Family vacations can be tricky to plan. You may wonder, “Where should we go on a cruise this year? Will the kids like it? Will there be free time to explore for the parents, with some free time away?” But a cruise vacation can easily solve the question of where to go and whether to bring the kids. Simply put, cruises are welcome vacations for every member of the family. And if you’re searching for ways to combine history, culture, and fun, look no further than a family cruise vacation to Europe.
One of the best ways to choose your upcoming cruise destination is to figure out which countries offer a cultural welcome to families. This usually means there will be activities for people of all ages, and kids will feel included with many activities they would not normally be able to enjoy. When kids are welcome everywhere, the world is their playground and they will also be safer than in other places that do not involve kids in daily life quite as much.
Vacations need to have a sense of adventure, especially for kids. When kids feel like they are going exploring, their excitement to travel knows no bounds. Everyone remembers that boring trip I went on with my family. If you want to be sure that your kids will be gushing about your trip for years to come, then consulting them about the places they dream of traveling is one of the best ways to ensure that your family cruise is out of this world. Here are four of the best destinations for a family cruise vacation to Europe.
1. Spain Cruises
Spain is probably the best place in Europe, if not the whole world, to bring kids on vacation. A culture that celebrates children and allows them into every aspect of life is a welcome change from all the other types of cultures in which children should be seen and not heard. The staggering beauty and variety of Spain help to make this country one of Europe's most-visited. The fact that Spanish society often caters to children in ways most places don't means that Spain should be at the top of your list when considering a family cruise.
The bustling capital of Madrid is only a short distance from the medieval majesty of Toledo, while the beaches of Barcelona, Malaga, and Valencia are just a high-speed train ride away. Not only will you be spoiled for choice as far as cruise excursions are concerned, but your children will also be welcome everywhere you go.
2. Ireland Cruises
If warm weather isn't really your thing, but long afternoons spent inside a cafe cozily reading books and sitting by a fire are the kinds of activities your family enjoys, then Ireland's hundred thousand welcomes are definitely the choice for you. Utterly, vibrantly green and surrounded by some of the most ancient historical sites in Europe, Ireland is also great for exploring, particularly for those who do better in a cooler climate. Additionally, if you're English speakers, then Ireland will be one of the easiest nations in Europe to navigate.
The real draw here is, of course, the Irish people, who are funny and charming, offering you one of the warmest welcomes in all of Europe. A plunge into the cool water of Dun Laoghaire at the Forty-Foot, made famous by James Joyce, or a wander through the safari park south of Cork, are just a couple of the activities available for families to look forward to on a cruise to the Emerald Isle.
3. Greece Cruises
For a lovely beach vacation in the sun-dappled blue-and-white buildings clinging to the sides of cliffs, cruising to Greece will take your breath away. It's also the perfect place for a beach getaway, given the sheer number of beaches among the nearly-countless Greek islands. For those who are interested in Greek mythology – and what kid didn't go through a myth and monsters phase – Greece is the ultimate place to visit for younger folks who love antiquity and mythology.
Parents will find something to enjoy, from long, relaxing meals at restaurants overlooking the sea to some of the world's most delicious wines. From the lost city of Atlantis on Santorini to the silhouette of the Parthenon in the Athenian summer moonlight, a cruise among the Greek islands is a great choice for adventurers both young and old.
4. Italy Cruises
Venice is a city of dreams. This city is one of the only places in the world that matches exactly the image people have in their minds. It's an excellent choice for a family cruise, particularly during Carnevale, which is like Halloween every day. Italy, in general, is absolutely drenched in culture and history, not to mention its incredibly delicious food. Good news for picky eaters – a lot of kids will only eat pizza and spaghetti, so you're in the perfect place for both options!
From the mystery of Venice to the capital city of Rome to the beaches of the south, Italy stays in the heart. It's also a family cruise that everyone will remember.
Europe is family-friendly overall, since many cultures there are child-focused. It's also far safer than many American destinations. Crime in Europe is relatively low.
The best part of a trip to the continent is how easy it is to country-hop. That makes Europe not only an ideal place for a family cruise, but Norwegian in particular an ideal way option. There are countless family-oriented activities onboard, and since you'll be visiting some of the most family-friendly regions of the world, you'll feel like celebrities on your journey to the greatest tourist locations since antiquity.
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