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What Is The Best Time To Cruise In Europe

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What Is The Best Time Of Year For A European River Cruise

European River Cruise Pros and Cons: Should You Do One?

This can be a very tricky question to answer.; And to be frank, even the most experienced travelers are going to be disappointed from time to time.

Sure, there are experts out there , but the truth of the matter is: specific weather patterns are very difficult to predict six to twelve months out.

Our Sad Story

Carol and I tend to like to travel to Europe in the shoulder seasons .; The weather is generally cooler, the massive summer crowds gone, and you can often get more bang for your buck.

A while back, Carol and I flew off to the south of France for a long-awaited river cruise with our friends at Viking River Cruises. As we landed in London to swap planes and head to Marseilles, we got an email from Viking telling us that our river cruise was going to be disrupted by high water levels.; You can read the whole story by .

When we got to our starting point in Avignon, Viking offered their clients the option of leaving the sailing with a refund of the unused portion of their cruise, or continue on with the hopes of lower water levels in the coming days.; We opted to stay, and as it turned out, we never got to sail and wound up using our cruise ship as a hotel with luxury coach excursions to and from our ship each day.; But, at the end of this experience, even though we did get to see nearly all of our desired locations, Viking still offered their guests a 50% discount off of a future sailing.; Very generous, indeed.; You can read about that by .

What Weather Do You Enjoy

Next, consider the type of weather you enjoy the most, so youre comfortable as you explore different sites. A Mediterranean climate typically ranges between 30 F and 100 F, with hot, dry summers and wet, mild winters. Youll also want to think about rain and how much youre willing to tolerate to avoid crowds. For example, November is the wettest month in Rome, and July is the driest. July is also during the peak tourist season in Rome. So, ask yourself whats more important avoiding rain or avoiding crowds?

Overall, many Mediterranean destinations rarely see extreme temperatures on either end of the spectrum, but the weather is still something youll want to consider. If you feel like you need sunny, warm weather to enjoy your cruise to the fullest, you may want to prioritize the weather when planning your trip. If you dont mind rain or look forward to slipping into a cozy sweater when temperatures drop, youll have more options to escape the crowds.

When To Book Early

If you have your sights set on a high-demand sailing a new ship or school holiday dates the best time to book a cruise will be as soon as fares are released. This is the only way to guarantee a spot .

Cruise Critic explains that many popular sailings offer their best rates when fares first go on sale and then increase prices as the ship fills up. This rule is especially true for luxury itineraries, Disney cruises, and new cruise ships.

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Best Time To Cruise Australia & New Zealand

Most cruise travelers choose to visit Australia and New Zealand between November and March. Because the seasons are reversed from what Americans are used to, these months coincide with holiday vacations and bring the best weather for cruising this wonderful and diverse;part of the world.

Australia is ideal at the beginning of the year.

The ideal period to travel “down under” is;between early February and mid-March, which is also the warmest time of the year in this region. New Zealands climate is generally temperate, but tends to vary more than Australia’s, so its recommended to travel with layers no matter when you visit.

Insider Tip: From a value standpoint, you may want to plan your Australian adventure in October, November or April, as the weather is relatively warm during these months and there is a greater possibility of finding discounted fares.

When Is The Best Time To Find Special Offers To The Mediterranean

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Similar to those trying to avoid crowds, the best time to sail to the Mediterranean for cost savings is during the shoulder seasons , when there is a slightly higher chance of rain and cooler weather.

If youre looking for a spontaneous getaway, look for last-minute cruises to the Mediterranean. This approach can be risky if you have your heart set on a particular date, itinerary, or stateroom category, which may sell out in advance.

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Other Times To Travel

Thats not to say northern Europe is any less extraordinary at other times of the year. There are also many highlights of visiting this fascinating, beautiful region in the summer, autumn and winter.

  • Summer Expect warm and sunny days in northern Europe during the summer months, with temperatures regularly reaching the high twenties and early thirties. An ideal time for enjoying the very best of alfresco living, you can look forward to fine dining in the open-air, sun-seeking in local parks and unforgettable Scenic Enrich and Scenic Freechoice encounters.
  • Autumn Arguably the prettiest time of year to enjoy a river cruise, autumn brings a new level of seasonal beauty to northern Europe. There are a few finer sights than the Black Forest in all its autumnal majesty, while local food in Paris is elevated with the arrival of harvest produce.
  • Winter The arrival of winter can only mean one thing: Christmas is in the air. Its undeniable what a magical time of year December is for enjoying a river cruise in northern Europe, with destinations such as Nuremberg, Würzburg and Regensburg transformed by the approaching festive season. Learn more about our special Christmas market river cruises.

