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Top 5 cruise routes for first timers

There are many advantages to taking a cruise from the fact that they’re an easy way to get a taste of a destination in a day or two to the many on shore excursions you can take part in as well as on board activities. However the best thing about a cruise is that you can visit a vast array of destinations but you don’t need to put in all the hard work of arranging accommodation and travel to each port. There are even options to choose 2018 cruise deals like these that include all-inclusive packages as well as “Smart Cruises” – those that offer flights and hotel stays within the package.

So if we’ve got you convinced that a cruise is for you but you’re not sure where to go for your first time, here are a few traveller favourite cruise routes:

Western Mediterranean taster

If you’d like to play it safe with your first ever cruise, the Western Med is always going to be a popular choice. It’s close enough to home that you won’t feel out of your comfort zone, but it’s packed full of exciting new places to explore and cultures to experience. In addition to this, these are often the cheapest cruise deals, allowing you to try out a cruise without breaking the budget to see if you’d like to go again – and believe us, you will!

Mediterranean Cruises

For a taste of what a Mediterranean cruise can bring, a 5 night package that takes you from Barcelona to Genoa with 2 nights at sea might be just your cup of tea. This route begins with a couple of nights’ stay in Barcelona, Spain’s true city of culture where you can visit Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, the Parc Guell or simply wander the winding streets of Las Ramblas, before hopping on board. Your ship will dock in the sunny south of France at Marseille for a day, before ending the itinerary in Italy’s Genoa. Not only will you experience 3 countries in 3 days, but you’ll get all to try out all the benefits of being on a cruise for a short time.


There’s nothing to say that your first time cruise can’t be something more far flung and exotic than the usual Mediterranean fare. Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or simply looking to experience life as a local, a Caribbean cruise is an excellent way to ease your way into taking your holidays to the sea.

Caribbean Cruises

Many destinations in the Caribbean have a distinctly British feel while still being uniquely their own, meaning you can get by easily with the language but experience a totally different culture. In addition to this, you’ll have every crystal clear turquoise sea and white sandy beach at your disposal.

Christmas cruise

What could be more festive than spending your Christmas around the snowy sights of Scandinavia? Many cruise lines offer a Baltic Christmas cruise which will take the weight off your shoulders of planning a big Christmas vacation. Instead, you can spend the holiday in style aboard a cruise.

Xmas cruise

The Baltic cruise route will take you on a round trip from Southampton, visiting the chilly climes of Oslo and Copenhagen, with a couple of days in Amsterdam and Bruges too, where if you’re prepared, you can visit the Christmas markets. The stand out aspect of this trip though is seeing Oslofjord in all its winter glory.

Rhine river cruise

There’s nothing more majestic but sophisticated than a river cruise ship, and there’s no better to way to explore the heart of Europe than by sailing it on a Rhine river cruise.  A river cruise allows you access to the inner hidden gems that Europe has to offer, including landlocked countries such as Switzerland, that no normal cruise would be able to offer.

Rhine River Cruise

Having sight of land at all times, a river cruise is ideal for those first time cruisers who haven’t yet found their sea legs but want to experience all the benefits that a cruise can bring, including visiting several rich and cultural sights in one trip. A Rhine cruise certainly offers this, journeying through the open plains of the Netherlands, through the forests of Germany and fairytale castles to the wild natural beauty of the Alpine regions of Switzerland.

Hamburg taster cruise

Hamburg is one of Germany’s most underrated cities, packed full with stunning architecture, fascinating museums and more than a handful of charm. As Germany’s foremost port, it’s a bustling town filled with Victorian era former warehouses, now residences and offices, split by meandering waterways.

Hamburg Cruises

If you’re not sure whether a cruise is for you yet, a taster cruise which begins with a night in Hamburg with 2 nights at sea might be the perfect opportunity for you to get to know what life at sea is like without taking the full plunge.

Neil Page is the Online Manager at Cruise Nation. Africa Exclusive has been creating the finest tailor-made safaris since 1990, specialising in luxurious accommodation in beautiful remote places.

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One Comment

  1. I have been considering a cruise for some time now but wonder if I will really enjoy it as the thought of being stuck at sea didn’t appeal to me although I like the idea of being able to get off the ship for a whole day to explore and returning again. It does seem a much cheaper and quicker way to see more of the world! Helpful post indeed xx

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