If you really want your New Year's Eve celebration to be a party to remember, and you've got the time and money for a winter getaway, a New Year's Eve cruise is the perfect way to ring in the new year. Cruise lines go all out with shipwide parties and special menus -- but the best part is that all the revelry is within walking distance of your cabin.
Here's what to expect from the major cruise lines on their popular New Year's Eve cruises. If you're interested, book early; New Year's cruises are among the most expensive holiday cruises and can sell out well in advance.
Updated October 10, 2019
All Azamara ships will feature a special dinner menu on December 31. If weather permits, the traditional New Year's Eve White Party will be held on deck. On New Year's Day, a brunch will be held in Discoveries.
Azamara Quest will overnight in Sydney, Australia, on New Year's Eve and passengers will be treated to an air show and the Harbour of Light parade there. Azamara Pursuit will ring in the new year at Copacabana Beach in Rio with a fireworks display.
Carnival Cruise Line
On Carnival New Year's Eve cruises, passengers will be provided with hats, favors and noisemakers, and complimentary Champagne will be served.
Celebrity is planning celebrations in multiple venues, with bands and DJs, pop-up performances, a poolside celebration, a countdown and a balloon drop at midnight.
New Year's Eve celebrations on Costa Luminosa kick off with a lavish six-course dinner, followed by a holiday party with live music and a DJ. A countdown clock will be displayed in all lounges and on the poolside movie screen. The festivities will carry on after midnight with a special midnight buffet and dancing in the disco until the early morning.
Both Crystal ships will offer passengers a black-tie-optional gala dinner, followed by Champagne, dancing, live music and a midnight countdown with balloon drop. Midnight snacks and Champagne will be served in all bars. On New Year's Day, celebrations will continue with a special jazz brunch. Bloody Marys and mimosas will be served in all bars and on deck.
Disney Cruise Line
Disney will host a shipwide party on New Year's Eve with a countdown to the new year, featuring music and sparkling wine in commemorative flutes.
Holland America Line
A special gala celebration will be followed by New Year's Day college football; Holland America will arrange to broadcast some of the bowl games.
MSC Meraviglia, MSC Seaside and MSC Divina will celebrate their New Year's cruises with activities like themed trivia and bingo, as well as a special New Year's Eve gala dinner.
Following dinner, there will be a dance party on the ship's deck, featuring a Champagne toast and a countdown to midnight. The kids' club will offer extended hours and free babysitting for parents hoping to stay out for the festivities. On New Year's Day, there will be a special celebratory lunch featuring themed cocktails.
Norwegian Cruise Line
On New Year's Eve cruises, meals in Norwegian's main restaurants will be festive. Passengers are to be given noisemakers for the party, and the ships' captains count down to the new year from the bridge.
Oceania will hold a New Year's Eve celebration on deck (weather permitting) and in all ship lounges to ring in the new year. Passengers will enjoy live music, noisemakers, party hats and a Champagne toast at the stroke of midnight.
Clackers, hats, streamers and Champagne will all be on hand as the captain counts down to the new year. A balloon drop will commence when the clock strikes midnight. Passengers will enjoy a special New Year's Eve menu. So parents can party, Princess offers free group babysitting for children ages 3 to 12 in the youth centers on New Year's Eve.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
A special New Year's dinner is planned on all Regent ships. A New Year's party will be held on deck, weather permitting, and it will include free-flowing Champagne. For the New Year's party, passengers can enjoy caviar, chocolate truffles, chocolate-covered strawberries and other treats.
Royal Caribbean International
New Year's Eve parties will take place throughout all the Royal Caribbean ships, complete with a countdown, balloon drop and party favors like hats. Adventure Ocean will extend its Late Night Party Zone hours to 2 a.m. and (for-fee) nursery hours until 1 a.m. so parents can celebrate. On New Year's Day, a special brunch will be served.
Seabourn Cruise Line
On New Year's Eve cruises, Seabourn's gala evening will be made festive with a formal-optional dinner and a holiday ball on deck or in the main show lounge (depending on weather).
Complimentary Champagne, streamers, party hats and noisemakers will all be on hand for Silversea's gala New Year's Eve celebrations, which are scheduled to start early with a pre-dinner performance in the show lounge and continue with dinner and dancing in the main restaurant. Live music, gifts and surprises will continue until the countdown to the new year.
Viking Ocean Cruises
On New Year's Eve, Viking passengers will be treated to celebrations including live music (with "Auld Lang Syne"), dancing and a midnight toast.
A special New Year's Eve gala evening will include dinner and, at a charge, themed cocktails. It is tradition on Windstar ships for the most senior crew member to ring out the old year and the youngest to ring in the new. Passengers will be able to partake in a festive New Year's Eve party, complete with party favors, live music, dancing, an official countdown by the captain and a Champagne toast.