Wednesday, 1 February 2017

17 Bucket List Cruise Destinations in Europe

Cruise Ship Ports of Call in Europe

With cruising becoming a very popular way to travel, there's an overwhelming variety of itineraries available from Asia and Australia to the Caribbean and Canary Islands. It's now a viable option to explore the world by ship, you can see some of my reasons why over on Cruise & Maritimes blog. Before you set sail for Alaska and the Amazon, have a look at these amazing destinations in Europe...

1. PALMA DE MALLORCA, SPAINThe Gothic Cathedral in Palma de Mallorca Spain
Find on Spanish cruises and fly-cruises from Barcelona

Dominating the skyline of Palma De Mallorca is the grand gothic Cathedral, an alluring sight across the bay from the port. Influenced by both Eastern and Western cultures, it's a colourful and vibrant city filled with the most wonderful coffee bars, narrow side streets and elaborately designed courtyards.
You can walk along the marina into the city or take the local bus, taxi or shuttle for a few euros.

2. BRUGES, BELGIUM
Cafes in Bruges Belgium
Find on Northern Europe and Baltic cruises - Click here for more information

3. PISA, ITALY
The Square of Miracles in Pisa
Find on Italian Mediterranean cruises and fly-cruises from Rome 

The normal port of call for Pisa is Livorno, only twenty minutes away by road. Famous for its leaning tower, the Square of Miracles is a vast space to explore with market stalls and pizzerias. You may find shore excursions that call into Florence as well as Pisa, ticking off two places in one day!

4. DUBROVNIK, CROATIA
Dubrovnik by Travel Blogger Lucy Dodsworth
Find on Eastern Mediterranean Cruises - Photo by Lucy from On The Luce

5. THE FRENCH RIVIERA, FRANCE
Marina of Cannes
Find on Western Mediterranean Cruises

A playground for the rich and famous, the south of France is home to seaside resorts like Cannes, St. Tropez and Nice that are dotted with designer boutiques and luxurious boulangeries.
This is not a place of all style and no substance, the hillside of Cannes for example has a charming historical quarter and the surrounding Alpes-Maritimes region is filled with lavender fields, perfumeries and picture postcard villages like Saint-Paul-de-Vence (more info click here).

6. THE FJORDS, NORWAY
The Fjords with Celebrity Cruises Eclipse
Find on Northern Europe and Norway Cruises

7. CADIZ, SPAIN
Things to do in Cadiz on a cruise
Find on Spanish and Western Mediterranean cruises 

Often a gateway to Seville, Cadiz is a city that shouldn't be overlooked. It's one of the oldest cities in Europe that's tightly packed onto a narrow sandy stretch of land. There's plenty of historical places to explore here on foot, like the Castillo de Santa Catalina, as well as beautiful gardens containing plants and giant tropical trees.

8. THE GREEK ISLANDS, GREECEGreek Island of Poros by Phoebe GreenacreFind on Eastern Mediterranean Cruises - Location: Poros by Phoebe from Wood and Luxe

9. GIBRALTAR, UK
View of Gibraltar from the Cruise PortFind on Mediterranean Cruises 

Gateway to the Mediterranean Sea, the rock of Gibraltar is home to 30,000 people and wild Barbary apes. You can ascend the rock and meet these cheeky chaps whilst gazing upon the distant view of your ship and the African coastline. Alternatively you can indulge in some high street shopping with familiar brands like M&S.

10. REYKJAVIK, ICELAND
The Hallgrímskirkja church by travel blogger Lucy Dodsworth
Find on North Europe and Norway Cruises - Photo by Lucy from On The Luce

11. MADEIRA, PORTUGAL
Cruise Port of Funchal Madeira
Find on Atlantic or Canary Island cruises

One of the best views I've woken up to on a cruise was the island of Madeira. The steep hillside peppered with houses, the misty sky, the Columbus inspired ship sailing by, all helped conjure up feelings of enchantment and curiosity.
The botanical gardens in Funchal are exquisite, immaculately groomed and bursting with colour. The city itself is a pretty place too, particularly The Ritz Madeira on Av. Arriaga, great for an ice-cream or cake. You can explore more of Funchal by clicking here.

12. ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
Cruise to St Petersburg in Russia by Cardiff Food Blogger Jaye
Find on Northern Europe and Baltic Cruises - Photos by Jaye from Cardiff In A Teacup

13. CARTAGENA, SPAIN
Roman Amphitheatre remains in Cartagena SpainFind on Spanish and Western Mediterranean cruises

I love stepping off a cruise ship in Cartagena and wandering into the city. The polished floor tiles, skinny palm trees and bright blue skies are incredibly inviting! Beyond the array of discount retailers and tapas bars you can find the remains of a Roman Amphitheatre, museum and parkland with the best view of your cruise ship.

14. AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
Canal boat in AmsterdamFind on Northern Europe and Baltic Cruises

15. BARCELONA, SPAIN
The house of skulls and bones in Barcelona by GaudiFind on Mediterranean Cruises

Barcelona is a lively cosmopolitan city with a quirky and off-beat style. Dotted around this cultural city are architectural wonders by Gaudi, including the Sagrada Família that is still being constructed. Most visitors stroll along La Rambla, a long promenade full of shops and bars. I'd also recommend venturing east into The Gothic Quarter and exploring the city's fascinating routes. You can find out about a Torres Winery excursion from Barcelona by clicking here.

16. THE CANARY ISLANDS, SPAINLanzarote Black Sand Beach by Blogger Miss Nicklin
Find on Canary Island and Transatlantic Cruises - Location: Lanzarote by Hannah from Miss Nicklin

17. LISBON, PORTUGAL 
Trolley Car Tram in Lisbon PortugalFind on cruises to the Mediterranean and The Canary Islands

Sailing beneath the 25 de Abril bridge to and from Lisbon draws most guests out on to the deck as some ships have only a few metres of clearance - it can be quite a nail biter!
I think the capital city is quite underrated in comparison to other destinations in Europe, which is surprising as it's so delightful! Notable landmarks you'll sail past include The Belém Tower and Commerce Square where (once ashore) you'll find plenty of cafés to try a Portuguese custard tart or two.

Further reading: Best Cruise Lines for Twenty Somethings | Ports of Call Guides | Ship Tours and Videos

Bucket List Destinations in Europe by Travel Blogger Explore With Ed
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© Explore With Ed | Wales based Food, Travel and Cruise Blog

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