Best Time Of Year To Cruise The Polar Regions

ArcticThe main season for Arctic cruises is summer, as most ships head north into the “The Land of the Midnight Sun” from May to September. The “24-hour daylight” in the Arctic Circle means sailings tend to be shorter and stay in the south of the region, as the winter ice is still melting. July and August is when the Arctic’s flora comes into full bloom and the warmer temperatures make for ideal wildlife watching as Arctic birds, polar bears, walruses, seals and whales are actively hunting and raising their young.

Insider Tip: Smaller expedition ships use the warmer months of July and August to push even farther north, in some cases to the North Pole and through the Northwest Passage.

Despite freezing temperatures and days filled with darkness during the winter months, more and more people are taking Arctic cruises from October through April mainly due to Aurora Borealis. The chance to experience the natural spectacle of the Northern Lights in Norway, Iceland and throughout the Arctic Circle have gained in popularity and made expedition cruises to the Arctic a year-round adventure.

Insider Tip: November voyages tend to be colder and wildlife may be less visible as the polar ice is still breaking up. Access to some areas may be limited, but this time also offer the most impressive icescapes, most pristine snow and the most stunning scenery of the year.

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Best Months To Cruise The Mediterranean

The Mediterranean is an appealing region of about 20 countries in Southern Europe and North Africa that border the Mediterranean Sea. Its mix of cultural and religious sites, big cities and quiet islands make it an ideal itinerary for a cruise.

The Med, as it’s known, is a year-round destination, with seasonal wine festivals and bustling holiday markets. What time of year you’re looking to sail depends on if you want to soak up the coastal sun or save a little money and avoid the crowds in the process.

The best month to cruise the Mediterranean depends on what you’re looking for in a vacation. We took a look at factors like weather and sea conditions, festivals and, of course, pricing, to determine which travel dates are right for you.

Whens The Best Time To Visit Mediterranean Beaches

6 Best European River Cruise Lines. Which One Is Right For You?

If you are all about discovering the best beaches in the Mediterranean, youll want to book your cruise when the weathers hot and the sunshine endless.

The best time to book a cruise for perfectly warm, sunny days include the months of July and August. However, keep in mind that this is one of the more crowded times of year to visit. That being said, if youre spending your days in port lounging on a beach chair next to gorgeous turquoise water, were guessing you wont really care.

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Destinations And Ships For Any Time Of The Year

One of the most popular destinations to cruise year-round is the Canary Islands. The subtropical climate ensures comfortable temperatures throughout the year. Its not without reason that the islands are nicknamed The Land of Eternal Spring.

Some cruise lines also sail the Mediterranean year-round, although the number of ships in southern Europe drops drastically from November to March as sunny weather cant be guaranteed. By sailing in the off-season, however, you can be sure to get the best deals on Mediterranean cruises!

Hawaii is another great destination that you can travel to the whole year round. The temperature is always around 25-29 degrees Celsius and the water is permanently warm. Just keep in mind that the rainy season runs from December to March and is particularly noticeable in the northeast.

Last but not least, some ships are more suitable to year-round cruising than others. The MSC Meraviglia, the AIDAprima, and the AIDAperla all have covered promenades, decks, and pools, meaning these can be great ships for cooler climates as well.

Well help you to book your perfect cruise!

When To Take A Europe River Cruise

As you can imagine, a hefty winter snowfall in the Alps compounded by a rainy Spring can easily cause the Rhine, Main and Danube to overflow their banks. If youre already underway and see trees and furniture floating past your river ship, its a good sign that flooding has begun. April, May and June are the mostly likely months for flooding.

Take a look at the flood-prone areas

The same Spring floods or summer droughts can affect the rivers of France, too. A late Spring thaw and heavy rains can cause the bridges along the Rhône and Saône to be impassible.

Smaller rivers like the Elbe and Mosel in northern Europe are affected more in the late autumn when, if after a hot and dry summer, water levels become too low and ships could scrape bottom. This could happen on the Rhine as well, but its not something to worry about year to year as it is on the Elbe.

