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4 min read

Smart Planning for Holiday Expeditions: Book Now for 2025

Put travel on your holiday wish list, and we'll help make it happen.

What if your holiday shopping was finished a year in advance? Yes, all the shopping, wrapping, cooking and cleaning was complete and you simply waited patiently and calmy for the holiday to arrive. Or, better yet.... everything was paid for too.....12 months in advance! This is exactly how booking early for a holiday trip feels. We understand that planning over a year in advance might seem overly eager and excessively organized, but trust us, booking far ahead is one of the best ways to minimize some of the challenges that arise with high season travel. In the expedition cruise industry, early booking ensures you get the most advantageous pricing and plentiful availability, especially on-board ships carrying less than 200 passengers. With the increase in popularity of unique vacations, and if your timing is restricted by loved ones’ work or school schedules, early planning will provide total peace of mind.

Many expedition operators have realized that offering 2-3 back-to-back itineraries ranging from 7-11 days during the peak travel times surrounding Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s Day presents valuable opportunities for those tight on time. Multi-week itineraries may not fit well for those seeking shorter, week-long vacations that meet family expectations for the holidays. Whether you’re the host or guest at holiday gatherings, escaping for more than 11 days might not align with your social calendar.

We specialize in tracking the pulse of various operators and deciphering their availability. Keeping up with dates, prices, destinations, staterooms, and understanding the differences between cruise product lines can be overwhelming. Adding to that, daily travel publications constantly review and research ships, and there are hundreds of client feedback reviews publicly available. It’s a lot to manage, but not for us.

The most popular destinations during the holiday season are the Galapagos Islands and Antarctica. The Galapagos is a year-round destination, making holiday travel optional. However, the relatively short flight distance, minimal time zone difference from parts of the U.S., and escape from the cold make it an appealing choice, hence the necessity to book early to ensure availability.

Conversely, Antarctica’s season begins in late November (think Thanksgiving voyage!) and ends in early March. Operators like Lindblad Expeditions – National Geographic, Quark Expeditions and luxury line Silversea understand time constraints and offer popular ‘Fly Sail’ options. These combine a one-way crossing of the Drake Passage with a flight, saving you two days on your expedition, or fly both ways bypassing the Drake altogether.

Other holiday-ready expedition destinations include Baja, Mexico, and parts of the Caribbean, providing warm weather options closer to home. If you’re considering the trip of a lifetime and have an open-ended schedule, we highly recommend the South Pacific. Though the flight may be long, the time you'll want to stay will be even longer, making every minute on the airplane worth it.

The bottom line is you need to start thinking and talking about holiday travel for next year now. Schedules are already posted by the most popular cruise companies, and bookings are open as far in advance as 2026. We're seeing a significant increase in advanced planning, and we love helping our guests be forward-thinking with their travel plans. Below, we’ve listed holiday itineraries departing in December 2025 that still have availability, and we highly encourage you to start considering your 2026 travel plans.

Remember, early planning not only gives you peace of mind but also ensures you get exactly what you’re dreaming of. Setting expectations and sharing anticipation with family and friends is half the fun of traveling together. So, begin chatting now about where in the world you want to spend your free time next year. Contact us, and let’s start brainstorming what that could look like.


  • Quark Expeditions: Antarctic Express – Fly the Drake: December 15–22, 2025. 8-day voyage throughout the Antarctic Peninsula. Fly to and from Punta Arenas, Chile for a 2-hour flight onto King George Island to embark the World Explorer, or January 4-11, 2026 on board the Ocean Explorer for the same itinerary.
  • Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic: Antarctica Direct -- Fly the Drake Passage. December 20-28, 2025. 9-day voyage to the Antarctic Peninsula. Fly to and from Puerto Natales, Chile for a 2-hour flight to King George Island and embark the National Geographic Orion.
  • Silversea: The Galapagos Islands – Reoccurring 7-day voyages from December 6, 2025 – January 3, 2026. Embark & disembark in San Cristobal, Galapagos on board the destination-specific luxury ship, Silver Origin.