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Tour Europe by Ship

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Costa Victoria in Dubrovnik

ABOVE: Costa Victoria cruises past the medieval city walls of Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Port-intensive cruising

To tour Europe by ship, you'll want to book a "port-intensive" cruise that offers frequent opportunities for shore excursions. A good example would be our Costa Magica Western Mediterranean Cruise from Rome's port of Civitavecchia. The seven-night itinerary had only one "sea day"; the other days were spent visiting ports in Spain, France, and Italy.

Typically, a port-intensive cruise is designed so that ports are visited during the day and the ship sails for its next destination in the late afternoon or evening. Sometimes, however, the ship may stay overnight in a port: On many cruises to or from Venice, Italy, ships spend the first or last night in Venice. This gives passengers and crew more time for sightseeing and shopping.

Of course, if you're like us, you may prefer cruises with more sea days. Should that be the case, we recommend transatlantic "repositioning" cruises (which typically include many sea days) or longer European itineraries. For example, roundtrip Mediterranean cruises from Southampton normally require a day or two of cruising between England and the Mediterranean in each direction, and cruises from Continental Europe to Spitsbergen, the Norwegian fjords, or Iceland nearly always include several sea days.

Next page: A typical cruise day

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Click or tap photos for cruise reviews:

Venice for Cruisers
Getting to or from your ship, Venice hotels for cruisers, the Marittima and San Basilio piers, and more.

Civitavecchia image

Rome for Cruisers
Trains to and from the port, plus a 35-page Civitavecchia city and port guide.


From Durant and Cheryl Imboden:

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