Europe’s 5 Most Underrated Cruise Destinations (As Picked By The Experts)

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Iglu Cruise has revealed the five most underrated cruise destinations in Europe for guests to add to their bucket lists, and highlighted some Celebrity cruise itineraries that include visits to those destinations.

European cruises offer something for all travellers, with a variety of climates, landscapes and cuisines to enjoy.

But while ports such as Barcelona, Marseille and Rome are often spoken about as highlights, there are plenty of gems that fewer itineraries include but that are absolutely worth exploring.

With that in mind, cruise travel experts at Iglu Cruise have chosen their five destinations that they feel are the most underrated.

Porto, Portugal

Portugal attracts millions of tourists annually, with many heading to the Algarve, famed for its stunning beaches. However, Porto, situated in northern Portugal, is gaining recognition as one of Europe’s most underrated cities.

Porto, Portugal

This charming city is celebrated for its Baroque and Neoclassical architecture, which earned it UNESCO World Heritage status in 1996.

Notable landmarks such as the Porto Cathedral and Palácio da Bolsa showcase Portuguese architecture, creating a fairytale-like atmosphere.

Athens, Greece

When thinking of Greek cruises, destinations like Santorini, Rhodes, Crete, and Mykonos often come to mind. However, Athens, the country’s capital, is a cruise destination not to be missed.

Athens, Greece

As one of the oldest cities in the world and the largest in Greece, Athens boasts landmarks such as the Parthenon, Acropolis, and Temple of Zeus. With over 3,000 years of history, it is considered the birthplace of democracy, arts, and philosophy in Western civilisation.

Beyond the city, Athens offers some of Greece’s most beautiful beaches, perfect for swimming in clear waters or relaxing after sightseeing. Kavouri Beach, known for its stunning sunsets, is ideal for enjoying Greek cuisine while overlooking the Aegean Sea.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Coolcationing, the trend of holidaying in cooler climates, makes Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, an ideal cruise destination.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Famed for its Northern Lights and active volcanoes, Iceland’s “Land of Fire and Ice” offers breathtaking landscapes such as Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Skogafoss Waterfall, and Snæfellsjökull National Park.

Visitors can also enjoy Iceland’s incredible wildlife, including orcas, humpback, minke, and blue whales, especially during the peak summer whale-watching season.

Zadar, Croatia

Zadar, one of Croatia’s best-kept secrets, offers the historic charm of Dubrovnik with a quieter, more intimate atmosphere. For those seeking a cruise destination with fewer tourists, Zadar is ideal.

Zadar, Croatia

Situated on the Adriatic Sea in the northwestern Ravni Kotari region, Zadar boasts some of Croatia’s finest and less crowded beaches. These west-facing beaches provide some of Europe’s best sunsets.

The Sea Organ, a unique city attraction, creates beautiful music played by sea waves. Organ pipes in the marble steps produce a distinctive soundtrack as waves pass through.

Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland

Many Brits may overlook the UK as a holiday destination, especially for cruises. However, the UK offers some of Europe’s best natural beauty, with the Shetland Islands being a prime example.

Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland

Lerwick, the Shetlands’ only town, houses half of the island’s population. Despite its small size, there’s plenty to do, especially for outdoor enthusiasts. Exploring this remote part of Scotland by foot allows you to fully appreciate the local wildlife.

The Shetlands are recognised as an Important Marine Mammal Area (IMMA) for orcas, humpbacks, minke whales, and harbour porpoises.

This designation places the Shetlands alongside Antarctica, Madagascar, Baja California, and Patagonia, attracting visitors from around the world to observe these animals in their natural habitat.

All of these European destinations are available on Celebrity Cruises’ 2024 itineraries with Iglu Cruise, with itineraries that include some of these ports starting at just £839pp for 11 nights.

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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