of the year hosted brilliantly by Celebrity Cruises—a great way to finish your holiday break with the family.

Departing from: Fort Lauderdale, Florida  
Ship: Celebrity Equinox  
Departure date: 29 Dec 2023  
Cruise route:  
Day 1 - Embarkation Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Day 2 - Nassau, Bahamas   
Day 3 - Cozumel, Mexico
Day 4 - Disembarkation Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)

Celebrity Equinox is the second of five Solstice-class vessels. The ships have been beautifully upgraded with elegant dining options, including the award-winning Luminae restaurant. There are plenty of activities and entertainment options. In addition, this ship has Starlink, an advanced broadband satellite internet so that you can stay connected with friends back home. This mini-cruise is ideal in many ways:

  • A great ship with a first-class cruise line
  • Activities and entertainment onboard, and lovely pool areas for relaxing
  • An affordable cruise as it is only five nights, all-inclusive, which means an excellent menu for New Year’s Eve included in your price
  • Departure from Port Everglades, an easily accessible port within 30 minutes from Fort Lauderdale airport.
  • A good selection of hotels close by.

Royal Caribbean – 7-night Cabo, Vallarta & Mazatlan Holiday Cruise

If you are looking for a cruise out of Los Angeles, why not an authentic Mexico cruise adventure to visit 3 of the best ports on the Mexican Riviera? Soak up the sun over New Year and enjoy a celebration in keeping with the culture and festivities of your destinations. This is one of our favorite itineraries!

Departing from: San Pedro (Los Angeles), California   
Ship: Navigator of the Seas   
Departure date: 30 Dec 2023   
Cruise route:   
Day 1 - Embarkation San Pedro (Los Anglees) 
Day 2 - Cruise day at sea
Day 3 - Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Day 4 - Mazatlan, Mexico 
Day 5 - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Day 6 - Cruise day at sea
Day 7 - Disembarkation San Pedro (Los Anglees) 

Norwegian Cruise Line – 7-night Mexican Riviera Cruise

If you are a fan of Norwegian Cruise Line, then they have a similar itinerary onboard Norwegian Jewel, departing from San Diego on the 31 December, seven nights onboard:

Departing from: San Diego, California    
Ship: Norwegian Jewel    
Departure date: 31 Dec 2023    
Cruise route:    
Day 1 - Embarkation San Diego  
Day 2 - Cruise day at sea 
Day 3 - Cabo San Lucas, Mexico 
Day 4 - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 
Day 5 - Mazatlan, Mexico  
Day 6 - Cruise day at sea 
Day 7 - Disembarkation San Diego, California 

Cunard Cruise Line – 19-night New York & Caribbean Celebration from Southampton, U.K.

Cunard – the epitome of elegance and a New Year’s Ball onboard a traditional and much-loved cruise line. Start your cruise from Southampton, U.K., and an epic transatlantic voyage over to New York. Then spend the holidays in the sunny Caribbean islands.

Departing from: Southampton, U.K.
Ship: Queen Mary 2
Departure date: 15 Dec 2023
Cruise route:
Days 1-7 – Cruise days at sea
Day 8 – New York, NY, USA
Day 9-11 – Cruise days at sea
Day 12 – Basseterre, St Kitts
Day 13 – Bridgetown, Barbados
Day 14 – Castries, St Lucia
Day 15 – Fort-de-France, Martinique
Day 16 – Philipsburg, St Maarten
Days 17-19 – Cruise days at sea
Day 20 – New York, NY, USA

A New Year cruise onboard Cunard is memorable in many ways:

  • Traditional Christmas carols are sung in the Grand Lobby
  • Expect a visit from Santa
  • A beautifully adorned Christmas tree
  • Seasonal shopping on board and menus to match

Meet the author: Sarah has created and booked hundreds of travel itineraries for thousands of customers during a career in the travel industry that spans 20 years. Having worked hand in hand with cruise lines, hotels, airlines and tour operators worldwide, she offers inspiring & detailed insights in the world of travel and tourism.

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