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Norwegian Cruise Line Europe Cruises

Europe cruises with Norwegian Cruise Line are a diverse and marvelous experience for just about any traveler. Whether you choose to enrich yourself with the history and grandeur of Northern Europe , or revel in the cultural and culinary delights of the Mediterranean and Greek Isles, you’ll find yourself planning your next cruise as you’re disembarking your first. Discover gems of the Mediterranean in the French Riviera, living the high life and treating yourself to the finer things. Or, learn about the royal history and see unique treasures in the castles and churches of the Baltics. Norwegian Cruise Line Europe cruises are the best way to see the region.

Norwegian Cruise Line - Mediterranean


Norwegian Cruise Line - Northern Europe

Northern Europe

Things to do on an europe cruise with norwegian cruise line.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Europe cruises offer you the chance to make the history you learned in school come to life. Explore castles, cathedrals and take in the beauty of spots like the Greek Isles and Troll Wall in Norway. Featured below are some of the most recommended things to do when cruising to Europe with Norwegian Cruise Line:

Norwegian Cruise Line Troll Wall in Trollveggen, Norway

  • Land of the Trolls (Alesund, Norway) Your excursion will contrast greatly as you’ll see gardens and suburbs, but then also mountains, valleys and more. You’ll visit the Troll Wall at Trollveggen, the highest perpendicular rock face in Europe, and maybe catch someone trying to climb this incredible wall. You will even stop at the Orskog Mountain Plateau, which is a popular skiing area in the region.  

Norwegian Cruise Line Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, Spain

  • Palau de la Musica & Heart of Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain) Visit the Palau de la Musica, the only Art Noveau concert hall listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After your visit you’ll walk through the Gothic Quarter and see the Town Hall before a final walk to La Rambla, a street with lots of shops and restaurants.  

Norwegian Cruise Line Culzean Castle in Ayrshire, Scotland

  • Clyde Coast, Culzean Castle & Ayr (Glasgow, Scotland) Romance, passion and some magnificent Scottish castles await you on this excursion. The architecture is stunning, the history is grand and the stories you’ll hear along the way will leave you wishing you could’ve ruled Ayrshire yourself!  

Norwegian Cruise Line Beach in Mykonos, Greece

  • Mykonos Beach Transfer (Mykonos, Greece) Take advantage of Mykonos’ most famous attraction, its coastline, with a day at the beach. Kalafatis Beach has clear water, soft sand and the gentle waves of the Aegean Sea.  

Norwegian Cruise Line St. Petersburg Catherine Palace

  • Imperial St. Petersburg (St. Petersburg, Russia) Fountains, palaces, parks and more. Take a comprehensive trip through St. Petersburg, focusing on its rich history and the royalty who resided there. The views will be stupendous, and the attractions you’ll visit will be quite memorable.  

Nowegian Cuise Line fountain in Aix-en Provence France

  • Aix-en-Provence (Provence, France) Take a walking tour of this charming town starting with Cours Mirabeau, a picturesque street shaded by trees. It has now become a hot spot with hotels, shops and restaurants. On the tour you’ll see the Aix Sauveur Cathedral with art dating back to the 5th century.  

Top 10 Norwegian Cruise Line Europe Cruises

  • Norwegian Epic 12 Night Europe - Other (PCV/CIV) Departing From Port Canaveral, Florida (Apr 2024)
  • Norwegian Epic 10 Night Greek Isles & Italy (CIV/CIV) Departing From Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy (Apr 2024 - Oct 2025)
  • Norwegian Escape 11 Night Europe - Western Mediterranean - Rome (CIV/BCN) Departing From Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy (Apr 2024)
  • Norwegian Escape 11 NIGHT Europe CRUISE Departing From Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy (Apr 2024)
  • Norwegian Viva 10 Night Eastern Mediterranean (LIS/CIV) Departing From Lisbon, Portugal (Apr 2024 - Sep 2024)
  • Norwegian Dawn 10 Night Europe - Western Mediterranean - Rome (CIV/BCN) Departing From Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy (Apr 2024)
  • Norwegian Dawn 10 NIGHT Europe CRUISE Departing From Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy (Apr 2024)
  • Norwegian Star 11 Night Europe - Other (LIS/PM3) Departing From Lisbon, Portugal (Apr 2024)
  • Norwegian Escape 11 Night Europe - Western Mediterranean - Barcelona (BCN/VCE) Departing From Barcelona, Spain (May 2024 - Sep 2024)
  • Norwegian Escape 11 NIGHT Europe CRUISE Departing From Barcelona, Spain (May 2024)

Norwegian Cruise Line Europe Departure Ports

Learn more about each of the possible departure ports for a Europe cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line. Your Norwegian Cruise Line Europe cruise could begin in any of the following cities:

Barcelona, Spain

Discover imaginative architecture, impressive Spanish dishes and beautiful excursions into nature when you cruise to Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia.

Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

A cruise to Civitavecchia is a chance for you to hop a quick train to Rome and explore the enormous history through ruins, galleries and The Vatican museums.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen is a delightful city with some of the world’s most interesting places, like the longest pedestrian street and one of the oldest amusement parks in the world.

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is a unique city that blends its two distinct influences – from its founding as the Christian capital of Constantinople to the Ottoman ruled Istanbul. Today you can discover both eras and the modern beauty in this thriving city.

Le Havre (Paris), France

Le Havre (Paris), France

In Northern France, explore Le Havre, a city with modern architecture and one of the most inspiring collections of Impressionist artwork.

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon has deep cultural roots that are exposed through ruins and museum artifacts. Cruise to Lisbon and discover the culture and history of Portugal in its capital city.

New York, New York

Take in the incredible art scene of New York City, expand your cultural horizons in the city’s diverse neighborhoods and marvel at the architectural wonders.

Oslo, Norway

Oslo, Norway

Enjoy the great outdoors in Oslo, the beautiful and spacious capital of Norway, where the city includes lakes, forests and lots of history.

Piraeus (Athens), Greece

Learn about the Greek gods and the early philosophy of Socrates when you visit the incredible ruins left in Athens, Greece. At night, go out and take in the culture with the modern Athenians.

Port Canaveral, Florida

The seafood is fresh, the sun is shining and there’s a whole lot to do, so get out there and explore the city before, during and after your cruise from Port Canaveral, Florida.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik was just a small village until seeing a major expansion after World War II, but this popular cruise destination still offers a small town feel different than any other European capital.

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, one of the most visited cities in the southern hemisphere, has numerous activities for every desire. Cruise to Rio for the Carnival celebrations, natural environment, beautiful beaches and famous landmarks.

Southampton, England

The cruise port of Southampton features tons of diverse attractions that provide insight into England’s culture and storied past, including fortresses, gardens and national parks.

Trieste, Italy

Trieste, Italy

Sit back and enjoy the sea breezes in Trieste, an Italian city that despite being close to Venice is more akin to Vienna, the capital of the Hapsburg Empire. 

Tromso, Norway

Tromso, Norway

Bundle up to experience the culture and beauty of Tromso, one of the largest cities within the Arctic Circle.

Photo Gallery for Norwegian Cruise Line Europe Cruises

Flip through our photo gallery of Europe cruising photos from Norwegian Cruise Line. Best of all, this is merely a sample of the sights waiting for you on a Norwegian Cruise Line Europe cruise vacation.

Cruising through Santorini, Greece

Cruising through Santorini, Greece

The Santorini hillside in Greece

The Santorini hillside in Greece

Beach in Mykonos, Greece Europe Norwegian Cruise

Beach in Mykonos, Greece

Castle Ayrshire, Scotland Europe Norwegian Cruise

Castle in Ayrshire, Scotland

Fountain in Aix-en Provence France Norwegian Cruis

Fountain in Aix-en-Provence, France

Catherine Palace, St. Petersburg Norwegian Cruise

Catherine Palace, St. Petersburg

Palau de la Musica in Barcelona Norwegian Cruise

Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, Spain

Troll Wall in Trollveggen, Norway Norwegian Cruise

Troll Wall in Trollveggen, Norway

Cruising through Santorini, Greece

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How to Visit 6 European Countries and Only Unpack Once (Video)

european cruises ncl

Europe is simultaneously one of the most exciting and overwhelming places to plan a long-awaited vacation. And that’s largely because there’s just so much to see. If you’ve ever tried to plan a European itinerary while scrolling through Instagram, you’ve come up against this one bracing reality: You just want to go everywhere. And in response to that sentiment, we have just one thing to say: Same .

For the traveler who wants to escape to Europe and go everywhere, but has yet to convince their workplace to offer them a four-month sabbatical, cruising Europe is a great option . It, of course, helps that when you take a European cruise, the itinerary is done for you. Trying to pack six countries into 10 days on your own is a logistical nightmare. Cruising Europe means skipping your last-minute, make-it-up-as-you-go itinerary in favor of a hassle-free trip to the most coveted destinations. Beyond the ease of a customized itinerary and only unpacking once for a multi-country adventure, taking a European cruise means you can fit the wonders of the Grecian islands, the energy of Barcelona, and the history of Dubrovnik all into one trip.

