Picture Christmas day. What does it look like to you? We'll bet our cracker presents that it involves relaxing with a Christmas special after a huge turkey dinner, or perhaps eating Quality Streets surrounded by twinkly lights and discarded wrapping paper.

It’s probably less likely to involve reclining on an exotic beach, fruity cocktail in hand. Most of us fall back into the same Christmas traditions year after year because they're comforting and familiar. However, it is worth breaking the status quo and spending Christmas away from home at least once in your life. Here are our top eight reasons why we think a Christmas cruise should make your bucket-list.  

1. The Weather

Forget slushy pavements and icicle fingers. Come sailing with us, and you could spend Christmas Day soaking up the sun on a Caribbean beach or immersing yourself in the culture and customs of Asia. The common theme is, of course, a sun-soaked climate. Yes, there's something charming about snow falling outside your window as you open presents – but celebrating the season in your swimwear can provide a refreshing novelty.

2. No Christmas Stress

Christmas is one of our favourite times of the year, but there's no denying that it can bring with it one or two pressure points. This year, why not trade in last-minute Christmas shopping panics, entertaining extended family members and the Christmas dinner washing up for a blissfully laid-back day onboard one of our ships? 

Take the time to pamper yourself – indulge in a massage or treatment at the Canyon Ranch Spa, lose yourself in a good book on the top deck, then enjoy a three-course meal prepared for you by our chefs. All this, and not a Brussel sprout in sight.  

3. Combine Christmas with a Family Holiday 

Save money and avoid summer holiday peak times by booking your annual vacation over Christmas. On our cruises, you'll be able to take in a number of destinations, without having to worry about the logistics. And with none of the usual boxes to tick, you'll be free to spend time with loved ones and recharge your batteries away from home. Just in time for the New Year, too.

4. Broaden your Horizons

As much as we love singing along to Slade and munching on pigs in blankets, we also know that trying something new from time to time is good for us. Push yourself and broaden your horizons by experiencing the customs of another culture this Christmas. You could swap turkey for Pad Thai, and the Queen’s Christmas Message for wandering around an ancient temple or exploring a lush rainforest. One thing’s for sure – you’ll return home with stories to tell. 

5. No Expectations

We wait for Christmas all year, and most of us know what our perfect at-home Christmas looks like. As a result, things can feel a bit flat if they don’t match up to these impossibly high expectations. In contrast, most of us have no precedent for a Christmas away from home, so are free to enjoy it in whatever form it might take. Plus, there is so much more flexibility – you might choose to spend the day taking it easy, playing lawn games and shopping onboard one of our ships, or you might want to admire colonial architecture in a picturesque Caribbean town. The choice is yours.

6. Bring Back Some Ideas

If we follow the same pattern every Christmas, it can be so easy to get trapped in a rut. Switching things up for just one year can wipe the slate clean and give us some new ideas to bring home. For example, why not add some Asian flair to next year’s Christmas dinner with fried Chinese dumplings or Thai fish cakes? Or, take your inspiration from Norway by celebrating “Little Christmas Eve” on the 23rd December – this is when most families decorate the Christmas tree, construct a gingerbread house with the children, or indulge in risengrynsgrøt, which is a kind of warm rice pudding, eaten with butter, cinnamon and sugar. 

7. You’ll Appreciate it More Next Year

If you tend to take Christmas for granted, spending the season away from home is sure to renew your love of the festive period and all of the strange little traditions that accompany it here in the UK. You’ll come back with a fresh perspective, a new appreciation, and some incredible memories to boot. 

Looking to escape this festive season? Check out our selection of Christmas and New Year cruises to see out of the year in style.