Let someone else baste the turkey this Christmas while you bask on a sun-kissed deck or explore new destinations, says EMILY BAMBER FLY TO THE SUN
If a white Christmas is the last thing you're dreaming of, take a fast-track to the sunshine with a Caribbean fly-cruise.
Arriving in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, join Princess Cruises (0845 355 5800/www.princess.com
) for seven nights on board Crown Princess, exploring the flamboyant ports of the western Caribbean.
As well as rum, reggae and rolling surf you can expect eco adventure and ancient ruins in Cozumel, Mexico, while Roatan Island off Honduras is surrounded by 60 miles of coral reef ideal for snorkelling. Click here now for amazing offers to the Caribbean!
Excellent children's clubs, acres of swimming pools and relaxed dining make this an ideal cruise for families.
A nine-night Western Caribbean fly-cruise from £1,629 per adult and £979 per child (four sharing), including return flights. Departs Heathrow December 22, 2010. EUROPEAN CITIES
Step on to the Eurostar at St Pancras International and set off for a cultural Christmas on the River Rhine with Treyn Holidays (01904 734 940/ www.treynholidays.co.uk
After a day's travel you'll arrive in Cologne and join the new river cruiser MS Sonata, which will be adorned with festive decorations.
As the boat heads south you'll pass ancient castles and fields of vines before arriving in Strasbourg, with its glorious Christmas market.
On Christmas Day the boat pulls into Roman city Mainz, where you can attend a service at St Martin's Cathedral, whose six towers dominate the skyline.
MS Sonata is a contemporary river-cruiser with 83 cabins, lots of deck space and a stylish Viennese café serving Sachertorte and other sweet goodies. All cabins are outside-facing and the Lido Terrace at the front of the ship is the perfect spot for viewing the passing scenery.
A seven-night Rhine Christmas Cruise from £698 per adult (two sharing), including return train travel.
Departs St Pancras International December 21, 2010. Want incredible offers to the Caribbean? Click here now...ADULTS IN THE CARIBBEAN
Looking for a grown-up Christmas that's more Silent Night than Jingle Bells? Then this holiday from Cruise & Maritime (0845 430 0274/ www.cruiseandmaritime.com
) could be a perfect fit.
Adult-only ship Marco Polo will be sailing from the London Cruise Terminal, Tilbury, for a five-week tour of the Caribbean over Christmas and New Year.
You'll visit 11 islands, including St Kitts, St Lucia and Barbados, with its Anglican churches and cricket grounds.
Passengers with a musical interest can participate in a choral-style Christmas Eve concert. On Christmas Day, crackers will be pulled and a turkey lunch with all the trimmings will be served.
Festive evening activities include quizzes and cabaret.
A 35-night Christmas Caribbean cruise from £2,299 per adult (two sharing). Departs Tilbury December 6, 2010. EXOTIC ESCAPE
More private yacht than cruise ship, Le Diamant from Compagnie du Ponant (0808 234 3802/www.ponant.com
) sails the quiet corners of the world in considerable comfort.
This Christmas it will be in the Far East, cruising from Hong Kong along the coast of Vietnam. Setting sail with just 226 passengers, the ship can access small ports such as Chan May, where you can visit Hue, a Unesco World Heritage site with palaces and tombs.
Another highlight is Halong Bay, with its surreal rock formations looming out of the water.
This cruise line appeals to the well-travelled. Life on the vessel is sophisticated, with French haute cuisine served in the three restaurants and wine included in the price.
The ship will be tastefully decorated for Christmas Day and passengers can take in the splendid sights of Nha Trang, the Vietnamese seaside resort where Le Diamant will be docked for the morning.
A 12-night From The Lion City To Ho Chi Minh City cruise from £2,435 per adult (two sharing), cruise only. Departs Hong Kong December 16, 2010. Cathay Pacific (0208 834 8888/ www.cathaypacific.co.uk
) offers flights from Heathrow to Hong Kong on December 15, returning from Ho Chi Minh City on December 28, from £949. SOUKS AND SANTA
Head to North Africa this Christmas for warm days under bright blue skies.
Family-orientated Norwegian Cruise Line (0845 201 8900/ www.ncl.co.uk
) has a ship based in Barcelona sailing nine-night itineraries to Morocco, calling at Casablanca, with its colourful souks and the alluring port of Agadir.
There's more beach fun on the vast creamy sand dunes of Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands and on Madeira, where the ship calls at Funchal.
Bells will ring with a Christmas Eve service, and on Christmas Day there will be carol singing, a turkey lunch and a visit from Santa.
As well as the festive fun, children can revel in the aqua park and the Splashdown Kid's Club, while adults can indulge in the Bora Bora Health Spa.
With everything included, this cruise is an excellent way to budget for Christmas.
A nine-night Canary Islands And Morocco fly-cruise from £1,242 per adult, £712 per child (four sharing), including flights. Departs Heathrow December 24, 2010.