If you’re ready for an unforgettable European cruise, you can’t go wrong with a Mediterranean adventure like Norwegian Cruise Line’s 10-day Enchanting Mediterranean Barcelona to Rome itinerary. I’ve always believed wholeheartedly that life is better along the Mediterranean, and in fact, have been trying to move to a sleepy town along the riviera and start a lifestyle blog called Lambrusco Before Noon (patent pending) since I graduated college. I can therefore say on good authority that coastal, southern Europe is a destination you can return to time and time again, always discovering new places, new subcultures, and perhaps most importantly, new ways to garnish an Aperol spritz.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Enchanting Mediterranean experience starts in Barcelona for a day in the Catalonian capital. If Barcelona is a new-to-you city, you’ll want to spend your day seeing Park Güell and Antoni Gaudí's famously unfinished Sagrada Familia , and lunching on Las Ramblas before boarding the Norwegian Dawn . Once on board, you’ll unpack just the one time and settle into your stateroom. If you’re looking to celebrate your European cruise with a room upgrade, you can treat yourself to a stateroom with floor-to-ceiling windows and a private balcony.

The next three days bring three bucket-list destinations in a row — start planning your Instagram post schedule ahead of time. (Or, if you need a digital detox, go unplugged for a few days of your cruise; social media can wait, but these views can’t.)

Norwegian's enchanting Mediterranean cruise heads to Mallorca, Spain; Monaco; and Tuscany, Italy — with one day for each stop. In Mallorca, you’ll be in the historic town of Palma, founded more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans. Moving on to Monaco, you’ll spend the day walking in the footsteps of Grace Kelly in Monte Carlo. From the casinos to the palaces, Monte Carlo is a true French Riviera spectacle. The natural beauty is big and the hair is bigger, despite Monaco being the second smallest country in the world.

To complete this truly enviable three-day travel streak, you’ll wind up in Tuscany to see Florence and Pisa. Florence is the perfect city for a DIY walking tour, because main attractions like Piazza del Duomo, Santa Croce, and the Uffizi are so close to each other. And remember, learning about Renaissance art and contributions of the Medici family is crucial in Florence, but so is the pizza.

After a few days of action-packed travel, I find that I really need time to process what I just saw. And that’s something I really value about cruising: it gives you time to reflect on your travels. We rarely allow ourselves time to revel in everything we see and learn while traveling the world. But on cruises, you often get a built-in day to slow down while at sea. Norwegian’s 10-day Enchanting Mediterranean cruise has a day at sea after taking in Mallorca, Monaco, and Florence, where you can journal by the pool while sailing into the second leg of your six-country trip.

The latter part of the cruise kicks off in Dubrovnik, where Game of Thrones fans can live their long-harbored Kings’ Landing dreams (no, really, Norwegian offers a Venture Through Kings’ Landing shore excursion for all those still lamenting that Sansa never sat on the Iron Throne). After Croatia, the Norwegian Dawn takes travelers to Kotor, a UNESCO World Natural and Historical Heritage Site on the Adriatic Sea in Montenegro. It’s then on to Corfu, one of the more exclusive Greek islands with multi-toned blue waters and lush greenery.

Although there’s little you could say to convince me to leave the Corfu beaches, bribing me with two days on the Italian coast might do the trick. So it’s perhaps not surprising that the cruise concludes with a day on the island of Sicily and a day in Naples. Spending a day in Naples is the perfect introduction to the Amalfi Coast, from the pastel-colored houses perched over the Mediterranean to the grand Neapolitan piazzas — and pizzas, for that matter. Finally, the Norwegian Dawn docks in Rome, which is where (at least for me) the vacation denial sets in. However, the best part of docking is that you’ll realize you took a whirlwind trip and still feel refreshed rather than exhausted, because all the country-to-country logistics and transport were handled for you. And that right there is the beauty of cruising Europe.

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Experience European history, landmarks and culture on a Norwegian Cruise.

Unpack once and wake up to a new city every day while exploring the sights, sounds and flavors of Europe. Cruise to Greece, and experience the beauty and magnificence of the Mediterranean for an unforgettable vacation. Explore the mainland and witness ancient history, or travel to the Greek Isles for the rich culture and picturesque sun-drenched beaches of the once-powerful empire. Or sail to Northern Europe and witness a diverse variety of cultures, splendid palaces, history and unbelievable natural beauty, all while enjoying the freedom and flexibility of cruising with Norwegian. Sail through the Baltic as Viking explorers once did, visiting Sweden, Denmark, and Finland along the way. Choose to cruise through the marvelous Fjords of Norway – you'll be spellbound by the spectacular scenery in Geiranger – and journey through some of Europe's greatest hits including England, Paris and Ireland. For a limited time, benefit from Norwegian's Free at Sea promotion which includes select value-packed amenities: a beverage package, specialty dining, an internet package, and a shore excursion credit. Applicable to 3-night sailings or longer excluding Sailaway categories.

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Kelsey in London

9 European Destinations on an NCL Mediterranean Cruise

Colourful fishing village in Italy

Embarking on an NCL Mediterranean Cruise is one of the most efficient and exciting ways to discover the best of Europe. From the ancient wonders of Rome to the pristine beaches of the Côte d’Azur and the vibrant streets of Barcelona, there are so many alluring ports of call in the Mediterranean that will leave you in awe. Not only will you get the opportunity to explore these European gems – the best part of a Mediterranean cruise holiday is that you only have to unpack your suitcase once!

When it comes to European cruise vacations, Norwegian Cruise Line is the best choice for an unforgettable experience. With a fleet of modern and well-equipped ships, guests can enjoy luxurious accommodations and a wide range of onboard amenities, all-inclusive dining and entertainment. NCL’s carefully curated cruise itineraries feature a diverse selection of Mediterranean ports, ensuring travellers can explore ancient landmarks, idyllic beaches, and vibrant cultural hubs while cruising in comfort and experiencing their famous world-class service.

In this post, I’ll be guiding you through the most captivating Mediterranean cruise destinations you can discover with Norwegian Cruise Line along with recommendations on the best things to do in each port and suggestions on which shore excursions you should consider for your next epic European vacation.

top deck of ncl cruise ship with sunset sky

9 places in Europe you can discover during an NCL Mediterranean Cruise

1. lisbon, portugal.

 a stone, memorial arch-like, historical building and visitor attraction in Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon , the sun-kissed jewel of Portugal , beckons travellers with its irresistible blend of old-world charm, modern vibrancy and undeniable good vibes. Depending on which NCL cruise you select for your Mediterranean vacation, Lisbon will either be a stop along your journey or will most likely be your departure port. If it’s the latter, then I highly recommend arriving in Lisbon at least one day before your cruise embarkment date so you have enough time to explore one of the best cities in Europe. 

The best way to get around Lisbon is via tram or walking — although it’s very hilly in some areas, so make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes! Otherwise, ordering an Uber is easy and affordable, usually no more than 5€ for each trip. Start your day by taking in the panoramic views from São Jorge Castle , immersing yourself in centuries of history. Wander through the cobbled streets of Alfama , Lisbon’s oldest neighbourhood, and soak in its charming and bohemian atmosphere. Make sure to stop by Miradouro de Santa Luzia for one of the best views across the city! 

Next, hop on the iconic Tram 28 for a scenic ride through the city’s iconic sights, passing by beautiful landmarks like Sé de Lisboa Cathedral and the picturesque Bairro Alto district. Treat yourself to some delicious pastéis de nata, Portugal’s famous custard tarts, you’ll find them just about anywhere across the city, however my favourite pastry shop is Manteigaria . In the afternoon, head to Belém to marvel at the majestic Jerónimos Monastery and the iconic Belém Tower , both UNESCO World Heritage sites. And as golden hour hits, it’s time to end the day with a visit to the iconic Pink Street , which comes alive at night with a plethora of bars and clubs. For a more laid-back vibe, head to one of Lisbon’s rooftop bars, I recommend Mama Shelter , Sky Bar or Java Rooftop . Or do what the locals do and head to any Miradouro (viewpoint) in the city, grab a beer and watch the sunset.

2. Granada (Malaga), Spain

Alhambra Palace

While there is plenty to do and see in both Granada and Malaga , if there’s one stop you make during your time in Andalusia, then you absolutely need to visit the Alhambra ! Easily one of the most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage sites in Europe, the Alhambra is a stunning palace and fortress complex filled with Islamic architecture, intricate Moorish detailing, tranquil courtyards, stunning gardens and enchanting views of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The best way to get here is to book the ‘ Granada On Your Own ’ shore excursion with Norwegian Cruise Line. Included in this tour is a bus transfer from the ship to the centre of Granada. When you arrive, immediately walk to the nearest taxi rank and ask your driver to take you straight to the Alhambra entrance. Make sure to book your entrance tickets in advance (at least a day before) and allocate three hours to explore the Alhambra and its scenic gardens before heading to meet your transfer back to the ship. There’s an epic array of activities and shore excursions available in Granada and Malaga with Norwegian Cruise Line depending on your travel style. If you’re more of an adventure junkie, try kayaking along the Cliffs of Maro-Cerro Gordo , hike the King’s Path 325 feet above the Guadalhorce River or race through the Montes de Malaga Natural Park in a 4×4 vehicle made for exhilarating off-road adventure. For something more slow-paced, you’ll enjoy a gastronomy tour of Malaga or a leisurely drive across Spain’s gorgeous Costa del Sol to Gibraltar .

