One of the most varied regions in the world, cruises to Europe will take you on an adventure through captivating cities, historically significant sites and spectacular scenery – it’s little wonder that cruises to Europe and the Mediterranean remain an irresistible draw to so many. Whether you sail around the magical ports of Europe’s pretty Mediterranean, head north towards the Arctic Circle on one of our cruises to Northern Europe or embark on a leisurely river cruise through hidden regions lined with rolling hills and fairy-tale castles, your voyage of discovery will unveil a varied landscape replete with natural wonders and stunning architecture. Here are a selection of destinations that you could visit on your Europe cruise:
Sail to France’s dreamy port towns and you’ll discover a world of old school glamour: there’s nowhere more fashionable than Saint-Tropez. Stars of the silver screen flocked to the resort in the Fifties and transformed the once-sleepy fishing village into a jetsetter’s favourite almost overnight. Head inland and you can explore the quiet hillside towns of Provence or wander amongst the lavender that gives this region its intoxicating colour and scent.
Pizza, pasta and passion are the three cornerstones of Italian cuisine, which paired with the luscious landscapes and historic intrigue creates an incredible cruise destination. Everything about Italy exudes style: from Gucci to Pucci, Armani and Salvatore Ferragamo, fashion houses are as famous as the food and you’ll spot their influence across the country in everyday life. Italy’s shape lends itself to easy exploration on a leisurely cruise, taking in a variety of charming coastal cities.
Gorgeous Greece has the Mediterranean’s longest coastline, indented with unspoilt coves and brilliantly blue bays. In Athens you can explore the birthplace of democracy, or stop at any of the Greek Islands that are scattered, like eggshells, across the Aegean, and discover a variety of regional dishes, sights and quirks that make up a hugely diverse country. Santorini has incredible sunsets, Mykonos towering windmills and sea breezes and Corfu verdant forests and sandy beaches.
Like a sparkling jewel in the Adriatic, Croatia’s emerald seas are enhanced by its red-tiled roofs and gleaming golden streets. Its pitted coastline is dappled with secret sapphire-blue bays and scenic beaches. The old city of Dubrovnik juts into the sea with medieval fortress walls and a glitzy harbour and the equally beautiful city of Split is home to the Diocletian’s palace, an ancient Roman fortress that forms the Old Town of the city.
Spain (inc Canaries)
Sunny Spain is a kaleidoscope of colour and culture: deep blue seas and skies, golden beaches, verdant forests and the unforgettable madness that is Gaudi architecture. Barcelona is as delightful as it is accessible, while Palma de Mallorca is a glamorous stopover, with tiny boutique shops and restaurants lining its winding streets. For guaranteed sun all year round head to the Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa
Our cruises to Northern Europe can take you as far as the Arctic Circle, touring the fjords of Norway, the atmospheric cities of the Baltics and St Petersburg, or visiting magical Iceland with its volcanic landscapes, bubbling pools and stark glaciers.
Best time to travel
As a large continent with enormous variation, Europe is a year round destination.
The ports around the Mediterranean can be visited year round, while the interior has many rivers that are a delight to explore. The summer sees high temperatures and sunny skies while even midwinter from December to March can be mild.
Europe is home to some of the best-loved cuisine in the world
In Italy make sure you try the delicious pasta and pizza, in France make the most of fresh, simply prepared seafood and in Greece and Turkey sample grilled meats and abundant salads. The wine of Europe is particularly famous too, from sparkling champagne to rich, full-bodied red wine.
The Sagrada Familia is one of Barcelona’s most famous landmarks. It began construction in 1882 and is still not completed.
The city of Istanbul is one of the only cities in the world to straddle two continents: Europe and Asia.
Things to do
- Relax on the beaches of Barceloneta and sip a glass of refreshing Sangria
- Dive in the crystal-clear waters surrounding Kefalonia and the Ionian Islands
- Stand face to face with Michelangelo’s David in glorious Florence
- Take a tour of the canals of St Petersburg and photograph the striking churches
- Join the locals to swim in the Blue Grotto off the island of Capri
- Watch the incredible sunset from the whitewashed towns of Santorini
- Board the London Eye for incredible views over London
- Hike among the green landscapes of Norway’s dramatic fjords
- Throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain to ensure your return to Rome
- Count the tumbling waterfalls at Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes National Park
- Soar to the top of the Eiffel Tower to look out over picturesque Paris
- Walk in the footsteps of ancient Greeks atop the Acropolis in Athens
- Brave the chilly air to take a dip in Iceland’s ethereal Blue Lagoon
- Stroll along the Promenade des Anglais and take in the French Riviera
- Order a local beer in Prague – the capital of the Czech Republic is famous for it!
- Hop into a gondola to explore the network of canals around Venice
- Explore the varied landscapes of the Baltic countries, each one remarkably different