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If you’re looking for luxurious comfort, ease of planning, ever-changing scenery, and a wide variety of cultures to explore, a cruise is by far the best way to travel to Europe.

Just imagine, you could go to sleep as the lights of Naples fade and wake up in Messina, Sicily, with Mount Etna on the horizon. Or board your ship in Athens and have breakfast against the backdrop of Santorini’s dramatic shoreline.

There are so many other reasons a cruise is the best way to travel in Europe. It’s glamorous, relaxing, indulgent in the best possible way, and most importantly, a cruise will allow you to make the best of every minute of your hard-earned vacation.

You’ll See Several Incredible Places in a Short Space of Time

Best way to travel to Europe - Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece

Everybody’s vacation time is precious; we all want to make the most of every minute. A European cruise means you won’t waste any time at all. On most itineraries, you’ll visit a new port every day, usually arriving in the morning and leaving in the evening.

This gives you the whole day to explore—and then the evening to enjoy the buzz of the ship. As an example, a typical Greek Islands cruise would take you to Athens, Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes, Volos, and Kusadasi in Turkey, the gateway to the magnificent antiquities of Ephesus. You’ll then be back on board in the evening for sundowners, dinner, and the dazzling entertainment offered on every Celebrity cruise.

Family enjoying the view of Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

An Italy, France, and Spain cruise shows you three beautiful European countries in the space of seven days, mixing marquee destinations such as Barcelona, Florence, and Rome with laid-back Ibiza, starry Portofino, and Ajaccio on the mountainous island of Corsica.

Getting Around Is Seamless

Couple exploring the piazza in Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

You could travel around Europe by train, car, ferry, and flight, but you’d use a lot of your precious vacation time waiting around at airports or sitting in ferry terminals.

On a cruise, you don’t have to think of anything. All the logistics are handled for you. Every minute of your vacation is for you to enjoy and relax. You don’t have to worry about scheduling (other than getting back to the ship on time).

There’s no wheeling heavy luggage through bus stations, either. In fact, you’ll board your ship, unpack once, stash your suitcase under the bed, and completely forget about it.

Visit Beautiful Islands

Windmills lined up on Mykonos, Greece

Mykonos, Greece

Europe is dotted with islands, big and small, and a cruise can take you to some of the most exciting. There’s beautiful Sardinia, for example, which is fringed with white sand beaches and aquamarine seas.

Mountainous Corsica is crisscrossed with deep gorges and remote mountain trails. Elegant Mallorca is where you can explore the old gothic quarter of Palma, the chic European capital, or head into the mountains to try traditional cuisine.

Family biking in Ibiza, Spain

Ibiza, Spain

Ibiza, known as the Mediterranean’s party island, has a rich history and a gorgeous old capital, Eivissa. You’ll also find some beautiful Spanish beaches and pretty coves where DJs spin tunes in cool beach bars.

Or visit Malta, a speck of an island packed with dramatic and fascinating military history as well as magnificent medieval buildings.

Whitewashed buildings of Mykonos, Greece

Mykonos, Greece

You could choose a European cruise that focused entirely on the Greek islands, each of which has its own personality. Pretty Mykonos is famed for its long, sandy beaches, whitewashed town, historic windmills, and designer shopping.

Santorini, the rim of an ancient volcano, is arguably the most dramatic, where the dazzling white capital, Fira, spills over black and red clifftops. Hydra, its port clinging to the hillsides of a natural amphitheater, exudes boho chic.

Scenic waterfront of Tenerife

Tenerife, Canary Islands

European cruises take you to the Canary Islands, too, a volcanic archipelago that belongs to Spain, scattered across the Atlantic off the coast of Africa. Here, you can taste local wines, ascend Spain’s highest mountain, bask on black sand beaches, and admire the modernist architecture in Lanzarote.

Read: Best Places for Solo Travel in Europe

Cruising Is Relaxing

The Spa on Celebrity Edge


There’s no denying that traveling in Europe can be intense. You’ve come a long way, there’s an enormous amount to see, and in summer, the weather can be hot. It’s all too easy to overwhelm yourself with sightseeing and end your vacation more exhausted than you were at the beginning.