3. Ibiza, Spain

small fishing boats on turquoise coloured water in a small cove

Don’t make the mistake of assuming Ibiza is just a party island, this Mediterranean gem has so much natural beauty and relaxing island spots to discover during your NCL cruise vacation. Start your day by immersing yourself in Ibiza’s rich history at Dalt Vila , the UNESCO-listed old town which is only a 20-minute walk from the port of Ibiza. Afterwards, catch a 10-15 minute taxi to either Playa d’en Bossa or Playa de Talamanca , two nearby beach paradises where you can bask in the sun and dip your toes in the crystal-clear waters. Find your way back to the old town and have dinner at La Oliva – a chic Mediterranean restaurant, arrive when they open at 6.30 pm to experience the atmospheric al fresco dining Spain is famous for. End your evening with cocktails at S’Escalinata and watch the sunset before returning to the port. Another option is to rent a car for the day, giving you the freedom to discover the island’s hidden treasures. The best way to do this is to get a taxi directly to Ibiza Airport from the port, pick up your rental vehicle and hit the road. Head to the stunning beaches of Cala Conta or Cala Salada , renowned for their turquoise waters and postcard-worthy surroundings. For an unforgettable lunch experience in Ibiza, I highly recommend indulging in the laid-back luxury of Amante Ibiza and the chic ambience of Cotton Beach Club Ibiz a. Drive to the local’s favourite sunset spot, Mirador des Vedrà for mesmerising views of the mystical rocky island Es Vedrà , off Ibiza’s western coast. Then drop your car back to the airport, taxi back to the port and you’re ready to continue sailing on your epic European cruise.

See more: Top things to do in Ibiza

4. Palma (Majorca), Spain

Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca

There’s a plethora of activities to do in Palma , the capital city of the Balearic Islands. Begin your adventure by exploring the imposing Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca , a masterpiece of Gothic architecture that dominates the city’s skyline. For beach lovers, the sandy shores of Playa de Palma or Cala Major beckon with crystal-clear waters and relaxation, or immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of the promenade along Palma’s harbour. Embrace the island’s culture by visiting local markets, trying authentic Mallorcan cuisine and the famous ensaïmada pastries. The easiest and most convenient way to explore Palma is getting a ‘ Palma De Mallorca Attractions Pass ‘ (available via Norwegian Cruise Line) which includes transfers to/from the ship, City Sightseeing Hop On Hop Off Bus, complimentary sangria tasting and free entry to  Palma’s best attractions including Palma Cathedral , Es Baluard Museum and Bellver Castle . The hop-on-hop-off bus stops at all the main attractions so you can explore at ease and at your own pace.

If you want a simple drop-and-flop activity, I recommend the ‘ Palma Views & Beach break ‘ shore excursion which takes you to the pristine beach, Playa de Palmanova , located in the south-west of Majorca. This beach is considered to be one of the most attractive ones on the island with clean, white sandy beaches and glistening turquoise-blue water. 

5. Barcelona, Spain

Sagrada Familia

Barcelona , the vibrant capital of Catalonia, is a must-visit destination for anyone embarking on a Mediterranean cruise holiday. Marvel at Antoni Gaudí ‘s architectural masterpieces, explore the winding streets of the Gothic Quarter, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of La Rambla and eat your way through delectable tapas and sample Spain’s famous sparkling Cava. 

The best way to see Barcelona’s highlights on an NCL Mediterranean Cruise is with a  hop-on-hop-off bus tour starting at the iconic Sagrada Familia , giving you at least 7 hours to explore Barcelona at your own pace. Make sure to book timed entry tickets to Gaudi’s famous church in advance to avoid missing out. I recommend buying tickets via the official Sagrada Familia mobile app a few days before your visit. Other breathtaking Gaudi landmarks not to miss out: Park Güell , Casa Batlló and Casa Milà . If you’ve previously visited Barcelona, on your second visit, try exploring the city’s lesser-known hidden gems like Casa Vicens (the first house Gaudi designed)​​, Palau de la Música Catalana and Bunkers del Carmel for the best views across Barcelona. From the port, a taxi will cost around 10-20€ to the centre of Barcelona. From a metro station, you can buy a 48-hour travel card for £14.76 which will let you go on any metro, bus or tram in Barcelona. For some reason a 24-hour pass isn’t available; however this 48-hour pass is a fair price and makes it easy to get around quickly. Alternatively, consider one of NCL’s popular shore excursions to the nearby famous Montserrat Monastery or unwind with a gourmet tour, wine tasting and lunch at Caves Llopart Vineyards .  See more: Top things to do in Barcelona

6. Provence (Marseille), France

Charming colourful medieval street in Provence

Provence , a sun-kissed region in the south of France, offers a delightful mix of relaxation and cultural exploration and is famous for its lavender fields, fairy-tale villages, and delicious cuisine. Wander through the enchanting streets of villages like Gordes and Roussillon , where pastel-coloured houses dot the landscapes. Indulge in the region’s world-renowned wines and taste traditional Provençal dishes at charming cafes and bistros. From exploring ancient Roman ruins in Arles to strolling along the vibrant markets of Aix-en-Provence , every corner of this idyllic region will leave you enchanted.

Norwegian Cruise Line offers an array of tours in Provence, including an 8-hour tour of Gordes & Roussillon or an alternate tour through Avignon & Aix-en-Provence . If your cruise is visiting during the lavender season (mid-June to mid-August), you’ll definitely want to visit the Lavender Museum in Coustellet , along with three medieval villages in the Luberon area of Provence.

7. Nice/Monaco (Villefranche), Franc e

Colourful seaside town

The French Riviera , also known as the Côte d’Azur , is a glamorous and picturesque destination that should be on every traveller’s bucket list during a Mediterranean cruise. Stretching along the stunning Mediterranean coastline, this region boasts some of the world’s most iconic destinations, including Cannes , Nice , and Saint-Tropez . With its sparkling azure waters, sandy beaches, and luxurious resorts, the French Riviera exudes an irresistible allure that has attracted celebrities and jet-setters for decades. The port of Villefranche-sur-Mer , where your cruise ship arrives, should not be overlooked. I would recommend spending at least an hour exploring the colourful alleyways and charming harbour and waterfront promenade filled with charming bistros and bars. In fact, you could easily spend the day here and take a few hours to relax at the stunning beach, Plage des Marinieres .

From Villefranche-sur-Mer, you can head east and catch a 28-minute 5€ train directly to Menton or head west and get a quick 7-minute 2€ train to Nice . You could easily fit in a visit to both Menton and Nice during your cruise stop, however, if you have to pick just one, I would recommend Menton as it has a better beach and undeniably breathtaking scenery with its pastel-coloured buildings. If you prefer to have someone else sort out the travel arrangements for your day in the Côte d’Azur, NCL offer a Monaco & Èze sightseeing tour, a Nice highlights & wine tasting experience, as well as a tour to the hilltop village of Saint Paul de Vence , all with transfers to/from the port included.

8. Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy

Florence Cathedral

When you book an NCL Mediterranean cruise that stops in Livorno , you are literally spoilt for choice when it comes to options for exploring some of the most iconic and scenic destinations in Italy. It’s almost impossible to decide between Florence , Tuscany , Cinque Terre or Pisa , however fortunately for you, I’m here to help you make that decision.

If you love history & art, you’ll fall in love with Florence and its Renaissance charm and timeless beauty. Visit the iconic Florence Cathedral and marvel at its majestic dome and stunning frescoes. Walk through the historic streets to the Uffizi Gallery , home to works by Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli. Marvel at Michelangelo’s statue of David a t the Accademia Gallery . Stroll across Ponte Vecchio , a medieval bridge adorned with artisan shops that spans the Arno River.  For a taste of authentic Florentine cuisine, savour some delicious pasta at 4 Leoni and local gelato (my favourite is Sbrino !). And don’t forget to visit one of Florence’s many Buchetta del vino (wine windows) dotted throughout the city where you can order a glass of wine through these small 17th-century wooden windows.

