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In the coming weeks television adverts will seem solely devoted to Christmas. Marks and Spencer, Littlewoods and John Lewis all invest heavily on blockbuster adverts to ensure you spend with abandon. You may not be prepared for it but Christmas Day and New Year's Eve will soon be here and our lives will be consumed as we rush to buy decorations and presents, not to mention working out how to make this year better than the last.


For savvy travellers, the season of goodwill is a great time for a getaway. The stress of the year has taken its toll, so the prospect of packing the gifts and heading for sunnier climates or exotic locations could be one of the best presents you’ll ever get. One great way to escape the cleaning and cooking, yet still having the chance to enjoy tinsel and turkey, is to take a cruise. The majority of cruise lines get into the festive spirit for Christmas Day and Hogmanay as well as the days leading up to the big events, so why not give it a go?


U.K. cruise lines get into the spirit by decorating their ships and the daily programme is full of Christmas-themed pastimes such as carol-singing and pantomimes. Plus, just think of the lavish Christmas dinner you can tuck into - all the trimmings and more - without lifting a finger – and somebody else does the washing up. If you are onboard a ship for New Year's Eve, you'll find that festivities vary from a low-key dinner and countdown to glitzy and glamorous celebrations.


If your ship is scheduled to be one of several in Funchal for the New Year’s Eve fireworks then you’re in for a treat. With its amphitheatre shape, the Madeiran capital is the perfect arena for the show and as the fireworks are ignited from barges floating in the bay, you’ll find the best vantage point in town is from the deck of your cruise ship. The reflections of the fireworks in the ocean are a sight to behold and guests can join in the countdown to midnight as the changing date is beamed onto Madeira’s dramatic black hills in the background. You don’t have to take our word for it; the 8-minute ‘Greatest Fireworks Show in the World’ frequently makes it into the Guinness World Records.

  • 17th October 2018