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Travel Guide

Where to go in February – 10 best cruise destinations

February cruises are a great opportunity to spread your wings and seek winter sun as well as the snowy charms of northern Europe. We’ve rounded up the best places to cruise in February.

Cruise in February and explore a raft of enchanting vacation destinations both near and far, cold and hot.

From the winter charm of Cologne to the sun-drenched landscapes of Cape Verde and the subtropical allure of Madeira, each port of call promises another adventure and unforgettable memories.

Whether you want to cruise through the turquoise waters around St. Lucia or experience Cajun delights along the Louisiana coast, discover the winter wonderland of Montreal or opt for futuristic skylines and desert adventures in the UAE… these are best places to cruise in February.

Best places to cruise in February

Cologne, Germany
Cape Verde
El Hierro, Canary Islands
St Lucia
Caribbean Colombia
Louisiana, USA
Montreal, Canada
United Arab Emirates

Where to cruise in February

cologne cathedral

Cologne, Germany

A Rhine River cruise in February is a super way to visit the German city of Cologne – you’ll time your trip with Carnival which begins in November and stretches all the way until the first day of Lent in February.

Drinking, dancing, parades and parties aplenty take to the streets on the final ’crazy’ days leading up to Ash Wednesday making for raucous fun. Don’t miss the traditional beer halls serving local brewed Kölsch and hearty dishes such as sauerbraten (marinated pot roast) or schnitzel.

Landmarks include the enormous, twin-spired Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an architectural masterpiece – while the Old Town (Altstadt) with its rambling cobblestone streets and historic buildings is well worth exploring. Culture vultures will also appreciate the modern art at Museum Ludwig and learning about Cologne’s Roman heritage at the Römisch-Germanisches Museum.

As you cruise the Rhine you’ll benefit from wonderful scenery along the river, with its historic castles, vineyard-covered hills and charming towns, although do wrap up, February in Cologne tends to be cold, with temperatures around 0-7°C, with snowfall and rain possible.

Which cruise lines go to Cologne?

River cruises: Emerald River Cruises, Avalon Waterways, Viking River Cruises, Scenic River, AmaWaterways, Riviera River Cruises and Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

Ocean cruises: P&O Cruises

Cape Verde

February cruises to Cape Verde coincide with the Atlantic archipelago’s dry season when temperatures hover around 25-30°C – it’s not dubbed the ’new Caribbean’ for nothing!

Cruising Cape Verde allows for an immersive experience across multiple islands, from the buzzy streets of Mindelo in São Vicente to the golden beaches of Sal or the otherworldly volcanic terrain of Fogo.

Relish February’s favorable conditions for diving, snorkeling or simply basking in the sunshine on pristine beaches as well as surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing.

Soak up the blend of African, Portuguese and Creole influences found in Cape Verde on your February cruise, from local cuisine to traditional music performances; the islands’ most famous sounds are its intoxicating morna folk music while São Vicente and Sal are best for lively bars.

Cape Verde tends to feature on Atlantic Islands itineraries (commonly twinned with the Canary Islands) – available both as fly cruise vacations and no-fly options as well a West Africa voyages and transatlantic cruises.

Which cruise lines go to Cape Verde?

MSC Cruises, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Hurtigruten, P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Variety Cruises, Ponant, Noble Caledonia, Costa Cruises, Ambassador Cruise Line, Cunard, Sea Cloud Cruises, Saga Cruises and Oceanwide Expeditions

cape verde
Madeira Camara de Lobos


Another good option for February cruises seeing winter sun on this side of the Atlantic is the Portuguese island of Madeira. Off the coast of Morocco, it’s often visited on itineraries featuring Cape Verde and the Canaries. Temperatures reach up to 20°C and even when it rains the myriad microclimates on the island mean you only need to travel to find better weather.

