Getting the most out of your European cruise holiday

Posted February 25th, 2014

Europe is historical and breathtaking; magical and enchanting; an extraordinary blend of people, cultures, languages and stories. What it is not, however, is close. Flying to Europe can take close on a days worth of travel time. That's nearly 24 hours (maybe even longer if you have long stopovers) out of your holiday time. So, its almost a no-brainer, that when you get there, you will want to make the most of your time there.

Explore more of Venice with a cruise & tour package

Cue a package holiday. If you're booking a cruise - arguably one of the  best ways to see the best of Europe - you should consider extending your cruise holiday on either end (or both if you're keen), so that you can make the most of your time in this beautiful and varied destination. But, should you travel independently or maybe book an escorted tour?

Independent Travel vs. Escorted Tour:

To see more of Europe before or after your cruise, you may decide to travel independently, and in this case you will have to find and book your own accommodation, transport, meals, figure out your route and so on. It can be a lot of work, but it does offer you a great deal of freedom and flexibility to go wherever you want and see or do whatever you want, whenever you want. It means you can set the pace of your holiday, and take all the time in the world (or the time left from your annual leave).

However, not everyone has the time to do all this homework, and it can seem more like hardwork than a holiday. It can also be costly, as the costs for hotels, tips, taxis, car hire and insurance, entrance fees etc. add up throughout the holiday, making it more expensive than it initially seemed.

You will also have to deal with the different languages, currencies, local driving laws, and border formalities on your own, as well as carry your own bags everywhere.

Have you brushed up on your French?

So, what are your other options we hear you say?

Well, an escorted tour of course. As much as the freedom and flexibility of independent travel appeals to our adventurous side, we feel that an escorted tour offers more value when you don't have all the time in the world to experience Europe on your own.

So, what are the benefits of an escorted tour? Lets start with the cost. Your costs are all visible upfront. You won't have all the added surprises of tips, taxis and so on, but for the most part, will know your per-day cost each and every day.

Secondly, you will have access to a tour guide that will be able to show you each place you visit through the eyes of a local, rather than hoping you discover the non-touristy side yourself. You will be able to experience authentic cuisine and meet local people, with experts to guide you throughout the experiences (rather than relying on your rusty French/Italian/Spanish to get you through the menu options).

You are also guaranteed the best hotels in the best locations rather than relying on the reviews of others (read: strangers on the internet), and will be have the joy of getting from A to B in luxury coaches, rather than in tiny rental cars.

And finally, there are so many different itinerary options to choose from, that you are sure to find one that suits you and the places you most want to visit. To us, all of this adds up to an immersive holiday experience that is designed to give you the most value out of a short holiday period.

But, don't rely on our views - why not try it for yourself? Insight Vacations have an earlybird offer on a selection of their European tours, and we have included a recommended cruise option so that you can build a convenient package holiday that truly gives you the most out of your European holiday.

For more information, call one of our Cruise Specialists on 1300 954 661 today. 

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