Your biggest difficulty planning a European cruise is narrowing down where you want to go. A Western Mediterranean itinerary usually includes stops in Barcelona and Monaco, as well as ports in Italy. Eastern Mediterranean cruises encompass eastern Italy, Croatia and Greece, and sometimes even Turkey and Israel. A Baltic Sea voyage brings you to Scandinavia and Russia; the Norwegian Fjords carry their own beauty. Don't forget about British Isles cruises, which allow you to visit castles in England, Scotland and London. For sun lovers, it's hard to beat the Canary Islands.

What is the best time to cruise to Europe?

The most popular time to cruise to Europe is during the summer months, but the shoulder seasons of spring and fall are prime times to see the continent with fewer crowds. Cruise lines sail to Europe year-round, with special voyages to view the northern lights, visit holiday markets and other wintry wonders, but there are notably less sailings during the months of January through February.

What cruise lines go to Europe?

The majority of oceangoing cruise lines offer itineraries in Europe, crisscrossing the countries of Northern, Eastern and Western Europe. Princess Cruises, Celebrity, Norwegian, Regent, Azamara, Silversea, Royal Caribbean, Crystal, Holland America and more cruise lines have itineraries here. Europe is also a popular destination on river cruise lines such as Viking, Avalon, Emerald, Scenic, AmaWaterways, Uniworld and more, heading to a number of rivers including the Danube, Rhine or Douro.

What are some things to do in Europe?

Europe is a wealth of cultural landmarks, museums dedicated to art and relics, scenic hiking trails, natural wonders, modern capitals of fashion and some of the best food or drink on the planet. You could do as much as you want traversing Norway, France, Italy or Croatia -- or simply stroll around and admire the architecture. See more: 15 European Ports With Amazing Architecture.

Do you need a passport to take a cruise to Europe?

Yes.

What should I pack for a cruise to Europe?

Lots of sightseeing in Europe is done on foot down cobblestone streets -- pack comfortable shoes. Consider bringing clothes for both sightseeing by day and attending the opera at night, if that’s your thing. A simple pashmina or shawl for women helps keep out the chill and covers shoulders for cathedral or mosque visits. For more tips: 10 Must-Pack Items for a European Cruise.