The continent of Europe, with its multitude of cruising destinations, is a landscape that rises out of legend. Write your own story as you dine on sidewalk cafes and set foot underneath ancient architecture. From the majesty of the Sistine Chapel to the setting of classic movies like Casablanca, chart your own journey through this thrilling continent. Explore Rome, Portugal, and England. Delve into Russia and Scandinavia. Unpack the Greek Isles in all of their splendor. There are thousands of places to explore: from mountain ranges to dormant volcanoes to art museums and beyond. Realize your dreams and visit a multitude of European countries in one single, unforgettable voyage.
Few places on Earth can match Europe's rich history, cultural diversity, and treasure trove of world-famous attractions. Its dramatic landscapes and legendary cities inspire romance and teem with adventure. Until recently, however, traveling Europe was a luxury that few had the budget or time for.
Today, cruising brings Europe within everyone's reach - it's easier, more comfortable, more entertaining, and offers better value for your vacation dollar than train or plane travel. Europe is so hot, in fact, that the top cruise lines are adding capacity between May and October - European cruising's peak season. Mega-ships, boasting all the amenities you'd expect to find at a first-class resort, are heading for the Mediterranean in record numbers.
Wonders of the Old World
Imagine waking up every morning in a different country, each with its own language, history, customs, and attractions. Whether you voyage across the Atlantic for Europe's western shorelines, sail to the Mediterranean, or cruise Scandinavia and Russia, you'll only have to unpack once! From antiquity to medieval times, from the Renaissance to the days of colonial empires ... the magnificent art, architecture, and cuisine that helped establish the continent's fame is right at your fingertips.
Cruising Europe is far more affordable right now than you might think. You'll lock in a great price upfront, pay for most of your trip in U.S. Dollars, and take care of all accommodations, meals, and most of your onboard entertainment. And, with visits to a wide variety of ports on the bill, you're sure to return home with plenty of priceless memories.
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With so many incredible places to go, the hardest part about planning a European cruise is deciding which type is best for you. Most itineraries last between 7 and 14 nights and visit several ports of call in a few different countries. Unless you choose an extended cruise, you'll need to focus on one region. Cruises embark and disembark from within Europe (except for transatlantic voyages).
Cruise tours offer you the chance to add a hotel stay before or after your cruise – you'll enjoy a richer experience in your European gateway city. Cruise tour packages can only be booked by calling one of our travel consultants at 800-CRUISES.
Cross the Atlantic amidst all the comforts of a full-service floating resort, including endless dining options and world-class entertainment at sea. Transatlantic cruises usually embark from within the U.S. or the Caribbean, and then disembark in Europe (or vice versa), so you'll only need one-way airfare. Want to start your cruise vacation immediately? Embark from a U.S. port. Prefer to save the best for last? Cruise home from Europe. If you have time, nothing beats an extended roundtrip sailing from either side of the Atlantic.
Plenty of itineraries feature ports in Great Britain, Spain, and Portugal. But some sailings include unique ports like the Canary Islands and the islands of The Azores. Located halfway across the pond, both destinations are ruggedly beautiful and rich with culture. Many transatlantic cruises also drop anchor in the Caribbean for a day or two.
The towering Rock of Gibraltar welcomes you to the breathtaking gateway of the Mediterranean Sea. Here, along the western shores of the sea, you'll discover an array of eclectic cities. Popular hotspots include Barcelona, Ibiza, Cannes, and Monte Carlo. For a truly exotic adventure, choose an itinerary featuring south coast stops in Morocco and Tunisia.
Once the center of power for an empire that stretched across most of Europe, Rome is the unofficial cruising capital of the Mediterranean. More cruise ships embark and disembark from the city's terminal port in nearby Civitavecchia than from any other European location. Classic Eastern Mediterranean itinerary favorites include Venice, Naples, Athens, and the islands of Italy and Greece. Popular exotic ports include Istanbul and Cairo.
