48 Hours in New York this Christmas

By Catriona Cherrie

New York City could never be fully explored in just two days, but a 48-hour charter stop-off in the Big Apple will prove to be the best dose of seasonal magic for your charter trip. For those on a North American charter or on their way to warmer climates over the Christmas period, New York has its own unique blend of hustle and yuletide which should be at the top of everyone's wish list.

During the holiday period, New York City is resplendent, bedecked in twinkling lights, bright tinsels and a thick layer of snow carpeting the pavements and muffling the sounds of traffic, creating a white wonderland akin to Lapland. Christmas in New York City has been the central focus of hundreds of Hollywood productions, and for good reason. From the glamorous department store window displays to the 30-foot Christmas trees that glow from hotel courtyards, the scene is perfectly set for your festive-filled stopover.

Hopping off your superyacht for the perfect land-based overnight stay, look no further than the Lotte New York Palace on Madison Avenue, or the Peninsula New York in Midtown. These landmark hotels mark the upper crust of New York luxury, and their festive traditions make for an elegant and magical experience for the whole family. The Peninsula includes a ‘Night Before Christmas’ package at this time of year for children, which includes a candy cane scavenger hunt, a biscuit decorating kit and even an in-room gingerbread playhouse. Meanwhile, the Palace welcome children to post their wish lists to Santa in their huge Santa mailbox in the hotel’s central lobby.

Wrap up warm and venture out onto the snow-lined streets of the city towards Fifth Avenue to experience the warm glow from the windows of Saks Fifth Avenue, and Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, all of which compete to produce the most extravagant festive window displays each year. Seek out ideal gifts for your loved ones in Macy’s and whilst there visit the iconic Santaland, the 13,000 square foot indoor wonderland, complete with prancing reindeer, singing snowmen and even visit Santa himself inside his grotto.

Go for a spin at the Rockefeller Centre Ice Rink, the iconic ice skating rink from Home Alone 2 with incredible views of the city skyline and which is open until midnight. After a session at this celebrated attraction, continue your quintessentially festive day with a visit to Sant Ambroeus and La Maison Du Chocolat, two upmarket cafes famed for their hot chocolates, only a short walk from the skating rink.

As darkness draws closer, now is the time to indulge in a glorious Christmas dinner, choosing from any number of incredible menus across the city. Ideally located within the Peninsula Hotel, the Clement restaurant offers a beautifully detailed and delectable three-course Christmas feast for your enjoyment. Appetizers include a raw bar, bespoke salad mixing station, and a selection of cheese and charcuterie. Entrees include prime beef tenderloin, turkey, and a glazed turbot fillet, and there is a dessert buffet to complete this incredible banquet.

To finish off this magical bolt-on across your magical charter, consider taking a trip to The New York Botanical Garden, located in the Bronx, to see "The Nutcracker" performed by The New York City Ballet. To experience this beautiful classic in such a festive city will prove to be truly spectacular, and a fantastic way to round off your short but sweet trip to the city that never sleeps.

By Catriona Cherrie