PHOTO: Viking Var on the Rhine in Cologne, Germany. (photo via Flickr/Rolf Heinrich, Köln)

Cruise Lines International Association’s Plan a Cruise Month campaign is in full swing, starting with Europe week.

The entire month of October is dedicated to informing the world about cruising while offering the best means to travel accordingly.

“Plan a Cruise Month is such an amazing opportunity for anyone who loves to travel to learn more about the variety of today’s cruise vacation options as well as take advantage of deals and promotions as well as guidance from cruise experts,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA, in a press release. “Today there are cruises to take you around the world from rivers in Asia and Africa to ocean cruises to the Galapagos Islands. A cruise can take you to some of the best global destinations aboard some of the most advanced cruise ships.”

As the focus this week is on European cruises, D’Aoust added, “From historic architecture to diverse cultures, Europe offers a variety of experiences and a cruise can take you there. Whether it’s on a river cruise through France or Baltic ocean cruise, a cruise vacation offers a convenient way to explore everything Europe has to offer.”

Destination Highlights

Among the many spectacular opportunities in Europe, CLIA has listed a number of classics as well as lesser-known gems showcasing the variety available to cruisers.

- Lyon, France: The French “culinary capital” delights foodies with trips to Les Halles market or a local winery complete with an induction ceremony.

- Tallin, Estonia: The storied city blends Scandinavian and Soviet-era points of interest such as sidewalk cafes, art galleries and architecture.

- Olden, Norway: Adventurous souls will appreciate the Norwegian port village for its lake fishing while the more relaxed will enjoy the likes of the “Old Church” from 1759.

- Regensburg, Germany: Romanesque and Gothic edifices invite visitors to explore the preserved city as well as its bridges, courtyards and, of course, delicacies at the Regensburg Sausage Kitchen.

READ MORE: The Benefits of Small Ship Cruising

- Tulips in the Netherlands: Acres of beautifully blooming tulips can be seen up close via shore excursions.

- French Truffle Hunting: Cruisers can follow truffle-hunting dogs to seek out the cherished culinary “black diamond” in France’s farms.

- Soaking in Budapest: The Hungarian capital city offers over eighty active thermal springs and wells to soak in earthy mineral-filled waters.

- Drinking in Dublin: The famed Guinness Storehouse in Dublin welcomes travelers to enjoy a pint of the world-renowned beer and tour the fascinating facility.

- Prehistoric Adventure in Malta: Archaeological connoisseurs can choose to see the megalithic religious site of the Prehistoric Temple of Hagar Qim.

European Cruising Tips

CLIA additionally has some advice on how to make the most of a cruise in Europe with some helpful suggestions.

- Trust a Travel Agent: A CLIA-certified professional knows how to navigate consumer needs and preferences while removing any planning stresses. Find a CLIA Certified Travel Agent at https://cruising.org/cruise-vacationer/cruise-travel-guide/clia-agent-finder.

READ MORE: Cruise Industry Remains Environmentally Committed

- Pack Up: The classic benefit of cruising remains. You only need to unpack once. CLIA recommends including the Four E’s: Essentials (toiletries, basic clothes), Extras (surge protectors, European outlet adapters), Excursions (boots, bathing suits) and Elements (ponchos, sun gear).

- Become Ship Savvy: Always a good idea is to study the layout and deck plan of your cruise ship. It’s the best way to quickly locate everything from the pool to restrooms. Meanwhile, it’s also wise to hold onto daily newsletters and activity listings.

Plan a Cruise Month will continue through October with features on the Americas, the Caribbean, Australasia and Asia.

This post first appeared on TravelPulse.

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