With kids out of school, lighter work schedules and the sun shining brightly, it makes sense summer is a popular cruising season — but which one should you book? Check out this list of summer cruising favorites, and you’ll soon realize there’s no wrong choice to be made.
Baltic Sea Cruise
Summer is not only the best time to cruise the Baltic Sea — it’s the only time. Cruising this tranquil body of water is only possible from May to August. Though it may be a bit too chilly for a dip in the onboard pool, these cooler temps provide ideal weather for touring the alluring cities of the Baltic. Travelers can visit top Russian sites like The Hermitage and the Rasputin Museum. Visitors won’t be hassled by visa paperwork if traveling via cruise ship. Baltic cruisers can walk the fish markets of Helsinki and explore the cobblestone alleyway of Estonia. Visit the Vasa, the Swedish war vessel from the 1600s before returning to your own ship for some relaxation and fine dining as you sail to the next exciting Baltic location.
Similar to the Baltic Sea cruise, Alaska cruises are only offered in the warmer months for a variety of reasons. The short days of the winter months leave limited time for excursions, ice formation along the cruise ship routes pose a potential hazard and, well, it’s too cold! If your bucket list includes dog sledding and watching whales, then an Alaska cruise is for you. See wildlife unfold from the deck of your cruise ship and witness a bear fish for salmon. Though the coastline of Alaska is stunningly beautiful, a state this large offers so much more. Tack on a few extra days before or after your cruise for a land excursion to explore the inland sites like Denali National Park and Kenai River Valley.
Canada and New England Cruise
While everyone knows Maine is the spot for lobster, true seafood fanatics know if they want soft shell lobster they need to be in Maine in July and August. After having your share of the crustaceans, hike Acadia National Park with some of the most breathtaking views around. Hit Jordan Pond House for tea and popovers to experience this Acadia summer pastime. Get a glimpse into the life of the Vanderbilts by touring The Breakers, the family’s Rhode Island summer home. Catch a New England flower show or jazz festival. Those docking in Boston in early July can experience a 4th of July celebration like no other or catch a ballgame in the country’s oldest baseball stadium. Experience a bit of European culture in Quebec City’s La Cour arriere du Festibiere beer gardens and take a walking tour in Montreal.
Unlike many of its cruising counterparts, Mediterranean cruises are available from April to November. Beach lovers who dream of sunbathing on a Mediterranean beach will want to book in the summer months for the best tanning indexes. A Mediterranean cruise is a great way to visit all those well-known European cities one after another. Visitors can have a different cultural experience each day. If traveling from the U.S., book your cruise for right after the kids get out of school since European schools typically let out a few weeks after, making the wait in the hot sun at those landmarks a bit less crowded.