CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS ABOARD A SUPERYACHT
Written by Georgia Smith
Last updated: 12/12/2019
As every year comes to an end, billions of people around the world begin to prepare for their annual Christmas celebrations. A festival to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, on 25th December each year, many families, friends and communities come together in merriment; offering gifts, sharing traditional dinners and enjoying quality time together.
Although spending Christmas aboard a superyacht may not be considered the norm, many traditions do remain the same on board. In this article we cover a variety of festive factors, from Christmas destinations and yachts available for charter around the festive period to Christmas dinners and those all-important Christmas decorations.
Yachting destinations around Christmas time
Whether you are searching for a picturesque white Christmas, some winter sun or something more traditional, when aboard a superyacht your options are endless.
Christmas in London
Spoilt with Christmas markets, lights, shopping and English tradition, London is a magical location around Christmas. The English capital glows in winter, as the city comes alive with Christmas lights. Wander around the dazzling Oxford Street, Regent Street or Covent Garden and view the city in a different light.
London also boasts the spectacular Winter Wonderland. Located in the heart of London, see Hyde Park transform into a Christmas paradise. The giant Christmas market consists of various exciting attractions, including a giant wheel, ice-skating rink and multiple circus shows.
A trip to London, particularly during the festive period, would not be complete without catching a glimpse of Harrods. The beautifully structured, world-renowned department store twinkles as it’s decked out head-to-toe with lights.
Christmas in The Maldives
For an exotic Christmas period, the Maldives is an ideal location to celebrate. With the best time to visit the islands typically falling between November and March, the Christmas season is the perfect time to make the trip. Spend the season experiencing not-so-traditional – but undeniably fun – Christmas activities such as snorkelling, diving and whale watching.
Average temperatures float at approximately 27°C throughout December, with night-time temperatures generally never dropping below 25°C. For a Christmas of soaking up the sun and lounging around in swimwear, the Maldives could be the ideal destination.
Christmas in Svalbard
A place of natural beauty, untouched wilderness and wildlife, including reindeers, polar bears and arctic foxes, Svalbard offers the Christmas of dreams. Cruise around giant icebergs and venture out into the night in an attempt to catch a glimpse of the northern lights – if this sounds like your thing then this Norwegian archipelago could be the perfect location to spend Christmas aboard a superyacht.
Temperatures rarely climb above -8°C, while there are jaw-dropping lows of up to -16°C.
Read our destination guides to discover information on cruising popular yachting destinations around the world.
Superyachts for winter charter
Here Comes the Sun
For Caribbean cruising during the festive season, the 83-metre (272-foot) superyacht Here Comes the Sun could be the ideal choice. The Amels yacht, which can accommodate up to 12 guests, is available for charter from €1,200,000 per week.
If you fancy celebrating Christmas sailing the seas of the Indian Ocean, the 67.5-metre (221-foot) superyacht ICON, by Icon Yachts, can hold up to 12 guests for a starting price of €500,000 per week.
Christmas dinner at sea
Yacht guests may opt for a traditional Christmas dinner on Christmas Day, despite the vast number of other meals they could request. To create the perfect traditional Christmas dinner, there are a number of foods you simply cannot go without. These include:
Most commonly consumed during the festive period, turkey is a traditional Christmas must-have. Full of protein and low in fat and calories, the popular poultry dish is the base of every traditional Christmas dinner.
Pigs in blankets
Widely loved yet pretty unique to the Christmas period, ‘pigs in blankets’ (aka sausages wrapped in bacon) are most people’s Christmas dinner highlight...
With a variety of different types to choose between, from mashed and baked potatoes to potatoes that are either boiled or fried and turned into chips, roast potatoes are the height of tradition when it comes to Christmas dinners.
Stuffing is a side dish, often made up of breadcrumbs, onion, celery, salt, pepper and other spices and herbs. As well as being a staple side dish, stuffing can also be used to fill a hole in other food items, such as chicken, when cooking.
Love them or hate them, Brussels sprouts are a key Christmas tradition! The vegetables, that look somewhat like mini cabbages, are renowned for being an unpopular veg – but they’re a Christmas essential nonetheless.
Other vegetables that commonly appear in the traditional Christmas dinner include roast parsnips, red cabbage, carrots, broccoli and peas.
To top-off the perfect Christmas dinner, traditionally the plate should be flooded with gravy. Typically created from the juices of meats and often thickened with wheat flour or corn starch, the sauce compliments the traditional roast Christmas dinner beautifully.
As well as covering the dish in gravy, cranberry sauce is another popular addition to the Christmas roast. Another food item that peaks in popularity around the festive season, the sweet cranberry-made jam, combined with roast turkey, is a traditional Christmas favourite.
When the festive period arrives, anything sparkly, shiny or illuminated goes. Traditionally at Christmas time, people will cover their trees and houses with Christmas lights – and this tradition doesn’t stop with superyachts.
In San Diego, each year over 100,000 visitors come to watch the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. This festive tradition sees up to 100 vessels, decorated from top-to-bottom in lights, sailing around the bay. The event is over 40 years old and is celebrated on two December dates each year – in 2019 the parade will take place on both the 8th and 15th December.
Other traditional decorations include the iconic Christmas tree. Covered in baubles, guarded by an angel (or star) at the top and sometimes wrapped in tinsel, the tree is one of the most significant Christmas symbols and the ideal place to hide gifts.
Don’t forget the mistletoe! The leaved plant, which sprouts white berries throughout the last few months of the year, is traditionally held upwards, for two individuals to kiss beneath it. It’s said that the tradition originates from enemies who reconciled underneath the mistletoe.
Although life aboard a superyacht can be vastly different to typical home life in many ways, some traditions remain the same. Christmas time is commonly spent with our loved-ones, and is often believed to be an opportunity for forgiveness.
While methods of celebration may vary, the festivity has many positive connotations. From singing Christmas carols, to offering gifts and believing in the myth that is Santa Claus – the annual celebration is undoubtedly a magical fairy-tale.