Discover What Type of Europe Cruise is Right for You
Exploring Europe is magical and is even better when you are smooth sailing to a new destination each day. Imagine waking up to a beautiful sunrise from the comforts of your cabin and seeing peaceful canals and world-famous landmarks all while enjoying a hot cappuccino.
From medieval castles, flower gardens, bakeries and historical sites you can expect to feel refreshed and inspired by European culture. Nothing compares to the feelings you’ll experience knowing there is a new museum to explore, farmer’s market to walk through and scenic route to take.
Much like the European culture, you can enjoy a leisurely vacation onboard your floating paradise. Whether you’re looking for a party scene, a luxurious stay, an intimate space or an opportunity to make new friends from all over the world, a cruise is the best way to see the most of Europe onboard and ashore.
So which type of cruise should you take? Discover your travel style here…
European River Cruise vs. Ocean Cruise
By River Cruise
The moment you step onboard a river cruise, you’ll notice that most will have an intimate feel yet are very spacious. Typically, on most river cruise lines the average number of passengers is around 130-160 and most have about 95-100 cabins. Give it a few days into your cruise and you’ll probably know everyone’s name and have a lot of new friends from every corner of the world.
In this boutique setting you will also get to know the staff onboard which makes service exceptional and personalized. Prepare to feel catered to when your waiter knows your favorite dessert.
When you choose to stay in a balcony room, you’ll get amazing views from the comforts of your bed all while sailing on the river. We recommend reserving this type of cabin, if available, for a Rhine river cruise as you’ll see the windmills in the Netherlands and cathedrals of Germany right next to you!
While each river cruise line is different, most guests onboard will be adults and the entertainment will mostly be for adults, however, there are activities for kids available on select river cruises during the summer months as well as themed itineraries. You’ll find activities like cooking and craft demonstrations, guest lectures, performances by local artists when available, and wine tastings.
By Ocean Cruise
Each ocean cruise ship is different; however, you’ll notice that most are large and become a home away from home for thousands of guests and staff. If you’re looking for an environment where your ship is a destination in itself and travelers are of all ages and tastes, we recommend you take a European ocean cruise.
If you plan on taking your family, a larger cruise ship may be the best option for you as there will be activities for every type of sailor. Depending on the ocean cruise you choose, activities will vary but you will more than likely find a kid’s club, sports activities, live shows and parties by the pool which are perfect for your days at sea.
Taking an ocean cruise is perfect for multi-generational families and travelers looking for a vibrant environment due to the endless amount of activities, entertainment and food available onboard.
Exploring Ports of Call
By River Cruise
On a river cruise you’ll get a front row seat to your destination as the size of the ship typically allows for docking right next to it. You’ll also get the best of both, stops at major cities and charming villages. Before you disembark, we recommend wearing comfortable clothing according to the weather.
If you’re on a Danube river cruise we suggest you take a light jacket, comfortable walking shoes and keep an umbrella on hand. The weather can be cool, so it’s best to be prepared for the time of the year you're traveling. Guests will also have the option to stay in each port for an extended amount of time on some river cruises.
Select river cruise lines will include shore excursions in your fare and will give you the option to follow tour guides or explore independently. You can even check out a bike to help you get around! Most river cruise lines will give you the option to choose from different shore excursions too, like touring the tulip fields or sharing a meal with a local host in Amsterdam. Most shore excursions will involve walking or biking and are a right fit for you if you like local experiences.
By Ocean Cruise
Exploring Europe by an ocean cruise is perfect for you if you’d like to see major cities. Depending on the cruise line, shore excursions may or may not be included in the cruise fare, but you’ll be able to check off all major sites and things to do!
We recommend you check out your options before boarding so that you can choose from a variety of shore excursions. While you may reserve your excursions onboard, it is a first-come first-served basis, so popular excursions do get booked quickly.
If you choose to do a northern European cruise, we recommend wearing layers and comfortable shoes. Some shore excursions may involve more physical activities and others less, but that is up to you! When you choose to do an ocean cruise you’ll have an endless amount of choices for the types of activities you want to do ranging from beginner to advanced.
Select ocean cruises offer a variety of adventurous, relaxing, historical and nature tours, which are perfect if you’re traveling with a group that has different travel styles. On a Northern European cruise, you can visit rhe Drottningholm Palace in Stockholm, or if you choose an Eastern European cruise you can visit the Croatian Riviera.