6 European countries best visited by cruise

The Celebrity Beyond waiting off the coast of Santorini, Greece.

Perhaps nothing is as romantic—or stress-free—as sailing into a scenic port while sipping a cappuccino on your private balcony aboard a cruise ship. Sailing through Europe transforms travel into a joy, leaving the hassle of arranging transportation, meals, and itineraries in its wake. Simply climb out of bed each morning ready to explore a new destination. Greet the day with sunrise yoga and a dip in the pool, or indulge by sleeping in. Cruising provides a vacation that’s equal parts engaging and restorative.

Award-winning Celebrity Cruises offers voyages to top cruise destinations for a vacation that bundles sightseeing in popular European cities by day with meals at inventive restaurants, drinks at a bar stories above the ocean, and dazzling performances by night. Celebrity’s ship design seamlessly blends indoor and outdoor spaces, so an ocean view is never far away. Global influences await onboard, from the artwork to the cuisine to the wine list.

These 6 European countries will surprise and delight you as the best places for a cruise. 


Couple overlooking the cityscape from Fort Lovrijenac in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Fort Lovrijenac overlooks the red-clay roofs in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Photo courtesy Celebrity Cruises

Croatia has 1,100 miles of coastline, and a cruise is the perfect vantage for stunning views of its picturesque ports. Walk the walls above Dubrovnik’s Old Town, which has been featured in movies and TV shows like Game of Thrones, then sip a spritzy beverage immersed in panoramas of the historic city’s red-clay roofs and sparkling Adriatic Sea.

St. James Cathedral in Šibenik

Take in the cobbled walkways and stone buildings with a walking tour of historic Šibenik. Photo courtesy Celebrity Cruises

After riding a cable car to the top of Dubrovnik’s Srd Hill or taking a day trip to Pag Island in Zadar, return to your ship for a refreshment overlooking the Dalmatian Coast. Celebrity Beyond’s 2-story Sunset Bar, designed by Nate Berkus, offers spectacular views and an impressive beverage menu, including zero-proof cocktails.


The setting sun casting a glow over Kotor, Montenegro

Limestone cliffs flank the bay off Kotor, Montenegro. Stock.adobe.com/rudi1976

Croatia shares its southern border with Montenegro, and the 2 nations are often on the same itinerary. Celebrity ships call in Kotor, considered one of the prettiest ports along the Adriatic, with limestone cliffs on either side of its bay.  Cruisers have many options to explore Montenegro: natural wonders in Lovćen National Park, Kotor’s serpentine streets, or centuries-old churches. 


Goðafoss waterfall in Iceland

Goðafoss waterfall in Iceland. Photo courtesy Celebrity Cruises

Adventure awaits in Iceland. Three Icelandic ports are paired with stops in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom for a memorable 12-night cruise on Celebrity Apex.

Uncover the contrasting waterfalls and lava fields of Akureyri, while seabirds fly overhead. In Isafjordur, visit the small town that served as a trading post centuries ago. Or explore the Westfjords peninsula by kayak or ATV.

An overnight in Reykjavik gives visitors plenty of time to experience this Nordic capital, which boasts an architecturally distinctive concert hall, delicious lamb hot dogs, and geothermal pools.

Man soaking in the hot springs

Myvatn Hot Springs in Iceland. Photo courtesy Celebrity Cruises

Scandinavian countries are enthusiastic about thermal spa routines, combining hot and cold treatments to both soothe and invigorate. The SEA Thermal Suite at The Spa aboard the Celebrity Apex, Celebrity Beyond, and Celebrity Edge brings this concept from shore to sea with several relaxation experiences reminiscent of Iceland’s hot springs and spa culture.

You may also like: Visiting Iceland’s spectacular natural wonders


Woman admiring the view of Santorini

Cruising is a convenient way to explore the Greek Islands. Photo courtesy Celebrity Cruises

Ancient and enduring, Greece is one of the most popular vacation destinations on the planet. It’s not hard to see why, when the white facades and blue domes of chic Greek islands like Santorini beckon.

Outsmart the crowds by using a glamorous Celebrity cruise ship as your base, escaping to the sea then another island by sunset. Sailing the Greek islands is as magical as wandering through winding streets and ancient ruins.

Couple dining seaside in Mykonos

Local dining in Mykonos. Photo courtesy Celebrity Cruises

Be transported by expert shore excursions like a captain-curated walking and culinary tour of idyllic Mykonos. Then, allow yourself to be whisked away by the custom amenities and sublime service of onboard escapes. The Retreat, Celebrity’s all-suite enclave, offers guests exclusive dining, lounge spaces, amenities, and services.

You may also like: 8 great European cities for food lovers


Celebrity Equinox waiting off the shore of Istanbul

View of Istanbul with Celebrity Equinox in the background. Photo courtesy Celebrity Cruises

Wake to the morning call to prayer in Istanbul. Overnight stays in this captivating and multifaceted city give guests the luxury of time to explore a city that straddles cultures and continents. Marvel at the 6th century Hagia Sophia or the tiles at the Blue Mosque. Shop for unique souvenirs at the souks, then enjoy a refreshing mint tea or Turkish coffee at a sidewalk café while pedestrians bustle by.

Ruins in the ancient city of Ephesus, Turkey

The ancient city of Ephesus in Turkey is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Photo courtesy Celebrity Cruises

On a Celebrity shore excursion, explore the 3,000-year-old preserved ruins at Ephesus, a must-see UNESCO World Heritage Site a short drive from the port of Kusadasi. 


Cityscape of Florence, Italy

Cityscape of Florence, Italy. Photo courtesy Celebrity Cruises

In Italy, your senses will be taken on a ride through the bells that toll in the cathedrals of Rome to the scent of the sea in Portofino on the Italian Riviera. Italy’s poetry can be found in a gondola on the canals of Venice or in a plate of fresh pasta. If you’ve dreamt it, it’s probably in Italy.

The ports of La Spezia and Livorno are driving distance from the culture capital of Florence. Reserve a tour of the Accademia Gallery to see Michelangelo’s David. Have your camera at the ready for the Duomo cathedral, a star of this city’s majestic skyline. Don’t forget to savor a glass of local wine; September is the height of the harvest, but the vintages are stellar year-round.

Couple enjoying a gelato on a balcony overlooking the streets of Florence

Couple enjoying a gelato in Florence, Italy. Photo courtesy Celebrity Cruises

The epicurean passion for which Italians are famous extends onboard ship, where meals are a labor of love. On Celebrity Edge, sip an espresso accompanied by a flaky pastry at Café al Bacio or book a “Dinner on the Edge,” which perches guests at the top of the ship for an unforgettable dining experience. 

Cruising is about convenience and immersion, not only in each new country but also in a relaxing vacation experience. A cruise aboard a Celebrity ship will give travelers a sampling of Europe’s most breathtakingly beautiful and culturally rich nations while enjoying luxurious hospitality.

Celebrity Edge Magic Carpet

Celebrity Cruises’ Semi-Annual Sale

Get up to 75% off second guest rates, up to $1,600 additional savings, and up to $175 onboard credit. Plus, drinks, Wi-Fi, and gratuities are included.

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