If you love wine, the rolling hills in the Tuscan countryside are calling your name with its vineyards, idyllic landscapes and charming medieval towns. Norwegian Cruise Line offers an array of gourmet tours in Tuscany where you’ll visit the vineyards where Sangiovese grapes are grown before tasting your way through the region’s best Chianti wines, accompanied by a typical Italian lunch consisting of eggplant parmigiana, bruschetta, finocchiona salami, pecorino cheeses and olive oil. If you love the beach & coastal views, a visit to Cinque Terre is a must! Consisting of five charming villages perched on the cliffs of the Italian Riviera, Cinque Terre offers a postcard-perfect scene of colourful houses, terraced vineyards, and pristine beaches. Whether you hike the scenic trails that connect the villages, take a leisurely boat ride along the coast, relax at ​​ Monterosso al Mare ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣’s famous beach or devour the famous fried seafood cones from Tutti Fritti in Riomaggiore , there is truly something for everyone in Cinque Terre⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣. I recommend booking Norwegian’s ‘ Cinque Terre On Your Own ‘ shore excursion which includes a transfer from the ship to the picturesque village of Vernazza (which inspired Disney’s Luca) and will give you the best part of the day to explore the region. From Vernazza , it’s incredibly easy to get to the other 4 villages via train, with quick 5-10 minute journeys between, just buy a day pass from one of the stations. 

See more: 15 incredible things to do in Cinque Terre

And if you love medieval towers that lean approximately 15 feet (4.5 metres) from the perpendicular, then you’ll LOVE Pisa . All jokes aside, a visit to the town of Pisa should only be considered if you’ve already visited Florence, Tuscany and Cinque Terre otherwise I can’t promise you won’t be disappointed. Besides the tower, there honestly isn’t much to see in the city of Pisa. That being said, if you want to tick off the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa from your bucket list (and hey I don’t blame you, I did too), then consider visiting Pisa in one of Norwegian Cruise Line’s combined tours with Florence and Lucca.

9. Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy

Colosseum in Rome

We all know Rome wasn’t built in a day and equally one day isn’t nearly enough time to visit all the iconic landmarks in one of the most visited cities in the world. If your Norwegian Mediterranean cruise journey ends in the port of Civitavecchia , then I highly recommend extending your stay in Europe for 1-3 days to properly experience the magic of Rome.

From the awe-inspiring Colosseum and the grandeur of the Vatican City to the charming piazzas and delectable Italian cuisine, Rome offers a mesmerizing blend of ancient wonders and modern delights. If you do find yourself with just one day to explore the wonders of Rome, I recommend kicking off your whistlestop tour at the Colosseum, immersing yourself in its rich history and imagining the grand gladiator battles of the past. Stroll through the nearby Roman Forum to witness the ruins of once-magnificent structures that shaped the ancient world.

Next, make your way to the awe-inspiring Vatican City , home to the majestic St. Peter’s Basilica and the renowned Sistine Chapel , where you can marvel at Michelangelo’s breathtaking masterpieces. Indulge in a leisurely Italian lunch in the charming neighbourhood of Trastevere where you’ll find the best carbonara at Trattoria Da Enzo al 29 . End your day at the world-famous Trevi Fountain , making a wish as Lizzie Macguire did and tossing a coin into its waters. Grab a gelato from the nearby Gelateria Della Palma before heading back to the port.

Norwegian Cruise Line Ship

NCL Mediterranean Cruises 2024

Currently, there are over 50 Norwegian Cruise Line Mediterranean Vacations setting sail in 2024 , with various ports of departure in Europe including: Athens (Piraeus), Barcelona, Istanbul, Lisbon, London (Southampton), Paris (Le Havre), Rome (Civitavecchia) and Venice (Trieste).

There is a wide variety of cruise trip lengths so you can either get a quick taste of Europe or put your out-of-office on for 2 weeks and enjoy an epic adventure. Here are just a few examples cruises: 4-day Mediterranean Cruise: Florence & Cannes 7-day Mediterranean Cruise: Italy, Greece & Croatia 10-day Mediterranean Cruise: Italy, France, Spain & Portugal 15-day Mediterranean Cruise: Italy, France, Spain & Azores

Book now to get the best deal on these All-inclusive Mediterranean Cruises with NCL.

ranean cruise is truly the best way to discover the hidden gems and iconic cities of Europe. With nine incredible European destinations on the itinerary, you’ll be treated to a medley of history, culture, and stunning landscapes. From the ancient wonders of Rome to the glitz of the French Riviera and the charm of Palma in Majorca, each port of call offers something unique and unforgettable. With Norwegian Cruise Line, the experience becomes even more exceptional, as their modern ships and carefully curated itineraries ensure a comfortable and enriching journey. Whether you’re exploring historic landmarks, basking on pristine beaches, or sampling the best of Mediterranean cuisine, set sail with Norwegian, and let these captivating European destinations take you on an unforgettable voyage through history, culture, and beauty. Bon voyage!

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Unforgettable vacations await: Norwegian Cruise Line takes you to bucket list destinations with unmatched flexibility and value

Ashley Kosciolek

Some people dismiss bucket list travel to Alaska and Europe as too expensive or too difficult to plan. But it doesn't have to be. Book a trip to one of those regions with Norwegian Cruise Line, and you'll find it's a vacation that's both flexible and easy to organize.

Norwegian Cruise Line is known for offering a wide range of itineraries that include exciting destinations across the sea. A cruise with the brand is your ticket to memorable experiences, with all the thrills and none of the hassles.

But it's not just the destinations that make Norwegian Cruise Line stand out; the onboard experiences are equally impressive. With a commitment to offering extensive, cutting-edge entertainment and dining options, relaxing spa treatments, standout service, and spacious cabins, NCL ensures that every passenger can find their ideal vacation, whether they're seeking a relaxing escape or a life-changing, adventure-packed journey.

Here's what NCL has to offer and why it should be the go-to for your next sailing.

Visit bucket list destinations in Alaska and Europe

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Picture it: You're sailing through an icy fjord, breathing in the crisp morning air, when a bald eagle soars overhead. Nearby, a huge glacier is calving, icy chunks falling with an impressive boom. Later, you'll take in the picture-perfect scenery from the ship's hot tub, keeping an eye out for whales as you let the tension drain out of your muscles.

Or perhaps you're strolling hand-in-hand with your significant other down a cobblestone street surrounded by historic buildings. You spot a charming cafe and spontaneously decide to linger over steaming cups of European coffee and freshly baked pastries. You can't believe that, just a few days earlier, you were walking in the footsteps of ancient peoples and gazing at artifacts that date back thousands of years.

The itineraries offered by Norwegian Cruise Line are carefully crafted to visit places that travelers truly want to explore. From iconic metropolises to hidden gems, every port of call is chosen to provide enriching experiences and create lasting memories.

european cruises ncl

One of NCL's specialties is Alaska , where nearly one-fourth of the line's fleet sails every summer. During the 2024 and 2025 seasons, Norwegian will position seven vessels there, ranging in capacity from 1,936 to 4,004 passengers, making it easy for travelers to choose the size of ship that best suits their needs.

Norwegian offers a large selection of round-trip cruises from Seattle, which is ideal for U.S. citizens hoping to cruise to Alaska without a passport or reach their embarkation port with as little expense and hassle as possible. Without ever flying to or from Alaska, you can visit the marquee cruise ports of Skagway, Ketchikan and Juneau.

These cities — and the amazing wilderness around them — aren't easy to reach on your own. Juneau might be Alaska's state capital, but no roads lead into or out of the city. It can only be reached by air or sea, making an NCL cruise a terrific choice of transportation. Leave the logistics of traveling from port to port to the experts so you can enjoy all the fun of glacier hikes, seafood bakes and gold panning with none of the headaches.

Norwegian Cruise Line makes touring easy, too, with dozens of preplanned shore excursions offered by insured operators. Spend your time in the 49th State on a whale watch, zip line adventure, helicopter tour, scenic train ride on the White Pass Railway or floatplane ride with a water landing at an Alaskan lodge. Take a trip to a totem pole park, salmon hatchery or sled dog training center.

If you'd like a glimpse into local culture, NCL has you covered there, too. The cruise line has partnered with locals to develop port facilities at Icy Strait Point and Ward Cove. The effort not only provides more authentic experiences for passengers when they're ashore and connects cruisers to local artists and vendors, but also drives funds back into the community.

With trips that range from seven to 16 days, Norwegian caters to passengers hoping to hit the highlights, as well as those who want to stay longer and dive deeper. It also offers cruisetours that add on a few days of land-based exploration in places like Denali National Park, where you can go on a hike or travel down the park's main road for some wildlife viewing. (Moose and bears, anyone?)

Plus, an extended Alaska season, which now runs from April to October, offers chances for passengers to view the swirling green magic of the northern lights.

european cruises ncl

Planning your first trip to Europe can make your head spin. How do you travel between cities, navigate the language barrier and find the right places to stay and eat? Fortunately, Norwegian Cruise Line offers nearly 300 itineraries — featuring a mix of 160 ports in Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands and the Greek Isles — that take all the vacation planning work off your plate. All you need to do is decide where you most want to go.

A whopping 13 Norwegian ships will ply the waters in those regions in 2024 and 2025, including the two newest, Norwegian Prima and Norwegian Viva . Once you board, you'll have a comfortable home base — complete with plentiful dining options, evening entertainment and a friendly crew. You won't have to lift a finger to figure out how to get from one country to the next as you explore Italy, Spain, Portugal, Iceland, Greece and other European destinations.

