Set sail for sunshine
Join us to enjoy the ultimate relaxed Christmas cruise. As Columbus sails to Rotterdam, the Canaries, Madeira then back to Portugal and Spain, you'll be free to spend an unforgettable Christmas and New Year by being looked after by Columbus's attentive crew and entertained by a team dedicated to ensuring you have a wonderful festive break.
Life on board Columbus
There's far more to Columbus than we could possibly fit on this page. Click below to find out more about her cabins, restaurants and other excellent facilities.
WHAT DOES THE PRICE INCLUDE?
Day One: Depart London Tilbury
Board Columbus in Tilbury, today, and settle in to your cabin as she prepares to set sail.
Day Two: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Columbus reaches her first port of call today: the Dutch maritime city of Rotterdam. Step ashore to see the stunning architecture of the Erasmus Bridge and the remarkable Markthal food market. Browse the World-class museums, explore the lovingly preserved Old Harbour and stroll past nearby Delfshaven's step-gabled houses and ancient wharves.
Days Three and Four: At sea
Get to know Columbus, her crew and your fellow passengers as you cruise south.
Day Five: Christmas Day
Enjoy a Christmas celebration unlike any other as you spend the day at sea in the company of your fellow passengers. You’ll be looked after by the Captain, Officers, crew and entertainment team, who will do everything they can to ensure that the day is one to remember.
Day Six: Gibraltar
On Boxing Day morning Columbus arrives in Gibraltar to spend the most British of the festive holidays in the Mediterranean's most British location. Take the cable-car to the summit of the Rock, to take in the tremendous views (across to Morocco's Atlas Mountains on the clearest days) and to meet the famous Barbary Apes.
Day Seven: Casablanca, Morocco
This morning Columbus docks in Casablanca, renowned for its connections with the celebrated movie, but today a world away from Humphrey Bogart’s sleepy town. Startlingly modern, but retaining a sense of the past in its ancient medina, the city offers wonderful beaches, some designer shopping and the fascination of the gigantic Hassan II Mosque. Today also offers up the chance to join an unforgettable shore excursion to Marrakech to explore the tiny stores, alleys and hidden courtyards of the souks, and its vast, bustling square, the Djemaa El Fna.
Day Eight: At sea
Relax on board as Columbus spends another day at sea.
Day Nine: Arrecife, Lanzarote
Our first Canary Islands call is Arrecife, the capital of Lanzarote. The black sand beaches of this sun-baked and colourful holiday isle fringe warm waters, and our visit here offers the chance to head to ‘fire mountain’ and take a camel ride to the edge of a volcano.
Day 10: Las Palmas, Gran Canaria
Today Columbus arrives in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria’s principal port. Wander the palm-fringed squares and cobbled streets of Vegueta, the port's old town, immerse yourself in the bustle of modern Puerto de la Luz or take an excursion to explore the rugged landscape of Pico de las Nieves or the pristine sand dunes of Maspalomas.
Day 11: Funchal, Madeira
On New Year's Eve, Columbus docks in Funchal, the relaxed capital of Madeira. Some 500 miles off the coast of Africa, this lush green sub-tropical paradise is home to some of the most exotic vibrant and varied flora on Earth. Visit the wonderful Botanical Gardens, and perhaps race downhill from Monte to Livramento in a wickerwork ’toboggan’ before returning to Columbus for an evening of celebrations to mark the turning of the year.
Day 12: New Year's Day
Relax on board as Columbus spends another day at sea.
Day 13: Lisbon, Portugal
The Portuguese capital, Lisbon, is Columbus's next port of call. Wander up through the cobbled streets of the Alfama towards Sao Jorge Castle, relax by the fountain in Rossi Square or follow the shoreline along to where the ornate battlements of the Belem Tower guard the mouth of the River Tagus.
Day 14: Vigo, Spain
Early this morning Columbus makes her way into the stunning natural harbour of Ria de Vigo. A historic fishing port, Vigo bustles with life, especially in the cobbled streets of the old town, where the day’s catch is laid out on granite tables, and cafes serve strong coffee to arriving fishermen - and cruise holidaymakers. Stroll the seafront, or join an optional excursion to Santiago de Compostela, destination of pilgrims and arguably the world’s first tourist destination.
Days 15-16: At sea
The last two days of your cruise are spent at sea, no doubt reliving the memories as Columbus cruises home.
Day 17: Arrive London Tilbury
Bid farewell to Columbus and all your fellow travellers, today, as you disembark at the end of your cruise.
Days marked above with an anchor include ports where you will be transferred to shore by landing boat. These ports may be inaccessible for customers with mobility difficulties as a result. Any days not listed will be spent at sea.
British Citizens will need a full, 10-year passport to travel on this cruise. Since some countries require visitors to be valid for at least six months after the return date of the cruise we recommend that all customers ensure that this is the case. Holders of non-British passports should check with the relevant embassies to see if any requirements and restrictions exist for any countries visited during the cruise.
Foreign Office travel advice
Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.