Exploring Europe made easy with CLIA member lines

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) member lines are now offering outstanding value and substantial savings on fall and winter cruises throughout Europe. These offerings include more ships, year-round deployments, new ports and itineraries from the British Isles to Turkey and all the wine regions, major capital cities and romantic islands and harbours of the Mediterranean in between. Many CLIA member lines are dramatically investing in expanded operations, capacity, and new ships in Europe through longer cruise seasons – in some cases a year-round presence. Examples include: !!! The Celebrity Reflection, Celebrity Cruises’ newest Solstice Class ship debuted in the Mediterranean this month. The 3,000-passenger vessel is offering 14-day sailings from Barcelona or Venice throughout the Med, the Adriatic, Greek Isles, Malta and Turkey. Celebrity also is offering seven immersive wine cruises from Southampton through Nov. 18 to top wine producing regions in France, Spain and Portugal aboard the Celebrity Constellation. !!! Hurtigruten has offered the “Coastal Voyage of Norway”year-round for the past 120 years. Available in varying cruise lengths, the voyage stretches as far as Kirkenes, high above the Arctic Circle, on an itinerary that visits 34 different ports. Winter sailings are particularly fascinating given the season’s special light, including the aurora borealis, or “northern lights.”This year, Hurtigruten is offering 30% savings on select 12-day voyages between November and March 2013. !!! Two of the biggest European-based cruise lines – MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises – offer trips through the Mediterranean year-round. MSC Divina, the company’s newest ship, will sail this winter throughout the Mediterranean, Iberia and North Africa. The 3,478-passenger Divina features the exclusive, “ship-within-a-ship”MSC Yacht Club, an Aurea Spa with spa suite accommodations, an adults-only lounge with an infinity pool and many other amenities. !!! One of CLIA’s most venerable globe-trotting cruise lines, Holland America Line, will offer a series of fall voyages aboard the Rotterdam to European destinations including Spain and Portugal, the Norwegian fjords, and an 18-night “Canary Islands Holiday”departing Dec. 22 from Rotterdam and featuring Casablanca, Cadiz, Lisbon and the Canaries. !!! In 2013, Princess Cruises will have seven ships in Europe sailing on 60 itineraries to 135 destinations into December. The company’s newest ship, Royal Princess, which will debut in June 2013, will feature a Grand Mediterranean itinerary. The Ruby Princess will offer new seven-day Mediterranean sailings and a 12-day Greek Isles itinerary. !!! MSC Cruises offers free passage for children 11-and-under and reduced fares for teens 17-and-under. Costa Cruises is offering free cruises for kids 17-and-under on voyages through Nov. 24. !!! Royal Caribbean has eight ships in Europe this year, offering seven-night eastern and western Mediterranean and Greek Isles cruises for the whole family with the DreamWorks Experience featuring favourite DreamWorks characters. Royal Caribbean also offers 12-night Italy, Greek Isles and Holy Land voyages, and Mediterranean and Canary Island itineraries from Southampton. For those looking for special savings, Royal Caribbean is offering a six-night Greek Isles & Turkey cruise departing Nov. 11 from Italy starting at less than $800 p.p., double occupancy. !!! Windstar Cruises features six- to eight-day sailings featuring many of the Mediterranean’s most popular ports of call from Barcelona and Lisbon to Italy. !!! SeaDream Yacht Club offers late fall cruises on its two exclusive 112-passenger vessels, including seven-day trips between Nice and Rome or Nice and Barcelona and 12-day sailings between Athens and Barcelona. With almost as many crew as guests, SeaDream’s fare includes all meals, wine with lunch and dinner, open bar, gratuities and more. !!! Cunard Line offers a series of nine-, 10- and 12-day voyages on the Queen Elizabeth through November, including a Greek Isles and Turkish Splendours voyage, a Holy Land Explorer itinerary and a ten-day Mediterranean Moments cruise beginning in Rome on Nov. 29 and sailing to Southampton. Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth will be joined by Queen Victoria for another series of Mediterranean voyages between July and December. !!! Oceania Cruises sails the Mediterranean in style through Nov. 10, offering seven- to 12-day trips from embarkation ports in Spain, Portugal and Turkey. !!! Silversea Cruises has a presence in Europe for 10 months of the year beginning in late February and continuing into mid-November. The itineraries include seven- to 12-day sailings from Spain and Portugal to Turkey, Greece, the Canary Islands and Israel as well as ports in the Mediterranean. !!! Seabourn also cruises the Mediterranean this autumn, with a variety of sailings on the Seabourn Pride from Lisbon to the Middle East as well as seven- to 10-day voyages from Athens, Barcelona, Venice, Monte Carlo, Rome and other Mediterranean ports. !!! Regent Seven Seas Cruises is offering two-for-one fares with additional bonuses for suite accommodations on its 10-night Classical Mediterranean cruise this fall. In addition, the line offers Business Class air upgrades and complimentary shore excursions such as a wine tasting in the hills of Lucca, Italy, or a bicycle adventure in the Konavle Valley in Croatia. (