Discover the Treasures of Europe
From the world’s greatesT waterways to dramatic coastlines and captivating cities, Europe has it all
From the striking Baltic to the serene Aegean. From medieval castles to modern skyscrapers. From breathtaking river journeys to unforgettable ocean cruises. Discover Europe like never before. Whether you choose to navigate its picturesque rivers or sail along its stunning coastlines, a European cruise offers an incredible opportunity to delve into the continent’s fascinating history and immerse yourself in its vibrant culture.
You can explore Europe’s stunning northern regions, cruise magnificent rivers such as the Danube, Rhine, and Seine, discover the beautiful Mediterranean, or uncover popular ports in the British Isles, like Edinburgh and Dublin. No matter how you get there, every corner of Europe is infused with a rich history that has shaped its present, and it’s just waiting for you to discover it all.
European river cruises typically operate from March to December, but the prime months are often the shoulder seasons of April and May (late spring), and then September and October (early Autumn). During these months you’ll experience inviting weather and fewer crowds because they are considered “off-peak” months. You will also find that river cruises centred around the Christmas season have become increasingly popular despite the colder weather.
The Northern Europe and Baltic cruise season runs from April to September when the weather is warm and gradually gets hotter in July and August. As you venture further north, daylight hours increase, blooming flowers add vibrant colours to the landscape, and nights bring nothing more than refreshing cool breezes. In the Baltic region, summers are delightfully short and sweet, lasting from June to August. You will also find incredible voyages during the shoulder seasons of February/March and October to December.
While summer is the bustling travel season in the Mediterranean, with scorching weather and a vibrant atmosphere, the best time to embark on a cruise is in the spring (May-June) or fall (September-October). During these seasons, temperatures are pleasantly warm, the sun is radiant, and you’ll find fewer crowds compared to the peak months of July and August.
If you’re looking to experience the delightful British charm up close the summer season is the perfect time for a cruise in the British Isles. The English summer is warm, friendly, and vibrant. With pleasant weather on your side, you can truly appreciate this picturesque land.
Popular Cruise Lines
If you’re considering a Northern Europe cruise, you’ll be spoiled for choice with the multitude of fantastic cruise lines available. Some notable options include Azamara Club Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, and Silversea.
Exploring the captivating beauty of the British Isles is made perfect with cruise lines including Azamara, Celebrity Cruises, Cunard, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn, and Silversea.
For a European river cruise, you can’t look past Avalon Waters, Viking, Scenic Cruises, and Uniworld Boutique River Cruises. They all offer remarkable river cruise itineraries on several Europe’s most famous waterways. Finally, discover the romantic ports of the Mediterranean with a wide variety of large, small, and luxury cruise lines. Look to names like Viking Ocean Cruises, Norwegian, MSC, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Holland America, Crystal, and Azamara for an unforgettable Mediterranean adventure.
Highlights of Europe
An absolute highlight of Northern Europe is Iceland. Known as the “Land of Fire and Ice”, Iceland is captivating to its core. Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Reykjavik, stand in awe of mystical northern lights at Kirkjufellsfoss waterfalls, and indulge in pure relaxation with a rejuvenating dip in the legendary Blue Lagoon. It’s an absolute must-do cruise destination.
And on a European river cruise? We can’t pass up the legendary waters of the Danube, the heart and soul of central Europe. These waterways flow through 10 countries, starting life in Germany’s black forest and flowing through to the Black Sea. Its romantic and tranquil course navigates riverbanks that are punctuated with majestic castles, cosmopolitan cities, and fairytale villages. Promising an astonishingly beautiful river cruise, several cruise lines offer Danube River itineraries, unveiling multiple countries at once and allowing you to experience the diversity of European culture
Key Ocean Cruise Ports
⚓ Copenhagen, Denmark
Discover the enchanting allure of Copenhagen – where fairytales come to life and modern design meets cosy charm. Cruise through historic canals, wander vibrant neighbourhoods, and indulge in world-renowned Nordic cuisine. Feel the magic of Hans Christian Andersen’s tales as you visit the iconic Little Mermaid sculpture, longing for her prince. And get ready to be captivated by Copenhagen’s irresistible blend of history, hygge, and adventure!
