The holiday season is packed with exciting activities and traditions to enjoy with the entire family—including sledding, snowball fights, and watching the ball drop on New Year’s Eve. But many families plan winter vacations to break up the monotony. Below are six unique holiday getaways that we think you will enjoy.
1. New Year’s Even in Russia – New Year’s Eve is the most festive holiday of the year in Russia, with parties, presents, and vodka toasts. MIR Corporation has specialized in Russia travel for 30 years and offers a one-of-a-kind celebratory tour built around New Year’s Day in glorious St. Petersburg, with Moscow merrymaking and a visit to 12th century Suzdal also included Prices start at $4,995 per person. http://www.mircorp.com/trip/russian-winter-wonder-land/
2. Antarctica New Year’s Celebration – Ring in the new year with penguins, elephant seals, and first-landing buzz. With summer in full swing, penguin highways are busy with traffic between rookeries and beach as parents hurry to fatten up chicks. Glaciers shed ice with an echoing roar and waterways are alive with feeding and breaching whales. Zodiacs whisk you on whale watching cruises and amongst glorious icebergs. The near-midnight sun powers an explosion of life. What an unforgettable way to start the year! Prices start at $8,725. http://www.adventure-life.com/antarctica/cruises/4000/new-year-in-antarctica
3. Christmas in Poland – Visit of one Poland’s famous hand-blown Christmas ornament factories. Learn how to make traditional Polish-style pierogi with your own private chef. Dine with a Polish family for a traditional Wigilia, the Christmas Eve vigil and dinner. Prices start at $3,595. http://www.mircorp.com/trip/christmas-traditions-of-poland/
4. New Year’s Cycling Canary Islands – For those who truly long to go off the beaten path, discover the most sought-after places in Europe by cyclists who love to ride all year round. Gran Canaria is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is a perfect place for cyclists due to its excellent road network, temperate climate and environment that make for perfect riding conditions. Since the cycling season runs nearly all year long, Gran Canaria is a superb winter getaway which offers a diverse landscape with soaring views of the sea, lush forests, deserts, canyons and volcanic mountains. Prices start at $4,595. http://ciclismoclassico.com/trips/bike-tour-gran-canaria/
5. Christmas on the Rhine – Begin your winter adventure in Amsterdam, amidst the city’s legendary canals and colorful holiday surroundings. Next, visit Heidelberg and Cologne, famous for its majestic Cathedral and bustling Christmas markets. Weave through the fabled Black Forest region and the Alsace region as you make your way toward Basel, then disembark your ship, MS Amaprima, for a visit to two of Switzerland’s loveliest cities, Lucerne and Zürich, where you can enjoy a lake excursion, magical Christmas markets, and pristine Alpine vistas. Prices start at $4,059. http://www.adventure-life.com/europe/rhine-river/cruises/7272/christmas-markets-on-the-rhine
6. Christmas on a Luxury Dude Ranch – Hike, ride horses, snowmobile, x-country ski, and play cowboy at Red Reflet Ranch in Wyoming. The ranch is both working ranch and luxury resort where guests are treated like family. Additional activities include guided hikes, dirt bike rides, fly fishing and mountain biking. Guests can explore the 25,000 acre ranch, work cattle, and enjoy abundant wildlife. Gourmet dining includes ingredients from the ranch’s butcher shop, organic greenhouse and gardens. From cattle drives to branding, the true western lifestyle thrives at Red Reflet. http://www.red-reflet-ranch.net/