When Should I Cruise There? Part Two

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Cruise ships travel everywhere these days, but new cruisers aren’t always aware that some regions operate on a seasonal basis, or have a time of year which is better for cruising than another. Here’s part two of our A-Z guide to the top regions, and when to cruise.


Mexico is blessed with two coastlines, the Pacific and the Gulf, and largely the weather on both is warm-to-hot all year round. There are two main seasons; a rainy season from May to mid-October, and a dry season from mid-October to April. There is also, however, a hurricane season from June to November, with most storms occurring between August and October. During this period cruises may be cheaper, but there’s also a higher risk of bad weather, and disruption to your itinerary.

New Zealand

A key part of Australia’s “Wave Season” includes cruises to our neighbours across the Tasman. They tend to operate mostly between November and March, making the most of the peak summer months, and offering the best potential for good weather. Even then, it can be cold and wet, particularly in the South Island destinations, and around the Fjords, so you will need some warmer clothing. Crossing the Tasman can also be bumpy at any time of year.

The Norwegian Fjords

Except for a few expedition ships, this stunning region has very short, very specific season which tends to be between June and August. Although the landscape is spectacular, the weather can be unpredictable with rain and fog at any time. Early in the season there tends to be more snow on the mountains, which can interfere with shore excursions, but during the peak summer months of July and August, the temperatures can get as high as 25C or occasionally 30C. Another bonus is that the daylight hours are also very long.

Scandinavia and The Baltic Region

This season kicks off in June, and can extend through to October. Although the early months tend to be the busiest, a major bonus is the long daylight hours, which can be more than 20 hours in the far north. During the peak months of July and August, the weather is at its warmest, which can be quite significant. Later in the season, however, the weather may be a bit more unpredictable, and the daylight hours shorter, but there may be an opportunity to see a smattering of autumn colours.

South America

Most cruises operate here between October and March, but the region has many different climates, from humid lowlands and tropical rainforests to chilly highlands. There are also basically two seasons: wet and dry. You can cruise the Amazon year-round as it’s aways hot, humid and rainy, but most international cruise lines tend to venture there between January and March only. For southern South America, however, the best time is the summer, although on either side, usually October and March, there are fewer crowds. 

Western Europe

With destinations including the British Isles, the season these days extends from April to November. Similar to the Mediterranean, however, the peak months are July and August, which have the best chance of good weather but also the most crowds. On either side the days can be warm, and in the early months of the season, in particular May and June, the daylight hours are long, which is good for exploring.

World Cruises

These epic voyages tend to depart from the USA in January, and finish in Europe or the USA by way of Europe, in April or May or later. In recent years, however, a new trend has developed with a few cruise lines operating world cruises departing from Australia during the winter months of July and August. 





Ben Hall