Are you planning a European vacation this year? Or are you a devoted cruiser looking for a new destination?
North American cruise lines significantly increased their European deployment for 2011, hoping to capture higher fares. The marketplace hasn’t consumed all of the extra capacity, however, forcing prices down. Europe cruises are available this summer from $70 per day, down from more typical starting prices from $100 to $125 per day.
Regardless of current deals, taking a cruise is a smart way to explore Europe.
6 Reasons Why You Should Consider a Cruise for Your European Vacation.
1. Exploring Europe by cruise ship is easy. You pick your cruise. Get to Europe. Board your ship. Someone has already taken care of the planning your European adventure, and will get you from place to place. Cruise line staffers feed and entertain you, and clean your room. Plus, they offer shore excursions that handle all of the details, whether getting you into the Vatican or getting you into Russian under a group Visa
2. Experience more places. On most European cruises, you wake up each morning in a new port, often in a new country. The ship sails while you are sleeping, allowing most day to be spent in port exploring, rather than getting from place to place.
3. Europe cruising offers variety. You can sail to Greenland, Iceland, and the Polar Ice Cap, or explore the Istanbul and the Black Sea. The Greek Isles or Norway’s fjords? Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea, or the sun-kissed Mediterranean? Or perhaps a river cruise exploring Europe’s interior cities. North America cruise lines offer more than 50 itineraries and 150 ports in Europe. We spent five months exploring Europe by cruise ship, rarely visiting the same port twice.
4. Unpack only once. As much as we try to be light packers, our suitcases usually come in at or just under the airlines weight limit. We hate schlepping bags. With a cruise, you unpack one time, and the ship moves your hotel “room” from destination to destination.
5. Avoid currency exchange fluctuations. Most European cruises are sold in U.S. or Canadian dollars rather than in Euros and other local currency, allowing you to lock in your price for room, meals and entertainment. Shore excursions and other onboard purchases are also in U. S. or Canadian dollars.
Have you visited Europe via cruise ship? How was your experience?