The capital city of Funchal is the main port of call for Madeira cruises and provides historic architecture, markets and scenic promenades. Must-dos are visiting the ornate Sé (cathedral), the botanical gardens and the Art Deco Mercado dos Lavradores as well as taking a cable car up to Monte for panoramic views (and year-round blooming tropical gardens at Monte Palace) on your February cruise to Madeira.

Away from the city, stretch out sea legs walking along the levadas (irrigation channels) or the island’s rugged interior with its hiking trails, while mountain biking and canyoning are other popular active pursuits.

Relaxing in an ocean-view bar with a glass of poncha (a sugarcane-spirit cocktail) might be more your thing, or taking afternoon tea in elegant Reid’s Palace hotel. You could even follow in Winston Churchill’s footsteps and visit the pretty fishing village of Câmara de Lobos [below], favored by the former British PM.

As for sustenance, indulge in the island’s fresh seafood, local dishes like espada (black scabbardfish) and the island’s famous Madeira wine.

Which cruise lines go to Madeira?

Cunard, MSC Cruises, P&O Cruises, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Celebrity Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Costa Cruises, Windstar Cruise, Viking Ocean Cruises, Holland America Line, Silversea, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Marella Cruises, Azamata, Ponant, Carnival Cruise Line, Crystal, Virgin Voyages and Hurtigruten

El Hierro, Canary Islands

El Hierro, the smallest and least-visited of the Canary Islands, is really best visited by cruise – there are no direct international flights. Book cruises in February to El Hierro and you’ll enjoy reliably warm weather that sits around 20°C as well as fewer tourists.

That said, you’ll escape the crowds at most times of the year here, El Hierro is known for its unspoiled natural beauty and a quieter, more laid-back atmosphere compared to its larger counterparts. It’s also not visited on all Canary Islands cruise itineraries so do check your route carefully!

The tiny island is a haven for nature lovers, boasting rugged coastlines, volcanic formations, lush forests and super viewpoints, plus El Hierro’s (relatively!) mild climate in February makes it suitable for a plethora of outdoor activities.

Hiking trails abound, offering opportunities to explore the island’s ecosystems, including the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of El Hierro. The Camino de Jinama traverse is only 4km but blooms with rich biodiversity. Look out for ancient rock carvings along the way and cool off in natural pools.

Alternatively, try your hand (or should that be fin?) diving in El Hierro’s crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life. Why not take an excursion for whale and/or dolphin watching?

Which cruise lines go to El Hierro?

Hurtigruten, Seabourn, Hapag Lloyd Cruises and Sea Cloud Cruises

el hierro lizard
st lucia

St Lucia

On the other side of the Atlantic is the Caribbean – a well-known idyllic destination for winter sun and February cruises – available via a fly cruise or no-fly voyage.

With the second month of the year boasting St Valentine’s Day, this is the ideal time to visit the most romantic Caribbean island – St Lucia. The white sand beaches here are gorgeous, the turquoise waters are bath-warm and the island is passionate about chocolate thanks to its long heritage of cacao plantations.

The air is also cool and clear on St Lucia in February and temperatures rest around a warm and pleasant 24-29°C, keeping heavy sweating during that crucial romantic moment at bay.

As your Caribbean cruise approaches St. Lucia, you’ll be greeted by the island’s dramatic twin peaks, the Pitons (a UNESCO World Heritage Site and oft-photographed symbol of the island). Hiking these, exploring the rainforest trails, zip-lining through the canopy, or having a go at water activities like snorkeling, diving or sailing are all popular activities in St Lucia.

The Caribbean island is also home to the world’s only drive-in volcano at Sulphur Springs – the hot springs and mineral baths are believed to have therapeutic properties – while historic sites like Pigeon Island National Landmark are also worth a visit.

If you’re after a party on your Caribbean cruise in February, visit for the 22nd, St Lucia’s Independence Day and parades and local festivities explode. Get in the spirit with rum punch or a swig of locally brewed Piton Beer and line your stomach with national dish green fig and saltfish, fresh seafood and acccras – flavourful, deep-fried saltfish fritters.

