Cruising to Europe has many advantages, one of them being that many of Europe’s famous cities were built on or near the water, and can be enjoyed during day trips when the ship docks. It is much easier to see the sights in this manner rather than having to navigate foreign streets and waste precious time looking for a place to park the car.
Many cruise lines offer guides tours of Europe’s cities while the ship is docked, or passengers are free to explore on their own if they so desire. Before setting out on your cruise to Europe, it is often helpful to get a copy of the itinerary and decide in advance what places you would most like to visit when not on board the cruise ship. Since the cruise ship will normally only dock for about 10 hours in each city that it stops in, you will have a limited amount of time for discovering Europe’s cities. When cruising to Europe, you may have the chance to explore wonderful places such as Copenhagen, Bergen, Helsinki, Oslo and Stockholm.
Bergen is a great place to visit, and will afford the traveler a chance to sample regional cuisine, take in the historical sights as well as enjoy the natural assets that Bergen has to offer. Bergen’s locals are quite friendly, and are very accommodating to tourists.
Helsinki is enjoyed by those travelers who have a love for art and museums, and allows the opportunity to see some very beautiful architecture that is evident in many of the cities historical buildings and cathedrals. Helsinki is surrounded by the Baltic Sea, which makes for a great beach side trip during the warmer months.
Oslo is a diverse city that offers a variety of things to do and see, and since the heart of the city is a mere ten minute walk from the pier, renting a car is not necessary; all of Oslo’s sights can be traveled to on foot. There are guided nature hikes, boat tours, the famous Ski Tower, art museums and the renowned Medieval Quarter. The Medieval Quarter is where the “old” Oslo can be found, and is home to ancient castles and fortresses. When hunger calls, there is a variety of choices, as restaurants abound here, from simple cafes to elegant dining halls.
The only down side to cruising to Europe rather than by other means of travel, is that you are less likely to be able to interact with the locals. Since you will be traveling on board a ship, the other passengers will be the ones you are more likely to have the chance to socialize with. Other than this, Europe is a great place to travel to, and a cruise will allow you to travel in comfort, as well as offering many amenities that aren’t available on trains and planes!
If you decide to cruise to Europe, realize that it will be impossible to see everything there is to see. Make a note of those places that you truly enjoyed and wish to see more of, and then plan a return trip that will afford you more time in that particular area.