NCL prioritizes port calls, many of which average nine hours in length, so you can see as much of the Continent as possible. Some itineraries even include overnights, giving cruisers an opportunity to enjoy dinner ashore, venture out to local clubs and otherwise experience the local nightlife.

Learn more about Norwegian Cruise Line, and search for your perfect cruise.

Enjoy unique onboard experiences

european cruises ncl

Although a cruise's itinerary is key, it's only part of what makes a voyage great. Life on board a Norwegian cruise is anything but ordinary with lots to eat, see and do.

When it comes to restaurants, passengers can enjoy everything from pub grub at The Local, Asian food at Teppanyaki and seafood at Palomar to steak at Cagney's , Italian at Onda by Scarpetta and French cuisine at Le Bistro . You can order barbecue, try some street food or satisfy your craving for Indian fare before topping it all off with a cone of soft-serve ice cream. Or, if you're feeling like a more laid-back bite, check out the buffet, or order some room service. No matter what you're in the mood for, you're likely to find it on NCL's ships.

Between meals, there are a ton of ways to spend your time, whether you choose to take a dip in the pool, relax on the adults-only sun deck, book a spa treatment or fitness class, stroll or dine on one of many waterfront promenades with astounding sea views, take a spin on the top-deck go-kart track, play laser tag, or try your hand in the virtual-reality Galaxy Pavilion. Take a trip down the onboard waterslides, do some ax-throwing, attend daily trivia, give "Deal or No Deal" a whirl, get your adrenaline pumping on a ropes course, or play a round of minigolf for good measure.

At night, reserve seats for one of NCL's phenomenal theater productions, which include "The Choir of Man," "Beetlejuice" and "Summer: The Donna Summer Musical," depending on the ship. As one of the forerunners in bringing award-winning entertainment to the high seas, Norwegian works with some of the best producers, cast members and crew members in the performance industry to bring high-quality sets, costumes, acting, singing and dancing to its shows.

The value provided by Norwegian Cruise Line is not just limited to the onboard amenities. NCL's commitment to above-and-beyond service and guest satisfaction is evident in every aspect of the cruise. From the moment guests step on board, they are greeted by a dedicated and friendly crew, ready to cater to their needs and make their vacation truly special.

Vacation as you wish

european cruises ncl

One of the key advantages of sailing with Norwegian Cruise Line is the freedom it provides. Unlike other cruises that come with more rigid schedules, set dining times and strict dress codes, Norwegian Cruise Line allows guests to tailor their experiences according to their preferences.

Norwegian has done away with traditional set dinner times, forced tablemates and stuffy dress codes. Feel free to wear jeans to dinner or put on a gown or suit if that's fun for you. Enjoy dinner at 6 p.m. one night and 8 p.m. the next, depending on your mood. Made new friends on your shore excursion? Invite them to dine with you — Norwegian is happy to accommodate those requests.

You can also choose the level of luxury you'd like for your voyage, based on the type of cabin you book. For cruisers on a budget, NCL's inside cabins provide basic accommodations without windows, which make for an excellent night's sleep. For a view, try an outside cabin with a window or, for fresh air, a balcony cabin with a veranda that will serve as your own private deck area.

For more space, inclusions and amenities, consider a suite in The Haven, NCL's exclusive luxury enclave. Accessed with a special keycard, it features a dedicated restaurant with elevated cuisine, bar, lounge and pool deck for suite passengers only. A stay there will truly make you feel pampered and special while melding all the comforts of small-ship luxury sailing with all the amenities and fun a big-ship experience provides.

Find out more about Norwegian's exceptional onboard experiences.

Get more for your money

european cruises ncl

A vacation to Alaska or Europe might sound expensive, but Norwegian Cruise Line goes above and beyond to offer great value.

In fact, with its Free at Sea booking promotion , NCL offers extras like Wi-Fi, unlimited open bar, free specialty dining and shore excursion credits in its fares, along with multipassenger discounts and free second-guest airfare. That means no surprises on your final onboard bill, like you might get on other cruise lines where you'll pay for these vacation must-haves a la carte. Even better, the money you save on drinks and internet will leave you with more vacation funds to spend on things like indulgent spa treatments and mementos from the onboard shops.

Bottom line

Whether you're a first-time cruiser or a seasoned traveler, Norwegian Cruise Line offers an unparalleled, flexible vacation experience that can be adjusted to your specific tastes. With a wide range of cabin options, carefully curated itineraries, delectable food, top-notch service and don't-miss entertainment, NCL provides exceptional value on its voyages. So why wait? With NCL, that journey of a lifetime is finally within reach.

Book your Alaska cruise with Norwegian now, or check out NCL's Europe cruises .

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Norwegian Escape

2024 Transatlantic Cruises: Relaxing Days & Diverse Destinations

Norwegian Viva, Lisbon, Portugal

For some, the allure of cruising stems from exploring diverse ports, each day of their trip offering a new destination. Others relish the journey itself, savoring the ship's luxuries and facilities. Why not experience both? With Norwegian Cruise Line, you can. Consider a Transatlantic cruise , where you'll have plenty of time to relax onboard and enjoy some port days.

Learn more about Norwegian's options for a Transatlantic cruise.

Ready to start planning? Explore all 2024 Transatlantic cruises .

Norwegian Viva cruise near downtown Reykjavik

What Makes a Transatlantic Cruise Special?

Transatlantic cruises with Norwegian offer an unmatched experience:

  • Setting sail from one continent.
  • Crossing the vast Atlantic Ocean.
  • Concluding your journey on another continent.

Picture departing from Miami and disembarking in Europe. Alternatively, envision sailing from Barcelona , only to disembark in the United States. Transatlantic cruises are the perfect choice for those who relish their time onboard. Extra sea days mean more opportunities to:

  • Experiment with various specialty dining options.
  • Schedule relaxing spa treatments.
  • Lounge by the pool, soaking up the sun.
  • Immerse yourself in vibrant evening activities that you might usually miss after a tiring day of exploration.

Although you'll have plenty of sea days, your Transatlantic cruise will not be short on captivating ports of call. Unlike regional cruises, which usually offer consecutive port days, Transatlantic cruises offer a more relaxed pace. Additionally, these cruises often provide significant savings, as they're typically less costly than other cruises of a similar duration.

Remember, these unique cruises only embark a few times a year, typically during the transition between cruise seasons. As such, the sailings are limited, making these cruises more likely to sell out.

Street view of Brussels, Belgium

Norwegian's 2024 Transatlantic Cruise Ports of Call

For 2024, we have an exciting range of ports to explore. Here are a few places to see and things to do on a Transatlantic cruise with Norwegian:

Brussels/Bruges (Zeebrugge), Belgium

Zeebrugge, the port of Bruges , serves as your gateway to the charming cities of Brussels and Bruges. In Brussels, don't miss iconic sights such as the Grand Place. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is renowned for its ornate guild houses and the Gothic-style town hall. Meanwhile, stroll through the idyllic, canal-lined streets in Bruges, and taste the famous Belgian chocolates.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik is Iceland's capital and the world's northernmost capital city. It boasts a surreal landscape of geothermal hot springs, expansive lava fields, and imposing glaciers. Take advantage of the opportunity to bathe in the Blue Lagoon, one of Iceland's premier attractions. Or explore the Golden Circle, a popular tourist route featuring the Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall, and Geysir geothermal area.

Tourist sight seeing in Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon enchants travelers with its combination of traditional heritage and striking modernism. Wander through the Alfama district with its Moorish influence, visit the Jerónimos Monastery, or explore the historic Belém Tower. And don't forget to try the delectable Pastéis de Belém, a traditional Portuguese egg tart.

Punta Cana (La Romana), Dominican Republic

Opt for a Transatlantic cruise departing from Puerto Rico, and you'll visit a few spots in The Caribbean before making your way across the Atlantic. One of these is Punta Cana in the La Romana region of the Dominican Republic. This port city has stunning beaches and a vibrant Caribbean vibe. Dive into one of the many water sports, or explore the mesmerizing underground caves at the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park. And don't forget to sample the local rum!

Garden patio, Casablanca, Morocco

Casablanca, Morocco

Casablanca is a bustling metropolis combining Moroccan tradition and modernity. Don't miss the chance to visit the Hassan II Mosque, one of the largest mosques in the world, or stroll through the old Medina to explore myriad shops and traditional Moroccan architecture.

Arrecife (Lanzarote), Canary Islands

Arrecife (Lanzarote) is a vibrant port city on the island of Lanzarote, Canary Islands. Visitors love its history, stunning beaches, and unforgettable volcanic landscapes. Explore the Timanfaya National Park to marvel at the otherworldly moon-like landscapes created by 18th-century volcanic eruptions, or unwind at the tranquil Playa del Reducto with its golden sand and calm, crystal-clear waters.

