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New Year’s Eve Cruises: Celebrate New Year’s On A Cruise Ship
New Year Decorations (Photo: r.classen/Shutterstock)

New Year’s Eve Cruises: Celebrate New Year’s On A Cruise Ship

New Year’s Eve Cruises: Celebrate New Year’s On A Cruise Ship
New Year Decorations (Photo: r.classen/Shutterstock)
Deb Stone
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Start the New Year the way you mean to go on: travelling to places you've never been before or returning to your favourite destinations -- and with a glittering party to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

Cruise lines often offer combined Christmas and New Year cruises, so there's the chance for double celebrations, usually somewhere warm like the Canaries or Caribbean. For those who have spent years organising a family Christmas, taking a New Year cruise gives you the chance to slip away for a well-earned rest.

Most cruise ships dock on New Year’s Eve, rather than spend it at sea like they do on Christmas Day, so you may get to see a good city fireworks display while you party.

It's the easiest New Year's Eve celebration you'll ever have: no food preparations, no tidying up or waiting for a taxi home afterwards. All you need do is enjoy it. No wonder they sell out so fast.


Azamara' White Night Party (Photo: Cruise Critic)

All Azamara ships will feature a special dinner menu on December 31. If weather permits, the traditional New Year's Eve White Party will be held on deck. On New Year's Day, a brunch will be held in Discoveries.

Carnival Cruise Line

New Years on Carnival (Photo: Carnival Cruises)

On Carnival New Year's Eve cruises, passengers will be provided with hats, favors and noisemakers, and complimentary Champagne will be served.

Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Solstice (Photo: Celebrity)

Celebrity is planning celebrations in multiple venues, with bands and DJs, pop-up performances, a poolside celebration, a countdown and a balloon drop at midnight.

Costa Cruises

Costa Deliziosa (Photo: Costa Cruises)

New Year's Eve celebrations on Costa Luminosa kick off with a lavish six-course dinner, followed by a holiday party with live music and a DJ. A countdown clock will be displayed in all lounges and on the poolside movie screen. The festivities will carry on after midnight with a special midnight buffet and dancing in the disco until the early morning.

Cruise & Maritime Voyages


Whether you’re sailing to Funchal in Madeira to see the famous New Year’s Eve fireworks display on one of several CMV ships that usually head to the Canary Islands, or going down under for a cruise off Australia, expect a party atmosphere. Some spend New Year’s Even in the Canaries rather than Tenerife but all will have Gala night dinners, a countdown to the New Year and dancing into the night as the ships sail away after midnight to their next port of call.

Crystal Cruises

Crystal Serenity (Photo: Crystal)

Both Crystal ships will offer passengers a black-tie-optional gala dinner, followed by Champagne, dancing, live music and a midnight countdown with balloon drop. Midnight snacks and Champagne will be served in all bars. On New Year's Day, celebrations will continue with a special jazz brunch. Bloody Marys and mimosas will be served in all bars and on deck.


Queen Mary 2 (Photo: Cunard)

As you’d expect from such a classy cruise line, Cunard doesn’t just have New Year’s Eve parties on its three Queens ships, it has New Year’s Eve balls. Most years Queen Mary 2 sails across the Atlantic to New York celebrating Christmas at sea on its way to the Caribbean for New Year’s Eve celebrations in the specially sprung dance floor of the Queens Room -- although there are celebrations at several venues, complete with a countdown, balloon drop and Champagne all round. There may even be fireworks, especially if you’re on Queen Victoria’s regular Canary Islands cruise which is well-known for its New Year’s Eve stop in Madeira where the superb display can be seen from the ship.

Disney Cruise Line

Disney Fireworks Display (Photo: Disney Cruises)

Disney will host a shipwide party on New Year's Eve with a countdown to the new year, featuring music and sparkling wine in commemorative flutes.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

fred o

They like to do things a little differently on Fred. Olsen ships so go prepared for a fancy dress party on New Year’s Eve: The Roaring 20s is a popular theme. There will be specially crafted cocktails at the cocktail party and don’t be surprised if there’s a parade and address to a haggis -- even though Burns Night is a few weeks away. It’s all part of the cruise line’s Scottish-themed Hogmanay and there are deck parties with live music and fizzy drinks all round for the countdown to midnight. Also unmissable is Fred’s Fat Quiz of the Year. Take your pick from the Caribbean, Canaries and Far East most years.

Holland America Line

Nieuw Statendam (Photo: Holland America Line)

A special gala celebration will be followed by New Year's Day college football; Holland America will arrange to broadcast some of the bowl games.


While most cruise lines head off to winter sun for New Year itineraries Norway’s Hurtigruten does things differently. During its classic 7-day itinerary from Bergen to Kirkenes you call at 34 ports, as usual, but during the day on New Year’s Eve there’s usually an Arctic Circle Ceremony with passengers sailing Arctic waters for the first time given an Arctic Circle baptism by Njord, ruler of the Seven Seas. After a few hours exploring the magical Lofoten Islands there’s a celebratory dinner and New Year’s Eve entertainment that may include seeing the Northern Lights.


