Cruise Holidays - Attheta Travel

I am proud to be certified by CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) as an Elite Cruise Counselor. The Cruise Counselor Certification Program is CLIA's most comprehensive training which requires agents to successfully complete a number of compulsory training courses and exams, attend cruise conferences, and conduct ship inspections. Anita Thompson, Attheta Travel

Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Cruises of Europe

Summer is the time that many vacation travelers – new graduates, honeymoon couples, solo travelers, families and retirees alike – look toward Europe as a cruise destination. Whether you would like to take a cruise or a cruisetour (a cruise combined with a land-based tour), visit a specific port of call or just sample what the Mediterranean or the Baltic has to offer, Europe can produce your dream cruise vacation.

With growing demand for flights to Europe – as well as rising fuel costs and new fees and surcharges – airfares to Europe are currently on the high side. The Summer Olympics that will take place in London are driving up summer airfares not only for that city, but for other European capitals, like Brussels and Amsterdam, that are reasonably close to London via rail.

However, don’t let intimidating airfares rule out a European cruise this summer. There are excellent values available on a variety of European cruise itineraries – in fact, savings on your cruise fare might completely offset a higher airfare.

And, Europe offers a terrific range of cruise possibilities. There are the sunny ports along the Mediterranean coast, as well as islands like Sicily and Corsica to explore. Summer is prime time to sail the North and Baltic Seas, visiting the capitals of Scandinavia and perhaps St. Petersburg, the jewel of Russia. Istanbul and other ports around the Black Sea are beginning to emerge as cruise destinations. And, some of the major rivers of Europe, like the Rhine and the Danube, offer a different kind of cruise experience that includes sailing right into the historic hearts of inland cities and towns.

A cruise of the Greek Isles – rich with abundant natural beauty, intriguing historical sites, fabulous beaches and reliably sunny weather – is a very special experience. The country is experiencing an extended financial crisis, and this summer may see strikes, delayed or cancelled openings of seasonal hotels and restaurants, and cuts in transportation routes or the hours that attractions are open. However, if you are traveling via cruise ship, these disruptions should have very little, if any, effect on your vacation.

If you’re still worried about the price of airfare to Europe, there’s another option: consider delaying your trip until late summer or even early fall. When summer – always the busiest season for European travel – begins to wane, airfares are likely to come down. In addition, if you book now, you’ll be making your reservations far enough in advance to get better prices, as well as your top choice of flights. To decide on your European cruise itinerary, talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.