Europe is blessed with dreamy seas for cruising, splendid natural landscapes and so many ports that offer the chance to step ashore to see the sights, taste new flavours and get a dose of culture.
There’s no denying just how huge and diverse Europe is. So, where to cruise exactly?
Celebrity Cruises visits more than 80 destinations dotted across Europe. But don’t skip straight to the ‘off the beaten track gems’, because some of the most famous cruise ports really are as good as they’re cracked up to be. In these six ports, going the ‘tried and tested’ route proves extremely promising. They’re worth the hype, plus so much more.
White cubic buildings cascading down dramatic volcanic calderas towards the salty blues of the Mediterranean. It’s the scene splashed all over the postcards. But it’s only once you’re standing there, on the cruise ship as you glide in, that you begin to understand how phenomenal the sight really is. Thankfully, the views are just as good from the top; Santorini is famous for its sunset outposts. It’s also home to ancient Greek sites like the sanctuary of Apollo – and if you look a little closer, you’ll discover character-filled local wineries, cosy coves adorned in brilliant red sands and beautiful boutiques too.
Where other European port city would you want to admire from the water but Venice? By that of course we mean stepping ashore and swapping your mega liner for a cosy, local gondola. Every traveller as to do it as least once in their life! Once you’ve seen the sights from the water, take to the maze of narrow, cobbled backstreets and over gorgeous arching bridges to discover beautiful piazzas, glorious Venetian architecture and endless bucket list sights. Venice is sure to leave a lasting impression.
St Petersburg, Russia
St Petersburg is the jewel in the Baltic’s crown. No cruise to the Baltic is complete without making the journey east to witness and experience this magnificent Russian beauty. It is a city that’s both flamboyant and wildly captivating, where magnificent palaces and churches play out in dramatic fashion on the skyline and some of the world’s great masterpieces stand to be admired behind closed doors, at the famous Hermitage Museum. With so much history on offer, one day in port offers the perfect introduction.
It’s not so much the port itself but the natural beauty that surrounds it that makes Skjolden a port to boast about. To get there, first you must cruise up Europe’s longest navigable fjord, and once you arrive, it’s all mountain ranges and giant glaciers. The scenery doesn’t get much better than this; the panoramas are astounding in every direction. You won’t want to forget your camera.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
It’s the ‘Venice of the North’ and it poses a fascinating blend of Europe’s best. Home to world-class museums and galleries, historical treasures and modern food and drink culture, Amsterdam is as charming on the canals as it is on the streets. The best part? You can explore by cruise, by bike or on foot – the choice is yours. It’s also surprisingly family-friendly and retains a lovely relaxed vibe that makes it feel more like a village than a capital city.
Cruising the azure waters of the stunning Adriatic is an experience in itself. Arriving into Split on those very same waters is another. And you don’t have to venture very far from the water to discover Split’s most enchanting piece; at its heart lies a crumbling old town built within the precincts of Diocletian’s Palace. It’s one of the most outstanding classical remains in Europe, and a UNESCO World Heritage site, yet is filled with lively bars, restaurants and shops. Soak up the atmosphere, explore the city’s fortress and cathedrals and enjoy a relaxed beverage by the seafront before hopping back on board. You won’t regret it.
Celebrity Cruises take you to these and many more iconic European ports. See their newest itineraries for 2019 and embark on your next European adventure.