Which cruise lines go to St Lucia?

Windstar Cruises, P&O Cruises, MSC Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Cunard, Silversea, Seabourn Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Ponant, Explora Journeys, Viking Ocean Cruises, Star Clippers, Carnival Cruise Line, Marella Cruises, Disney Cruise Line and Virgin Voyages

Caribbean Colombia

To see a lesser-visited site of this sun, sea and sand-packed region, take a February cruise to the Caribbean side of Colombia where the dry season is in full swing and temperatures of 25-30°C make for ideal climes for enjoying the outdoors.

The coastline of Caribbean Colombia is studded with palm-fringed beaches, coves and islands, all lapped by cobalt blue waters, providing breathtaking views along the way – it’s hardly surprising snorkeling, diving and water sports are all popular here (not to mention lazing on the sand!).

Colombia cruise ports of call include nearly always include Cartagena, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the old town boasts well-preserved 16th- and 17th-century Spanish colonial architecture, cobbled streets, churches, restaurants and bougainvillea-covered balconies.

Other potential stops, depending on your itinerary, are Santa Marta – Colombia’s oldest surviving city, offering a mix of history, great beaches and access to the nearby Tayrona National Park – and San Andrés, a Caribbean island known for its beautiful beaches and marine life.

Which cruise lines go to Caribbean Colombia?

Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Windstar Cruises, Seabourn, Royal Caribbean International, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Silversea, Celebrity Cruises, MSC Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Viking Ocean Cruises, Explora Journeys, Ponant, Crystal, Cunard, Star Clippers, Azamara, Scenic Luxury Ocean, Emerald Yacht Cruises, P&O Cruises and Emerald River Cruises

cartagena colombia
new orleans mardi gras

Louisiana, USA

Further north, Louisiana in February brings with it cooler weather (read: less steamy, less rainy and less hurricane-y) that is pleasant for exploring the US state. Take February cruises along the Mississippi River, and you’ll pass such iconic cities as New Orleans, Baton Rouge or Lafayette.

Of course, by cruising to New Orleans in February you’ll get to fully immerse yourself in all things Mardi Gras – a mega party of dancing, parades, street parties, music and overindulgence – although be aware this does mean higher prices and crowds. While you’re in the Big Easy be sure to check out the specially curated trails showcasing Louisiana’s Civil Rights Movement and African American Heritage.

If you time your trip in the lead up to Mardi Gras try to sample Cajun delicacies like boudin (black pudding) sausages and cracklins (fried pork skin) at a boucherie – a communal hog-butchering event.

Away from New Orleans on your February cruise to Louisiana, the scenery along the riverbanks can be quite picturesque, thanks to the swamps and bayous the state is known for. The region is home to some pretty impressive plantation houses too en route from New Orleans to state capital Baton Rouge.

Cruises to Louisiana aren’t limited to river voyages, however. Some ocean cruise lines start from ports such as Miami, Galveston or Tampa and call at New Orleans or smaller ports along the Gulf Coast, and some depart from New Orleans itself, thence heading off into the Caribbean.

Which cruise lines go to Louisiana?

Ocean cruises: Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International and Disney Cruise Line

River cruises: American Cruise Lines, American Queen Steamboat Company and Viking River Cruises

Montréal, Canada

February is part of the winter season in Montreal and temperatures can range from freezing to well below freezing. However not only does this Canadian city along the St. Lawrence River transform into a winter wonderland if you cruise in February (think skating, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in the city’s parks) but it’s also the perfect opportunity to fuel up on vital calories in Quebec’s culinary epicentre.

Chow down on such local classics as Montréal bagels, smoked meat sandwiches and poutine – yummy crispy fries topped with cheese curds and smothered in rich gravy. There’s also a great global food offering in the city (over a third of the population of Montréal is of non-European origin). Why not taste some Korean fried chicken, Syrian kibbeh or Haitian griot (fried pork chunks)?