RELATED CRUISES: 14-Day Transatlantic From New York to London: France & Ireland 14-Day Transatlantic From Miami to London: France, Spain & Portugal 13-Day Transatlantic From Rome to Orlando: Italy, France & Spain

Rome, Italy

Embark or disembark your cruise in the Eternal City, Rome . This historic city has countless iconic landmarks, such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the St. Peter's Basilica. Savor delightful Italian cuisine, sip on world-class wines, and lose yourself in the city's romantic atmosphere. Rome is a treasure trove of antiquities and a living testament to thousands of years of civilization.

Ponta Delgada, Azores

Discover the stunning beauty of Ponta Delgada , the heart of tourism in the Azores. This enchanting city offers breathtaking natural landscapes, including the mesmerizing volcanic lakes of Sete Cidades and the famous pineapple greenhouses of Faja de Baixo. Witness geothermal activity at the bubbling hot springs of Furnas Valley, and enjoy the scenic views of the largest volcanic crater from the Pico de Ferro viewpoint.

Tenerife Auditorium, Santa Cruz, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands

Santa Cruz de Tenerife welcomes you with its beautiful beaches and year-round favorable weather. The natural shoreline provides a home for dolphins and pilot whales, while the UNESCO World Heritage Site of San Cristobal de la Laguna offers a chance to indulge in delicious local wines. Enjoy the vibrant energy of this island city and its captivating natural beauty.

Dublin, Ireland

Experience the lively charm of Dublin , the capital of Ireland. The city offers a blend of rich history and modern dynamism. Whether you're tasting the famous Guinness beer at its brewery or touring the renowned Jameson whiskey distillery, Dublin promises a memorable visit.

Choose your ideal Transatlantic cruise for 2024, and savor the journey across continents with Norwegian and stay updated on the latest deals & offers by signing up for Norwegian's cruise deals .

13 European Rivers and Waterways to Cruise

european cruises ncl

Michael Runkel / robert harding / Getty Images

The number of river cruise ships sailing in Europe has been rapidly growing for most of this century, and river cruises continue to be a very popular way to see cities and towns inaccessible to ocean-going ships. 

Today, travelers can cruise over a dozen different rivers in Europe. Most river cruise lines sail similar itineraries and include shore excursions in each port of call. The price differential between the river cruise lines is usually due to the level of service, cabin size, and onboard amenities.

This article explains some of the differences in the 13 primary cruise ship rivers and their itineraries. Although each river is discussed individually, note that many river cruise itineraries cover more than one river. For example, if someone has about 3 to 4 weeks of vacation time and enough money, they can sail all the way between Amsterdam and the Black Sea on the same ship. River cruise lines offer other combinations, but they involve moving on land from one river to another.

The Danube River: Central Europe

TripSavvy / Lauren Breedlove 

The source of the Danube River (Donau in German) is in the Black Forest of Germany, and it flows almost 1,800 miles east through central Europe towards the Black Sea, passing through or touching the border of Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, and Ukraine. 

River cruises sail the length of the navigable Danube between Regensburg and the Black Sea, but most itineraries focus on one of the two most spectacular sections—either between Passau and Budapest  or between Budapest and Bucharest. The navigable Danube has 19 locks, with 15 of them between Regensburg​ and Vienna. 

Passau to Budapest River Cruise

This Danube River cruise covers some of central Europe's most gorgeous river scenery in the UNESCO World Heritage Site Wachau Valley , plus it stops in three of the continent's most fascinating capital cities— Vienna , Bratislava , and Budapest . Other ports of call include towns like Linz (for tours to Salzburg), Melk , Krems, or Durnstein.

Most ports are marvelous walking destinations, and river ships stop right in the heart of the town and include a walking tour and free time to explore. 

Budapest to Bucharest

Travelers love this river cruise itinerary because it gives them the opportunity to visit eastern European countries where travel for North Americans has just become very popular and accessible in this century.  The citizens of Hungary, Serbia, Romania, and Bulgaria welcome tourists and love to share their corner of the world with travelers.

As the Danube continues its way to the Black Sea, travelers first explore amazing Budapest, with most ships spending either one or two days at the dock to allow their guests adequate time to see the city. The ship next stops in Kalocsa , the "Paprika Capital of the World", before moving on to Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. It is one of Europe's oldest cities and still carries remnants of the destruction of its last war in the 1990's.  As the ship moves downriver, guests explore a Roman archaeological site, museums of ancient history, the Iron Gates of the Danube, and miles of lovely scenery. Most of the river ships do not sail all the way to the Black Sea, but end at a small town near the Romanian capital of Bucharest.  Passengers are bused between the river and Bucharest, and the cruise tour includes time to see the city.

The Main River: Germany

The Main River (pronounced "mine") in Germany is the longest river that lies entirely in Germany. It flows west and joins the Rhine River near Mainz. The Main River is 327 miles long, but only 246 miles are open to traffic, and this navigable section of the river has 34 locks. The Main River cruise ports of call are Bamberg , Wurzburg , Wertheim , and Miltenberg . Each of these towns features interesting history, walking tours, and picturesque streets and architecture. 

Most river cruise travelers primarily see the Main River as a link between the Rhine and Danube Rivers. However, ships could not sail from the North Sea to the Black Sea until the Main-Danube Canal was completed in 1992, and it took 32 years of construction. Ships pass through 16 locks on the 106-mile transit of the canal. The Main-Danube Canal starts near the Danube River near Regensburg and travels north by Nuremberg to Bamberg. River cruise ships often feature day-long tours of Nuremberg while their ship passes through several of the locks, saving time for everyone.

The locks of the Main-Danube Canal (and elsewhere on the Danube and Main Rivers) are important to cruise travelers because the size of the locks dictates the size of river ships. Anyone who wonders why a river ship is so narrow will understand when they see the size of the locks. The low bridges over these same rivers control the height of the river ships. 

The Rhine River: Switzerland to the Netherlands

The source of the Rhine River is in Switzerland, and it flows over 800 miles generally northwest before dumping into the North Sea near Rotterdam in the Netherlands. River ships sailing only on the Rhine move between Basel, Switzerland (near the border of France, Germany, and Switzerland) and Amsterdam. The Rhine has 12 locks, 10 of which are downstream from Basel. All 10 of these are between Basel and Mainz where the Main River joins the Rhine. 

The cruise between Basel and Mainz features stopovers at Strasbourg and Heidelberg. Many visitors find Strasbourg particularly interesting since part of the city is in France and the other (across the Rhine) is in Germany. Heidelberg is not quite on the river but is very nearby. This university town is lively, and the city has a marvelous castle. 

The Rhine River cruise region between Mainz and Koblenz is one of the most scenic in Europe. The breathtaking castles lining the Upper Middle Rhine Valley make it a traveler's favorite. Many people take a European river cruise just to see these magnificent old castles. The Loreley (Lorelei) Rock is also found along this section of the river. Cruise travelers have many opportunities to see the "castles on the Rhine" since they are also included on cruises between Amsterdam and Danube River ports or on Moselle/Rhine/Main/Danube River cruises.

One cute town with lots to offer Rhine River cruise travelers is Rudesheim , which is between Mainz and Koblenz. It offers a fun "party" street, a mechanical musical instrument museum (way more fun and interesting than it sounds), a cable car to the top of a hill with great views of the river and surrounding vineyards, and a giant German monument. 

Another popular stopover on the Rhine River is at Cologne , Germany. As river ships approach the city, the huge cathedral soon comes into view, and a visit to the cathedral and its square is a popular site in the city.

The only other stop for most ships sailing the Rhine River towards Amsterdam is at Kinderdijk to see its 19 windmills, most dating back to the 18th century. Along with tulips, windmills are an iconic symbol of the Netherlands, and the most picturesque are at Kinderdijk.

The Moselle River: France, Luxembourg, and Germany

The Mosel (German) or Moselle (French) River begins in France and passes through Luxembourg and Germany before flowing into the Rhine River at Koblenz. The Moselle has 28 locks, but only 12 are on the section of the river used by river cruise ships. The Moselle is 255 miles long, but river cruises only sail on the last 100 miles before it enters the Rhine. 

The Moselle River is one of Europe's most scenic, with a river valley that twists and turns as it makes its way towards the Rhine. The hillsides are covered with vineyards, most growing grapes for Germany's famous Riesling.  Ports of call include Cochem, Bernkastel, and Koblenz. All three of these towns are delightful to explore, and ships dock near the town centers. A highlight of Cochem is its spectacular castle , and cruise ship guests all love the views of the river from its towers. 

Some of the river cruise lines' most innovative itineraries include the Moselle River. For example, Moselle River cruises often start in Luxembourg or in Trier , Germany. However, cruise lines sometimes include a few days in Paris before the cruise begins and then transport guests to the ship via the TGV train from Paris to Metz or Remich and then on to Trier via bus. It's an exciting way to start a cruise! 

The Moselle River is included on river cruise tours between Paris and Prague , Amsterdam and Basel, or Paris to Budapest. 

The Elbe River: Germany

TripSavvy / Christopher Larson

The Rhine and Danube Rivers are the most popular rivers to cruise in Germany, but those who are fascinated by 20th-century history or by Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation will love an Elbe River cruise between Prague and Berlin . The 680-mile long Elbe has seven locks, but five are in the Czech Republic upstream from where river cruises embark in Melnik and the other two are downstream from where the ships disembark at Magdeburg for the drive to Potsdam and then Berlin. The Elbe eventually flows into the North Sea near Hamburg. 

