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We don’t know about you, but we’re ready to welcome spring with open arms. Lucky, then, that the Spring Equinox occurs on the 20th March – bringing with it warmer weather, longer evenings and an overall sense of rejuvenation. No wonder we named one of our ships, the celebrated Celebrity Equinox, after it! And it’s not only flowers that (finally) come into bloom come springtime. Some of the world’s most beautiful locations also unfurl their hidden treasures once more after long, cold winters. Here are some of our favourite destinations to visit on your next springtime cruise.
If the British winter has left you craving a little (or a lot of) sunshine, these islands can provide an antidote in the form of swaying palms, white sand beaches and clear, sparkling waters.
The months of March-May are ideal for those who struggle with the heat of the Caribbean in the summer. Temperatures tend to stick around 25 degrees (made even more refreshing by the constant ocean breeze) compared to 30+ in high summer. During these early-season months, you’ll also encounter fewer crowds, so tourist spots and excursions will be that much more peaceful.
With over 7,000 islands in the Caribbean, you’re unlikely to run out of choices anytime soon. A couple of our favourites include the romantic Saint Lucia and the historic St. Thomas. Find out more about our Caribbean cruises.
Both Norway and Iceland experience extreme and long – albeit beautiful – winters, so along with spring comes a kind of celebratory atmosphere as temperatures rise and the thermals are discarded for another year. Spring also happens to be one of the best times to see the Aurora Borealis – also known as the Northern Lights.
Northern Lights are on most people’s bucket-lists for a reason – watching the emerald streaks shimmering across a clear sky is an ethereal, almost otherworldly experience. The more north you are, the better your chances of seeing the lights dance. Akureyri in Iceland, which is just 100km from the Arctic Circle, is an ideal spot. While here, don’t miss the opportunity to try some cross-country skiing.
Learn more about our Scandinavian and Northern European cruises here.
The city of Amsterdam comes to life in spring – the winding canals are lined with lush greenery, the streets are filled with leisurely cyclists and the city’s festival season really hits its stride. However, perhaps the best reason to visit Amsterdam in spring is to witness Holland’s best-known export, tulips, as they come into full bloom.
You’ll find these colourful flowers all over the city, but for the most impressive display head to the Keukenhof Gardens. This area is home to over 7 million flower bulbs, which are at their best between March and May each year. You can also visit the Holland flower strip, known as the "bollenstreek,” and check out the annual Tulip Festival in April. Just make sure you leave enough time to try some of the city's famous waffles! Find out more about our Amsterdam cruises.
Journey with us to the Japanese city of Aomori in the spring to witness the incredible natural phenomenon that is "hanami." The city's streets erupt in colour as the cherry blossoms bloom. One of the most photogenic spots to capture this is Hirosaki, where you can also appreciate a backdrop of endless blue skies, majestic mountains, and the Hirosaki Castle. This site is home to about 2,600 trees, 300 of which are over 100 years old.
Appreciate these blossoms while you can, because the optimal spectacle only lasts for about a week, after which time the petals begin to fall from the trees – a beautiful sight in itself. Find out more about our Asia cruises.
Head to the west coast of Canada in spring for world-class skiing in Whistler, with the added bonus of sunshine. In April, the WSSF (World Ski and Snowboard Festival) comes to town – a celebration of film-making, mountain life, and snow-sports. Watch the pros perform some serious tricks as you enjoy a spot of après-ski on the terrace late into the mild evening. Ski holidays don’t come much better than this.
Much like in Japan, spring is also cherry blossom season in Vancouver. The blush pink petals line the city streets and mark the end of the rainy season. Visit in March or April to catch the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, which involves live concerts and outdoor picnics. Check out more details about our Canada and USA cruises.
This ruggedly beautiful group of islands off the coast of Portugal are a treasure trove for nature lovers, particularly between March and May, when the colourful spring flowers emerge. With a sub-tropical climate, they also enjoy sunshine pretty much year-round. In spring, you’re likely to experience temperatures of around 20 degrees with little chance of rain.
April is also the beginning of the whale watching season in the Azores. Take your binoculars to any one of the scenic lookout points along the coast, or join a guided boat tour to get up close and personal with these impressive creatures.
On our Azores cruises, we’ll take you to the lively city of Ponta Delgada, which hosts a number of festivals and events at this time of the year, including the Santo Cristo Festivities. Find out more about cruising the Azores in spring on our Transatlantic cruises.
We’ve put together this handy guide to some of our favourite spots in this sun-soaked destination; from the top place for sunbathing, to the most ideal beach for thrill-seekers.
Heard of Damien Hirst but are not sure about Phyllida Barlow? Love Frank Gehry but not heard of Bill Viola? It’s time to discover the exhibitions from around the world that play host to these works.
To satisfy your appetite, we’ve compiled the ultimate list of destinations for those with a sweet tooth.
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