Especially popular in winter for Christmas market-themed cruises, itineraries to Northern Europe are fantastic for those looking for an extended city break with no-fly cruises from a number of UK ports such as Southampton and Tilbury. Discover the amazing culture, history and cuisine of Amsterdam and Bruges or Saint Petersburg, Tallinn, and Riga in the Baltic, and Scandinavian delights in Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm, as well as the awe-inspiring natural wonder of the Norwegian Fjords. Nature-lovers will also love Iceland and the Faroe Islands or even head to the Arctic Circle at Stavanger to take in the phenomena of the Northern Lights.
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Northern Europe cruises can range from mini-cruises to the Christmas markets in November and December to longer itineraries that take in the best of the Baltic or Norway and the Fjords. Cruising to some of Europe's most fascinating cities, with their cobbled streets, authentic markets and interesting history, Northern Europe cruises take you to both hidden gems and must-see sights along the way.
If you're looking to make your cruise as simple as possible, there are no fly cruises available from Southampton and Dover or alternatively, fly cruises from Amsterdam and Copenhagen are also a great way to kickstart your holiday. From short breaks to week long itineraries, there is a cruise to suit your needs.
If you're looking for as many daylight hours as possible and warm, sunny weather, the best time for a cruise is between May and September, with the best weather being in July and August. However, the high season is from June to August due to school holidays, so if you'd like to avoid the crowds and find more cheap cruises to Northern Europe, the beginning and end of the season still offers a great cruise experience.
Alternatively, if you're willing to brave the cold, November and December are also great times to cruise the Christmas markets of Northern Europe, guaranteed to get you into the festive mood with mulled wine, hot chocolate and artisan crafts galore. Meanwhile, late August to mid-April are the best time to see the Northern Lights on an Iceland cruise.
In the summer you can enjoy the lush green surroundings of the Kiel Canal, the vibrant cafe culture of Amsterdam and charming cobbled streets and Trappist beers of Bruges. In the winter there are fabulous Christmas markets offering all varieties of boutique shopping, hand-made crafts and warming glühwein to enjoy. Unlike the faster-paced, activity filled Mediterranean and Caribbean cruises, Northern Europe cruises are more about relaxing while enjoying the local culture, museums and delicacies.
Cruises to Holland are a fantastic way of visiting the wonderful cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The country may be known for its clogs, tulips and canals, but it also offers one of Europe's most cultured cities: Amsterdam. From the maritime museum and Anne Frank's house to the diamond factory tours and charming cobbled streets, you'll want to go back as you'll struggle to make the most of the city in a day!
A Northern Europe cruise to Germany gives you the opportunity to visit Hamburg, the seventh largest city and the third largest port in Europe, and the historic Kiel Canal. The Kiel Canal is a man-made canal running from Brunsbüttel to Kiel-Holtenau and at almost 100km in length, the journey saves around 250 nautical miles as you don't have to sail around the Jutland Peninsula. In addition, Hamburg is one of Germany's most popular and fastest growing tourist destinations and boasts an array of museums, parks and places of interest.
Cruises to Bruges take you to one of Europe's most charming cities. The romantic, cobbled streets, boutique shopping and vast selection of famous Trappist beers all add to the quaint atmosphere and relaxing pace of the city. In the summer you can relax along the canal side in the serene surroundings and in winter the hustle and bustle of the markets make for a fascinating visit.