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Celebrate Christmas The Traveller's Way
Essential Travel

by Essential Travel

Every Christmas is unique in its own way. If you page through your photo albums from years gone by, it's always interesting to remember the sub-context of the holiday; where you were, who you were with and what you were doing. Those are the details that stand out more than anything else. The periphery stuff – presents, decorations and food – never lasts. For this month's Christmas Holiday Feature, we're looking at celebrating Christmas in different ways that relate to travel, focusing on destinations and companions – the magical ingredients for a meaningful holiday. We've got some amazing places lined up, from Hawaii to Morocco, Antarctica to Las Vegas, and several stunning local options. But ultimately, whether you're planning to spend this year's Christmas break with your family, friends or alone, it's all about making memories you can look back on fondly.

The white desert of Antarctica is a geological mystery; it's the coldest, highest and most hostile place on earth, and despite the five million square miles of ice there, it's also the driest. This is definitely the kind of holiday only suited to families with some travel experience and a higher aptitude for adventure, but one that the people who fit this description will love. It's a journey into the last discovered continent on Earth; a strange and interesting place that has no permanent residents, only a revolving population of scientists and holiday makers who are there to observe its curious moods. Spending Christmas in this once-unseen destination puts you there at the most wonderful time of the year. Clear, sunny days offer views of the frozen hillsides, glaciers and icebergs that rise up from the calm water. Whale sightings happen regularly, giving visitors a rare look into the secret lives of these mammals living in their own free world.

Expeditiontrips.com offer a nine day adventure trip aboard the Akademik Vavilov, a 92 foot research vessel that is kitted out with all the trimmings for a comfortable, action-packed holiday. Your trip consists of kayaking, walks, zodiac excursions and camping, all mixed in with plenty of sightseeing. The vessel also has ice-strengthened hulls and stabilisers, making it safe and reliable for travelling in the polar regions. Inside, there is a stylish dining room and bar, where passengers eat and socialise – when not relaxing on the deck or heated plunge pool. Compared to the scientists who live there for months at a time while conducting research, you and the family will feel like you're staying in a luxury villa.