All Year Round
Africa is a year-round destination for every kind of travel, including elite ocean cruises. In general, the drier months tend to be the best time to visit, between May and September, however these are also the hottest months and in select destinations, the busiest in terms of tourists.
The 'green' season from November to April offers good wildlife watching opportunities in many parts of the continent, and as this time features more rainfall, it is also a good time to visit popular sites such as Victoria Falls.
South Africa is a particularly popular 'bucket list' destination for elite ocean cruises and is an excellent place to visit all year round and enjoy a pleasant climate and a multitude of activities. Morocco and Tunisia are also popular destinations on many Mediterranean voyages and are best visited in 'shoulder season' to avoid the hottest temperatures and crowds in the peak summer months.
May to September
The USA's northernmost state can be fully explored on an elite ocean cruise for just a few months of the year, during the height of summer when days are long and the farthest reaches are accessible. Visit Denali National Park, home to the tallest mountain in North America and a variety of wildlife including grizzly bears, wolves, and caribou; the shuttlebuses run from June through to September, when the wilderness allows.
Explore Glacier Bay and the mountainous region of the Inside Passage, only reachable by cruise ship during the summer. Plus, on a small-ship elite ocean cruise, you'll be more likely to dock in smaller ports and be able to enjoy immersive experiences and close encounters with wildlife and Mother Nature.
'Shoulder' season is May and September and offers slightly cooler climes and fewer tourists. From August onwards, it is even possible to catch glimpses of the Northern Lights in the more northern reaches of the state.
All Year Round
The best time to visit Asia really depends on the individual location. The largest continent in the world, each month offers up a different destination with optimal conditions for a luxury Yacht Cruise holiday.
As a general rule of thumb, March to May tends to be the best time to visit most parts of Southeast Asia on an elite ocean cruise, such as Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines. November to January, however, are better times to visit India, China, and Malaysia. Travel to Japan in April to witness the beautiful cherry blossom season, and catch the dry season in Cambodia and Sri Lanka in February.
Get in touch with us if you have a specific area of Asia in mind that you wish to travel to on an elite ocean cruise.
October to April
Australia is a beautiful elite ocean cruise destination and one which can be travelled all year round. However, an elite ocean cruise along Australia's eastern coastline or less-visited West Coast and isles is best enjoyed in the summer months between October and April, with the quieter 'off peak' months being either side of this time frame.
Explorations of Australia's rugged Kimberley region and Northern Territory is better visited outside of the summer months as it is hot and humid, although a voyage around these areas tend to be more suited to expedition cruises than elite ocean cruises.
Similarly, New Zealand experiences hot and dry summers from October to April, so an elite ocean cruise taking in the North and South Islands will be fantastic at this time of year.
November to April
Visit the Caribbean out of hurricane season when the weather is less wet and windy from November through to April. You can visit the eastern islands of the Caribbean in May with fairly low risk of encountering bad weather, but the absolute best time to go on an elite ocean cruise to the region is December to March, to be guaranteed the best weather conditions.
Anguilla is argued to have the best weather of all the Caribbean islands due its flat topography, but for travellers who prefer active excursions and immserive experiences, St Lucia and Grenada are fantastic options with beautiful mountainous scenery - make sure to visit in January for clear skies and good conditions for a range of activities from hiking to snorkelling.
May to October
Closer to home for us UK-based cruisers, the Mediterranean offers some of the best elite ocean cruise holidays during the Spring and Summer months. From June to August the weather will hit its highest temperatures and there will be little to no rain, making it the perfect time to relax on a beach and top up your tan.
However, July and August are also the busiest months and beaches and tourist attractions are likely to get crowded during the summer holidays. Visit in May or September for a quieter and more personal experience in some of the Mediterranean's most treasured ports. Plus, you'll find that the temperatures are slightly cooler but still in the low- to mid-twenties, making it much more pleasant for outdoor activities.
November to March
For optimum comfort, the best time to visit the Middle East on an elite ocean cruise is during the UK's Winter months, or early Spring. The weather will be warm and dry and you will avoid the extreme heat of the Summer, which is vital for the overall enjoyment of the destination.
Later in Spring the crowds begin to grow and it becomes a more expensive destination to visit, so head to the Middle East from November to March for maximum comfort and enjoyment.
May to September
Northern Europe is an all-encompassing term for a large proportion of Europe and extends from as far north as Iceland to the British Isles.
Therefore, the best time to visit on an elite ocean cruise varies greatly depending on the specific location, but in general we recommend travelling to Northern Europe during the summer months. The British Isles are best visited during out of the school holidays in June and September, but for the driest and warmest weather you will find July and August have better weather in the majority of Northern Europe.
In Iceland and the northern reaches of Scandinavia, this time of year will have up to 18 hours of daylight, too.
April to November
Although the South Pacific Islands enjoy a hot and humid climate most of the year, with beautifully warm seas and clear skies, the best time to travel to this remote corner of the globe on an elite ocean cruise is between April and November when it is usually dry. In June, head to Bora Bora, arguably the most idyllic destination on the planet, located in French Polynesia; it will be far quieter and not as stiflingly hot as the peak months of July and August.
Head to the most popular islands of Fiji and Tahiti during off-peak season in May or October, as it will be less crowded but the weather will still be favourable.
All Year Round
Again, the Americas are too vast to be considered one destination, so each individual country or region has its own recommended time to go on an elite ocean cruise. The US and Canada are great to visit during the summer months, with the West Coast of the USA especially beautiful at this time, while the East Coast is best to visit in autumn when the fall colours cast a golden glow over the region.
Heading further south through Central America, it is best to visit on an elite ocean cruise during the warmer and drier season which is roughly from December to April.
South America is even more varied and can be enjoyed on luxury cruises at almost any time of the year. Travel around Brazil's vibrant coast on a once-in-a-lifetime elite ocean cruise in November - this is a good time to go as the weather will be pleasant (but not too hot), dry, and it is less busy than the late summer months when there is an influx of tourists. If you're heading to Peru to climb Machu Picchu, make sure to plan your visit in May or June so that you enjoy dry, warm weather with fewer crowds.