This is why a cruise is such a good way to travel in Europe. You’ll have your adventures in Europe ashore, but the minute you step up the gangway, you can take a deep breath—and relax. End your day with some pool time, or a treatment in the cruise ship spa.

Best way to travel to Europe - Edge Villa, Beyond

Edge Villa

Sit on your private veranda and admire the shoreline as your ship edges out of port. Start the evening with a sense of anticipation. Which restaurant to choose? Which show to see? Late-night brandies or the silent disco under the stars?

Combine City Sightseeing With Pristine Nature

Couple hiking Pulpit Rock, Norway

Pulpit Rock, Norway

A cruise takes you to a wide range of destinations, which is just another reason it’s the best way to travel in Europe. Cities, islands, beaches, fjords—the diversity of scenery and cultures in a relatively small geographical area is remarkable.

What’s best about a cruise is that you can mix up your experiences. Perhaps make the most of the museums and art galleries in Barcelona one day, and relax in one of Mallorca’s sandy coves the next.

Historic site of Parthenon in Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece

Spend your day in Athens exploring the magnificent Acropolis Museum, the Parthenon, and the vine-shaded alleys of the Plaka neighborhood, where you can enjoy Greek mezze after your sightseeing. The following day, you’ll wake up on a beautiful Greek island, where the beaches beckon.

Street view of Bryggen in Bergen, Norway

Bryggen in Bergen, Norway

Northern Europe offers endless opportunities to mix up your experiences. Spend a day in Bergen, Norway exploring the colorful old warehouses and galleries of Bryggen. The next day, take off on a hike against a backdrop of majestic Norwegian fjords, snow-capped mountains, and glaciers.

A Cruise Ship Offers Endless Entertainment

Couple relaxing on the Retreat Sundeck aboard Celebrity Cruises

Retreat Sundeck

On a cruise to Europe, getting around is half the fun. You can spend time exploring ashore, of course, but another part of each day is yours to enjoy on board as your ship glides to its next destination.

Yoga class aboard Celebrity Cruises

Yoga class

You’ll find entertainment and cruise activities for every taste, from yoga and meditation classes to dance parties and quizzes. Lie back on a lounger by the pool, or listen to live music with a sunset cocktail. Enjoy spectacular production shows in the evenings, and dine on world-class cuisine.

Many European itineraries also include days at sea for longer ocean passages. On a sea day, you’ll wake up with the whole day stretching ahead, and a chance to be as active as you like, or to recharge your batteries, ready for the next port.

Experience Different Cultures

Family eating paella in Cartagena, Spain

Cartagena, Spain

Every culture in Europe is unique, and a cruise is an enjoyable way to introduce yourself to the diversity of the cradle of civilization.

The cultures of the southern Mediterranean are famously relaxed and laid-back. A cruise to Italy is a chance to embrace the art of dolce far niente, or the sweetness of doing nothing.

Croatians call this fjaka—a sense of lingering over a morning coffee or a chat with friends with no sense of guilt about the passing of time.

In Spain, locals embrace the siesta, a long, relaxed lunch and rest in the shade during the heat of the day.

Couple eating at a restaurant in Stavanger, Norway

Stavanger, Norway

Cruise to Northern Europe and you can study the Danish art of hygge, or coziness. You’ll find this in everything from stylish, comforting interior design to fashion, food, and inviting cafés. In Norway, koselig is a variation of hygge, while the Swedes use the word mysa.

Cruise to the British Isles on your European vacation and you’ll find yet more cultural diversity, from the quirky British humor to the Irish love of blarney, or telling a good story.

Try New Cuisines

Couple eating pizza in Naples, Italy

Naples, Italy

A cruise in Europe is a great way to sample as many different cuisines as you can. There are exciting regional cuisines to try, from pesto-based dishes in Genoa to cannoli in Sicily, crisp pastry tubes stuffed with sweetened ricotta.

In Greece, you should take the opportunity to sample mezze, a delicious array of dips, salads, and snacks. Stuffed vine leaves, garlicky tzatziki, salty halloumi cheese, spicy sausages, and creamy eggplant dip are just a few of the delicacies to try, ideally in a beachfront taverna at lunchtime, with your toes in the sand and a glass of ice-cold wine.

