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This January, put down your snow shovel and take a winter break to the Southern Caribbean!

A winter escape in January is the perfect time to take a break from the cold, as It is the usually the coldest and snowiest month in BC’s interior. Leaving home after spending the Christmas Holidays and New Year’s with family and friends is the perfect time to get away to warmth and sunshine. Returning home late January or early February is another reason the timing is perfect; the days are starting to warm up and yet there are still two months left for skiing and winter activities in the surrounding mountains.

I grew up in Southern California where the change of seasons most years are hardly noticeable and year-round lawn mowing and gardening are the norm. I love living in BC where there is a distinct change of seasons and activities to participate in, but I do enjoy the chance to take a break from the cold, snow shovelling and overcast days.

Cruising is a great way to escape the winter. Why you might ask? A winter vacation for me is the optimum time to relax, rejuvenate and explore. Cruising allows me to do all of these things with one booking and without the need to change hotels. Cruise companies plan their cruises to provide a good mix of days at sea with ports of call.

On the sea days take advantage of the many on board activities:

  • Enjoy the Spa: Book a massage, facial or a beauty treatment
  • Casino: Maybe it’s your time with Lady Luck!
  • Games Room: A good place to meet new friends over cards or board games
  • Pools and Hot Tubs: Take a dip or simply laze around and enjoy the pool side entertainment
  • Shopping: Cruise ships have an array of boutiques to choose from
  • Education: Cruise ships offer a variety of educational sessions from camera workshops to bridge lessons.

Ports of Call offer time to explore a new destination:

  • Booked Excursions: These can be found on the cruise company’s website and I recommend taking a look ahead of time. You can book the excursions you are interested in before departure or once on board the ship. Keep in mind, there will be many excursion opportunities once you are ashore, but if anything happens to delay the excursion’s departure you choose and you are late returning, the ship will not wait for you. Shore excursions sold by the ship guarantee that all their booked passengers will be back on board before departure.
  • Going It On Your Own: Ports are chosen for the amenities they provide cruise passengers and my experience has been that often you can walk to local attractions and shopping venues or local transportation is available on the dock for a very reasonable price.
  • Stay On Board: Staying on board is always an option when in port and the cruise planners are very aware that some passengers may choose to do so. The casino is usually closed while the ship is in port but food services and activities are still available.

Wells Gray Tours has the perfect sailing for your 2018 winter getaway on their Southern Caribbean cruise leaving January 10th on Holland America’s Rotterdam. Plan now to leave your boots and snow shovel behind, and begin planning and dreaming of your escape to sunshine and warm sandy beaches. See you on board!

Itinerary from BC Interior

Itinerary from Victoria

Written by: Joan Niemeier