This year's holiday season is around the corner, so now it is a good time to plan your well-deserved winter break. Going on a cruise is a fantastic way of ending the year and treating yourself to the trip of a lifetime, so take a look at our hand-picked selection of the top-5 winter sun cruises for 2013.
Many sun-seekers head to the Canary Islands and embark on a winter cruise through this wonderful archipelago. However, if you'd like a more exotic island hopping cruise, Cape Verde is exactly what you are looking for. These volcanic islands are located off the African coast and offer dramatic volcanic landscapes, warm temperatures year-round, a unique cultural mix of African and Portuguese heritage, colonial towns, and postcard-like beaches.
The Red Sea
You can now extend your typical Red Sea cruise experience to include trips to one of the world's most impressive UNESCO Heritage Sites, the lost sandstone city of Petra. These cruises start in Cairo, where you will have the chance of visiting the pyramids before heading down the Nile River to Luxor and on to the stunning beaches of Sharm el Sheikh. From there, the Jordanian site of Petra is only a few hours away.
A Culinary Voyage through South America and the Pacific
Luxury cruise line Oceania has launched a 48-day adventure that will take you to the beaches of Rio de Janeiro and Punta del Este (Uruguay) before heading to the idyllic islands of the Pacific, like Robinson Crusoe island, Tahiti, and Bora Bora. On board you can enjoy first-class spa treatments, leisure and entertainment venues, and the company's specialty: the chance to explore the local cuisine of every port of call in a grandiose setting.
The Arabian Gulf
Enjoy an exotic adventure that combines the tranquil seas of the Arabian Gulf with fascinating desert landscapes. Cruises can take you to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Muscat, where beach life and five-star shopping opportunities are plentiful. Shore excursions include desert safaris, diving trips, and swimming with dolphins.
The Best Music onboard Caribbean Cruises
Music lovers can now jump aboard a cruise ship that will take them from Florida to the most exclusive Caribbean islands, featuring guest performances by the some of the world's top jazz musicians. During the daytime, you will have the chance to sunbathe and explore the natural beauty of Puerto Rico, Turks & Caicos, St Maarten, and Half Moon Caye.