Family eating tapas in Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Travel to Spain and you’ll be tempted by tapas, which are small sharing plates of anything from chorizo sausage to patatas bravas, fried potato cubes in a spicy sauce.

In Britain or Ireland, you can’t beat a hearty pub lunch and a pint of beer. Sail to Iceland and sample its famous hot dogs.

Stay at the Best Address in Town

Celebrity Cruises cruising along Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece

At many of Europe’s ports, you’ll be docked right in the center of town, which is a privileged location that only the most luxurious hotels enjoy.

In Lisbon, for example, the cruise port has wonderful views of the colorful old city spilling over the hills and the famous 25 de Abril bridge over the Tagus River.

In Barcelona, the port is a short hop from the base of Las Ramblas, the famous boulevard with the tangle of the Gothic Quarter to one side.

Boats within the port of Palma de Mallorca

Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Palma’s port, meanwhile, is at one end of the long, curving Bay of Palma, with views across the water and the yacht harbor to the impressive cathedral. Walking into the center along the waterfront will take about 30 minutes, or you could pick up a rental bicycle and cycle along the marked trails.

Port of Malaga, Spain

Malaga, Spain

In Málaga, ships dock on the revitalized waterfront, an easy stroll to the historic center, the cathedral, and the Alcazaba fortress, built by the Moors in the Middle Ages.

Santorini, too, is a spectacular mooring. Your ship will be at the base of the sheer black and red cliffs of the caldera, looking upwards at Fira, with views of two volcanic islets in the center of the volcano.

Lush landscape of Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor, Montenegro

The Eastern European city of Kotor, meanwhile, lies at the end of a deep and beautiful fjord. You’ll dock right by the historic town center. Make time to climb the ramparts that snake over the mountain behind the town for sweeping views of your ship.

The Scenery Is Spectacular

Best way to travel to Europe - Geirangerfjord, Norway

Geirangerfjord, Norway

If you thought a cruise was a matter of days with only sea views, think again. Europe has some of the world’s most beautiful scenic sailing.

The ultimate itinerary for scenery has to be the Norwegian fjords, where you’re almost always in sight of towering cliffs, snow-capped mountains, and verdant forests.

Sail along the French Riviera at sunset and you’ll see the distant peaks of the southern Alps fading into dusk as the lights of the shore begin to twinkle. Cruise to Corsica and you’ll be able to inhale the aroma of wild herbs in the air as you approach.

Beautiful waterfront of Valletta, Malta

Valletta, Malta

On a voyage to Malta, make sure you’re on deck for the grand entrance to Valletta’s Grand Harbour, all honey-colored ramparts and medieval splendor.

A Cruise to Europe Is Great for Families

Family kayaking in Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Cruising makes it much easier to travel Europe with kids. You’ll have your choice of family-friendly excursions, from kayaking to pasta-making.

Relax on board during the heat of the day and head ashore late afternoon for gelato. Research the best beaches for families on your itineraries. Introduce your children to different cultures and cuisines, or enjoy shopping with teens in local markets.

Camp at Sea aboard Celebrity Edge

Camp at Sea

On board your ship, you’ll find wonderful kids’ clubs, too, catering for all ages. These are a great chance for kids and teens to make new friends—and for parents and grandparents to enjoy some downtime.

You Could Even Take a Day “Off”

Best way to travel to Europe - Cannes, Italy

Sky Suite

There’s no obligation to go ashore every day on a cruise to Europe. Perhaps you’re in a port you have visited before, or maybe it’s a hot day, or you want some rest. So spend the day on board, enjoying the sense of having the ship to yourself.

Take a class in the gym, book a spa treatment, or enjoy a long lunch in the sunshine on deck. A cruise can be as relaxing or as busy as you like.

Best way to travel to Europe - Portofino, Italy

Portofino, Italy

Are you tempted to dip a toe in the water and try a European cruise? Browse itineraries on our website and plan your next adventure with Celebrity.

Free Vacation Planning Services

Free Vacation Planning Services