Put the magic back into the sea­son! We dis­cover ways to es­cape the stresses of home, but still en­joy some old-fash­ioned fes­tiv­i­ties on the high seas.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS -

Christ­mas at sea

1 Sail away in the Bay of Is­lands

Chart your own voy­age in the Bay of Is­lands for a self-catered Christ­mas on azure wa­ters. The Sen­sa­tion yacht is li­censed to cruise more than 270km of coast­line from the stun­ning Poor Knights Is­lands to the western side of Great Bar­rier Is­land. Cook up a Christ­mas feast while an­chored off a se­cluded is­land or head to Mo­torua Is­land to dol­phin watch. When: For Christ­mas 2017 book­ings, visit bay­char­

2 See the Caribbean

Spend Christ­mas with Santa on a surf­board on the waves of the FlowRider sim­u­la­tor. On­board a seven-night Western Caribbean cruise de­part­ing from Florida on the Har­mony of the Seas, Ac­tion Saint Nick will be zi­plin­ing and in the sky­div­ing sim­u­la­tor as well. Har­mony of the Seas is one of the big­gest ships in the world and its mod cons in­clude ro­botic bar­tenders. En­joy your Christ­mas feast in one of its many restau­rants.

When: Spots on the De­cem­ber 16-23 cruise are sell­ing fast.

Visit roy­al­

3 Cruise the Pa­cific

If the idea of en­joy­ing a de­li­cious Christ­mas lunch on a newly fit­ted ship ap­peals, then con­sider a 10-night Christ­mas cruise from Syd­ney ex­plor­ing Noumea, Port Vila and Mys­tery Is­land on­board the

Pa­cific Ex­plorer. Santa will be roam­ing the decks spread­ing Christ­mas cheer with presents for all while you re­lax pool­side.

When: De­cem­ber 17-27, 2017. Visit for op­tions from Bris­bane and Mel­bourne too.

4 The fes­tive mar­kets

Noth­ing says Christ­mas more than a cob­ble­stoned town square in Europe, with fes­tive market stalls lit up with fairy lights, sell­ing crafts and dec­o­ra­tions. Scenic has two 16-day Christ­mas Won­der­land cruises from Am­s­ter­dam to Bu­dapest this De­cem­ber, but you will have to be quick to get any re­main­ing spots; oth­er­wise, Christ­mas 2018 is your best bet. Along the way, take in a ginger­bread bak­ing class or a Mid­night Mass.

When: De­cem­ber 14 and 19, 2017, from Am­s­ter­dam.


5 Ex­plore Aus­tralia

On P&O’s Pa­cific Jewel you can treat your­self to a spe­cial Christ­mas lunch and dinner with all the trim­mings. Santa pays a visit and there is car­olling too. The 11-day cruise takes in the ports of Mel­bourne, New­cas­tle, More­ton Is­land, the Sun­shine Coast and Glad­stone in Queens­land. Wak­ing on Christ­mas morn­ing to a view of the open sea is a treat in it­self.

When: De­parts Mel­bourne De­cem­ber 16. Visit pocruises.

Euro­pean mar­kets per­fectly cap­ture Christ­mas magic.

You’re more likely to see pel­i­cans than rein­deer on an Australian cruise.

Surf­ing Santa

Pa­cific dream­ing

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