⚓ Bergen, Norway
Nestled amongst seven majestic mountains, Bergen is the gateway to the Norwegian fjords. Wander through the cobblestone streets of the Bryggen neighbourhood, admiring the vibrant colours of the medieval houses. Ascend to the summit of Mt. Floyen for panoramic views of the fjords and the city below. Immerse yourself in Troll Forest, where whimsical statues bring a touch of magic to your journey. Indulge in a culinary adventure, savouring dishes created by visionary chefs showcasing the finest Norwegian seafood and local produce. Uncover the secrets of Bergen’s past at the Hanseatic Museum and the Bryggens Museum. Whether by cable car or by foot on peaceful trails, Bergen’s natural splendour and historical charm will leave you spellbound.
⚓ Hamburg, Germany
Discover Hamburg, Germany’s cosmopolitan metropolis and gateway to the world. Immerse yourself in architectural marvels like the neo-renaissance Hamburg Rathaus and the baroque Church of St. Michael. Indulge in the vibrant restaurant and bar scene along the river Elbe, and witness the bustling Hamburg Harbor, Europe’s third-busiest port.
⚓ Reykjavik, Iceland
Experience the heart of Iceland in Reykjavik! Discover the ancient Settlement Exhibition, where history comes to life. Marvel at the stunning Hallgrimskirkja Church and its breathtaking views. Explore the wonders of Iceland at Perlan Dome, from ice caves to planetarium shows. Indulge in relaxation at the famous Blue Lagoon.
⚓ Helsinki, Finland
Experience the laid-back yet vibrant seaside charm of Helsinki, Finland’s capital. Stroll through the bustling market square, admire the stunning architecture, and marvel at the iconic mermaid statue. Explore the astonishing rock-carved church and indulge in a delicious local dish. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Suomenlinna and enjoy a picnic on the car-free islands. Immerse yourself in the contemporary art scene at the quirky Kiasma Museum and delve into Helsinki’s aesthetic history at the Finnish Design Museum.
⚓ Tallinn, Estonia
Discover the hidden gem of Tallinn, where fairy-tale castles meet warm hospitality. Explore the medieval Old Town, wander through cobbled streets, and admire the ornate Orthodox Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky. Indulge in hearty Estonian fare and witness the futuristic charm of Tallinn’s tech hub. Step into a fairy tale in Tallinn’s medieval Old Town and experience the perfect blend of old-world charm and modern innovation.
Key European Rivers
⚓ The Danube River, Central Europe
Discover the heart of Europe as you sail through Germany, Austria, Hungary, and more, immersing yourself in the rich history and vibrant cultures that line its banks. With 19 enchanting locks to traverse, a Danube River cruise promises an unforgettable experience of beauty and relaxation.
⚓ The Main River, Germany
Cruise through picturesque villages, historic towns, and stunning architecture, as you explore this captivating waterway. Be amazed by the engineering marvel that is the Main-Danube Canal, unlocking a seamless journey from the North Sea to the Black Sea.
⚓ The Rhine River, Switzerland to the Netherlands
Experience the beauty of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, adorned with magnificent castles and the legendary Loreley Rock. Explore charming towns like Strasbourg and Heidelberg, where history and culture intertwine. Marvel at the majestic Cologne Cathedral and discover the iconic windmills of Kinderdijk. Get ready for a scenic adventure filled with captivating sights and unforgettable moments.
⚓ The Seine River, France
Cruise along the majestic Seine River, usually roundtrip from Paris. Discover picturesque towns, visit Monet’s stunning garden, and delve into the history of World War II. Let the charm of the Seine capture your heart as you explore historic ports and unwind on the serene waters.
⚓ The Douro River, Portugal, and Spain
Experience breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and exquisite wines on a Douro River cruise. Winding its way down the mountains towards the sea, watching as the scenery rapidly changes as the river narrows and the cliffs get steeper. This nearly 900km stretch of the river starts in Spain, but most of its navigable waters are in Portugal, with the river flowing into the Atlantic Ocean at Porto.
Europe is a fantastic destination all year round. From May to September, Northern Europe offers warm and dry weather, while the temperatures in Southern Europe can rise as high as 36°C in July and August. As for winter, Northern Europe tends to be cool and wet, whereas the southern regions enjoy milder weather. Whether you are seeking warm summer days or cosy winter adventures, Europe has something to offer any time of the year. Your best bet is to check the cruise seasons of your specific destination to see what time of the year is best suited to you, as the climate varies so much across this diverse continent.
European cruise itineraries offer a diverse range of options, making it hard to decide. But here’s a crucial tip: a day per port is far from enough time to truly experience anything, let alone everything. To maintain your sanity, treat each day as a delightful “sampler” – if you enjoy it, plan a longer visit in the future. And if a particular port fails to captivate you (and trust us, it happens), the silver lining is that you haven’t wasted valuable time and money on an extended stay.