Another Christmas is now in the history books and typically at this time of year, interest in cruising surges. As families come together for the festive season, the question then turns to just who is going to play host next year.

In order to provide some post-Christmas conversation, we’ve found six of the best cruises for you to consider encouraging the family to join you on next Christmas, with destinations both close to home and abroad providing a bevy of options for those looking to leave the cooking and cleaning to someone else.

Embarking in the Dutch city of Amsterdam, this 16-day itinerary down the Rhine and Danube rivers highlights some of Europe’s most beautiful towns as they get into the Christmas spirit.

The five country itinerary winds its way through quaint towns such as Passau in Germany and big cities including Vienna in Austria, giving you the chance to see picturesque and relaxed agricultural areas and bustling metropolis hubs.

Scenic’s usual inclusive nature is extended further on its holiday sailings with special menus in the dining room which draw upon inspiration from the regions in which the vessel is sailing. The voyage culminates in Budapest on December 29, allowing guests ample time to explore the Hungarian capital before jetting home (or somewhere else) for New Year’s Eve.

Debut in the Australian market in November 2017, Norwegian Cruise Line will become the latest cruise line to call Australia home for a summer season.

Norwegian Jewel, which will offer more restaurants than any other ship in Australian waters, has its sights set on making a splash for food fans, while its exclusive ‘ship within a ship’ complex known as “The Haven” is another Australian first.

With all these exciting innovations, it’s little surprise that its scheduled 2017 Christmas cruise is already proving popular nearly a year out from sailing. The ship will sail a two week round-trip itinerary from Sydney, calling in Melbourne and the Tasmanian port of Burnie before crossing the ditch to New Zealand’s North Island.

The cruise, which mixes time in port with sea days very well, is a great opportunity to catch up with family in the southern states prior to enjoying Christmas at sea.

Another ship set for relaunch under a new name in the Australian scene (currently sailing locally as Dawn Princess) is P&O Cruises’ Pacific Explorer, a vessel which according to P&O will be just as good as a new ship.

A multi-million dollar refurbishment of all public spaces and most staterooms will see the former Princess Cruises ship transformed, with new spaces such as a hidden bar and a supper club to be developed for the vessel. For Christmas 2017, the ship will be embarking on a 10-night South Pacific itinerary calling at all the usual ports such as Noumea, Port Vila and the Isle of Pines among a selection of other New Caledonian hotspots.

The warmer weather of the South Pacific will afford guests the opportunity to discover some of the ship’s new features such as a top deck water park featuring a bevy of new water slides and a revamped poolside movie screen experience.