Europe - a destination focus
It doesn’t take long to figure out that each European port has its own unique culture, identity and language. Although, most Europeans speak two or more languages, and English is becoming the standard for conducting business and tourism. The best part, you can choose from various options of experiencing Europe from history or arts to the region’s fresh culinary flavors.
Europe harbors more than 40 countries in an area about the same size as the United States. Europe is essentially divided into two basic cruise groupings: Northern Europe (Baltic countries) and the Mediterranean. There are also the transatlantic repositioning voyages out of Miami, Orlando (Port Canaveral), Tampa and some cases New York.
A cruise makes Europe’s ports more convenient to visit: Roughly 80% of Europe’s great cities are on or near significant bodies of water. As a result, you can unpack once and have easy access to some of the most celebrated architectural, cultural and beautiful attractions in Europe.
BENEFITS OF SEEING EUROPE BY CRUISE
Sometimes we only get one opportunity to travel to Europe. So naturally, you will want to see as much of it as possible during your trip. Although this is possible, it involves seemingly endless bus, car or train time, luggage hauling and rushing from landmark to landmark. It can be a very exhausting experience. A cruise however, is an entirely different story. Here’s why…
On a ocean or river cruise vacation you benefit from the regular features of a European cruise as well as the personal touches of the cruise line:
Since many European ports brim with many interesting things to see and do, you may want to stay shore side as long as possible. Some excursions you can experience on a European cruises include a Night of Russian Ballet in St. Petersburg, bathing in the Blue Lagoon in Reykjavik or a trip to the Berlin Wall in Germany, and so much more.
Some of the cruise lines offer opening dining so you can take your time and return to the ship and eat aboard when you are ready.
WHY PEOPLE WANT TO VISIT EUROPE
Here are just a few of the reasons why Europe is so popular
To see some of the most famous places in history– all in relatively close proximity
It’s an ideal family vacation – even for multi-generations, because the Europe cruises offer a broad range of cultural experiences and complete ease of travel
For the great shopping
To experience varied languages, people and cultures
For the fine cuisine and wines
To sightsee in a part of the world with famous attractions
In some cases, for watersports
POPULAR MEDITERRANEAN PORTS OF CALL
POPULAR NORTHERN EUROPE & BALTIC PORTS OF CALL
St. Petersburg, Russia
There's no better way to experience the history, landmarks and culture of Europe than with some shore excursions. You will have the opportunity to experience all these destinations have to offer. The sights, sounds and flavours of Europe are like nowhere else in the world, and are best explored with local guides. Whether it's a charming drive through the lemon and olive tree dotted Corfu countryside, admiring the beauty of St. Peter's Square and the Sistine Chapel, or seeing Bergen's Hardanger Fjord, the third largest fjord in the world←there is something for everyone to enjoy! Here are some of the most popular shore excursions you may want to consider.
Cannes → Monaco & Monte Carlo
This tour takes you aboard a coach from Cannes to Monaco, to the top of the rock by escalators and elevators. On the upper level is a guided walking tour passing by the Oceanographic Museum, the cathedral, and view the exterior of the Prince's palace. Afterwards, you may wish to stroll across the street to admire the Hotel de Paris, window shop, or try your luck at the Casino de Monte Carlo.
Civitavecchia → Rome & The Vatican
The Eternal City is seen on an orientation drive passing iconic structures like the Colosseum of ancient Rome. In Vatican City admire the beauty of St. Peter’s Square, and view some of the treasures of the world’s largest church, St. Peter’s Basilica during your brief visit. The Vatican Museum is home to masterpieces spanning the centuries, marvel at the Sistine Chapel, topped by Michelangelo’s magnificent ceiling. Lunch is included.
Livorno → Florence & Pisa
If you enjoy being active and walking about two miles, you will enjoy this tour. The excursion starts off with a scenic drive through the Florence countryside then a stop in the Piazza del Duomo to admire the exterior of the Cathedral (Duomo) of Santa Maria del Fiore. Next up is a look at the statues in the Piazza della Signoria on your way to the Ponte Vecchio. Lunch is included at a local restaurant followed by free time.
Naples → Pompeii Excavations
Pompeii once supported a flourishing civilization that was revealed nearly intact after being buried for about 1,700 years. The once, prosperous commercial and political center with a population of 25,000 was hidden under 20 feet of volcanic ash and cinders during the fateful eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Wandering through this ancient city, you will be in awe as you discover the still active Mount Vesuvius towering above.
Palma → Magical Majorca & Train to Soller
This tour points out some of the most scenic parts of Mallorca, the lovely village of Soller and enjoy a picturesque ride on the Soller Railway.
Malaga → Granada & the Magnificent Alhambra