If you want to stay warm indoors, the city – a pocket of Europe in North America – offers an excellent cultural scene with museums, art galleries and historic sites like Old Montreal. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Pointe-à-Callière Archaeology Museum and Notre-Dame Basilica are all popular attractions.

Travel here at the end of February and you might time your trip with the Montréal en Lumière festival, complete with outdoor activities, performances and a celebration of art and gastronomy.

February cruising along the St. Lawrence River in winter provides a unique perspective of the city, too, thanks to the snow-covered landscapes – but dress warmly!

Which cruise lines go to Montréal?

Oceania Cruises, Seabourn, Windstar Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Azamara, Holland America Line, Ambassador Cruise Line, Silversea, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Ponant, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and Viking Ocean Cruises

montreal street

United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) features on popular Middle East cruise itineraries through the Arabian Gulf or around the Arabian Peninsula to the Red Sea and Suez Canal – and is a booming destination for ships.

Cruises here generally stop at big-name cities such as Dubai and maybe Abu Dhabi, but there are plenty of other sights in the UAE’s other emirates if you choose to extend your getaway pre- or post-cruise and include several nights stay in a hotel or two.

While Dubai has a bucket-load of beaches, there are also sandy stretches away from the tourism and trade hub – for instance, Black Palace Beach, Khor Fakkan, Jebel Ali or Dibba in Jujairah, where vacationers can snorkel against the backdrop of the Hajar Mountains. Hiking and biking trails are bountiful here, including the region’s first multi-day trails in Ras Al Khaimah.

February cruises time perfectly with a good time of year for such adventures; you’ll get all the benefits of winter sun – daytime temperatures typically range from 18-25°C – without baking in the intense heat that hits the country come the spring and summer.

For culture on your land tours, roam the old center and forts of oasis city Al Ain, the Mleiha Archaeological Centre with its 10 millennia of history, and the world-class museums and galleries of Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, including the Guggenheim and Louvre. Other Abu Dhabi tourist hotspots are Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Ferrari World theme park.

If you’ve only got time on your February cruise to stay in Dubai, highlights include luxury shopping at the Dubai Mall, relaxing on Jumeirah Beach and watching the impressive Dubai Fountain show near the Burj Khalifa, as well as desert safaris for dune bashing and camel riding.

Which cruise lines go to the UAE?

Windstar Cruises, MSC Cruises, Cunard, Seabourn, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Ponant, Silversea, Costa Cruises, Azamara, Virgin Voyages, Royal Caribbean International, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Crystal and Emerald Cruises


February is undeniably the best time to cruise Cambodia along the Mekong River – the weather is dry and warmer than the early dry season (October to January) without being sweltering.

Sightseeing this Southeast Asian country is bearable in these climes (around 24-29°C), with the magnificent Angkor Wat complex in Siem Reap a major draw (and there’s always shade to be found). Explore the ancient temples, from Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom to Ta Prohm, all surrounded by lush landscapes.

Popular cruise routes may include stops at Phnom Penh where The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and Killing Fields bear witness to the country’s tragic recent history under the Khmer Rouge regime.

Some Mekong River cruises may include a visit to Tonle Sap Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, home to floating villages and unique ecosystems, where visitors gain a deeper understanding of rural life in Cambodia.

Be sure to try local dishes like amok (a coconut milk-based curry), fish-based delicacies and fresh tropical fruits during your February cruise to Cambodia.

Come ocean cruises may include Cambodia in their Southeast Asia itineraries, with Sihanoukville the main deep-water port where golden beaches await.

Which cruise lines go to Cambodia?

River cruise: Scenic River, Avalon Waterways, Emerald River Cruises, AmaWaterways, Viking River Cruises and Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

Ocean cruise: Seabourn Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Azamara, Crystal, Ponant and Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

angkor wat cambodia
Published 01.11.24