It's party central on Marella's ships at New Year. Still decorated for the festive season, there are live bands and entertainment in every lounge and bar throughout each cruise but also a special New Year's Eve party with a countdown to midnight on every ship -- out on deck in tropical destinations. On New Year’s Eve Marella will be serving bubbles to welcome in the new year. If the ships are in a port there may be fireworks to watch from the deck, such as -- the world-famous display at Funchal in Malta. On New Year’s Day there's always a gala dinner and more celebrations and if shops and attractions in nearby ports are closed ships stay at sea for the day with plenty of entertainment lined up. Ships are generally in the Caribbean, Canaries or Far East for this festive period so you’re virtually guaranteed a sunny start to the year.

MSC Cruises

MSC New Year (Photo: MSC Cruises)

MSC Meraviglia, MSC Seaside and MSC Divina will celebrate their New Year's cruises with activities like themed trivia and bingo, as well as a special New Year's Eve gala dinner.

Following dinner, there will be a dance party on the ship's deck, featuring a Champagne toast and a countdown to midnight. The kids' club will offer extended hours and free babysitting for parents hoping to stay out for the festivities. On New Year's Day, there will be a special celebratory lunch featuring themed cocktails.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Getaway (Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line)

On New Year's Eve cruises, meals in Norwegian's main restaurants will be festive. Passengers are to be given noisemakers for the party, and the ships' captains count down to the new year from the bridge.

Oceania Cruises

Oceania Regatta (Photo: Oceania)

Oceania will hold a New Year's Eve celebration on deck (weather permitting) and in all ship lounges to ring in the new year. Passengers will enjoy live music, noisemakers, party hats and a Champagne toast at the stroke of midnight.

P&O Cruises

Guests are treated to a black tie Gala dinner on all P&O Cruises ships on New Year’s Eve, with balloons and streamers for the party afterwards. There is dancing in ships’ atriums and night clubs and sometimes a show in the theatre. Most years there’s a five-day return trip to Hamburg, where you can see the city’s midnight fireworks displays and there are warm weather fly-cruises to the Caribbean or from Dubai around the Gulf.

Princess Cruises

Pacific Princess (Photo: Princess Cruises)

Clackers, hats, streamers and Champagne will all be on hand as the captain counts down to the new year. A balloon drop will commence when the clock strikes midnight. Passengers will enjoy a special New Year's Eve menu. So parents can party, Princess offers free group babysitting for children ages 3 to 12 in the youth centers on New Year's Eve.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Regent Seven Seas Splendor (Photo: Regent Seven Seas)

A special New Year's dinner is planned on all Regent ships. A New Year's party will be held on deck, weather permitting, and it will include free-flowing Champagne. For the New Year's party, passengers can enjoy caviar, chocolate truffles, chocolate-covered strawberries and other treats.

Royal Caribbean International

Grandeur of the Seas (Photo: Royal Caribbean International)

New Year's Eve parties will take place throughout all the Royal Caribbean ships, complete with a countdown, balloon drop and party favors like hats. Adventure Ocean will extend its Late Night Party Zone hours to 2 a.m. and (for-fee) nursery hours until 1 a.m. so parents can celebrate. On New Year's Day, a special brunch will be served.


Boutique cruise fans will love Saga’s new Spirit of Discovery, joined by Spirit of Adventure in 2020, where an all-inclusive policy of complimentary drinks and gratuities on top of free speciality restaurants make New Year sailing with Saga relaxing and fun. It goes without saying that there will be a massive New Year’s Eve party after a special celebratory meal and a return trip to the Canaries is the likely destination.

Seabourn Cruise Line

Seabourn Ovation (Photo: Seabourn Cruises)

On New Year's Eve cruises, Seabourn's gala evening will be made festive with a formal-optional dinner and a holiday ball on deck or in the main show lounge (depending on weather).

Silversea Cruises

Silver Spirit Sailing in The Bahamas (Photo: Silversea)

Complimentary Champagne, streamers, party hats and noisemakers will all be on hand for Silversea's gala New Year's Eve celebrations, which are scheduled to start early with a pre-dinner performance in the show lounge and continue with dinner and dancing in the main restaurant. Live music, gifts and surprises will continue until the countdown to the new year.

Viking Ocean Cruises

Viking Jupiter (Photo: Viking Ocean Cruises)

On New Year's Eve, Viking passengers will be treated to celebrations including live music (with "Auld Lang Syne"), dancing and a midnight toast.

Windstar Cruises

Wind Star at Sea (Photo: Windstar Cruises)

A special New Year's Eve gala evening will include dinner and, at a charge, themed cocktails. It is tradition on Windstar ships for the most senior crew member to ring out the old year and the youngest to ring in the new. Passengers will be able to partake in a festive New Year's Eve party, complete with party favors, live music, dancing, an official countdown by the captain and a Champagne toast.

Updated December 10, 2019

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