The Caribbean islands are high on the list of winter destinations for last minute cruises, offering miles of golden Caribbean sand, a year round average temperature of 80oC and a clear blue sea teeming with tropical fish.
Each island has quaint historic towns, reflecting its own distinctive colonial influence; Tobago has a Dutch flavour, French architecture is prevalent in Dominica and St. Lucia, the Spanish heritage of Cuba and St. Martins is obvious, while Jamaica and Barbados retain some quintessential English traits. Typical ports of call on a Caribbean cruise from Southampton are St Lucia, St Kitts, Montego Bay and Grand Cayman.
Another favourite winter cruise destination is Egypt, which also has year round sun and temperature which rarely drops below 80oC, the perfect backdrop to the historic Mount Sinai and the Pyramids of Giza. The tourist resorts of Sharm el-Sheikh and Dahab offer snorkelling, scuba diving and several other water sports from their beaches.
There are some great last minute cruises from Southampton calling at Tangier, Tunis and Algiers with visits to the exotic North African souks in these historic old towns. Next port of call on the itinerary of a cruise around the coast of North Africa is Valletta on the island of Malta, with its spectacular baroque architecture, narrow streets, statues and fountains, much of it reflecting its British Imperial past.
The Mediterranean is always a popular cruise destination and the choice of late cruise deals and last minute cruises from Southampton make it a good choice, whether to the eastern Mediterranean taking in Istanbul or to the western countries of Spain, Italy and the south of France.
Sailing around the Balearics is ideal for a shorter break, with many last minute winter cruise deals offering super value holidays of four or five days sailing with several port calls.