These days when we think of cruise ships, we tend to think of the huge ships that are like floating cities but there are an abundance of more intimate European cruises that should pique your interest.
You don’t need to be packed in like sardines with 1,000s of fellow passengers. These are the cruises that go above and beyond when it comes to an unforgettable experience cruising around Europe.
From cruising along rivers and canals, to touring the stunning coastlines of this beautiful continent, you’ll be in for a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
2020 could be the year you take that plunge and try one of these seven incredibly intimate European cruises…
The best European and Mediterranean cruisesHow do these rankings work?
This six day river cruise will take you through the heart of Germany from Mainz to Nuremberg.
Highlights of the cruise includes the ability to explore multiple German cities, beer tastings and hiking options.
Because of the small size of the boat you can also just sit on your balcony and watch the beautiful German countryside slide past, looking like an oil painting.
The cruise starts in Athens so you’ll be able to take in some culture and history before you even set sail.
You’ll be able to sightsee in Santorini, the most breathtaking of all the Greek Islands as well as having the opportunity to ride a donkey to the Monastery of Ilias in Hydra.
The trip is 15 days long; with so much scenery you might just be happy sitting on the deck sunning yourself without a care in the world.
Discover the hidden treasures of the Dalmatian Coast on this 8-day voyage. M/S Splendid slips effortlessly through the turquoise Adriatic Sea, wending her way between necklaces of islands dotted here and there.
Highlights include city stops in Dubrovnik, Korcula, and Hvar.
The intimate size of the boat means you’ll make plenty of lifelong friends when on this trip of a lifetime. It’s one of the best Mediterranean cruises there is!
Garden enthusiasts will delight in a visit to see the breathtaking colors of Keukenhof, also known as the “Garden of Europe.” With 70 acres of parkland and lakes, it’s one of the world’s largest flower gardens.
The trip also includes guided walking tours as well as beer and cheese tastings on board. As far as intimate European cruises go, it really doesn’t get much better than this.
This is an all-inclusive cruise that will bring you to a magical part of the world to explore castles, small islands and local fishing communities.
The trip includes expert guides, bicycles which you can use to explore when on land and lots of other perks. You’ll be a lifetime fan of small cruise ships after this.
The real highlight is some of the local seafood and shellfish that is served on board.
This seven day cruise takes you on an exploration of Norway’s major coastal cities and remote villages, from Bergen and far beyond the Arctic Circle to Kirkenes.
Discover the best of Norway’s rugged coastline as you encounter countless fjords, mountains, islands, and waterfalls.
Depending on the time of year, you can cross the Arctic Circle to hunt the northern lights in winter or enjoy round-the-clock daylight under the midnight sun in summer.
The sort of cruise that foodies and wine lovers come on to truly spoil themselves.
The area is characterised by opulent chateaux and charming cities spliced by winding cobbled lanes. Scenic beauty flanks the Dordogne, and of course you will be spending time drinking the world-renowned wines from sprawling local vineyards.