Year after year, spectacular coastal scenery and fascinating cities keep cruisers coming back to the waterways of Northern Europe. Traditional itineraries usually include stops in London (or two nearby terminals) and Dublin. Paris and Amsterdam, located just across the English Channel, are perennial crowd-pleasers. More exotic thrills await beyond the dramatic white cliffs of Dover and the European mainland. Don't miss the hot springs and glacier-capped volcanoes of Iceland, the Viking lore and fjords of Scandinavia, and the ornate czar palaces of St. Petersburg, Russia.
To experience a vacation that is truly unique, adventurous and enriching, embark on a voyage with Uniworld Grand River Cruises and Tours. As you sail the world's historic waterways, you'll enjoy an intimate look at exotic destinations, cruising past scenic countryside, cultural landmarks and bustling city life.
A hotel stay in an exciting gateway city is the icing on the cake - it's the most relaxing way to kick-off or wrap-up your journey. Catch up on sleep and adjust to the change in time zones, or rise with the sun - step onto your hotel room's balcony, breathe in mouthwatering scents from a local bakery, and watch the neighborhood come alive. Overnight stays also afford you an opportunity to experience completely the legendary nightlife of vibrant gateway cities like London and Barcelona.
The possibilities are endless! Covering an area roughly the size of the continental United States, Europe is a world unto itself. Choose from 15 top cruise lines and nearly 300 itineraries aboard ships of all sizes and styles. Visit nearly 40 countries and almost 500 ports, including exotic cities like Casablanca, Morocco, and St. Petersburg, Russia.
If you've been dreaming of seeing the world's most famous landmarks, we've got them covered. In London, hop on a red double-decker bus and pay a visit to Big Ben and Parliament. In Paris, ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower or gaze into the eyes of the Mona Lisa at The Louvre. In Rome, step inside the mighty Colosseum and feel the spirits of ancient gladiators come alive. Of course, no trip to Europe would be complete without sampling the region's spectacular theater, designer fashion shopping, and chic nightlife.
From the shimmering fjords of Norway to sunny island beaches in Greece, there are plenty of picture-perfect locations to explore. And don't forget all the charms to be found in Europe's pedestrian villages - sidewalk cafes serving freshly baked breads and regional wines, "mom-and-pop" boutiques selling antiques and hand-crafted goods, friendly pubs abuzz with televised soccer matches and local brews, cobblestone streets playing host to music festivals, and so much more.
Cruising Europe is a relaxing and rewarding experience - even more so when you do a little planning before you go. The more you prepare for your journey abroad, the more time you'll be able to spend simply enjoying your vacation and discovering all of the wonders the Old World has to offer.
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Valid U.S. passports are required for entry into most European countries. Though a few nations may accept an original U.S. birth certificate and a valid driver's license as proof of citizenship and identity, we strongly recommend a valid U.S. passport - it's easily recognized by foreign government officials at cruise piers and airports.
Some countries require that your U.S. passport remain valid for 6 months or longer beyond the dates of your visit.
Please check with the U.S. Government to verify up-to-date foreign entry requirements for each of the nations included in your cruise's itinerary.
A visa may also be required - in addition to a valid U.S. passport - in select European nations and border countries. Russia, for example, is included in many cruise itineraries and has historically been one such nation. Click the Foreign Entry Requirements link above for more details.
In special cases, immunization records may also be required - especially on extended European voyages and worldwide cruises with stops in exotic ports. If you're traveling to multiple destinations, for example, including a specific nation with a documented yellow fever risk, you'll need proof of immunization to enter Egypt. And if you're traveling to Africa, it's recommended as a precaution that you bring along malaria medication in the rare event that you are exposed. Click the Foreign Entry Requirements link for more details.
Cruise lines, airlines, and our company cannot be held responsible for any customers denied cruise or flight boarding, entry to foreign countries, or reentry to the U.S. due to lack of proper travel documents and identification.
Peak Season May to October is European cruising's peak season, chiefly because these months offer the most sun and blue sky. And the days last longer - Scandinavia can stay sunny for nearly 20 hours a day! Mild weather makes it easy to pack and travel light, and the attractions are easily accessible - the royal gardens are abloom in London, the sidewalk cafes come alive in Paris, and beaches from the French Riviera to the islands of Spain and Greece sizzle with beauty. Outdoor festivals and art shows also make the summer popular with travelers. And in August, the crowds will be a little smaller - because many Europeans go on vacation abroad.
