In our latest installment of ‘this year is going to be an odd one, but let’s make sure next year is amazing’ we’re turning our thoughts towards New Year’s Eve. According to market research bods, only 1 in 5 Brits venture out to ring in the New Year with drinks and dancing into the wee hours these days, and it’s likely to be even fewer given recent events (2020, we’re looking at you…)
If you’re planning to let this year disappear quietly into a distant memory come 31 December, why not make up for lost holidays and a subdued New Years by going big next time around? These are the best places in the world to celebrate New Year’s Eve, so you can give the rowdy local a miss and spend the year counting down to something far more memorable (in the awesome holiday kind of way, NOT in the 2020 kind of way). The best bit is, all these destinations promise some winter sun, too.
In a rush? You’ll find all the Christmas and New Year cruises for 2023 and 2024 right here!
Madeira is a popular spot with Christmas and New Year cruisers, and with good reason; the island isn’t shy when it comes to putting on a show for the festivities. The fairy lights are strung up in their thousands early in December, but the island’s main event occurs on New Year’s Eve, when an eight-minute firework show lights the sky in a spectacle once recognised as the largest firework show in the world. While the likes of Dubai have since scooped the record with audacious displays, Madeira still ranks at the top of many a must-do list for New Year’s Eve, especially for cruisers. Fireworks erupt from several locations around Funchal, including the waterfront, the sea, and even one station on nearby Porto Santo Island. Ships stay overnight in port and have a front row seat for the unforgettable displays.
RIO DE JANEIRO
If the wet weather has you longing for some sun next New Year’s Eve, you can’t go wrong with Rio de Janeiro. December signals the start of summer in the city and more than two million people take to Copacabana Beach for fireworks with extra heat to welcome in the New Year. The city’s unique backdrop looks even better when lit by the spectacular displays, the champagne flowing and the samba sounding out in the background until the early hours. Anyone who has ever visited Rio de Janeiro for Carnival knows that those Brazilians sure know how to party. Don’t forget to pack your best white outfits; it is customary to wear white on New Year’s Eve in Brazil, stemming from the belief that the colour will bring prosperity and peace for the New Year.
There is nothing at all subtle about Dubai, which is just one of the many reasons we love the destination, so a chance to launch record-breaking firework displays from some of the tallest buildings in the world was never going to go amiss. The city famed for expensive tastes and extravagance doesn’t disappoint on New Year’s Eve, when the budget goes out of the window as fireworks are launched from stations including World Islands and Palm Jumeirah. From beach parties at the Atlantis, The Palm to watching the fireworks on the horizon from aboard a luxury yacht, or getting the best view in town from the top of the Burj Al Arab, few places can compete with Dubai on New Year’s Eve.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge lit by fireworks is the scene on our television screens every New Year’s Eve as the clock strikes midnight and Auld Lang Syne rings out, but seeing it for yourself is something else. The port approach into Sydney is one of the best in cruising and it goes up a notch when the world’s most iconic waterfront illuminates underneath one of the biggest fireworks displays on earth. Make next New Year’s Eve the year you tick Sydney off your bucket list in the most spectacular style, watching the action from the beach, the park, or even from inside the Sydney Opera House itself. Of course, you could just stay on the ship, sit back and enjoy the views.
Plan ahead and start saving for the best New Year’s Eve of your life! Check out the latest cruise deals from your favourite cruise lines here.