European cruise tips and making the most of your Mediterranean Cruise Vacation PackagesCruising Europe is a relaxing and rewarding experience - even more so when you do a little planning before you go. The more you prepare for your journey abroad, the more time you'll be able to spend simply enjoying your vacation and discovering all of the wonders the Old World has to offer.
The Best Time to Cruise the Mediterranean
May to October is European cruising's peak season, chiefly because these months offer the most sun and blue sky. And the days last longer - Scandinavia can stay sunny for nearly 20 hours a day! Mild weather makes it easy to pack and travel light, and the attractions are easily accessible - the royal gardens are abloom in London, the sidewalk cafes come alive in Paris, and beaches from the French Riviera to the islands of Spain and Greece sizzle with beauty. Outdoor festivals and art shows also make the summer popular with travelers. And in August, the crowds will be a little smaller - because many Europeans go on vacation abroad.
Early spring and late fall are also popular with travelers. American holidays (like St. Patrick's Day) and European holidays (like Germany's famed Oktoberfest) draw many visitors in Europe's cooler months. From Ireland's emerald countryside to the sun-washed vineyards of Italy, the colorful changing of the seasons can be a magical time. Some vacationers prefer this period because there are smaller crowds - imagine having Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper all to yourself! And, of course, there are plenty of great deals at this time of year.
Types of European Cruises
- Transatlantic Cruises: Cross the Atlantic amidst all the comforts of a full-service floating resort, including endless dining options and world-class entertainment at sea. Transatlantic cruises usually embark from within the U.S. or the Caribbean, and then disembark in Europe (or vice versa), so you'll only need one-way airfare. Want to start your cruise vacation immediately? Embark from a U.S. port. Prefer to save the best for last? Cruise home from Europe. If you have time, nothing beats an extended roundtrip sailing from either side of the Atlantic.
Plenty of itineraries feature ports in Great Britain, Spain, and Portugal. But some sailings include unique ports like the Canary Islands and the islands of The Azores. Located halfway across the pond, both destinations are ruggedly beautiful and rich with culture. Many transatlantic cruises also drop anchor in the Caribbean for a day or two.
- Western Mediterranean Cruises: The towering Rock of Gibraltar welcomes you to the breathtaking gateway of the Mediterranean Sea. Here, along the western shores of the sea, you'll discover an array of eclectic cities. Popular hotspots include Barcelona, Ibiza, Cannes, and Monte Carlo. For a truly exotic adventure, choose an itinerary featuring south coast stops in Morocco and Tunisia.
- Eastern Mediterranean Cruises: Once the center of power for an empire that stretched across most of Europe, Rome is the unofficial cruising capital of the Mediterranean. More cruise ships embark and disembark from the city's terminal port in nearby Civitavecchia than from any other European location. Classic Eastern Mediterranean itinerary favorites include Venice, Naples, Athens, and the islands of Italy and Greece. Popular exotic ports include Istanbul and Cairo.
- Northern European Cruises: Year after year, spectacular coastal scenery and fascinating cities keep cruisers coming back to the waterways of Northern Europe. Traditional itineraries usually include stops in London (or two nearby terminals) and Dublin. Paris and Amsterdam, located just across the English Channel, are perennial crowd-pleasers. More exotic thrills await beyond the dramatic white cliffs of Dover and the European mainland. Don't miss the hot springs and glacier-capped volcanoes of Iceland, the Viking lore and fjords of Scandinavia, and the ornate czar palaces of St. Petersburg, Russia.
- European River Cruises: To experience a vacation that is truly unique, adventurous and enriching, embark on a voyage with Uniworld Grand River Cruises and Tours. As you sail the world's historic waterways, you'll enjoy an intimate look at exotic destinations, cruising past scenic countryside, cultural landmarks and bustling city life.
- European Land and Cruise Tours: A hotel stay in an exciting gateway city is the icing on the cake - it's the most relaxing way to kick-off or wrap-up your journey. Catch up on sleep and adjust to the change in time zones, or rise with the sun - step onto your hotel room's balcony, breathe in mouthwatering scents from a local bakery, and watch the neighborhood come alive. Overnight stays also afford you an opportunity to experience completely the legendary nightlife of vibrant gateway cities like London and Barcelona.
