As part of its annual holiday tradition, Carnival Cruise Line completed the transformation of its 26 ships into beacons of holiday cheer.

The line works with industry leader McGowen Creative Group whose “elves” visit more than a dozen U.S. ports and work with shipboard team members to create a festive feeling throughout the month of December. The extensive fleetwide transformations include some staggering facts and figures:

  • Carnival’s 26 ships will feature more than 568 Christmas trees, which would be taller than four Eiffel Towers, if stacked;
  • 56,000 feet of garland, 560 times the height of the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree;
  • 150,000 feet of ribbon, longer than the NYC Marathon; and
  • 6,000 hand-tied bows, almost enough to cover each seat in Radio City Music Hall.

Each of the ship’s atrium lobbies features a massive Christmas tree equipped with customized lighting and synchronized music.

And while it wouldn’t be the holidays without decorations galore, the true magic on Carnival’s ships happens when the guests arrive on board. From strolling carolers and holiday music incorporated into the live entertainment to “snowfalls” in the atrium, Carnival celebrates the holidays like no one else can.

There’s even a special holiday show with performances by children from Camp Ocean, and appearances from none other than Santa Claus and The Grinch, as part of the line’s fleetwide Seuss at Sea program.

Carnival’s culinary team also does its part in spreading holiday spirit – each ship’s pastry team creates elaborate, specially designed gingerbread holiday villages that are displayed in the ships’ promenades throughout December. With all hands on deck, from basic stenciling to final execution, it takes about two weeks to make these jaw-dropping masterpieces. Made entirely of gingerbread and confectionery, the sceneries are meticulously detailed and the finishing touches to the ships’ holiday transformations.

The best part of sailing for the holidays, however, is the beauty of not having to cook or clean! Guests can have all of their holiday favorites – and then some – without any stress.

It’s not too late to book a holiday cruise on Carnival – it’s the best time to be at sea!