Have you ever been on a cruise? This form of exploring the world has been popular for decades and has a loyal fanbase to this day. Unique views from the water, multi-destination trips, a rich and varied itinerary and excellent food and entertainment are just some of the reasons why cruise holidays are coveted by many tourists.
Tempted to discover these delights for yourself? Take a look at what awaits you in these four trending European cruise destinations.
Norway is a particularly special destination for a cruise holiday, and there are often cruise deals available for UK travellers throughout the year. Norway’s spectacular dramatic coastline and majestic fjords can be explored in summer and winter, depending on your interests and preferences.
Travelling in winter gives you the chance to see the aurora borealis (Northern Lights) and see a magical snowy wonderland glowing in the low daylight. Summer expeditions offer the opportunity for countryside hikes to spectacular viewpoints and the chance to experience the midnight sun.
If you are seeking a more traditional coastal cruise, the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea might be for you. This collection of Greek islands includes the famous romantic hotspot Santorini and lively Mykonos.
Cruising the Cyclades gives you the chance to visit off-the-beaten-track locations where you can discover charming rural villages and relax at concealed coves. Every day you will be gazing out at the golden sandy beaches and azure sea that characterises the mesmerising Mediterranean coastline.
For beauty of a different kind, it is the Douro River cruise from Portugal to western Spain that is sure to capture your imagination. On this journey, you will see no coastline, but the countryside that flanks the cruise ship is just as sensational.
The highlight of the cruise is the lush green hills and terraced vineyards of the Douro wine region, where you can sample Muscatel and local port. You will also explore awe-inspiring heritage cities: begin in Portugal’s colourful hilltop city Porto and end close to Salamanca in Spain, which has a UNESCO-recognised Old Town with staggering architecture.
Another destination famed for its glorious countryside is the striking Scottish Highlands. This landscape can only be described as majestic: towering mountains are imprinted against a vast sky, fronted by rolling hills covered in wildflowers, concealed waterfalls, and vast lochs. The ancient castles dotted across this area only serve to enhance the region’s regal status.
There are many highlights to be discovered along the coastline here, too. Head inland via sea lochs only accessible by boat and navigate between remote islands shrouded in myth and magic, like the Isle of Skye and the Sound of Mull in the Inner Hebrides.