Amazon.com Gift Card:
Up To $750 To Prepare For Your Vacation *Amazon.com Gift Card: Up To $750 To Prepare For Your Vacation *Get the fun started before you’ve even boarded your cruise! Book a new and qualifying cruise and receive a Amazon Gift Card valued up to $750. Spend it on luggage, flip-flops, sunscreen, bathing suits, or any other Amazon.com merchandise that would make your upcoming vacation that much more special. Your gift card code will be emailed to you approximately 30 days before departure date. Actual amount of card will vary based on total price (which can be found on your invoice under "Total Price"), minus port charges & taxes.*
If you book a cruise that departs soon (within 36 days), your gift card code will be sent to you after you return home. Use your gift card to prepare for your adventure or to enhance your next vacation experience!
Total Price (minus port charges & taxes)Gift Card Value$0 - $1,250$25$1,251 - $2,250$50$2,251 - $3,000$75$3,001 - $3,500$100$3,501 - $4,000$125$4,001 - $4,500$150$4,501 - $5,000$200$5,001 - $7,500$300$7,501 - $10,000$400$10,000+$750
Hurry - Offer Ends Soon!
Up To $750 To Spend Onboard †- Book Online or Call!Onboard Credit: Up To $750 To Spend Onboard † - Book Online or Call!Spend it in your ship's spa, shops, and specialty restaurants or apply it towards shore excursions! Simply book a qualifying voyage, then prior to departure, complete and submit the redemption form found on your invoice, and we'll credit up to $750 to your onboard account, which you can use while you're sailing. Please see our grid below for bonus amounts. Restrictions apply, see terms below for details. Amount is based on total price (which can be found on your invoice under "Total Price"), minus port charges & taxes. †
Total Price (minus port charges & taxes)Onboard Spending$0 - $1,250$25$1,251 - $2,250$50$2,251 - $3,000$75$3,001 - $3,500$100$3,501 - $4,000$125$4,001 - $4,500$150$4,501 - $5,000$200$5,001 - $7,500$300$7,501 - $10,000$400$10,000+$750
Book Online or Call!
Book Now, Pay Later:
We'll Waive Your Deposit- Book Online or Call!Book Now, Pay Later: We'll Waive Your Deposit - Book Online or Call!Put your dream vacation on the calendar now, and pay for it later! When you book select 3+ night sailings, we'll waive the booking deposit for the first 5 staterooms on your reservation.
BOOK NOW - OFFER ENDS FRIDAY!Additional Terms & Conditions
Advanced Deposit offer is valid for new individual cruise reservations for sailings departing by 4/30/20. Offer is limited to sailings of 3 nights or longer booked at least 110 days prior to departure (or 140 days for Disney, 7-night or longer Norwegian sailings, and 15 night or longer MSC sailings); maximum $500 value and not valid on bookings requiring non-refundable deposits. Deposit must be paid 10 days prior to final payment due date; if changes are made benefit will become void and the cruise lines full deposit is required; changes resulting in a new cruise line booking are considered a cancellation, subject to cruise line’s cancellation policy, our $24.99 processing fee, and $100 cancel fee. Credit card used at time of booking will automatically be charged when the deposit remainder is due. Offer limited to 5 deposited cabins max. for 1 sailing. Offer is not applicable for redemption bookings. Additional restrictions apply.
Take 5 Sale:
Get ALL 5 Free at Sea OffersTake 5 Sale: Get ALL 5 Free at Sea OffersWe have your ticket to the best values at sea! For a limited time only, book your Norwegian cruise escape with us in a oceanview stateroom or above, and you can enjoy ALL 5 Free at Sea offers, like:
- Free Unlimited Open Bar
With our Free Open Bar offer, Guests 1 & 2 on your reservation get an Ultimate Beverage Package, including all you can drink spirits and cocktails, wines by the glass and draft beer, and juice or soda.
An $99 Per Person/Day Value
Excludes gratuities and service charges.
- Free Specialty Dining
Dine in style at sea with a Specialty Dining Package. Guests 1 &2 on your reservation get up to 4 meals at specialty restaurants depending on cruise length. From ethnic flavors of Moderno Churrascaria to French fare at Le Bistro, and beyond, the choice is yours.
Up to a $188 Value
Excludes gratuities and service charges.
- Free Shore Excursions
Explore more at each port of call during your cruise with a free $50 shore excursion credit per port. Whether you're in the mood for dolphin encounters, cooking classes, or beyond, there's something to discover everywhere you go.
Free credit is applied per stateroom.
- Free Wi-Fi Package
With Free Wi-Fi offer, you get an Internet Package Time Plan of 250 minutes to use throughout your cruise, anywhere on the ship.
A $125 Value
Includes activation fee. Time plan is applied per stateroom.
