The best ways to sea in the New Year around the world


The New Year is cause for great celebrations as people ring out the old and ring in the new, with cities across the world celebrating in style with parties and huge fireworks displays. Some of the best displays can be seen in Madeira, Sydney and Rio, with the best view being available from a ship in the harbour.

Here is a round-up of some of the very best cruise ships to see the New Year fireworks – you get a unique and spectacular view at sea, and all without all the crowds!

Funchal, Madeira

This amazing firework display is considered by many to be one of the most spectacular in the world and has even made it into the Guinness Book of Records. The harbour is filled with many ships, as this is the best place to witness the extravaganza. Fireworks are launched from all around Funchal’s bay, making this one of the most magnificent shows.

Setting sail from Southampton on 20th December 2012, Cunard’s Queen Victoria will arrive in Madeira on 31st December, before arriving back in the UK on 5th January.

Sydney, Australia

Beautiful Sydney Harbour is centre stage for one of the biggest events of the year – New Year’s Eve in Sydney. If you’re in Sydney for New Year’s Eve, you’ll be in one of the first places on the planet to experience the exciting start to 2013. Around 1.5 million spectators line the harbour – you can avoid the crowds by watching from the decks of a luxury cruise ship.

The world- famous event is watched by more than 1 billion viewers across the world, with celebrations starting with pre-show entertainment from 5pm leading up to the midnight fireworks displays.

Crystal Cruises ship Crystal Symphony will be in the harbour for the big event. The exotic, warm-weather luxury cruise begins on 18th December 2012 with an overnight in Auckland before calling in Tauranga, Napier, Christchurch, and Dunedin, New Zealand, then spends two nights in Sydney and one in Melbourne.

Adding to the exclusivity of Crystal Cruises’ guest participation in Sydney, the city’s ‘Harbour of Light Parade’ committee has chosen Crystal Cruises’ ship to be among its top-ranked participants. The Crystal Symphony has been further designated a viewing spot on the eastern side of the Sydney Harbour bridge adjacent to Sydney Cove.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

No one can party like the Brazilians and New Year is no exception. Some 2 million people throng the 4 kilometre stretch of Copacabana beach as some 24 tons of fireworks are exploded over the city. Renowned for being the largest New Year event in the world, fireworks are launched from barges positioned in the bay, with the display lasting over 15 minutes, whilst bands and musicians play on various stages on the beach.

The Azamara Quest, part of Azamara Club Cruises, is sailing a Buenos Aires to Rio cruise – departing 27th December 2012, and calling at Punta Del Este, Rio, Copacabana Beach, Buzios, Parati, Ilhabela, before heading back to Rio.

Scott Anderson is General Manager at The Luxury Cruise Company.

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