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Travel Europe with cruises

One of 10 ideas how to extend your travel budget

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Cruises used to be a symbol of wealth. Now it can be a way to save some money during a trip. From one hand you pay fixed price for trip but from other - no worries about hotel, meals, transportation. While in Europe, you can find short cruise trip, where you travel during the night, visit city for sightseeing and come back same night. For example, good route for it - Baltic (Riga, Tallinn) to Scandinavia (Helsinki, Stockholm)or vice versa. For longer trips - 7 or 12 days usually there are trips for one or two regions: Mediterranean, Europe-northern, Europe-western.
If to you can find a deal with less than $100 a day, then it might be an option for budget traveling. Because 2-3star hotel could cost around $30 – 50 + transportation from place to place and other expenses (transfers, drinks, tips, activities). Hotel costs in Scandinavia are much more higher – with overage of $100 per night. Therefore 7-day northern Europe cruise that visits Copenhagen, Oslo, Kiel, Stavanger or Bergen could be a good option. Norwegian fjords are worth to see. Depending on duration of trip, combining short cruises to Scandinavia with few days in Germany or Netherlands might be a good deal. But in this way you can see just cities with harbors.
To ensure cruise ships stay full, Top-notch cruise lines are forced to discount some of their itineraries. Lately some cruise lines include round trip economy airfare from selected US and Canadian cities. Often free shore excursions or onboard spending card might be included as well. With all mentioned expenses included, 14-day cruise with rates starting $3.995 might be a good deal. If to book advance, many cruise liners offer big savings. In order to get customers back, some offer 20% of next cruise. Look for the information directly in cruise liners websites.
For people who love traveling, but they want to see through Europe, a river cruise is an option. Modern river boats have good accommodations onboard. They also have advantage of being able to pull into very heart of any city you visit. Search for Elbe river, Rhone river, Rhine river cruises.
In order to save some money plan advance for things you want to see and take city sightseeing by yourself. The problem for this kind of travel might be a time limitations off shore - ship leaves in 6pm and you have to be back by 5pm. City sightseeing is more like: been there - seen that. But to get feeling of place it’s good to have at least few days...
Book advance and check out websites of cruise providers – they then to offer some discounts. And again, cruising off-season can get you better price and value.

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