Today’s topic, per subject line, is pretty self-explanatory. With the vast array of ships in all shapes and sizes, traversing the globe, when is the best time to cruise the different continents? There is a rule of thumb, that being that the cruise lines position their ships in what is considered to be the best part of the world at the best time to be there. Do you however know when that is – if not, then you should I hope find this article to be of interest for your future planning.
S H O R T H A U L
This area is pretty much covered year round due to their temperate climate month on month and is visited by predominantly ex-UK voyages. Tenerife is also often a port visited on trans-atlantic voyages.
EUROPEAN RIVER CRUISES
As you would expect, these encompass the two previously mentioned areas and operate April through October predominantly. Fly-cruise voyages.
Per the Caribbean – certain cruise lines do have an all year presence in Mediterranean waters. The optimum time for both Eastern and Western med itineraries is Spring>Autumn. Quite often the opposite end of the re-positioning (transatlantic) voyages touched on above, will be heading to or departing from the Mediterranean. These re-location itineraries which a limited number of ports of call, can often be picked up at very preferential rates as they are not everyone’s cup of tea. Ex UK and fly-cruise voyages.
NORTHERN EUROPE / BALTIC
Another predominantly ‘British Summer Time’ destination. The main months that you will find cruises into this area will be May>September. A slight misconception about heading north from the UK rather than south, is that you won’t get some decent weather. You can in fact pick up some glorious weather. I’ve been to the Fjords twice and Baltic once, and on all three occasions experienced wonderful weather. Ex UK and fly-cruise voyages.
L O N G H A U L
Optimum time for this diverse part of the world is between October/November through to May. Fly-cruise voyages.
Our summer – May through to September. August has a bit of a reputation for being a bad month for mosquitoes in this part of the world. Fly-cruise voyages.
A year round destination dependant upon particular requirements on your wish list / destinations to be visited vis a vis what you want to experience. That said, once again, it tends to be featured on cruise itineraries during our Winter months. Fly-cruise voyages.
AUSTRALIA / NEW ZEALAND
Another ‘our winter’ destination. Another part of the world where some cruise lines have ships positioned there year round though. Main season though is late November through to March. Predominantly a fly-cruise destination (as you would expect), unless part of an ex UK World Cruise perhaps. Fly-cruise voyages.
Best time to visit this stunning island is between June and October. Personally when I visited in May I also experienced wonderful weather for my entire stay (which was a land holiday rather than a cruise). You would usually visit this destination from East Coast USA (NYC for example). August/October have a chance of hurricanes. Fly-cruise voyages.
Certain cruise lines have a presence in the Caribbean year round. That shouldn’t be confused with the fact that the Caribbean is necessarily an ‘all year’ destination. The optimum time to be there is really during our winter months – December<March/April – so a great place for some winter sunshine. Hurricane season is June through to November. For the ships who aren’t permanently positioned in this area they will usually be operating their re-positioning voyage either to or from Caribbean waters, in the Autumn/early Winter and late winter/early Spring. Ex UK sometimes but predominantly fly-cruise voyages.
Another British winter destination – December > April. NCL have a ship permanently positioned here (Honolulu being the home port). For most other cruise lines its either featured from ex coast USA or part of a longer voyage taking in other parts of the world. Fly-cruise voyages.
This part of the world crops up in its own right as a featured destination or possibly as part of a Panama Canal cruise. Best time is mid-October through to April. Hurricane season June to October. Fly-cruise voyages.
NEW ENGLAND / CANADA
Our Autumn is the optimum time to visit – particularly if you are wanting to experience New England in the Fall. Itineraries normally crop up September/October. Fly-cruise voyages in the main.
SOUTH AMERICA/ANTARCTICA/GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
November through to March is the best time to experience this part of the world. The Galapagos is pretty much a year-round destination with a warm and tropical climate that doesn’t really chance much. Fly-cruise voyages.
Paul Gauguin is permanently positioned in these waters. Aside from her however, this part of the world is best visited during our Spring through to Autumn. Fly-cruise voyages.
Tend to historically depart early January for varying periods, averaging out around 3 months in duration. There are exceptions with say, Grand Voyages, perhaps not quite as long and/or the occasional World Cruise that departs later in the year. The latter being the exception rather than the rule though. World Cruises and sometimes Grand Voyages too, can be bought in their entirety or in segments. Both fly-cruise and ex UK voyages.
Whatever your destination of choice you will of course experience higher prices and busier ports of call/destinations if you opt to travel during peak seasons and/or school holiday periods.
Certain destinations mentioned in this article are shown as Fly-Cruise ones. The only exception to this would be if they were part of an ex UK World Cruise.
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