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5 European Cruises You Must Take in 2013

If you are entertaining thoughts of a cruise this year, Argo Travel News would like to encourage you by previewing some of the most exciting and value packed we have found. From the Black Sea to the Arctic Circle in Norway, taking in wonderful places by sea is perhaps the best way to take in the most sites with the least hassle, and in the most luxury. You pretty much carry your five star hotel, and Michelin restaurant with you when you cruise.

With a focus on Europe, and on lesser known destinations and itineraries, check out the following seagoing dream cruises.

Castle Swallow's Nest

Castle Swallow's Nest Yalta

One

Flam14-Night Voyage of the Midnight Sun –  June 8th and August 3rd Rotterdam – This Holland America Line adventure across the North Sea and up the Norwegian coastline to their Northernmost city of Honningsvåg, this is definitely a departure from the Summer heat no passenger will forget. The average high temperature here is only 46 degrees °F, and that’s the high. No perspiration soaked beach towels on your deck chairs for this one.

Cruise in luxury from Rotterdam to Bergen, then Geiranger, North to Trondheim, Tromso, and finally Honningsvag. Then the return voyage hits Alesund, Flam (at left), Stavanger, takes a day to cruise about scenic Lysefjord before the return leg. The chart below shows the voyage legs.

Northern Lights voyage

Courtesy Holland American Line

Traveling aboard the 61,849 ton MS Rotterdam, despite the pristine wonders of some of Earth’s great wilderness, you’ll be totally in touch with creature comforts. Cost: €1998.04 per person for the ocean view staterooms below.

Ocean view Rotterdam stateroom.

Two

Thompson SpiritBaltic Discovery – from 17 Sept 13
Summer on the Baltic is a dream. For one thing, it’s just not as hot as the Med. The other great reason to cruise the Baltic Sea via Tui is the combination of destinations and shore excursions no car or train travel combination could provide. Leaving Harwich the Thomson Spirit is really a seagoing home away from home. The short list of amenities below shows potential passengers just how fun and relaxation filled this journey will be. There’s no substitute for places on board to hang out.

  • 3 restaurants
  • 5 bars
  • 2 lounges
  • Nightclub
  • Casino
  • Whirlpools
  • 2 swimming pools

While at sea you’ll never be bored or stressed, up the Kiel Canal to medieval Warnemunde, the back and over to Tallinn, two days with excursion in marvelous St. Petersburg, then Helsinki and Stockholm, Visby and UNESCO marvels in Sweden, then Danish Bornholm, Kalundborg for more Denmark coolness, Ijmuiden and the Venice of the North in Holland, and back to sea toward Harwick and storing memories of a lifetime. Cost: £731 per person

Harbour Roenne Bornholm Island denmark

Harbour Roenne Bornholm Island Denmark

Three

Sea Cloud IISea Cloud II Bicycle Cruise, Malta to Valencia – October 28th – November 11th
If there’s an ounce of adventurous blood flowing in your veins, windjammer cruising the Med has to do something for your dreamy seafarer’s heart. The last vestiges of the days of sail, the remaining seagoing yachts of the world, clippers for lack of a better term, afford a level of luxury unsurpassed. That is if you consider teak and mahogany decks, shiny brass rails, and the sound of canvas in a sea breeze as luxury of any sort.

Departing Lavalletta, Malta on the 28th, your sailing adventure heads off toward Syracuse, Naxos, and Palermo, Sicily with nothing but fine food, wines, and impeccable shipmates and crew to keep you and the breeze company. And of course your significant other, this is a journey meant for two, without a doubt. On board, soak in all sea, sun, and sail ever dreamed of, and on shore cycle all the Sicilian spots at your own leisurely pace.

Then you set sail once again for Cagliari in Sardinia, still more places you only read about in books. Then Palma de Mallorca and finally Valencia.

If the intro did not get you, maybe TV dinners and Poirot reruns will do. For those in search of “once in a lifetime” memories, this truly a luxury adventure which runs from € 3,025 to owners cabins on the Lebido Deck for € 6.195, this is for the cruise only. Added charges come into play for the bike aspects.

I actually contacted Sea Cloud this afternoon as we intend booking one of their cruises in the Spring. As a personal note here, Marketing Manager Michael McIntosh was of immense help to the writing of this article. It was too late here in Germany to call, so I was glad to snag him for some info for you.

For travelers interested in inquiring of this line, please contact Sea Cloud Cruises at:

Email: info@seacloud.com

Phone: +49-40-3095-920

North America: +201-227-9404

Four

Voyages of Antiquity – O’ The Wild Charge They Made, begins July 16th and lasts 14 days
The Crimea and the war that forged most people’s understanding of the Black Sea region, this is part and parcel the adventure you can embark to discover via an extraordinary cruise package. Istanbul, the Sumela monastery in Trabzon, Batumi, Feodosiya, Yalta, Sevastopol, Odessa and Nessebur, the Genoese fortress at Sudak, and the Russian imperial palaces of Yalta and Sevastopol, what you’ll witness from your home aboard Aegean Odyssey (below).

AEGEAN ODYSSEY

The Lord Tennyson line used in the title of this cruise is no lie, passengers are embarking on a monumental charge into some of the lesser known, and most beautiful places on Earth. The and much of that beauty is in the cultural and historic legacy of these fascinating places. The cruise literally traverses where most of us come from. Included and optional shore tours, lecturers, fine dining, cultural experiences, palaces and pristine natural wonders like you never dreamed such as the Botanic Garden of Batumi in Georgia (below).

Botanic Garden of Batumi

Botanic Garden of Batumi - Wikipedia

Sailing the Eastern Black Sea, exploring cities and history, meeting the people, even a vision of the famous Castle Swallow’s Nest (at top and featured) at Yalta, is well worth the £ 3,295 per person for a premium outside double cabin. Other prices are available too, but this includes just about everything you can imagine.

Five

Azamara Club Cruises – 12 Night Vineyards Of Europe Voyage, embarks 16 August to 28 August
Someone reading this is a wine lover. And for that person or those persons, this voyage into discovery is about more than sightseeing, though there’s plenty to see in place like; Bordeaux, St. Jean De Luz, Bilbao in Spain, Lisbon, and Guadalquivir, and there’s Seville, oh my.

Azamara Quest

Azamara Quest in port

Taste the great wines of France, Portugal and Spain, all while you cruise in style aboard the 30,277 600 foot Azamara Quest (above), the Club Ocean View cabin at $4,099.00 per person.

Vineyard in Bourgogne, cote de Nuits

Vineyard in Bourgogne, cote de Nuits- Courtesy © visuall2 - Fotolia.com

Photo credits: Thompson Spirit – courtesy Wikipedia, Harbour Roenne Bornholm Island Denmark © janmadsenphotography – Fotolia.com, Flam in Norway – courtesy © Anselm Baumgart – Fotolia.com, Castle Swallow’s Nest – courtesy  © maksval – Fotolia.com

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