Value Season Early spring and late fall are also popular with travelers. American holidays (like St. Patrick's Day) and European holidays (like Germany's famed Oktoberfest) draw many visitors in Europe's cooler months. From Ireland's emerald countryside to the sun-washed vineyards of Italy, the colorful changing of the seasons can be a magical time. Some vacationers prefer this period because there are smaller crowds - imagine having Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper all to yourself! And, of course, there are plenty of great deals at this time of year.
Weather One of the most attractive aspects of European travel is the region's relative absence of extreme weather. Across the Mediterranean, the summer season is mostly dry and mild. Though a short-lived heat wave may reach the mainland once a year, you won't encounter the huge thunderstorms that generally accompany humid weather in other regions across the globe. Great Britain and Ireland, however, will almost certainly receive more rainfall than the mainland.
Springtime generally means warm days, cool nights, and occasional (light) rain showers. Fall features crisp breezes, but Europe's autumn season doesn't normally give way to winter blizzards like those found across the U.S. - though Scandinavia, for example, will cool considerably in the north.
Unless you're taking a transatlantic cruise embarking from close to home, you'll need to schedule a flight to Europe. The most common embarkation ports for European cruises are located in Italy (usually Rome or Venice), Spain (Barcelona), and England (London). That means you'll most likely need to find flights to these gateways. To help you plan, we've done the math for you ...
Purchasing Airfare - With Us Complimentary roundtrip transfers between the airport and cruise pier are included in your package when you purchase airfare along with your cruise. This is the most convenient and popular way to go - a range of flight options will automatically be selected as part of your package. Additionally, the cruise line will make special arrangements (or compensate you) if the flights purchased with your package don't arrive in time for cruise embarkation.
You may select alternative flights for an additional fee. Call one of our expert agents for details.
Purchasing Airfare & Transfers - On Your Own If you buy your flights independently, you'll be responsible for arriving on time for all of your travel components. Allow extra time for each leg of your travel itinerary to help ensure that you don't miss the boat or your flight home. Be sure to schedule any Europe-bound flight so that it arrives at least 6 hours prior to cruise embarkation. Choose a return flight that doesn't depart until at least 6 hours after the cruise ship's scheduled time of disembarkation.
Transfers between the airport and cruise pier are not included in the price of your package when you purchase airfare on your own. You may add transfers to your package for an additional cost (subject to availability), but don't forget to confirm the transfer reservations and your flight details directly with the cruise line. If you purchase transfers on your own, you'll be responsible for arriving at the ship in time for embarkation.
To Rome PLEASE NOTE: The cruise pier is located in the nearby town of Civitavecchia.
To London PLEASE NOTE: While some smaller cruise ships embark from the banks of London's River Thames, most ships will embark from Dover or Southampton. Both locations are within an hour's drive of the airport.
Traveling across the Atlantic to Europe means you'll have to set your watch forward. You may cross several time zones during your cruise, depending on which regions of the continent are included in your itinerary.
Much of Europe uses the equivalent of U.S. Military Time. It may seem confusing at first, but converting European time into U.S. standard time is actually quite simple. The first 12 hours of the day are essentially the same, except the morning hours before 10 AM, which begin with a zero. Colons may or may not be used to divide the hours from the minutes. From afternoon to midnight, simply subtract 12 hours from the given time. For example - if it's 1500 in Paris, then you'll convert to standard time by subtracting 1200, giving you a time of 3:00 PM.
European Time Conversion 0100 to 1200 = 1 AM to Noon 1300 to 2400 = 1 PM to Midnight
It's now easier than ever for visitors to purchase goods and services in Europe. Most of the European nations now use the Euro Dollar as official currency. In most instances, you'll be able to cruise from port to port and use the same foreign money in each destination. One important exception, however, is Great Britain, where the currency remains the English Pound.
