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Your Best European Cruise Lines

Planning Your European Vacation

Step Five - Water Vacations in Europe

European cruise companies offer you lots of choices...so ask yourself what a water vacation in Europe means to you.

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  • Do you prefer a slow barge trip or a faster river cruise?
  • Do you want gourmet food, regular food or picnics?
  • Do you like to walk and bike along the cow path on a barge trip?
  • Do you want to sightsee in European cities on river and big ship cruises?
  • Do you want to sail in your own boat with a crew or bareboat?
  • Do you want to cruise on a small ship or gullet in the Greek and Turkish waters?
  • Do you like to spend a week on a big cruise ship in the Mediterranean or Baltic?

Yes, that’s all possible but not on every type cruise.

Click the European cruises below to get the information you need before booking your vacation.

  • European River cruises

    are very popular because they're like an escorted European tour…seeing different cities and areas…on a 100-150 passenger ship instead of by coach. One of the major differences is that you only have to pack and unpack once.

    Many European cruise lines now offer river cruises…learn which one is best for you…medium-priced, first class or deluxe.

    Click the link below for the best website for River Cruise Tips and comparisons of cruise companies and ships.

    More European River Cruise information for you.

  • Barge cruises

    are usually much smaller...from 4 to 50 passengers - most in the 8 – 24 passenger range. You’ll have time to walk, bike, read, relax…and enjoy two-to-three-hour lunches and dinners...lots of gourmet food and wine, and especially in France, cheeses.

    Click the link below for the best website for Barge Cruise Tips and comparisons of barges.

    Unlike river cruises, sightseeing is minimal. Barge cruises are more expensive than river cruises.

    More European Barge Cruise information for you

  • Self-drive boating or chartering your own river boat

    is like being on a barge cruise usually with 4 to 10 people...it can be just your family and friends.

    The main difference…you have to pilot the boat and do your own cooking. However, I know from personal experience that you’ll often treat yourself to meals at waterside pubs and other cozy restaurants.

    The cost is much lower than a barge cruise.

    More Self-Drive Boating / Houseboat information for you.

  • Small ship cruises

    come in two sizes. The motor sailers, sailing yachts and motor yachts sail in Greek waters, while the smaller gullets sail in Turkish waters.

    Larger ships, still relatively small compared to the big cruise ships, offer the popular three-, four- and seven-day Greek Island cruises…Crete, Rhodes and Santorini…with a 24-hour stop in exciting Istanbul on the one-week sailings. The choice is yours!

    More Small Ship Cruise information for you

  • Sailing and Yachting vacations

    can be with or without a crew...unlike the regularly scheduled small ship cruises listed above.

    If you’re not sure you need a crew or want to do it bareboat, you can always try one of the semi-escorted flotilla sailing trips in the Greek waters first.

    More Sailing and Yachting information for you

  • The Biggies…

    If you want the luxurious trimmings of big ship cruises in the Mediterranean and Baltic Sea, you’ll usually travel on ships operated by the larger American companies, Italy’s Costa Cruises (owned by an American company) or a few ships operated by European operators.

    Also note the reposition cruises…one-way trans Atlantic crossings that you can combine with a European cruise. Or you can just take the crossing.

    More Big Ship European Cruise information for you

    Mediterranean Cruises Guide with many helpful tips (Article from the Telegraph Media Group)

But that’s not all…...

There are several other European cruise lines such as the Norwegian Coastal Steamers, Adriatic cruises, and Northern European cruises that sail up to Spitsbergen and Iceland. Find them for each country in the European Travel Resource Center.

AND, do not miss the one-night mini-cruises operated as European ferry services listed under Getting Around Europe.

No matter what European cruise lines you choose, you’ll have a great time. Water vacations are different…and you have many choices.

It’s important, of course, to find the best cruise for you before you make a definite booking.

This European Travel Resource Center makes planning your cruise vacation a lot simpler....it starts you off on the right foot!

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