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Where to cruise in summer 2017

Cruise Advice

This is an interesting and rather unusual year, in that there are far fewer ships cruising in the Mediterranean than most years. The reason, of course, is that the Americans are wary of visiting Europe: they are concerned about war, terrorism, refugees, and just general geopolitical unrest.

And of course the cruise lines, planning for this reluctance, have looked hard at their deployment, and placed their ships in a variety of other places. Now for Brits, who really prefer to summer close to home in the Mediterranean (CLIA figures show 38% of UK cruisers choosing the Med), this causes some problems - your choices are limited, and the prices are, so far, quite high. But high as they are, if that's where you want to go, we suggest you book now. Limited capacity means those prices are not going to come down; more to the point, you may have problems even finding a close to home cruise to take if you leave it too long.

Bell in Kalymnos, Greece

Alternatively, take the opportunity to look at your options - maybe this is the year to choose one of those spectacular scenery trips which you've had on your radar. The sunshine isn't guaranteed, but the beautiful landscapes certainly are.

Close to home, head northwards - the beautiful fjord country of Norway around Bergen, or further up the coast still until you sail beyond the Arctic Circle and bask in the Midnight Sun. The warming Gulf Stream gives you a better chance of good weather than you might expect in these latitudes, the birdwatching is amazing, and you will really feel away from it all. Look even further afield at Iceland or Greenland - or how about a real expedition to icebound Svalbard and the Arctic, in search of the elusive polar bear? Or maybe a once in lifetime Northwest Passage cruise on board Crystal Serenity?

Midnight sun at the North Cape, Norway

For culture lovers, the Baltic is a fantastic option. Visiting wonderful northern capitals such as Stockholm, Copenhagen and Helsinki, you will understand more about the art, music and literature of these lands as you experience the clear air, light filled summers and extraordinary colours. And of course the highlight of any Baltic cruise is a visit to St Petersburg, with often two or sometimes even three days in the this fantastic city just to scrape the surface of its amazing treasures.

Nyhavn, Copenhagen

Or alternatively, maybe this is the year to take your first river cruise - the wonderful rivers of Europe are right on your doorstep so there is loads to choose from, including the Rhine, Moselle and Danube, or how about France? The Seine is so convenient with romantic departures from Paris, or choose to fly to Bordeaux for a wonderful exploration of the picturesque towns and vineyards of the region, or the Rhône for its beautiful scenery, Roman history and artistic inspiration. The Douro in Portugal and the Po in Italy offer something rather different - a new perspective on much loved countries.

Petite Venise in Colmar, France

If wildlife is your thing, Alaska is the perfect choice, and a wonderful option for families, with so much to do and see. Not only amazing scenery, but also a fascinating gold rush history, alongside the folklore and tales of the Alaskan natives including Aleuts, Northern Eskimos (Inupiat), Southern Eskimos (Yuit), Interior Indians (Athabascans) and Southeast Coastal Indians (Tlingit and Haida); not to mention the amazing wildlife with sightings of whales, sea otters, eagles, vultures and even bears more or less guaranteed.

Humpback whale off Homer, Alaska

Find out more: Summer cruises

Edwina Lonsdale
Meet the author

Edwina Lonsdale is Managing Director and, together with husband Matthew, owner of Mundy Cruising.

More about Edwina
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