Cash Getting cash is easy if you have an ATM/debit card that belongs to one of the major American banking networks. Europe's major cities are home to plenty of international ATMs - these machines dispense in local currency and most feature easy-to-read instructions in English and the local language. Keep in mind that some international ATMs are only available during normal business hours. Hours vary from country to country.
Exchange bureaus (or Bureau d'Echange) are also commonly found throughout major European cities. You can convert U.S. Dollars, English Pounds, and other currency at these small kiosks or booths. It's important to note, however, that exchange bureaus charge a significant fee, and the process can sometimes be confusing.
We recommend bringing a small amount of foreign currency with you - before leaving, simply visit a local bank and convert $10 to $100 U.S. Dollars into Euro Dollars. You'll avoid paying conversion fees at exchange bureaus and transaction fees at international ATMs (many American banks charge a fee in addition to the foreign bank's fee). And when you arrive in port with local currency, you're prepared - to pay for public transportation, make small purchases, etc. It's an especially smart move if you'll be visiting smaller European cities and towns that may not offer international ATMs or accept credit cards.
Credit Cards & Traveler's Checks Major American credit cards are commonly accepted in most European cities. Many of the major credit card companies also offer traveler's checks, though they are generally accepted at a smaller percentage of locations. Despite the limitations, many vacationers choose to use traveler's checks as a secondary form of currency.
Safety Remember - it's best not to travel with a significant amount of cash. Valuables, including expensive or sentimental jewelry, should be left at home. Unless these items have already been insured, you'll risk losing them forever to inadvertent carelessness, damage, or theft. Be mindful of your passport, wallet or purse, jewelry, and bags - especially when traveling in airports, train stations, and elevators.
Tipping No matter where you go, tipping will almost certainly be appreciated. But, as a general rule, the practice of tipping isn't as common (or as generous) in Europe as it is in the U.S. Keep in mind (especially when dining out) that it's common in Europe for service charges to be included in your bill. In those instances, an additional tip isn't necessary.
Once you step off the ship, you're free to roam wherever your heart desires. Public transportation, including buses and taxis, is readily available at cruise piers. A train station may be located at the docks or close nearby, and some ports are situated right in the heart of the action. City maps are often available. If you take a taxi, be sure to check if it's metered - if not, be sure to settle on a price with the driver before you accept a ride.
Extensive train and subway systems make getting around most major European cities particularly easy. Route maps are usually posted, but it's probably a smart idea to learn a few key words and phrases in the local language before going into port - especially if you think you'll need to ask for directions. When in doubt, try asking people for help in English - most Europeans know at least two languages!
Europe is a fascinating collection of cultures, customs, and languages. And its people are rightfully proud of their rich heritage and regional lifestyles. As their guest, and as a representative of the U.S., it's important that you're aware of - and sensitive to - local customs. Before entering religious sites and attractions, for example, check to see if there's a strict dress code - casual clothing is forbidden in many holy places. Don't assume it's okay to take photographs inside places of worship, museums, or government buildings. It's also a good idea to ask permission before photographing a stranger.
Simply put, common sense rules of conduct apply when mingling with your European hosts - act courteously and you'll be warmly welcomed wherever you go.
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Terms & Conditions Price is in U.S. dollars per person based on two people staying in the same stateroom. Price does not include airport and/or government taxes and fees, nor does pricing include fuel supplements. Price does not include a non-refundable $24.99 processing fee per booking.All offers are for selected dates only, are subject to availability, are limited and apply to new bookings only. Your exact price depends on the time of the actual booking. Additional restrictions may apply. All prices and dates may not be available at the time of booking. Passengers receiving special rates based on residency or age will be required to show a government-issued form of identification (passport, or birth certificate and drivers license) at the pier to validate state of residency or age prior to boarding the cruise ship.
Special requirements If you or a guest is pregnant or traveling with an infant child, or if there is a need to communicate a request for special meals, medical conditions or physical challenges, we ask that you please call 800-CRUISES. Cruise Specialists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We will do everything we can to meet your needs and answer all of your questions.
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