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Enhance Your Cruise Vacation by Departing from a European Port
by Roy Witman © 2011

What mental process do you go through when you book a cruise? If you're like most people, you select a departure port that is close to your home. However, if you want to enhance your vacation, flying into an airport near a European departure port is an excellent idea. Using this option, you'll have the freedom to get acquainted with breathtaking cities through the excursions offered for your cruise itinerary while saving a few days to revisit your favorites at your leisure later on.

Let's use Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) as an example. At the time of this writing, there are several European ports offered that bring the chance to extend your stay and soak up the ambiance of these classic cities.

Barcelona, Spain

An ever-popular tourist spot, Barcelona, Spain is a jewel in the crown of the Mediterranean. With remarkable architecture, you can experience delightful and intriguing sites as you tour the city, including Monsterrat, legendary home of the Knights of the Holy Grail. From art galleries and museums to elegant shops and restaurants, there is much to explore.

Copenhagan, Denmark

Gorgeous scenery and a walk-friendly environment make Copenhagen a shutterbug's dream come true. Being surrounded by ornate palaces, regal churches and eye-catching cathedrals as you stroll through this city makes you feel as though you've stepped into a fairytale. Adding to the scenery are the breathtaking waterways, canals and beaches that surround and wind their way through the city.

Rome, Italy

One of the best-loved places in Italy, Rome is filled with and endless selection of sights. Ancient architecture is everywhere and the city flawlessly intermingles the well-preserved landmarks with the ruins. Breathe in the chronicles of this destination that holds so much historical and religious significance as you tour the Colosseum, St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City and much more. As these monuments stimulate your sense of sight, the incomparable cuisine will wash over your taste buds leaving an indelible impression that will last for years to come.

Venice, Italy

Either break out your walking shoes or opt for a romantic gondola ride, but you won't find any cars in Venice. Why? This timeless Italian city is built entirely on water across 117 small marshy islands. With narrow footpaths and canals, travel via practically anything with wheels is all but impossible. Classic sights include Doge's Palace, Piazza San Marco and St. Mark's Basilica as well as numerous museums.

With a virtually endless list of things to see, do and taste, and extended stay in your favorite European city is a brilliant idea. Most cruise lines, NCL included, offer a wide variety of itineraries to select from allowing you to create a vacation that's uniquely suited to you. Don't think you can afford a European holiday? Now's the best time to book a cruise and cash in on the many voyages that offer affordable luxury and the time of your life.

Read more about Norwegian Cruise Line.

*We can't publicly discount NCL Cruises on our web site. Please call (800.803.7245) for the best price.