Elbe River cruise tours include hotel stays in Prague and Berlin, two of Europe's great cities. Most of the cruise is in eastern Germany, and cities like Dresden , Meissen, and Wittenburg all have their own special charm. After being almost completely destroyed during World War II and now rebuilt, Dresden is a marvelous city to visit, with one of the world's great museums. Meissen has its fine porcelain, and Wittenburg has Martin Luther and the Reformation. Seeing the improvements in these eastern German cities since the reunification of the country in 1990 is impressive.

The Elbe River is often shallow, so cruise lines sailing the Elbe use smaller ships with a shallower draft for these cruises. 

The Seine River: France

TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre

Almost all Seine River  cruises sail roundtrip from Paris, heading downstream and north towards Le Havre and Honfleur, where it enters the English Channel. The 483-mile river has 34 locks, but 29 are upstream from Paris.  Paris is a beautiful city and a perfect place to begin a French river cruise vacation.

Ports of call visited between Paris and the sea might include Vernon, Les Andelys, Conflans, and Mantes-la-Jolie.  Monet's famous  Giverny garden is near Vernon. A highlight for many travelers is an all-day excursion to the Normandy beaches of World War II .

Many river ships turn around near Rouen , which is 75 miles from the sea and navigable by ocean-going ships.  Others go 27 miles further downstream to Caudebec-en-Caux. Most cruise lines spend one or two nights in one of these two cities, which allows their guests to have a day on the Normandy beaches and to explore the charming coastal town of Honfleur. 

The Rhone River: France

France also has river cruises in the southern part of the country. One of these is a Rhone River cruise in the Provence region between Lyon and Arles or Avignon .  The 500-mile Rhone River has 13 locks, and 12 of these are between Lyon and where the Rhone empties into the Mediterranean Sea.  The source of the Rhone River is the Rhone Glacier in Switzerland. 

Some Rhone River cruise tours begin with a few days at a hotel in Paris and then include a transfer to Lyon to begin their cruise. It's not a surprise that many of the highlights of one of these cruises include food or drink. Wine and cheeses abound, and a tour of the Valrhona chocolate factory in Tournon is an unforgettable experience for all chocolate lovers. History buffs will love Avignon and its importance to the Catholic Church, and they'll also love exploring the walled-city of Viviers and the Roman Pont du Gard near Avignon.

Most river cruise lines have combination tours that include Rhone River cruises along with one on the Saone, Seine, or Bordeaux region of France. Extensions to Paris, Nice, or other cities in Provence or the French Riviera are also easily done. 

The Saone River: France

The 300-mile long Saone River is a tributary of the Rhone River, merging in Lyon. Since river ships can only sail about 80 miles upstream from Lyon through Macon up to Chalon-sur-Saone, cruises usually include time on the Rhone River also. Although the Saone has 51 locks, only 3 are impacted by river cruises.

Macon is a city in the south Burgundy region of France, so it has some fine wines and opportunities to taste them. This ancient city dates back to 200 BC, and the town also has several museums and historic attractions. Many of the interesting parts of the old city are on the Saone River. 

Chalon-sur-Saone  is also in Burgundy, and many local activities revolve around food and wine. 

Bordeaux Waterways: France

The fourth region of France with river cruises is Bordeaux , which is southwest of Paris. Ships explore the Bordeaux region on three rivers—the Dordogne, Garonne, and Gironde. The city of Bordeaux is the heart of the cruise, which primarily showcases the superb wines of the region.

These three rivers are not as scenic as those in other parts of Europe, primarily because they are subject to huge fluctuations with the tides (especially the Gironde). In addition, the land is very flat. The vineyards offer some beauty, but many cannot be seen from the rivers.

Some ocean ships can sail from the Atlantic Ocean up to the city of Bordeaux , but a bridge prevents them from going further. Bordeaux is a gorgeous French city and is fun to explore, even for those who don't like wine.

In addition to the city of Bordeaux, ports of call might include Cadillac, Libourne, Pauillac, Saint Emilion, and Blaye. Seeing the many famous vineyards  and wine cellars near Pauillac and Saint Emilion is memorable for all who love wine and historic cities. Travelers will have their friends talking if they take a selfie front of a Saint Emilion shop that sells bottles of wine for thousands of dollars each.

Some cruise lines even offer an optional tour to the city of Cognac, where guests have the opportunity to blend their own. Another fun activity is to go truffle hunting with a farmer and his dog (pigs aren't used anymore). 

The Douro River: Portugal and Spain

Until a few years ago, even experienced travelers did not know about the Douro River as a cruise destination . This 557-mile long river starts in Spain, but most of its navigable waters are in Portugal, and the river flows into the Atlantic Ocean at Porto. The Douro River has 15 dams that generate hydroelectric power, but only five are on the navigable section, and all of these also have locks to enable ships to go up and down the river. Because of its rapids, the Douro was once very dangerous for ships to travel, but it has always been used to transport valuable goods downstream. The first valuable was gold mined in the mountains, but wine eventually replaced the gold.

The Douro River valley is spectacular as the river winds its way down the mountains toward the sea. Once ships leave Porto and sail upriver, the scenery changes rapidly as the river narrows and cliffs are steeper. Only a few small towns are visible, although vineyards fill the slopes. The region is settled, but there is not much to be seen by just walking from the ship. Buses are needed to take guests sightseeing and to visit the historical and cultural sites. This is an amazing river cruise destination, so don't let the bus time scare you.

Ships sail up the Douro from Porto to Spain, turn around, and sail back down. They are not allowed to sail at night, but different shore excursions are offered upstream and downstream, so it doesn't seem repetitive. 

Douro River ships are specifically built to sail this river and are smaller since they need to navigate the sharp turns in the river and the smaller locks. Some river cruise lines feature 7-day cruise-only vacations, embarking and disembarking their ships in Porto.  Others have cruise tours that include two or three nights in Lisbon, a transfer to Porto, and then a 7-day cruise. 

The Volga River and Other Russian Waterways

A cruise on Russian rivers and waterways between St. Petersburg and Moscow is the best way to see parts of Russia on a cruise. Many will travel to St. Petersburg on a Baltic cruise and are amazed at the beauty and fascinated by the history and culture of this great city. Some of these travelers want to learn more about Russia, and this river cruise itinerary fits the bill.

The Volga River, which is Europe's longest, is the major river on this cruise. Its source is in central Russia and it empties into the Caspian Sea. Ships sailing from St. Petersburg embark on the Neva River, sail through Lake Ladoga and then onto the Svir River, which joins with the Volga-Baltic Waterway before entering the Volga River. The Volga system features many reservoirs, so often ship passengers feel they are on an ocean rather than a river. The last body of water is the Moscow Canal, but thanks to the lock system, Moscow is connected with the Baltic Sea at St. Petersburg and the cities on the Volga downstream to the Caspian Sea. 

This cruise is usually 12-13 days and includes overnights (or more) in both St. Petersburg and Moscow . Other ports of call include small towns on the Svir River that are perfect for shopping, trying different kinds of vodka, or experiencing a Russian banya (sauna and bath house). Ships also stop at Kizhi Island to see traditional wooden homes and churches, and at historic towns down the Volga River like Yaroslavl and Uglich that provide a look at the culture and life outside of the major cities. 

The tour guides on this river cruise recognize that travelers are very interested about their lives in Russia, so they feature many lectures and free-flowing discussions on different topics while the ship is sailing. Since the cruise is only in one country, the entire focus can be on Russian food, drink, clothing, schools, churches, politics, and everyday life.  And, since Moscow is far inland, it's an unexpected treat to visit on a cruise. 

The Dnieper River: Ukraine

The 1,333-mile Dnieper River is Europe's fourth longest and sails from Russia through Belarus and Ukraine before flowing into the Black Sea. It has many hydroelectric dams and is very important to the Ukraine economy. 

Cruises sail between Kiev and Odessa, so the entire cruise is in the Ukraine. These two cities are so important over half of an 11-day cruise is spent there. Kiev is the capital of Ukraine and is one of Europe's oldest cities, offering many historic sites and a major cathedral. ​Odessa sits on the northern shore of the Black Sea, not far from where the Dnieper River enters the Sea. Unlike Kiev, Odessa was not founded until the 18th century by Russian Empress Catherine the Great.Today, it is a transportation hub and its beaches attract many tourists.  

Other Dnieper River ports visited on the cruise are Kremenchug, Dnipro, and Zaporozhye, which is the ancestral home of the Cossacks. It's not surprising that Cossack horsemen put on a show similar to the one in Puszta , Hungary since Cossacks settled both regions.

Due to the political unrest in the Ukraine, many river cruise lines have postponed running their ships on the Dnieper River. Viking River Cruises is the only major river cruise line that caters to English-speaking guests that currently has Dnieper cruises scheduled.