- Kids, Friends & Family Sail Free
Invite your friends and family along for the cruise of a lifetime. With Free Extra Guests, your 3rd and 4th stateroom guests sail free on select sailings!
BOOK NOW – ENDS 11/19
Search Norwegian cruisesAdditional Terms & Conditions
Offer is valid only for new individual bookings made between 11/14/18 and 11/19/18 by midnight Eastern Standard Time for any stateroom category aboard select Norwegian sailings departing 2018 through 2020; not all sailing dates may qualify. Offer is applicable to Oceanview stateroom categories and higher. Pride of America sailings are not eligible for the offer. Not valid on 1 & 2 night sailings. Promotion must be selected at least 24 hours prior to sailing and cannot be changed on board. Bookings made within 24 hours to departure can choose promotion at time of booking. Offer is capacity controlled and can be withdrawn at any time. Offer is for new individual FIT reservations. Qualifying new individual FIT reservations can be moved into an existing speculative group and count towards tour conductor credits. Offer is not valid for tour operator or FS affinity groups and cannot be held as group block. Offer is capacity controlled and can be withdrawn at any time. Singles paying 200% of voyage fare qualify. All Guests in stateroom must choose same offer. Cancellation fees also apply based on the booking/sailing date; therefore, Norwegian Cruise Line strongly recommends the purchase of travel protection on all bookings. This promotion is not applicable on the land portion of cruisetours or bundles. No components included in this offer have any monetary value, are non-refundable and non-transferable. Offer and combinability with other promotional offers is subject to change at any time per Norwegian Cruise Line's discretion. Other restrictions may apply. Applicable to NCL MIAMI, NCL INTL, AUSTRALIA, NCL BRAZIL, and NCL ASIA. Not applicable to CE and UK offices.
- Free Unlimited Open Bar
Our Carnival Exclusive:
Up to $50 to Spend on BoardOur Carnival Exclusive: Up to $50 to Spend on BoardPlan your cruise early and enjoy incredible savings! For a limited time only, book early and enjoy extra-low rates on select Carnival sailings, plus score at-sea cash. Enjoy drinks, souvenirs – whatever – on us with up to $50 to spend on board. Hurry – this offer doesn't last long!
ACT NOW – OFFER ENDS 11/19!
Search Carnival cruisesAdditional Terms & Conditions
Offer is valid for new individual bookings only made between 11/13/18 and 11/19/18 EST on select sailings through April 2021. Onboard Credit offer is non-transferable and non-refundable. Onboard Credit is provided as a non-refundable credit to your Sail & Sign account of $12.50 per person up to $25 per stateroom on 3-5 day sailings. Onboard Credit is provided as a non-refundable credit to your Sail & Sign account of $25 per person up to $50 per stateroom on 6+ day sailings. Onboard Credit may not be applied to cruise fare or Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses. Offer is capacity controlled and is not combinable with any other discount or promotional offer. Rates may vary by ship, stateroom type and sail date. Changes made to the reservation may result in the assessment of cancellation penalties or service fees. Category restrictions and exclusions apply. Carnival reserves the right to withdraw and/or change offer at any time without prior notice. Offer is for the cruise fare only and does not include Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses. Guest may select the stateroom, but a minimum purchase of category 1A is required. Cancellation penalties apply. Offer bookings made as part of a group will be Must Buy Up. does not apply to Carnival Australia. Additional restrictions may apply.
Featured Europe Cruises
Venture deeper. Go native. Open yourself up to a new level of sophistication and comfort when you sail down the length of the world's most fantastic and exotic rivers – opening up new channels of exploration and stepping out onto the banks of villages and towns you simply can't experience with traditional cruising by sea. From coasting down the length of the Elbe River, penetrating deep into the German countryside, to sailing China's Yangtze River and witnessing Beijing, Shanghai, and beyond, river cruising is authentic and exciting. Specially-designed river cruise vessels act as floating hotels, ready to accommodate and comfort as you rest up from thrilling explorations across a multitude of destinations. Choose from a range of river cruise lines to personalize and customize your adventure down the world's most legendary rivers.
Search Cruise Lines Traveling to Europe
About European Cruises
Book an eligible stateroom on any qualifying sailing and receive a free upgrade! In some cases, you'll be upgraded to a more desirable location aboard your ship. In other instances, you'll be upgraded to a stateroom with extra space and/or a better view. It's also possible that you might receive all of these benefits. Select your sailing date to see which upgrades are available.