When it comes to holidays, Atlantic cruises are a consistent favorite and popular year-round. Connecting Europe with North America and the Caribbean, the cruises offer travelers the opportunity to escape in style and to visit some of the most celebrated destinations in the world.
Of these, few hold more appeal than New York, a city famous for its cosmopolitan nightlife, iconic landmarks and, of course, shopping. With the Christmas season fast approaching, this appeal is only amplified; if you’re thinking about transatlantic cruises, below are just some of the reasons why a crossing the Atlantic by cruise is the perfect trip for some Christmas shopping.
Shopping in New York
Whatever the time of year, New York is undoubtedly one of the best places to shop in the world. It is home to such an array of choices that the biggest problem isn’t what to do, but, rather, where to start! Spend hours perusing the floors and counters of famous department stores such as Bloomingdale’s, Barneys, Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, where the variety of wares on offer will wow even the most discerning of shopper. Alternatively, take a trip to the alternative shops of Century 21 in Lower Manhattan for quirky, unusual finds.
In the run up to Christmas, this appeal becomes even more marked, with every shop a showstopper of festive design and fantastic holiday finds. From one-of-a-kind windows to pre-Christmas sales to discover, in addition to a very favorable exchange rate, a Christmas shopping trip to the Big Apple is an experience that cannot be equaled.
Unique Gifts and Finds
It is not just the shops in New York that are unique – for the overseas traveler, it is the items that they sell that take the crown. The annual hunt for Christmas presents can often be a deflating experience, filled with uninspiring and unoriginal gifts that everyone has seen before. By buying your gifts on the cruise ship or on-shore in NYC, you are assured that what you are buying is that little bit different. Whether it is an array of Hershey’s chocolate goodies or something in a Macy’s little brown bag, your gift will be the one to stand out from the crowd.
Lap Up the Atmosphere
Shopping aside, New York’s major draw is its hectic, heady atmosphere that simply buzzes with energy. As winter approaches, the spirit of Christmas hangs in the air and makes itself apparent wherever you go. Even if the snow has not yet arrived, visitors and New Yorkers alike can get into the festive mood with shows such as the Nutcracker or the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Christmas trees spread across the city and, of course, the world-famous ice skating in Rockefeller Center and Central Park.
Why Make It a Cruise?
New York is unarguably one of the prime destinations for Christmas shopping and festive experiences, but combining this with a cruise transforms your holiday into one that is idyllic from beginning to end. Not only do you get to arrive in enviable style and get your first glimpse of the Big Apple from the water, you also get to skip the queues and cramped leg space of a flight. Booking a cabin means you can have as much fun on the journey as at your destination. Plus, with all the shopping you’ve done, you will need the extra luggage allowance that only a cruise allows!
Helena Crowle is a freelance travel journalist who has had her fair share of sea voyages over the years. She is currently living and working in Boston.
Image by Phil Whitehouse used under Creative Comms license