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Top 5 Western European Cruise Excursions

Visit The Beautiful Western European Coast
Visit The Beautiful Western European Coast

This region is home to much of Europe’s most highly acclaimed architecture in cities that have been known for centuries for their high cultural value. A Western European cruise gives you the opportunity to take in a wide variety of sights, from the ancient city states of Italy like Florence, Rome and the Vatican, known for producing some of Europe’s finest poets and artists, to the grand cathedrals and mosques of Spain and Portugal. Meanwhile, the region is also famous for its high-end boutique shopping and highly exclusive resort experiences in places like Monte-Carlo, Monaco.

Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo

Most itineraries in this region will last either one or two weeks but rarely less – you’d hardly get the chance to take anything in! In the UK, at least three ports depart on Western European cruises and these include the obvious Dover, Southampton and Harwich (London). Those who suffer from seasickness however are often advised not to sail to the Med from the UK as sailing through the Bay of Biscay (between Spain and France) can be quite choppy. Alternative ports of departure include Rome, Barcelona and Venice.

Cruise Ship in Monaco
Cruise Ship in Monaco

There is so much variety in the region that you are likely to want to choose a cruise that makes sure to visit the things you want to see – cruises that focus on Western Mediterranean beaches will have very different priorities than those that aim to provide an edifying cultural experience. Cruises are offered all year round although the cheaper (and cooler) months are in late Autumn and early Spring.

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Top 5 Western European Cruise Excursions

Rome – All of it

The Heart of Rome
The Heart of Rome

The Eternal City, the Capital of Italy and of Roman Catholicism, has so much to offer architecturally, artistically and culturally. For starters there’s St Peter’s Square where the Pope will appear every Wednesday that he is in Rome to give audience and a papal blessing to all that are present. Within the square is St Peter’s Basilica, one of the oldest and greatest Christian churches in the world and allegedly the burial place of St Peter himself. Then there’s the Closseum, the Trevi Fountain and all the different piazzas that make Rome what it is.

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Montserrat Monastery and the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

The Montserrat Monastery
The Montserrat Monastery

Two different but equally grand examples of church architecture, Santa Maria de Montserrat is a beautiful ancient complex set in the hills surrounding Barcelona and from which the views of the surrounding country are incredible. Meanwhile, in Barcelona itself is one of the most famous church buildings in the world, Gaudi’s nouveau Gothic Sagrada Familia. Nothing could be more of a contrast and yet both buildings are incredibly important in their own way.

Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia at Night

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Play a Hand at Monte Carlo Casino

The Casino at Night
The Monte Carlo Monaco Casino at Dusk

Monte Carlo is a town within the principality of Monaco and it is home to one of the most famous and luxurious gambling dens in the world – the Monte Carlo Casino. Founded to help save the ruling family of Monte Carlo from bankruptcy it is one of the most elegant casino buildings in the world. Vegas it most certainly is not. James Bond fans may recognise the casino for having served as a backdrop to many famous scenes.

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Visit Pompeii (near Naples) a City Frozen in Time

PompeiiRuins
The Pompeii Ruins

When Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79 the inhabitants of Pompeii were quickly drowned in volcanic ash and preserved, in their houses, in exactly

the positions they were standing in as they perished. This means that Pompeii has provided us with a unique glimpse into the lives of citizens of the Roman Empire with many of their everyday artefacts being well preserved within the deluge of ash. This is also one of Italy’s most popular tourist attractions bringing in over 2.5 million people a year.

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Cruises to The British Isles and Western Europe – Itineraries & Hot Spots!

Cruise around the British Isles
Cruise around the British Isles

Taking a cruise around the British and Irish archipelago as well as Western Europe gives you the opportunity to see more capitals of world culture, great historical cities, than almost any other cruise possible. Furthermore, it’s not just good for city trips; and as every Briton knows, the country is also home to a diverse selection of natural eco-systems and landscapes for the nature buffs and hill walkers amongst us.

Could a cruise around Britain & Western Europe be cheaper than other transport? 

By travelling around these countries on a cruise ship instead of by train, plane or automobile you stand to save hundreds of pounds in travelling costs to see exactly the same sites. The public transport in Western Europe is some of the most expensive in the world and few cruises can provide as economical an experience when compared to other ways of getting around between the same areas.

British Cruise Itineraries
Choose a long weekend away to a fortnight for British Cruise itineraries 

The most common itineraries are between 10 and 14 days long and really it takes this much to see everything you want to see in this region. However, 3-5 day cruises are becoming increasingly popular as a way of having a long-weekend-break departing from the UK.

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Where do these cruises typically embark from?

Cruises departing from Southampton
Cruises departing from Southampton

The largest ports in the region are in the UK and either Dover or Southampton are the most common ports of embarkation and disembarkation. Smaller ships may leave from other less common ports although this does not necessarily mean that those ports will be less well known. The smallest ships, for instance, may be able to leave from a spot on the river Thames in London. Many cruises, when starting or ending on Continental Europe, will do so from either Copenhagen or Lisbon.

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What sorts of itineraries are available?

One of the more popular types of sea cruise would be cruises that tout the Scottish Islands, particularly the Hebrides which include the islands of Skye, Islay, Jura and Lewis. Many of these are famous for their whiskies making this a perfect trip for a whiskey lover. The main operator of these is Hebridean Princess Cruises.

Cruise to the Scottish Islands
Cruise to the Scottish Islands

Then there are the river cruises which tour continental Western Europe which offer the ability to visit a far greater variety of countries in a shorter period of time. The boats, however, are a little bit smaller and this may not suit everyone. Even smaller are the many canal barges which offer cruises in the region which are particularly famous for their tours of French towns and villages.

River Cruise in Western Europe
A Beautiful River Cruise in Western Europe

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