Top-Ranked Affordable Cruise Lines to Europe

With more people taking European cruises than ever before, the options are extensive, and with the introduction of new ships that can sleep thousands of passengers at a time, these amazing vacations are becoming more affordable than ever before. Just one of the cruise lines we checked out had more than 45 departures between June and August alone.

Whether you’re interested in exploring the scenery of the Greek islands, the elegant cities along the Baltic Sea or the amazing food of the Western Mediterranean, the right cruise for you is out there. All it takes is a bit of research to find a cruise line that you trust, as well as an itinerary that interests you.

There are tons of ways that you can ensure a good deal on your next trip. Booking early definitely pays off, and even if the price drops later, most cruise lines will refund you the difference, or give it back to you as on-board credit. Use a tool like Cruise Critic’s Price Drop alert to track the price of your package both before and after you book. If you’re comparison shopping before you book, you’ll probably notice that some cruise lines are just more affordable than others. Many of these companies run similar itineraries (the Mediterranean is quickly becoming one of the most popular destinations for cruisers), but each ship has its own specific set of amenities and activities.

Today, we’ve brought you a round-up of Europe’s most reasonable cruise lines, as well as an introduction to their huge catalogue of offerings.

Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean International has been a worldwide name in cruising since they were founded in 1968 and are currently operating 25 vessels that cruise all over the world. Their European offerings are among some of their most popular, and although they have already sold out many of their itineraries for this summer, they currently have 12 cruises still open.

Their 7-Night Greek Isles cruise, which departs from Venice and cruises to cities like Athens and Mykonos starts at $1,395 per person, and they currently have a promotion for 50 percent off the second guest. They have programs for babies and tots which give parents time to relax in the adults-only solarium and enjoy plenty of activities ranging from wine tastings to napkin folding classes that are available on every journey.

Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises is a popular cruise line that uses mid-size ships outfitted with all the latest amenities for their European cruises. Although they offer typical itineraries like the Greek Isles and Scandinavia, Celebrity has also branched out to more unique cruising destinations like Iceland, and the British Isles.

Right now, they’re offering a 6-Day Mediterranean Getaway cruise that starts at $1,135 USD per person, or a two-week Iceland and Ireland cruise that costs a reasonable $2,050 USD per person. Many of their ships have recently be refreshed to include more modern restaurants, outdoor terraces, and shopping areas, which will help you feel relaxed and comfortable between your days of sightseeing on land.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line is currently offering an unbelievable promotion that includes several amenities like unlimited open bar, shore excursions, and Wi-Fi as part of the base cost of your cruise — usually these extras are quite pricey. Norwegian also gives cruisers the option to take part in repositioning cruises — cruises that start in one destination and end in another — for as little as $407 USD per person.

Their European cruise offerings start as low as $1,070 USD for their ever-popular Western Mediterranean cruise, which leaves from Barcelona, and travels through Naples, Rome, Livorno, Cannes, and Palma de Mallorca. On board, they cater to both adults and children with a variety of kid-friendly programming that allows parents time to enjoy the many lounges and on-board bars. They also have suites specifically designed and priced for solo travelers.

Princess Cruises

One of the most reasonable cruise lines traveling through Europe right now is Princess Cruises, which has several different options for itineraries that start around $968 USD for one week and get even cheaper the more people you travel with. This affordable itinerary leaves from Barcelona, and cruises around the Mediterranean, calling at Gibraltar, Marseille, Genoa, Florence, and Rome. Princess also offers a variety of different cruises around the British Isles this summer, which is an ideal time to see these remote places, as the weather will be much more moderate. The Princess vessels are all equipped with elegant dining options that are suitable for travelers of all ages, lounges that cater to every interest, outdoor movie screens, a gorgeous atrium, and multiple pools.

Viking Cruises

Unlike many of the other cruise lines we’ve talked about today, Viking Cruises offers both river cruises on smaller vessels, and ocean and sea cruises using their larger fleet. Using rivers like the Elbe, Rhine, and Danube allows travelers to get much closer to the action and gives them a chance to see smaller towns and villages that would be completely inaccessible to larger vessels. One of the their most interesting offerings is their new Oberammergau cruise, a once-in-a-decade experience that brings passengers to the tiny German mountain town of Oberammergau, which has been putting on a Passion play for almost 400 years.

Although their river cruises can get pricey, they do have affordable options as well. This summer, their 8-Day cruise tour that takes you from Avignon to Lyon along the Rhône starts at $3,849 per person.

Seabourn Cruises

For a company that advertises luxury cruises, Seabourne Cruises has a surprisingly affordable price point for most people.

Aboard their five vessels, they offer plenty of pricey suites, but if you’re looking for an affordable stateroom on a luxurious ship, their 7-Day Romance of the Rivieras cruise starts at $3,805 USD for a balcony suite. This cruise departs Barcelona, and docks at many luxurious, off-the-beaten-path ports like Menorca, St. Tropez, Corsica, and Monte Carlo. On board Seabourn ships, the open dining room looks like most other vessels’ upscale bistros, which are committed to offering their guests flexibility as well as an elegant, modern aesthetic. Guests can also enjoy two pools, six whirlpools, and an evening of dancing under the stars on every Seabourn voyage.

MSC Cruises

Currently, MSC Cruises is offering potential customers amazing deals for Mediterranean cruises, leaving from a variety of ports, all starting at under $1000 per person.

They have tons of different cruises leaving from either Barcelona, Rome, Palma de Mallorca, or Venice, which cruise around the Mediterranean for eight days. Depending on which cities you’ve already visited and what area interests you, you can opt for a Western Mediterranean itinerary, one focused on the Greek Isles, or even a cruise that explores lesser-known ports in Croatia, Malta, and Spain. Their fleet that serves the Mediterranean are all designed to be both elegant and functional, and on board you’ll find specialty restaurants like Eataly and Il Cerchio d’Oro alongside elegant gelaterias serving up Italian-inspired treats.

Oliver Kessler / Shutterstock

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