Summer is coming up, and many of us are planning summer vacations. Whether you prefer white sand beaches or dramatic icebergs, the perfect summer cruise destination for you is out there.
Below, we provide a rundown of some of the most popular summer cruise destinations, as well as some pro tips to help you get the most out of your trip.
It’s only possible to cruise Alaska in the spring and summer months. The season begins in May and ends in September, but is at its peak during the warm summer months. If you’re fond of outdoor activities such as hiking, wildlife, and exploring historical areas, an Alaskan cruise may be for you.
Large cruise ships from major cruise lines embark from Seattle, Vancouver, and Anchorage. Most Alaskan cruises sail the Inside Passage of Alaska, which is covered in stunning temperate rainforests.
Pro Tip: All of the gorgeous greenery in the Alaskan summertime is fueled by a wet climate. Bring appropriate gear and dress accordingly. Many cruisers are surprised to find that there are many warm and sunny summer days in Alaska.
United Kingdom and Ireland
Several major cruise lines sail around the United Kingdom and Ireland during the summer months. The weather is sometimes hot, but is usually quite pleasant, particularly in early summer.
These cruises normally embark from one of London’s seaports, and circle the island with stops in places such as Liverpool, Greenock, Inverness, Dublin, and Dover.
Northern Europe: Baltic
If you want to see Europe this summer but prefer avoid the record-breaking high temperatures, a Baltic cruise could be an ideal summer trip. On most Baltic cruises, you’ll visit the major cities of both Scandinavia and Russia. Generally, you’ll have an overnight or two in these ports, and a few days at sea to rest and enjoy the ship’s amenities.
Northern Europe: Norwegian Fjords
Several major cruise lines sail to the fjords of western Norway, stopping in the small towns of this fascinating corner of the world. A cruise to the Fjords is in many ways similar to an Alaskan cruise. Unlike with a Baltic cruise, you’ll be seeing more small towns and wildlife as opposed to docking in major cities.
The summer months have very long daylight hours in Norway, allowing ample opportunity for sightseeing.
If you’re looking for a classic “beach” cruise, Bermuda may be your best bet for a summer trip. You’ll be able to enjoy beaches, shopping, golf, and naval history. Bermuda is a good choice for cruisers who want to mix sightseeing and active pursuits with sunbathing on the beach. Most Bermuda cruises will spend a night or two docked in port, allowing you to explore the Island and enjoy the thriving nightlife.
Pro Tip: Hurricanes do cross the island’s path occasionally, and the Atlantic Basin Hurricane season lasts from June to November. Hurricanes tend to peak in mid-August to late October, so booking outside of this timeframe can reduce your chances of encountering a storm. You can also elect to purchase travel insurance in case the weather is problematic.
The Caribbean is one of the most popular and affordable summer cruise destinations. This is the classic cruise, featuring attractions such as white sand beaches, snorkeling, diving, seafood, and local specialties.
The Southern Caribbean is less prone to tropical storms and hurricanes than the Western or Eastern Caribbean islands, although there is some chance of encountering inclement weather. Moreover, fewer ships cruise the Southern Caribbean, so the crowds are generally not quite so bad.
Pro Tip: The Southern Caribbean does get very hot during the summer months, so it’s probably not your best option if you’re looking for a mild-weather getaway.
The Arctic is a great destination for adventure-loving cruisers who don’t mind the cold. Summer Arctic cruises typically head up north of the Arctic Circle, where you can enjoy endless daylight, wildlife such as polar bears and reindeer, and unique landscapes. Mainstream cruise lines are best for onboard amenities and attractions, but a more bare-bones expedition vessel may be best if you’d like to push into the icy north with a crew of naturalists.
Pro Tip: Arctic cruises only sail June through September, but if you want to head the farthest north, book a cruise for July or August when the ice retreats.
The Russian waterways are an excellent summer destination for river cruisers. The Volga River waterways in between St. Petersburg and Moscow are great destinations for May through September. The days are long that time of year, allowing you to soak in the gorgeous scenery.
Many Russian waterway cruises dock in St. Petersburg and Moscow, and have short excursions to small towns and sites along the waterways.
No matter your destination, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience on your summer cruise, especially with good planning ahead of time. Bon Voyage!
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented cruise victims who have suffered all kinds of injuries and illnesses due to negligence. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.
Best Summer Cruise Destinations