The most popular cruises in Europe

Choosing the right cruise

There are many cruises available, offering different locations, durations and activities. But there are some important decisions to make when choosing a cruise: How much are you willing to spend? Does it need to be family-friendly? Do you want a formal or informal atmosphere? Which countries do you want to visit? Below is a selection of very different cruises to help you decide what sort of experience you are looking for, with some information about popular ports which are common destinations for many cruise lines.

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P&O Cruises

P&O is a popular choice of company when considering your first cruise. If you are unsure whether the ocean is right for you and would like to test out your sea legs without the commitment of a long stay, consider P&O’s affordable two-night cruise aboard the Oceana. When it comes to dining, there are plenty of options to suit your tastes. In the evenings, you may choose between the informal style of Freedom dining, where there are no fixed times so you may plan your evening meal around your schedule, and Club dining, which provides a more structured dining experience and minimises distractions from other diners coming and going. There are also several bars, including a champagne bar and a traditional English pub, and plenty of entertainment. If you would prefer a more sophisticated cruise, you might consider investigating the adults-only Arcadia which features its own art collection, a casino, and an extravagant spa. Both of these cruises leave from Southampton and offer a day visit to Saint Peter Port, the capital of Guernsey. This beautiful harbour town offers a diverse variety of shops; whether you’re looking for clothing, antiques or souvenirs, every shop offers a unique collection. Other popular spots to visit are the historic Castle Cornet, the Royal Court House and the picturesque parish church at the centre of the town. At the end of the day, you will board the cruise once more to return to Southampton. Overall, both of these cruises promise to offer a relaxed atmosphere, with plenty of flexibility so that you can shape your journey to your styles and tastes.

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Splendour of the Seas

One of the downsides of a short cruise is that there is little time for day trips to other destinations. With Royal Caribbean’s six or seven day cruises aboard the But even when your feet aren’t on dry land, you’ll never be at a loss for something to do. The ship is designed for those with an active lifestyle, offering a fitness centre, a rock climbing wall, a large swimming pool, and an 18-hole miniature golf course. The itinerary is also well-suited to those who seek adventure, with no fewer than four ports of call. Departing at Venezia in Italy, the first stop is the old coastal town of Kotor, Montenegro. This city, famous for its medieval architecture, is a UNESCO world heritage site, and the beautiful Cathedral of Saint Tryphon is a must-see. After Kotor, the ship makes port at Piraeus in Greece, which is famous for its well-preserved archaeological sites, before moving on to Corfu. This Greek Island is the second largest of the Ionian Islands, with a rich history that is centred in Greek mythology. If you are looking for a unique souvenir, take a look at the exquisite hand-made gold jewellery, unique to Corfiot craftsmen. After Corfu, the cruise stops briefly in Croatia before returning to Italy. This trip would be perfect for anyone who enjoys an active lifestyle and spending time in the sun.

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Adventure of the Seas

If you would prefer a much longer trip, you might consider trying Royal Caribbean’s two-week cruise to Iceland and Norway. The ship itself is well equipped to cater for families, and includes a children’s Adventure Beach, as well as great family activities including in-line skating, mini-golf, and a sports court. The interior has been newly refurbished this year with additions including an outdoor movie screen, an Italian-style restaurant and a flat-screen TV in every room. This cruise is also an excellent place to relax: it boasts a day spa and fitness centre, as well as a selection of cafes and shops. After departing from Southampton, the cruise’s first stop is Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland and is largest city. From there, you will travel to Akureyri before moving on to five ports in Norway, stopping for the final time in Stavanger before returning to England.

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