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Cold Cruises versus Hot Cruises

Cold cruises vs. hot cruises

What will you decide?

Published on 09 Jun 2022

Traditionally, cruises have always been seen as a tropical vacation with people sailing around the globe and relaxing in the heat. However, cold-weather cruises are becoming more popular, with people picking the majestic scenery and experiences available in colder regions over the traditional warm-weather cruise. Travellers are now trying to decide between prioritising cold and warm destinations when booking cruises and with so many advantages to each, it can be a hard decision. Depending on the type of traveller you are, what you are looking to gain from a cruise and many other factors, you’re bound to fall on one side of the cold versus hot debate. In this article, we take a look at some of the benefits of each type of cruise.

Cold cruises

Cold cruises to places like Alaska and the Baltics are becoming more popular with travellers. These colder countries offer many things that warmer regions don’t and the draws of the road less travelled means cruises to these areas are more desirable than ever before. Cruising is more than relaxation, it’s about adventure, which is something cold cruises provide by the bucket load.


One of the most popular cold destinations is Alaska, with the fresh air, unrivalled wilderness and breathtaking scenery bringing people in from all over the world. America’s 49th state is magnificent, printed straight from an adventure book. With golden eagles, bears, moose and even whales, the animals that make their home here are just one of the unforgettable aspects of travelling to Alaska. The snow-capped mountains and seemingly endless wilderness make for picture-perfect holiday photos and the ideal local for an expedition. The rich history of the land, thanks to the indigenous natives, is spread before you and you can learn much more about this at Alaska Native Heritage Center and by immersing yourself in the culture during your stopovers at the likes of Ketchikan and Juneau.


On the opposite side of the globe you have Antarctica, the least travelled of the world’s continents and the home of serene landscapes and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. The Antarctic is one of the most barren and motionless landscapes in the world, with no significant plant life or land mammals. The coastline, however, is home to penguins, seals and whales. To be in the exclusive group of people that have experienced Antarctica is a feeling that cannot be undervalued and although probably the least traditional cruise destination, it is one of the most rewarding.

The Arctic

Formed in the most northerly parts of the world, the Arctic’s barren icy expanse is the ideal place for adventure seekers to experience cold nature in its best form. Home to the mighty polar bear, the Arctic Circle is the best place to experience some of the world’s rarest species in their natural habitat. Due to the large area the Arctic covers, during your cruise, you could be lucky enough to experience mystical narwhals in frozen seas, polar bears on Arctic ice and seabirds patrolling the skies. Despite the freezing weather, you won’t be missing out on populated ports with places like Greenland and Canada on your itinerary. An Arctic cruise will give you all of the advantages of experiencing authentic local towns, as well as bringing you closer to nature in its rawest form.

The Baltics and Scandinavia

One of the highlights of cold weather cruising is the happiest place in the world. With a refreshing climate and 21-st century culture in historic cities such as Tallinn and Helsinki, the Baltics and Scandinavia are the ideal places for someone looking to explore new destinations blending old and new. Home to chic cafes and modern boutiques alongside historical buildings and architectural delights, Scandinavia is the ideal location for a city explorer. The rich Scandi culture has created some of the happiest countries in the world and visitors can see why. The scenery as you travel around the Baltic area varies from rugged fjords to cobbled city streets. The beauty of the Baltics, however, is the aurora borealis, a bucket list item that will illuminate the sky with colour as you sail. You can even take a northern lights cruise to chase the world’s most magical light show.

The Falkland Islands

Although not known for it, the Falkland Islands can offer explorers fantastic cold weather experiences. Visiting the Falklands gives you a real sense of getting away from it all. The small population of roughly 3,000 that call these islands home are proud of their land and are delighted to welcome explorers onto their shores. This small, isolated cluster of islands is home to vast stretches of wilderness and rare creatures such as albatross and petrels.

Tips for going on a cold-weather cruise

Not only does cold weather bring you to new and exciting places, it also requires a whole new packing list. Although your cruise ship will ensure you stay warm, when on expeditions or overnight excursions, you’ll require a very different wardrobe to that of a normal cruise. As well as making sure to pack warm layers and rain coat, you’ll still likely need sunglasses and sun cream. The light reflects off the glistening snow and can be quite bright when the sun is at its highest point.