Spring Tulip and Windmill Cruises: Netherlands and Belgium

A river cruise in the Netherlands and Belgium encompasses parts of well-known rivers like the Rhine and lesser-known rivers such as the Issel, Nedderrijn, and Schelde (or Scheldt). Some of the cruises are also on waterways such as the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal or Ijssel Lake. 

A spring tulip time cruise in the Netherlands and Belgium is a marvelous cruise for flower lovers, but also for those who appreciate quiet villages, windmills, and history. Travelers fascinated by the power of water will enjoy learning about how the Dutch have reclaimed much of their land from the sea and also how they keep the sea from flooding that precious land. The waterways of the Netherlands and Belgium have about 40 locks, all of which are important for flood control rather than height differences. (Don't worry, river cruises don't pass through all of them.)

Many of these cruises are roundtrip from Amsterdam , and a day touring this famous city is often included in the tour before the ship sails. 

The best time to see the tulip fields and world-famous Keukenhof Gardens is from late March to mid-May, so river cruise lines operate at full strength during this time. Most of the ships that sail the waterways of the Netherlands are 7 or 8 days long, while those that sail around the Netherlands and Belgium are usually 10-14 days. 

A few cruise lines also sail the Netherlands and Belgium in the fall months, but you won't see any tulips blooming in the fields at that time of year. 

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Passengers angry after Norwegian Cruise Line removed the Antarctica stop at last minute

Passengers angered after 14-day itinery was changed for ‘operational reasons’, article bookmarked.

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Passengers on a Norwegian Cruise Line Star Ship are majorly upset over a last-minute change to their itinerary.

Ticketed guests were told they would be travelling to South America and Antarctica . But it wasn’t until after they boarded the boat that they realised there had been a slight change of plans – their trip would only cover destinations in South America. One infuriated passenger took to TikTok to express her frustrations.

“Never book a cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line,” the account @ruinedvacation proclaimed in their 9 February video. “Our ship is not going to Antarctica. They secretly changed the name of this cruise yesterday on the app.”

The woman, who created her social media account to post about this situation, inserted a photo of the cruise title in the app. The first screenshot read: “14-Night Antarctica and South America.” The updated page read: “14-Day South America Round Trip Buenos Aires: Argentina & Chile”.

“According to customer service on the ship, this decision was made by head office in Miami before we departed, and it was for ‘operational reasons,’” the woman continued. “They refuse to explain what those operational reasons are. We know it’s not weather. So, what is the reason?”

Ultimately, the passenger was told the ship was under a strict “go slow order” which is why they had to cut Antarctica from the schedule.

“Is it saving fuel costs? Is it something with the ship, that it can’t handle the long journey? We don’t know,” she went on to say, noting how many passengers felt “scammed”.

The TikToker claimed that other bothered individuals have been gathering to try and find answers in the foyer of the ship. Yet, customer service was “refusing” to address their concerns and questions.

“They’ve sent a security officer out to calm us down, but we just refuse to be told, ‘sorry, we’re not going, and we’re not going to give you reasons’.” she said.

According to an NZ Herald report , passengers were notified of the trip change in a message blast. They were told that the cruise line tries to keep to the original itineraries as much as possible, but in certain cases, they’re forced to adjust.

“While we try to maintain original itineraries as much as possible, unfortunately, at times modifications are made to optimise the itinerary or to accommodate certain circumstances,” the message read. “As such, in order to enhance the guest experience, the itinerary has been revised.”

In addition to the discourse on the ship, guests have been discussing the situation in the “Norwegian Star South America & Antarctica” Facebook group, adding how they were especially “p***ed off”.

The Independent has contacted the TikToker and Norwegian Cruise Line for comments.

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  • News for Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Cruise Line

Demystifying Norwegian Cruise Line: Insights From 4 Analyst Reviews

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In the preceding three months, 4 analysts have released ratings for Norwegian Cruise Line (NYSE:NCLH), presenting a wide array of perspectives from bullish to bearish.

The following table encapsulates their recent ratings, offering a glimpse into the evolving sentiments over the past 30 days and comparing them to the preceding months.

Analysts have recently evaluated Norwegian Cruise Line and provided 12-month price targets. The average target is $21.75, accompanied by a high estimate of $32.00 and a low estimate of $17.00. This upward trend is apparent, with the current average reflecting a 3.57% increase from the previous average price target of $21.00.

price target chart

Understanding Analyst Ratings: A Comprehensive Breakdown

The standing of Norwegian Cruise Line among financial experts becomes clear with a thorough analysis of recent analyst actions. The summary below outlines key analysts, their recent evaluations, and adjustments to ratings and price targets.

Key Insights:

  • Action Taken: In response to dynamic market conditions and company performance, analysts update their recommendations. Whether they 'Maintain', 'Raise', or 'Lower' their stance, it signifies their reaction to recent developments related to Norwegian Cruise Line. This insight gives a snapshot of analysts' perspectives on the current state of the company.
  • Rating: Analysts assign qualitative assessments to stocks, ranging from 'Outperform' to 'Underperform'. These ratings convey the analysts' expectations for the relative performance of Norwegian Cruise Line compared to the broader market.
  • Price Targets: Understanding forecasts, analysts offer estimates for Norwegian Cruise Line's future value. Examining the current and prior targets provides insight into analysts' changing expectations.

To gain a panoramic view of Norwegian Cruise Line's market performance, explore these analyst evaluations alongside essential financial indicators. Stay informed and make judicious decisions using our Ratings Table.

Stay up to date on Norwegian Cruise Line analyst ratings.

Get to Know Norwegian Cruise Line Better

Norwegian Cruise Line is the world's third-largest cruise company by berths (at more than 66,000), operating 31 ships across three brands (Norwegian, Oceania, and Regent Seven Seas), offering both freestyle and luxury cruising. The company had redeployed its entire fleet as of May 2022. With six passenger vessels on order among its brands through 2028 (representing 16,500 incremental berths), Norwegian is increasing capacity faster than its peers, expanding its brand globally. Norwegian sails to around 700 global destinations.

Key Indicators: Norwegian Cruise Line's Financial Health

Market Capitalization Analysis: The company exhibits a lower market capitalization profile, positioning itself below industry averages. This suggests a smaller scale relative to peers.

Revenue Growth: Norwegian Cruise Line displayed positive results in 3 months. As of 30 September, 2023, the company achieved a solid revenue growth rate of approximately 56.98% . This indicates a notable increase in the company's top-line earnings. As compared to its peers, the company achieved a growth rate higher than the average among peers in Consumer Discretionary sector.

Net Margin: The company's net margin is below industry benchmarks, signaling potential difficulties in achieving strong profitability. With a net margin of 13.64%, the company may need to address challenges in effective cost control.

Return on Equity (ROE): Norwegian Cruise Line's financial strength is reflected in its exceptional ROE, which exceeds industry averages. With a remarkable ROE of 152.4%, the company showcases efficient use of equity capital and strong financial health.

Return on Assets (ROA): Norwegian Cruise Line's ROA is below industry averages, indicating potential challenges in efficiently utilizing assets. With an ROA of 1.83%, the company may face hurdles in achieving optimal financial returns.

Debt Management: With a high debt-to-equity ratio of 31.63 , Norwegian Cruise Line faces challenges in effectively managing its debt levels, indicating potential financial strain.

What Are Analyst Ratings?

Experts in banking and financial systems, analysts specialize in reporting for specific stocks or defined sectors. Their comprehensive research involves attending company conference calls and meetings, analyzing financial statements, and engaging with insiders to generate what are known as analyst ratings for stocks. Typically, analysts assess and rate each stock once per quarter.

Analysts may enhance their evaluations by incorporating forecasts for metrics like growth estimates, earnings, and revenue, delivering additional guidance to investors. It is vital to acknowledge that, although experts in stocks and sectors, analysts are human and express their opinions when providing insights.

This article was generated by Benzinga's automated content engine and reviewed by an editor.

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Stock Market News: S&P 500 Tops 5,000

The dow jones industrial average was lower, while the nasdaq composite gained..

Last Updated: 

Cruise Stocks Are Having a Bad Day–and 2024

Karishma Vanjani

Looking at the S&P 500 index, it’s clear cruise stocks aren’t doing well.

Shares of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings were down 5.6% on Friday afternoon, while Royal Caribbean Cruises stock was off 3.8% and Carnival Corporation shares were down 3.1%. The S&P 500, on the other hand, was up 0.5%.

It’s been a rough 2024 so far for the cruise industry. Norwegian’s stock is down 13% this year, while Royal Caribbean has fallen 7% and Carnival is down 15%.

Investors are taking some profits off the table, after cruise stocks experienced a blockbuster 2023. Cruise companies saw healthy occupancy levels after travelers came back in droves , making up for the time lost during the pandemic. Royal Caribbean and Carnival were among the top 10 performers of the S&P 500 in 2023, gaining 162% and 130%, respectively. Norwegian’s stock climbed 64% last year.

S&P 500


Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.


Royal Caribbean Group


Carnival Corp.


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