As cruise lines release their 2013 itineraries, it’s clear that European cruises are receiving more and more attention. From transatlantic crossings to the Norwegian fjords to the Mediterranean, options will be wide and varied. We’ve already covered Disney Cruise Line’s 2013 return to Europe, and Carnival Cruise Lines is offering more European programs than ever before for their 2013 season. Princess Cruises is even sending its newest (and biggest) ship, the Royal Princess, to Europe for its maiden voyage in June of 2013.
The Carnival Cruise Line European additions include longer itineraries in familiar destinations as well as brand new programs. New Western Europe and British Isles cruises include the 12-day “Norway & Western Europe” cruise, the 12-day “British Isles, Norway & France” voyage, and several “Baltic Wonders & St. Petersburg” cruises. You can also spend 12 days exploring the Mediterranean or 15 days traveling across the Atlantic, from Tampa to Barcelona or from Barcelona to Tampa (see our Repositioning Cruises 101 piece for more transatlantic cruise advice).
The Royal Princess of Princess Cruises has a seven-day maiden voyage around the Iberian Peninsula, starting in Southampton and ending in Barcelona. After that, she’ll have a season of 12-day Mediterranean cruises, ending 2013 with an 18-day Venetian Passage cruise from Venice to Fort Lauderdale. Before her maiden voyage, though, in mid-June, there will be short three-day preview sailings from Southampton through the English Channel. The new ship, which is still under construction, will include industry firsts like a glass-floored bar that juts off the port side of the ship and the SkyWalk (pictured in a rendering above), a glass-bottomed walkway that extends 28 feet off the side of the ship.