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9 of the best spring cruise destinations

Cruise Advice

Bright blossoms, lush greenery, spectacular waterfalls: spring can be a glorious time to travel. Considered peak season in some regions and a chance to find some great bargains and slightly quirky itineraries in others, there are plenty of options offering a huge variety of experiences, so we take a look at our top 9 spring cruise destinations.

1. Belgium & the Netherlands

Tulip time on a river cruise in Belgium and the Netherlands is a true celebration of spring, when the bulb fields and the Keukenhof Gardens come alive. See the whimsical Kinderdijk windmills surrounded by a riot of colour providing a joyful backdrop to the cultural delights of Amsterdam, Bruges, Antwerp and Ghent.

Keukenhof Gardens Netherlands

2. Japan

For many, Japan is one of those destinations that is firmly on the 'to do' list. Quite apart from the vibrant cities, the spectacular scenery and the contrasting islands, visitors to Japan return talking of something else altogether: the calm, the strangeness, the moments of zen beauty, the bowing, so respectful and contained; in short, the graciousness of an ancient heritage. Travelling in spring coincides with the nation's extraordinary obsession with hanami - cherry blossom viewing - and there really is no better time to visit.

Blossom & Mount Fuji, Japan

3. The Mediterranean

For good reason the Mediterranean really is our favourite cruising destination. Combining so much, from the history of empires ancient and modern to yachting harbours frequented by the rich and famous. Outstanding culinary traditions, authentic fishing villages, beautifully secluded bays and gloriously busy cities all vie for your attention, often on a single itinerary. Travelling in the warm spring months can mean the best of the weather, when southern Europe is at its greenest, the bougainvillea is beginning to bloom, and the crowds have not yet arrived.

Manarola, Cinque Terre

4. Transatlantic

Spring sees many ships move from their winter home in the Caribbean to the Mediterranean, offering those who enjoy relaxing days at sea the chance to indulge in a cruise line's hospitality at particularly good value fares.

Silversea Cruises, Silver Moon at sea

5. The Douro

Portugal has been very much in vogue in recent years with an outstanding culinary scene, characterful cities, and rich history. The Douro is a one of Europe's most dramatic and beautiful waterways and travelling in the spring when the vineyards are bursting into life is ideal to avoid the heat of the summer months.

Bridge over the Douro, Porto

6. The Galapagos

A true year round destination, there is no bad time to go to the Galapagos, but by the end of April what little rains the islands get have subsided, leaving them at their greenest, while May sees baby turtles and marine iguanas hatching and the chance of witnessing the mating rituals of the blue-footed booby. The bluer their feet, the more chance they have of attracting a mate!

Blue footed booby, Galapagos

7. Scotland

You may be tempted to wait until the height of the summer to visit Scotland but those in the know love spring in the Western Isles. May and June tend to be sunnier and drier than July and August and the spring months see wildlife at its richest whilst avoiding the peak of midge season!

Isle of Bute, Scotland

8. Alaska

The cruise season for Alaska starts in May with the driest weather lasting until early summer. May and June are a great time to spot bears with wonderfully long days and great value fares.

Glacier Bay, Alaska

9. The Holy Land and Red Sea

With highlights including Jerusalem, Bethlehem and the ancient rose-red city of Petra, a visit to the Holy Land is a must, and the very best time to travel is in spring to avoid the often searing summer heat or cold winter months. In March the region's rain begins to clear, with May seeing the least rainfall at Petra, which is important as the area is prone to flooding.

Petra, Jordan
Meet the author

Alex is Director of Sales & Marketing at Mundy Cruising, having worked with the company for 10 years and in travel for over 18 years. Most recently he's cruised on Regent Seven Seas and has also sailed with Seabourn, Crystal, SeaDream, Tauck and Ponant. His favourite destination is South America however he's also enjoyed cruises in the Western Mediterranean, Middle East, East Africa & Indian Ocean, India, Myanmar, South East Asia and Antarctica. When he’s not travelling he loves walking holidays; a favourite included a trek to Everest Base Camp.

More about Alex

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