Cruise in Europe: options and tips for your vacation

Thinking about taking a cruise in Europe? This is a beautiful travel option for couples and families. In addition to all the facilities and attractions of the cruise, you can meet, along with the way, several countries rich in history and culture.

In this post, we will talk about the main cruise options in Europe and the tips for you to make a good choice and make the most of your vacation.

Cruise in Europe: options and tips for your vacation

When talking about cruises (in Europe or elsewhere), the first image that comes to mind is the open sea ahead of us and the stops at seaports in coastal towns.

But there are also river cruises, which are just as interesting as ocean cruises. Of course sailing across a river is different from being in the open sea and having the endless horizon ahead. On the other hand, it is an opportunity to know the continent from the inside and landscapes as beautiful as the view of the sea.

So when you look all the possibilities of cruises in Europe, consider both the fluvial and oceanic alternatives.

Cruises by the seas of Europe

Europe offers several cruise options, passing through several countries and different regions of the continent. It is worth remembering that to the south we have the Mediterranean Sea, which bathes country like Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, and Turkey.

To the north, we have the North Sea and the Baltic, which bathe countries like England, France, Germany, Scandinavia and Baltic countries.

These two are the main routes of European cruises. There is also the Black Sea, which bathes countries like Ukraine, Romania, and Turkey.

Mediterranean Sea

Between southern Europe and northern Africa, the Mediterranean is one of the most important maritime shipping routes in the world. It is subdivided into eight parts. The most used for cruise routes are:

Tyrrhenian Sea – Covers the west coast of Italy and the south coast of France
Ionian Sea – Covers the entire east coast of Italy and the coasts of Croatia, Albania, and Montenegro
Adriatic Sea – Between Southern Italy and the west coast of Greece
The Aegean Sea – The entire eastern coast of Greece and the far west of Turkey, including most of the Greek islands.

The leading companies that offer Mediterranean cruises are MSC Cruises, Costa Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise.

Between the most traditional and common routes, we can find the following:

Cruise through Spain and Italy

Departure from Tarragona (Spain);
Route through Savona, Porto Torres and Sardinia (Italy), Mahon, Menorca, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca (Spain)
Return to Tarragona.

Spain, France, and Italy

Departure from Rome (Italy);
Route through Livorno (Florence), Cannes (France), Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona (Spain), Naples (Italy);
Return to Rome (Italy).

Italy, Croatia, and Greece

Departure from Ancona – Italy;
Route through Venice (Italy), Split (Croatia), Santorini and Mykonos (Greece), Dubrovnik (Croatia);
Return to Ancona (Italy).

Greece and Turkey

Departure from Athens (Greece);
Route through Patmos, Kusadasi (Greece), Turkey, Rhodes, Chania, Crete, Santorini, and Mykonos, all in Greece;
Return to Athens (Greece).

In general, Mediterranean tours pass through Spanish, Italian and French ports on the Tyrrhenian sea cruises, and Greece, Turkey and Croatia on the Adriatic and Aegean cruises.

North Sea

The North Sea is a sea of cold waters and bathes the coldest part of Europe. Very different from the warmer and arid climate of the Mediterranean. It is a recommended cruise for the summer. It allows knowing the countries of the north of Europe. Some options are:

Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Russia and Finland

Departure from Copenhagen (Denmark);
Route through Germany, Finland, Russia, Estonia;
Return to Copenhagen (Denmark).

Denmark. Sweden, Estonia, Russia, Germany

Departure from Copenhagen (Denmark);
Route through Stockholm (Sweden), Tallinn (Estonia), St. Petersburg (Russia) and Kiel (Germany);
Return to Copenhagen (Denmark).

Cruises by the North Sea usually explore countries like Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Russia. The Baltic States and England also have their own or stopover cruises in their seaports.

Cruises by the rivers of Europe

Now we are going to see some of the river cruises to visit continental Europe through the navigation of the main European rivers. This is a very interesting option because it allows you to know the interior of countries like France and Germany, stopping in several of its most visited cities.


Departure from Paris;
Route through Vernon, Giverny, Vernon, Caudebec-en-Caux, Rouen, Les Andelys,
Return to Paris.


Departure from Luxembourg;
Route through Trier-Mehring, Bernkastel-Kues, Cochem, Upper Middle Rhine Valley, Rüdesheim, Germany, Mainland, Heidelberg, Wertheim, Wurzburg, Kitzingen, Bamberg;
Arrive at Nuremberg.

Two traditional companies making river cruises in Europe are Avalon Waterways and Amawaterways. The most sought after rivers for cruises in the interior of Europe are the Rhine and Danube in Germany, the Douro in Portugal and the rivers Loire and Seine in France.

How to choose a cruise in Europe

The best tip at this time is to combine a travel itinerary in Europe with a cruise that passes through one or more countries that interest you. At that time, it is worth keeping a close eye on the tiny time spent in places. If it is a city with many attractions, it will be difficult to see everything.

Here are some practical tips for your cruise search in Europe:

  • Search more than one cruise company when making reservations.
  • Try to get away from the paid tours offered by the cruise itself. In general, in the ports, there are several guides and companies that offer the same tours for much cheaper prices.
  • If it is a cold water cruise, such as the North Sea, be sure to bring clothing appropriate to the region’s weather at the travel station.
  • Even if it is an all-inclusive cruise, be sure to consider travel expenses for tips.

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