As the nights draw in, the temperatures continue to plunge and Halloween and Bonfire Night begin to fade to a distant memory, it can mean only one thing – Christmas is nearly upon us.

For many, the festive season means a time to relax, spend time with our families and reflect on another year gone by. Of course, it also means plenty of food, drink and presents, as we take the time to show our loved ones how grateful we are in the form of some generous gifts.

But spare a thought for one man, for whom the arrival of Christmas Eve means the work is only just beginning. Everyone knows that Santa Claus is snowed under around this time of year, but thankfully he has more than a fair sprinkling of elf magic and a reindeer-pulled sleigh to help him get through his workload.

But what if Rudolph and the rest of the gang decided to take Christmas off? How would the big man deliver all those presents to the many destinations around the world? Here at Bolsover Cruise Club, we’ve calculated how long it would take him to get around the globe via various modes of transport. Let’s just hope the reindeer don’t go on strike this year…

Stick to the sleigh, Santa

That magic elf dust works wonders for Saint Nick and his pack of reindeer. To cover all four corners of the world, from Australasia to Alaska and from South America to the Far East, he must travel 82 million miles and to do so in 24 hours on Christmas Eve he needs to fly through the air at a steady 3,416,667 mph.

However, if the reindeer went rogue and decided he was on his own this year, Santa would have a lot of disappointed customers. Even by plane, at an average speed of 575 mph, it would take him 5,942 days – that’s more than 16 years – to complete his rounds.

Whilst a cruise ship boasts plenty of space for all of those presents, and of course, a plethora of on-ship entertainment and places to dine in between drop offs, unfortunately for Santa, if he opted to make the journey on a luxury cruise ship it would take an approximate whopping 148,551 days. That’s almost 407 years to you and me.

He’d certainly be faster in a car, delivering all his presents in 187 years, while he’d be better still on a speedboat, getting round to everyone in a comparatively swift 104 years. Of course, all those houses mean billions of mince pieces and glasses of sherry and if Santa felt his belt was starting to strain a little too much, he could always deliver the gifts by bike to work off some of the calories. Unfortunately, it would take him 179,825 days – nearly 500 years – to do so.

how long it takes santa to travel the world

The UK is bound to keep the big man busy

Even if Santa can count on his trusty reindeer to help him out this Christmas Eve, there’s no denying that the UK population will ensure he can’t relax. Our survey of 2,000 people revealed that the average person will give a total of 10 presents to their loved ones – that’s an awful lot for Father Christmas to store in his sleigh and drop down the chimney. And some of us are even more generous. Almost 5% of the country will splash out on a whopping 60 presents this year – that works out at 156 million gifts!

All those items come at a price, however, with more than 1.5 million Brits set to spend around £700 on treating their loved ones this Christmas. The biggest spenders are in the 55 to 64 age bracket, with more than 5% forking out in excess of £2000 on presents, while London residents tend to be among the most charitable, as three quarters of those living in the capital part buy up to 25 gifts for friends and family.

So many presents require a lot of wrapping paper, sticky tape and ribbon, which all come at a cost to the planet. So the savvy gift-givers among us will use more environmentally-friendly options this year.

Santa needs a ho-ho-holiday

As for Saint Nick, it could get worse before it gets better. According to the UN, the global population is set to exceed 11.2 billion by the end of the 21st century – that’s around a 50% increase and might require Father Christmas to turbocharge his sleigh to make sure he gets around to visiting everyone.

All of which means he will be in need of a well-deserved break once the festive season is over. Having circumvented the entire planet at more than 3 million mph, perhaps Santa would prefer to travel at a more leisurely pace and book himself a round-the-world cruise where he can sit back, relax, kick off his boots and put another hectic Christmas period well and truly behind him.

average money spent on family and friends at Christmas