WITH Australians itching to get overseas and start exploring the world, seeing Europe on a cruise is the perfect way to safely pack in multiple destinations to your next adventure, discovers Myles Stedman.
Australians are no strangers to travel in Europe, with the continent one of the main destinations for travellers from Oz in 2019.
When it comes to options for exploring the continent, planes and trains often top the list, but come with multiple pain points (who wants to queue in an airport), whereas a cruise around Europe can be a great way to see everything you want to easily.
That said, when it comes to cruising in Europe, it’s important to be discerning about the cruise line you choose to sail with. Operators, like Celebrity Cruises, who offer port-intensive itineraries are perfect, allowing you more time to explore the destinations you want to see.
For travellers wanting to experience the quintessential trio of European summer destinations — Italy, France and Spain — Celebrity Cruises’ seven-night itinerary from Rome to Barcelona certainly hits the spot, immersing you in the destinations both on board the ship and ashore.
Travellers will get the chance to see Portofino, Florence, Ajaccio, Cannes, and Palma, and as with all European cruises with Celebrity, excursions play a big part in the itinerary.
While the ship visits the paradise of Mallorca, guests can throw themselves into the culture of the island and accompany one of the ship’s chefs as they journey into the heart of Palma, visiting the famous Mercat de l’Olivar, followed by a stroll to Es Rebost Restaurante to savour local sausages and cheeses.
After sampling all the delicious produce ashore, guests will then meet back on the ship for a tour of the galley, followed by an intimate chef-hosted dinner featuring some of the flavours and ingredients they already spotted and sampled in Palma.
If island-hopping in Greece has been what you’ve been dreaming of during the cold months of lockdown over the past two years, Celebrity Cruises’s 10-night Greek Islands and Malta cruise might just be what you’ve been waiting for.
Valletta, Santorini and Mykonos are all highlights, as are the calls into Olympia where you can explore the home of the original Olympic Games, Rhodes and Athens.
In Santorini, make sure you embark on the Sailing at the Caldera excursion, which takes you to discover the island’s hidden marvels and stunning scenery onboard a unique catamaran. Soak up the sun as you take in the caldera or Volcano Island and as you venture to the private bay of Saint Nikolas, fill up on delicious BBQ pork, chicken or souvlaki and wander the streets of the island’s capital, Fira.
And don’t worry about the ship leaving without you. In fact, Celebrity Cruises allows you to maximise your time in port, with the ship staying late in Mykonos, Santorini and Valletta, allowing guests to experience more of these incredible destinations.
If cooler climes are what you’re looking for on your European sojourn, cruising Norway’s coast is a perfect way to take in the incredible scenery this area has to offer, as well as visiting charming and varied ports including Molde, Alesund, Haugesund, and Stavanger.
The cruise sets sail from and finishes in Amsterdam and Celebrity Cruises offers pre-departure shore tours including the Accessible Amsterdam and Van Gogh trip which takes travellers through Dam Square, the De Wallen, Nieuwmarkt, and the spectacular Van Gogh Museum.
Apart from the extra time Celebrity Cruises offers in port, with its destination-immersive itineraries, next year Celebrity Cruises will be sailing its three Edge class ships in Europe, including the two newest builds, the recently debuted Celebrity Apex, and the upcoming Celebrity Beyond, as well as the class’s eponymous ship, Celebrity Edge.
These three vessels are the newest to join the Celebrity fleet, and have been uniquely designed to blur the lines between guests, the sea and the world beyond, with spaces that bring the outside in, and expanded open-air venues.
On board Celebrity Beyond, the popular Rooftop Garden has been redesigned to offer more spaces for guests, while the Sunset Bar is now two storeys.
The Edge class ships all feature the revolutionary Magic Carpet, the world’s first cantilevered floating platform 13 storeys above the sea, which offers guests breathtaking views, as well as a full bar and space for live music performances.
On board Celebrity Apex, there is a huge variety of accommodation, with the ship offering the widest range of staterooms in the Celebrity fleet. Apex’s Infinite Verandas on its Edge Staterooms allow guests to bring the outside in with a touch of a button.
Or why not relax in the incredible venue, Eden, as you sail between European destinations. Eden has more outward-facing glass than any other dining venue at sea, and travellers can indulge at the caf, restaurant, or bar with three levels of cosy nooks, lounge seating, and lively entertainment as well.
All in all, the Edge class ships allow you the perfect way to experience Europe, bringing the outside in when you’re on board, and allowing you more time to explore the unique destinations the cruise visits.
To find out more about Celebrity Cruises’ 2022 European sailings click here.