Summer and winter cruises offer two totally different experiences. Depending on what type of vacation you are searching for, picking the right time of year to take your vacation is crucial. We’ve rounded up the most significant differences between the two seasons so that you can make an informed decision when planning your next cruise.

Winter

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Fewer Crowds

As expected, summer and major holidays (Christmas, New Year’s, even Mardi Gras and Halloween) draw the largest crowds. With kids off school and many families vacationing, cruises are typically busy during the “high” season. If you want to avoid the crowds, cruise during the off-season or “wave months” which are January through March.

Escape the Cold

For those living in cold climates, by January of February, trading in snow boots for sandals starts to seem like a great idea. The Caribbean maintains temperatures in the mid 80’s and water temps still in the high 70s through the winter months. From Martinique to the Virgin Islands, there’s no shortage of warm-weather destinations.

Holiday Cruises

Have you ever wanted to pack your bags and let someone else worry about the holiday arrangements? Instead of buying presents this year, why not give the gift of memories? Take the stress out of the busy holiday season and bring the family on a cruise. Disney Cruise Line boasts Christmas cruises filled with festive music and decoration. Hop onboard Viking River Cruises for a nostalgic European Christmas to the charming Christmas Markets.

Great Prices

Winter sailings are among the lowest of the year. Remember families make up a large portion of cruise bookings, when kids are in school, prices drop. Great promotions offer enticing reasons to opt for a winter cruise.

Fewer Kids

If you have children or teens and plan on using kid’s clubs, not only will it be easier to secure your child a spot but with fewer kids, your child will receive more individualized attention.

Summer

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Weather

Summer sailing means less chance of running into weather conditions that could prevent you from going on your cruise: blizzards, flight delays and ice. Even hurricane season in the Caribbean rarely affects summer cruises.

On Shore Activities

From Europe to the Caribbean and Mediterranean, you’ll have unlimited options when it comes to excursions during summer months. Many attractions in Europe close during the winter.

More Kids

If you are cruising with the family and bringing young children or teens, they will have more kids their age. During the winter the teen clubs don’t have the crowds.

Winter and summer cruises each have their own advantages. So, choose based on what is important to you.