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An image of the buildings in Santorini, Greece
An image of the buildings in Santorini, Greece

Which Is the Best Cruise Line for Europe?

Uncover the top cruise lines sailing in Europe and choose the one that suits your preferences. Explore diverse itineraries and cultural experiences for an unforgettable European voyage.

By Cruise Booking Team

Book Cruises To Europe

European cruise lines provide a spectrum of sights, including the historical monuments in Paris or astounding Norwegian fjords. As there are numerous cruise lines from which to choose, each providing different itineraries and cultural experiences, finding the right match for your European experience may seem overwhelming. This article looks at some of the most popular cruise ships that travel in beautiful European countries with unique features and attractions.

Why Explore Europe by Sea?

The varied topography of Europe, with the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and North Seas as its border, makes it an attractive place for cruising enthusiasts. From the enchantment of Scandinavian ports to the buzzing nightlife in Paris, you can explore a lot. If you are lured by the old-world glamor that Italy represents, a European cruise offers a variety of adventures. From ancient cities and sunny beaches to strange customs and interesting monuments, the continent reveals its delights at every corner.

List of the Best Cruise Lines for Europe

Let's delve into the distinct offerings of some of the top cruise lines that traverse the European waters:

1. Azamara Cruise Line:

Azamara Cruise Line prides itself on immersive experiences. Azamara Cruise Line specializes in western Europe; it takes you through the Pyrenees Mountains and Provence’s lavender fields. Discover the history of Western European, Mediterranean, and Northern European cultures and explore food. Enjoy exclusive shore excursions, known as AzAmazing Evenings, which provide unique access to local culture and events. Enjoy a range of culinary offerings onboard, including specialty dining venues with special menus showcasing the flavors of the regions you explore.

2. Celebrity Cruise Line:

Celebrity Cruises, famous for its stylish and classy ships, offers an ideal counterpart to Europe’s old-style grandeur. From Mediterranean ports to the Norwegian fjords, get amazed by the breathtaking natural splendor as well as learn more about the variety of cultures. Experience modern luxury with spacious accommodations and innovative design. They also have dining options, allowing you to savor global cuisines crafted by renowned chefs.

3. Hurtigruten Expeditions Cruise Line:

With Hurtigruten Expeditions, you can enjoy intimate cruising programs that will take you to iconic and off-the-beaten-path destinations for a unique glimpse at European history and culture. Explore the wildlife and natural beauty of coastal towns with specialized excursions led by experienced expedition teams.

4. Costa Cruise Line:

Costa Cruise Line expresses the Viking heritage as it follows the beauty of the northern seas with views of majestic Norwegian fjords. Find Norse villages and see stunning cities such as Oslo, Stockholm, Tallinn, and Copenhagen. Take advantage of Costa's panoramic windows in public spaces and never miss the breathtaking views of the northern seas.

5. Cunard Cruise Line:

Cunard’s extensive tradition in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe offers you the opportunity to sunbathe on the shores of southern Europe or discover northern medieval cultures. Enjoy the refined atmosphere and the superb service. Relax at the pool areas, surrounded by classic deck chairs with staff catering to your every need.

Related: Which Cruise Lines Go to Europe?

6. Holland America Cruise Line:

Holland America Line offers "Explorations Central," a program designed to immerse cruisers in the local culture and history of each destination. With an array of itineraries, Holland America guarantees to create unforgettable memories from fairytale cruises in the Baltic region and exploring villages on cliffs in Greece. 

7. Oceania Cruise Line:

Oceania Cruises lives up to its promise of the "Finest Cuisine at Sea." Adopting an all-inclusive luxury approach, the Oceania cruises attract you to Europe’s variety of offerings, including historical streets in Rome and highlands in Scotland. You can also explore historical landmarks, museums, and local traditions.

8. MSC Cruise Line:

Enjoy stylish design, world-class entertainment, and authentic Italian cuisine. With Italy as its base, MSC Cruises deals and offers a combination of traditional and smaller port stops that enable you to admire ancient ruins, learn about modern cultures, and taste regional flavors. They also have Broadway-style shows and themed parties for travelers.

9. Princess Cruise Line:

Delve into the history and traditions of each European destination with Princess Cruise Line. It offers a panoramic view of Europe.  Princess Cruises invites you to explore cultural explosions in the Mediterranean or historical journeys in Northern Europe. Their top-notch service ensures your every need is met with grace and efficiency.

10. Royal Caribbean Cruise Line:

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line offers a wide array of European experiences, from the towering spires in Copenhagen to the blinding whites of Santorini, all of which are accompanied by many different cuisines. Royal Caribbean is known for its groundbreaking activities, including surfing simulators, skydiving experiences, and state-of-the-art theaters, providing entertainment for all ages. Also, explore a world of flavors with Royal Caribbean's diverse dining options, from casual eateries to specialty restaurants featuring renowned chefs.

Related: 5 Best European Cruise Destinations

11. Norwegian Cruise Line:

Norwegian Cruise Line stands out with its "Freestyle Dining," allowing you to dine whenever and wherever you please. As a 15-time winner of the "Europe's Leading Cruise Line" award, Norwegian Cruise Line deals and offers convenient locations, diverse itineraries, and award-winning ships. They have numerous onboard restaurants. Also, enjoy activities like rock climbing, go-kart racing, and Broadway-style shows.

12. Regent Seven Seas Cruise Line:

Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers an all-inclusive luxury experience, covering everything from shore excursions to gourmet dining and premium beverages. Regent Seven Seas Cruises is designed to appeal to your five senses and focus on the major capitals as well as hidden gems that would let you taste Spanish tapas in the Mediterranean. Enjoy the attentiveness of the crew, ensuring a personalized and pampered experience throughout your journey.

13. Seabourn Cruise Line:

Seabourn Cruises enables you to witness the fairy-tale castles, fjords, and delightful villages of Northern Europe in legendary ultra-luxury sailings. Seabourn Cruises redefines luxury with ultra-luxury sailings, offering spacious suites, attentive service, and exclusive experiences. Engage in adventure activities, including kayaking and hiking, to explore the picturesque destinations of Northern Europe in style.

14. Silversea Cruise Line:

Though established in Europe, Silversea remains committed to its European standards of high quality, promising unique experiences from the coastline around Spain or amongst the Outer Hebrides. Enjoy exclusive shore excursions designed to provide a deeper understanding of each destination's culture and history.

15. Viking Ocean Cruise Line:

Viking Oceans immerse you in wonderful communities within the world's finest cities, providing enriching experiences whether in the Viking Homelands or Catalonia to Constantinople voyage. They also provide cultural lectures, destination-focused dining, and carefully curated shore excursions. Enjoy thoughtful Scandinavian design, spacious accommodations, and panoramic views as you cruise through Europe's finest cities.

Related: Best Time to Cruise to Europe


Choosing the best cruise line for your European adventure depends on your preferences, whether you seek history, culture, natural beauty, or a mix of all. Consider the itineraries, onboard amenities, and unique offerings of each cruise line to ensure a memorable journey through the diverse landscapes of Europe. Book your next voyage to Europe on Bon voyage!

Tags: cruise lines
Header Image by Michelle_Raponi at Pixabay

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