Cruise Europe

Photo by Carrie Finley

When it comes to cruising in Europe, it's all about picking an itinerary.

Cruising in Europe is an amazing proposition. There are so many cruises to choose from. Depending on what you want to see, you will have no shortage of places to visit. I suggest planning to stay a day in advice and for sure a day after the cruise ends to keep the magic alive. 

Carrie Finley

Europe Cruise Planning Guide

Answers about cruising better in Europe and the Mediterranean.  Information about planning a cruise vacation in Europe and cruising the Med. What to do? When to go? What cruise line to take. Vacation planning tips and resources about planning a cruise vacation to Europe.

Are you planning to set sail down the waterways of Europe this year?

If you are planning a cruise in Europe (one of my favorite destinations, by the way), then be ready for a grand adventure. 

One of the advantages of cruising in Europe is that you can unpack once yet you get to call on many ports along the way seeing many sights without the hassle of planes, trains, busses, or rental cars. For some people this is a great value because they get to sample the city and then perhaps a return visit will be in order to take a deeper dive into a destination.

My biggest tip is to make a budget ahead of time and make sure to coordinate your airfare, pre or post hotel plans, restaurant reservations, theater tickets, museum tours well in advance of the trip.

Savvy travelers will research the ports on the itineraries to determine how easy it will be to navigate the city on one’s own. After all, lets face it, while the cruise line’s shore excursions are nice, there are some times when you need a break from your fellow passengers. Knowing where the ship will dock is a key to determining if a city can be explored on one’s own. For example most river cruises offer shore tours as part of the their all-inclusive price. While the tour is a great option, there are times when you can break from the group, explore on your own and then head back to the ship at your own pace. If you opt to do this, make sure to tell the tour guide and for sure know when the All Aboard time is so you don’t miss the boat as she heads to the next port-of-call. As you can tell, I am not one to follow the herd, but I know when it’s a good time to use the ship’s tours and when I feel most comfortable exploring on my own. 

Of course, there are also other shore excursion companies that offer semi-private and small group tours. These are great options as well, especially if they can guarantee that you will be back to the ship in time for departure or they will pay for you to meet the ship at the next port of call. 

Western Mediterranean

Eastern Mediterranean

Northern Mediterranean

 River Cruising in Europe


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