We’ve traveled to Europe many times, but until recently we had not done a cruise to Europe. We usually do independent travel (called FIT in the travel industry) and we have done a land tour a few times (Egypt and the first time we went to Switzerland.) We’ve not had a strong reason to cruise to Europe until recently.
After we tried it, though, we decided that cruising to Europe has its place. Here’s 3 top reasons we recommend it for some of our travel clients.
- Cruising for a portion of a longer European trip makes sense to contain costs. On our trip we did a short European cruise to visit destinations we just wanted to see briefly, then disembarked for independent travel. We could not have gotten to these destinations as easily or as cost effectively, and we knew we didn’t want to stay longer there on this trip. What did we do? We flew to Barcelona, embarked on the Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) ship Jade, and had a quick visit to Malta (one day) and another quick visit to Mallorca (loved it and will go back for a longer visit). Then we stayed on the ship until it reached Venice, the end of a short, 5 day cruise. We disembarked, stayed in Venice a few days, then flew back to Spain to spent a week there. The 5 night cruise was cost effective (contact me to talk about booking short European cruises that are inexpensive) and gave us a quick overview of 2 places we wanted to see but not stay.
- Cruising as part of a longer trip gives you a break from the constant challenge of land transportation and changing hotels every few nights. It’s a great way to pamper yourself while you do some overview travel in Europe, either after your flight over or at the end of a land trip. You unpack once, all your meals are covered, someone else takes care of everything for you. Even if you are fierce independent travelers (as we have always been) it’s great to sit back, watch the views, and relax for a few days before you embark on the more active and challenging travel of your trip. Or, you can relax at the end of a week or two of constant land travel.
- Cruising in Europe gives you a quick overview of destinations so that you can decide if you want to spend more time there on another trip. On this trip, for example, we wanted to check out Malta and Mallorca. We now know that we will probably not go back to Malta, but we plan a month in a long-term rental in Mallorca next year. Quick overviews are especially good for islands, and there are plenty in the Mediterranean to visit!
All in all, despite our belief that truly knowing a country means spending on-the-ground extended time, cruising works well when you don’t have the time or the funds for a longer European trip. And (BONUS TIP) if you have not ever traveled to Europe, it’s an easy, no-shock way to take a look around but not feel like you are alone in a distant land.
We love talking with travelers to find out exactly what you desire when you travel. Whether it’s cruising or land, contact us. Leave your name and email below and we’ll share with you our stories and insider knowledge of traveling. We’d love to hear your cruising to Europe stories, too.