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Cruising to a Memorable New Year’s Eve


If you want to be somewhere special on New Year’s Eve, a cruise can take you there. On board, there’s sure to be a wonderful celebration – but, if you’re in port, you can also celebrate on shore and enjoy the New Year’s customs of another culture.


In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, New Year’s Eve is called Réveillon. It’s also the Fiesta de Iemanjà, which honors the goddess of the sea. To pay tribute to the goddess, followers of the Candomblé religion dress in white and bring offerings such as flowers, perfume and wine to the beach, setting rings of candles around them. You can bring your own offering to Iemanjà – perhaps a pretty pebble. If you skip your offering over the waves and it doesn’t return to shore, the story goes, the goddess will grant your wish and provide luck in the New Year.


Throughout Italy, the Festa di San Silvestro is celebrated on December 31. Food is a big part of the celebration: traditional foods include lentils, which symbolize wealth and good fortune; pork sausage, which symbolizes the richness of life in the coming year; and Italian sparkling wines. There are huge midnight fireworks displays, with Naples known for one of the biggest and best. Naples also celebrates with live music at outdoor venues. At midnight, watch for falling objects: in some parts of Naples, people still practice the tradition of throwing their old things out of their windows in order to make room for the new.


On Italy’s eastern coast, the city of Venice hosts a huge celebration, with music and fireworks in the Piazza San Marco. Many restaurants offer tremendous New Year’s feasts, with multiple courses and plenty of wine. On New Year’s Day, you can refresh yourself by joining local bathers for a dip in the water at the beaches of Lido di Venezia.


Sydney, Australia, makes its signature Sidney Harbor Bridge the center of its New Year’s Eve celebration. The festivities begin at dusk with live music, followed by a Family Fireworks show at 9:00 p.m. and a larger show at midnight. The midnight show always has a theme displayed on the bridge itself as fireworks launch from barges in the harbor. If you can reserve a place on one of the decorated boats in the traditional Harbor of Light parade, you’ll have a perfect vantage point for the entire display.


Whether you’d like to spend New Year’s Eve at sea or in a port of call, talk with your personal cruise expert about cruises that offer the type of celebration you’re looking for. With so many options available, your personal cruise expert can quickly find the ships and itineraries that match your idea of an ideal New Year’s Eve.