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Understanding When And Why Cruise Prices Drop

Wave season may be a popular time to find cruise deals, but not every cruise company releases their best deals and promotions during that period. Sales are often based on what is and isnt selling. If a cruise is filling up quickly, the company has no reason to release a sale to entice customers. But if a cruises departure date is fast approaching and the ship is only half booked, the prices will drop and the free add-ons will increase resulting in some happy customers.

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May Is A Good Month To Travel In Europe But Occasionally Gets Very Busy

For most destinations, May is a good month to travel. Temperatures are increasing rapidly and rain clouds stay away. Although there are some bad weather days, the average temperature is rising each week. The beginning of the month can be busy as some public holidays and sporadic school vacations allow Europeans to travel. Other holidays that will make Europe feel busy are Pentecost and Ascension.;;

Large European cities:;It can be busy around public holidays but overall, May is a good month to visit larger European cities in 2020 with relatively good weather and small crowds.;Keep an eye on religious holidays as these can make these destinations feel very crowded.;Alps:;Spring brings small crowds but also almost nothing to do in the mountains. Hiking season is starting in the region.;;Mediterranean: depends on the destination. Some will be busier than other: for;example;Croatian coastal areas are relatively quiet while Italian destinations can already be very busy. The weather in May is already great with high average temperatures and not so many wet rainy days.;Nordics & Baltics:;Spring time is still relatively cold but there are hardly other tourists traveling to the North of Europe. Only in the larger cities can it be relatively busy.;Eastern Europe:;May is a good month to travel to Eastern Europe. The weather is improving quickly while the larger tourist crowds are not yet finding their way in the east.;;

When Is The Best Time To Take A River Cruise In Europe

Discover the perfect time of year to book a river cruise with our complete guide on when best to visit Europes beautiful waterways, from the Rhine and the Danube to the Rhône and the Douro.

Europes rivers provide an altogether different experience depending on the time of year you travel. Sightseeing, sun-seeking or getting in the festive spirit; our guide can help you plan when to book a river cruise and what you can expect from every destination as we move through the seasons.

Use the links below to navigate to your destination or river of choice or read on for the full guide.


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When Is The Best Time To Cruise

There is no one-size-fits-all answer for when to sail: It depends on your own personal priorities.;Whether youre looking to avoid the rough seas or score a bargain deal, theres a time of year thats best for you. If youre looking for low prices, shoulder season the time between peak and low season is a great option, but it may come with trade-offs like rainy weather or fewer wildlife sightings. Check out our breakdown of the best time to cruise;based on destination, weather, and price:

Start Planning Your Mediterranean Cruise With Windstar

When to Go to Europe: The Best Times to Travel

Cruising the Mediterranean allows you to see the places of your dreams in a single journey, and there are options for every type of traveler. Whether you prefer uncrowded fishing villages or glamorous coastal cities, youll find something to take your breath away at any time of the year. The key to a pleasurable journey regardless of the season is to prepare ahead, know what to expect and remember to relax youre exploring one of the most desirable regions in the entire world.

At Windstar Cruises, were ready to accommodate you. Whether you prefer the buzz of summertime beaches or the tranquility of sleepy harbors in the off-season, we offer Mediterranean cruises year-round. All of our cruises are designed to evoke your sense of wonder and bring you close to authentic experiences youll never forget. To start planning your Mediterranean cruise, reach out to a Windstar Vacation Planner today!

If youre ready to experience the beauty of Mediterranean in person, contact one of our vacation planners today!

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Northern Europe Cruise Season

High Season: June August

Sailing during this season: Northern Europe is at its loveliest during the summer months, with ports that line the Baltic Sea and Norways fjords. The temperatures are generally balmy, the skies are clear and sunny, and the cities turn themselves inside out life is lived outdoors, out on the water, roaming the city and sipping drinks at sidewalk cafes.

Low/Shoulder Season: May & September

Sailing during this season: The kids are back in school, the ports are less frenetic, the weather is still beautiful and crisp, and the prices are much lower. Enough said.

Best Time To Take A Usa River Cruise

Yes, the Mississippi River is prone to seasonal floods, too. Those beautiful, four-story wedding cake paddle wheelers just cant fit under the bridges. Bring on the motor coach tours, just like in Europe.; The best time of year to plan a river cruise on the Mississippi seems to be not too much different than in Europe.

Due to icing conditions, upper Mississippi River cruises end in November or December. Holiday cruises on the lower Mississippi River tend to be round-trip from New Orleans and not upstream to Memphis and beyond. Summers on the Mississippi are hot, humid and did I mention hot?

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