Hot cruises

Warm cruises have been popular since cruising began, allowing travellers to chase the sun whilst relaxing on board. Stopping off at beach towns, historic cities and sun-soaked landscapes, warm cruises offer people paradise. From the sunny Mediterranean to the cultural hub that is South America, warm weather cruises take relaxed tourists to picture-perfect locations, often laden with palm trees and white sand beaches. A lot of people, especially those from the UK, use a holiday as a chance to escape to finer weather and many cruises deliver warm weather by the bucket load.


The ultimate gap year destination, Asia draws in more and more people every year. With its rich culture and historical background, people cannot resist the lure of Asia’s diverse landscapes and ancient cities. Home to the world’s most populated countries, Asia is a whole world of its own to explore. Head to the hustle of Tokyo and immerse yourself in the sci-fi lights and technology that is the every day in Japan. Head to Cambodia and experience the historical ruins and overgrown temples first-hand. Head to Delhi and lose yourself in the smoke and colours of India. One thing across Asia that doesn’t change is the weather. Whatever they have, they have it in bucket loads. Whether it’s the scorching sun beating down or thunderstorms booming, Asia has powerful weather. You can head up into the mountains and find snow and wander down into the hot city streets, the overwhelming size of Asia means you can find every kind of weather if you’re looking for it.


Australia’s buzzing cities and vast red outback bring together the perfect combination of city and adventure. With iconic landmarks like Ayers Rock, the Sydney Opera House and the Great Barrier Reef, this is a destination on the top of a lot of people’s lists. The welcoming laidback natives and chilled atmosphere make holidaying in Australia the perfect way to relax. Take to the shores and swim amongst some of the world’s richest sea life, or simply lie on the beaches and take in Australia from the sand. Australia is famous for its fierce wildlife and you’ll experience that if you go to Broken Hill. A large producer of silver, lead and zinc it is home to kangaroos, emus and even eagles. Here, you can learn about Australia’s rich mining history.

The Caribbean

The Caribbean is famous for its stretching hot beaches, palm trees and sun. The 700 islands that make up the Caribbean all have their own character and are linked by idyllic clear waters waiting to be explored. If you cruise to the Caribbean, don’t forget your sun cream! Once you disembark your cruise ship, you’ll instantly want to head back to the water. Grab a snorkel and swim through the shoals of exotic fish and old shipwrecks. As you lie on the beach, you’ll hear the local birds and the rich Caribbean atmosphere buzzing around you.

The Mediterranean

The Mediterranean stretch has drawn visitors for decades and with its magnificent beaches, seaside towns and affinity for seafood, it is one of the world’s most popular cruising destinations. Home to some of the oldest cities in the world, the Mediterranean offers something for every type of traveller. The varied architecture is a sign of Europe’s long lineage and you’ll want to put on your walking boots and explore the old streets of destinations like Gibraltar, Venice and Malaga.

South America

The varied climate of South America can mean you can visit both warm and cold places all on one cruise. The culture-filled streets of Rio are one of the most popular spots and people often aspire to visit South America to experience the local's carefree nature and to experience the vibrant atmosphere. The samba vibe and long beaches greet visitors who choose to explore the middle of the Americas. The Amazon rainforest dominates a large portion of South America and is full of fascinating flora and fauna as well as unforgettable wildlife. As you cruise, the air will turn and you can see the wonders of Patagonia and the Chilean fjords. The striking glaciers and jagged peaks show the varying climate of South America proudly.

Tips for going on a hot-weather cruise

Pack sun cream and lots of it! Although it may be tempting to only pack warm weather clothes be sure to pack a few layers as well. After all, you’ll have a lot of space in your cabin and may be grateful for them when the sun sets in the evening. A lot of hot countries can also have their own cultural norms when it comes to clothing so it’s worth doing some research to see if there is a certain way you are expected to dress when you visit some of these places, particularly at religious sites.

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