Unique Ways to Celebrate New Year's Eve Across the Globe

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New Year's Eve doesn't always mean a five-star hotel experience; it could simply be being in a unique place to ring in the New Year.

Here is a sampling of some alternative picks, and of course, we've included a way to get to Time Square to see the ball drop with a few hundred thousands friends.

On The Go Tours is offering a“New Year in Moscow” itinerary. The nine-day New Year in Moscow is suitable for couples, groups of friends or anyone "looking for a different way to celebrate the start of the New Year,” says Philippa George, director of marketing and PR at the agency. “After a couple of days discovering Moscow, travelers will ring in the New Year and raise a glass of vodka while watching the fireworks over the iconic Red Square.”

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The tour begins with a ride on the Moscow Metro, which will take visitors to the Red Square, recognized as the historical, political and social heart of the city. The square is home to some of the city’s most notable landmarks including the domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral, the red brick walls of the Kremlin and the Neo-Russian facade of the GUM shopping mall. Guests will have a chance to explore Lenin's Mausoleum, ice skate in Gorky Park and take part in optional evening excursions such as a traditional Cossack Show or a Moscow by Night coach tour. On New Year’s Eve, travelers will watch the fireworks show over Christ the Savior Cathedral from Patriarshy Bridge, and later head to one of the concerts on Tverskaya Ulitsa. 

“As well as this exciting way to start the year, the tour travels to Pskov an ancient town where travelers can enjoy a day of alpine fun including ice skating on a frozen lake and cross-country skiing,” says George. “The last destination of the vacation is St. Petersburg, home to the incredible Hermitage and Catherine Palace. This tour is led by a local English-speaking guide and includes authentic Russian experiences such as a banya (sauna) in Pskov.”

The “New Year in Moscow” tour departs on December 29, 2017.

For travelers looking to ring in 2018 in London, Golden Tours has the “New Year’s Eve Thames Cruise with Fireworks” itinerary onboard the Monsoon Clipper. The cruise departs at 9 p.m. from London Bridge Pier, where guests will be greeted with a welcome drink and enjoy live musical entertainment. Then at the stroke of midnight, fireworks will light up the sky over the city and the River Thames and guests will toast the New Year with a glass of champagne. A cash bar will also be available.

Also on offer for New Year cruises is Viator’s “Hong Kong New Year’s Eve Fireworks Cruise and Dinner for 2018.” The five-hour cruise will take guests through Hong Kong Harbor to enjoy unobstructed views of the city’s fireworks display while dining on a buffet dinner and sipping unlimited drinks. Selections include Paté en croute with morels, Pumpkin, Spinach and Fetta Salad, and Aperiloste Salami Balls. Red, white and sparkling wines will also be available along with beer and soft drinks. The cruise departs a 9 p.m. from Central Pier 10 in Hong Kong.

Visitors to New York City looking to experience the iconic New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square may be interested in TakeTours' “2-Day New Year's Eve Times Square Countdown Tour from Boston.” Travelers will be picked up in Boston and Quincy in the early morning and head to New York, arriving around 11 a.m. The day will be spent touring the city, including the chance to take a Statue of Liberty Cruise. After some free time for lunch and rest, guests will depart for Times Square for the New Year's Eve countdown, where they will view the famous “ball drop” at the major intersection in midtown Manhattan where Broadway hits Seventh Avenue, often referred to as the “Crossroads of the World.” The next day, after ringing in the New Year, guests will enjoy a day of shopping at one of the 220 stores at  Woodbury Common Premium Outlets located in Orange County. This tour includes a one night stay at the Hotel Somerset Bridgewater.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe travelers can kick off 2018 in warmer weather with Contiki’s “Sydney New Year” itinerary. Designed to cater to Millennial travelers, the four-day tour begins with a half-day guided sightseeing tour of the city’s most notable spots including Bondi Beach and Coogee coastal trail. After the sun goes down, guests will be treated to a Sydney Harbour cruise which includes canapés, dinner and drinks, as well as musical entertainment from an on-board DJ. Later, as the clock strikes midnight guests will enjoy unobstructed views of the fireworks display over the city. After a full night of celebration tour-goers can spend the day surfing on Bondi or Manly beach, explore Hyde Park or head to trendier areas such as New Town or Surry Hills. An individual trip manager will be available to provide suggestions about which locations travelers may be interested in according to personal preference.

Contiki’s “Sydney New Year” includes accommodations in a centrally located hostel and transportation.

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