Four of the Most Popular Cruise Lines in Europe

By Vesi

There are now so many cruise lines in operation that it can prove tough going to select the most suitable one for an upcoming cruise holiday. To make things easier for holidaymakers about to set sail around Europe, discussed here are four of the most popular cruise lines in Europe.


Viking River

Established in the late 1990s, Viking River has a fleet of 35 vessels which sail along Europe’s great rivers, along with rivers in China and Russia. Their European vessels cater for an average of 168 passengers, whilst their Chinese and Russian vessels are slightly larger with their sole Chinese vessel catering for 268 and their four Russian vessels averaging 200 each.

Viking River
Rolf Heinrich, Köln [GFDL or CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Environmentally conscious passengers will be pleased to note that Viking has launched several ships with hybrid diesel/electric motors, with the first, the Viking Legend, launched in 2009, and it followed this up with the Viking Longships class, all boasting the same environmentally friendly engine system.

So well received were first six Viking Longships launched in 2012 that they were the recipients of Cruise Critic’s award for the Best New River Ship.



Based at in Southampton and operated by Carnival UK, Cunard offers what many cruise experts believe to be unparalleled standards of service. Founded in 1840, as the British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, Cunard has had a long and industrious history as one of the world’s great cruise lines.

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Cunard currently has a fleet of three vessels, which may seem somewhat inadequate, but when one realises the three vessels in the fleet are the Queen Mary 2, the Queen Victoria and the Queen Elizabeth, launched in 2004, 2007 and 2010 respectively, any misgivings quickly vanish.

Cunard’s vessels and captains are no longer registered in the UK, but rather in Bermuda, and it’s also interesting to note that unlike captains registered in the UK, captains registered in Bermuda can marry couples at sea.



An Italian cruise line based in Genoa and incidentally the fourth largest in the world with a 6% share of all passengers in 2012, MSC employs over 12,000 people worldwide.

Its fleet consists of three classes, the Lirica class, the Musica class and the Fantasia class, with four ships in each. The most recent ship to join the MSC fleet was the MSC Preziosa in the Fantasia class launched in March 2013.

By John Haslam under CC BY 2.0


MSC sets sail all over Europe, with several of the ships in its fleet setting sail to the Baltic in the summer months. If you’d like to experience the wonders of this magical part of the world on a cruise holiday then you’re advised to take a look at the MSC fleet itinerary.

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Hands down one of the most recognisable leading names in luxury cruises, if you’re looking for a luxurious cruise holiday around Europe then Silversea might just be the cruise line for you.

A relatively new name in the cruise industry, Silversea has only been in operation since 1994, but it has wasted no time in becoming one of the leading names in the cruise industry. This renowned cruise line operates a small yet very impressive fleet of six vessels with the most recent, the luxurious 36,000 ton Silver Spirit, launched in 2009.

By Yorick_R under CC BY 2.0


Due to its small fleet, and often smaller than average vessels (the Silver Explorer weighs in at just 6,072 tons) Silversea is able to provide its passengers with an option known as ‘Personalised Voyages’, which is an industry first. This well received program enables passengers to select their embarkation and disembarkation points provided they sail for a minimum of five nights.

By Veselina Dzhingarova

About the author


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