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Norwegian Prima
Norwegian Prima (Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line)

Experience a Different Tomorrow in Europe With NCL

Norwegian Prima
Norwegian Prima (Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line)
Tiana Templeman

Last updated
Feb 27, 2024

Read time
6 min read

If you want to choose your next European holiday with your head as well as your heart, an NCL Cruise Tour ticks all the boxes as it includes a pre- or post-cruise stay in Europe’s most desirable and exciting cities, plus the cruise of your dreams.

It’s easy to find a Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) holiday that’s perfect for you and fits in with the rest of your travel plans. The excitement of visiting a new city nearly every day and the chance to immerse yourself in destinations during overnights and late stays in port mean you can fully experience Europe.

However, perhaps the best thing about these authentic Europe cruises is they go beyond the expected and offer more.

12 Award-Winning Ships Sailing Europe

Norwegian Viva's stern, seen in Split, Croatia (Photo: Aaron Saunders)
Norwegian Viva's stern, seen in Split, Croatia (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

With a dozen NCL ships sailing in Europe in 2024 and 2025, it’s easy to find a cruise that’s perfect for you and your crew – and your holiday budget. Here’s the lowdown on the contemporary fleet sailing in Europe plus a hot tip for picking up great European cruise fares with NCL.

Norwegian Prima and Norwegian Viva are the most recent additions to the fleet and an entirely new class of ship with an innovative, spacious design and hot new activities. Onboard you’ll find all the things you love about NCL, plus next-level attractions like go-kart tracks and the fastest slides at sea. If you’re planning a multigenerational getaway or love experiencing new things, Norwegian Viva and Norwegian Prima could be your perfect ship.

Norwegian Dawn
Norwegian Dawn

That said, the line’s smaller vessels, like Norwegian Star and Norwegian Dawn, are also worth getting excited about if you’re heading to Europe. Carrying just over 2,000 guests, these classic ships accommodate 1,000 fewer guests than Prima class and offer a more traditional cruise experience and can visit unique, hard-to-reach ports.

Cruise Your Way And Go As You Please

Diners toast in Onda by Scarpetta on Norwegian Encore
Diners toast in Onda by Scarpetta on Norwegian Encore (Photo: NCL)

An NCL cruise holiday is a revolutionary experience if you’ve never experienced the joy of being able to go as you please on a ship. Having the freedom and flexibility to cruise your way, with no schedule to follow but your own, has got to be the ultimate holiday indulgence.

Onboard, there are no fixed dining times and no set dining tables, and most restaurants are included in your fare. Having the flexibility to eat with friends or family with no fuss makes every day a pleasure. Packing is easier too, with no fancy dress codes or formal nights.

If you’re seeking relaxation first and foremost, there’s plenty of time to enjoy a cocktail as you take in the view or socialise with fellow travellers who share your thoughtful curiosity about the world. Don’t be surprised if you make new lifelong friends on your NCL Europe cruise.

Every Day Is a New Place When You Sail With NCL In Europe

Norwegian Getaway in Santorini, Greece
Norwegian Getaway in Santorini, Greece (Photo: NCL)

Imagine the excitement of pulling back your curtains to see the whitewashed buildings of Santorini cascading down the cliffs opposite the ship or tucking into a delicious room service breakfast on your balcony, overlooking the ancient city of Rhodes in Greece as the city comes alive.

NCLport-rich itineraries make it easy to experience the best of Europe and so do the ship’s shore excursions. If you love exploring different cities and seeing new things without worrying about getting from A to B or finding the best person to show you around, these excursions tick all the boxes.

Florence, Italy
Florence, Italy

Whether you opt for a delicious introduction to the local food and wine scene in Rome, a drive through the Tuscan countryside or learning about local art and culture on a walking tour with an expert guide in Florence, you’ll get an authentic introduction to your destination plus the freedom to discover your own path.

Experience historic ruins in Pompeii, art museums in Barcelona and charming villages in France as if you were a local while enjoying a premium customer service experience and the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re in expert hands whilst exploring onshore.

Experience Culinary Excellence on an NCL Cruise

Cagney's Steakhouse
Cagney's Steakhouse (Image: NCL)

You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to dining as there are more dining options than sea days when you’re sailing with NCL in Europe – and that’s just the complimentary venues. The excellent specialty dining ranges from the perfect burger to a romantic night of fine French cuisine or dinner and a show with an entertaining chef performing exclusively for you and your friends.

You could choose to mop up a rich seafood sauce with a slice of crusty bread at Onda by Scarpetta or take a culinary journey to Mexico at Los Lobos on Norwegian Dawn. And then there’s my favourite – a front-row seat at the Teppanyaki restaurant with fellow adventurers for a night of good food and good times, with dinner and a show provided by one of NCL’s masters of the teppan plate.

Other specialty dining highlights include Moderno Churrascaria authentic Brazilian skewers of slow-roasted meats carved tableside, a prime cut steak at Cagneys (pictured above) lobster thermidor at Le Bistro, and honky tonk tunes and smoky American BBQ with all the trimmings at Q Texas Smokehouse. And, as if this wasn’t already enough, there are foodie-themed shore excursions too.

Explore More of Europe – With Ease

Athens (Piraeus) (Photo:Anastasios71/Shutterstock)
Athens (Piraeus) (Photo:Anastasios71/Shutterstock)

When you’ve flown such a long way from Australia, an NCL Cruise Tour can help to ensure you don’t feel all at sea when you arrive in Europe. These handy holiday packages combine the benefits of an NCL cruise with an immersive, multi-day land program before (or after) your sailing.

NCL Cruise Tours also make it easier to budget, as each land tour includes hotel stays, select meals, transportation, and excursions, and your cruise includes complimentary dining, entertainment, and so much more. All you need to do is choose where you would like to travel!

For example, a nine-night Cruise Tour to Athens on Norwegian Getaway includes a two-night pre-cruise stay with a guided tour of the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and other important sites in Athens that helps you make the most of your time in Greece on land and at sea. On this trip, you also enjoy late-night departures from Mykonos and Santorini, so you can experience the local nightlife and truly immerse yourself in the destination.

A couple in Barcelona on a NCL shore excursion
A couple in Barcelona on a NCL shore excursion (Photo: NCL)

There’s also a 12-night Cruise Tour on Norwegian Escape departing from Barcelona in Spain, or you could have a right royal time in London during a three-night pre-cruise stay that offers plenty of variety, with tours of popular sites like Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London, and the countryside around nearby Kent before you board Norwegian Prima to explore Norway and the wonders of Iceland.

With someone looking after all your arrangements during your first few days in Europe, there’s no need to worry if jetlag is making your brain a little fuzzy when it comes to working out what you’re meant to be doing and where you’re meant to be. All you need to do is relax and enjoy your holiday!

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