In 2017, 258 million tourists took a trip to Europe. 

A lot of these people probably traveled by plane, but plane tickets can be incredibly expensive. 

Wondering how to travel to Europe by boat and save on airfare? Here are some tips for a trip to remember.

1. Take a Cruise

what to pack for a cruise

One of the best ways to travel to Europe by boat is to take a cruise. 

It may not be the cheapest options, but you will be paying for more of a vacation and an enjoyable experience than being cramped on an airplane for eight hours.

You can start by doing some research to find out if there are any cruises in your area that go to Europe. Some cruise lines like Royal Caribbean and Cunard offer transatlantic cruises. 

If you have a bigger budget, you may even want to find a luxury cruise to make sure you’re totally relaxed by the time you make it to Europe.

2. Try a Freighter

If you do actually want to save some money, you could also look into booking a trip on a freighter. Freighters normally let passengers hop on board for a discounted rate. 

It won’t be as luxurious as the cruise ship you could book, but you get what you pay for. Normally these freighter ships will be able to take about 12 passengers, although it depends on the freighter. Most only actually let about 6 people on.

The two freighters that offer routes from the United States to Europe are Rickmers and CMA CGM. 

Rickmers normally leaves twice a month, and they leave from Houston. They cross the Atlantic and make their way to Belgium. After that, they also have a few other stops in Europe.

For CMA CGM, they leave every two weeks from New York. They also make stops in Florida, Georgia, and Virginia. After that, they head to Spain first, and then make several other stops around Europe. 

If none of those stops work for you, you could also look into getting a boat hire.  

3. Come Up With an Itinerary

Take Your Time

Another thing to make sure you have a good vacation if you are taking a boat is to come up with an itinerary. 

You will need to coordinate your trip with one of the drop-off points and make sure that you are back in time to catch your return trip.

While making your itinerary, the most important thing you should factor in is how much time you actually have on your trip. If you feel like you have too many things planned out for a short time period, then you should probably try and cut some things out.

Having a plan is a good idea, but you don’t need to have every minute of your trip accounted for. This is a good way to make sure that your vacation is anything but relaxing.

You should also factor in things like making sure you’re rested enough, making sure you have time to get food, check-in, and pack or unpack. 

If you are planning a trip to different countries, you will also have to make sure you have enough travel time to get to each destination.

Do a little more research and figure out what to plan to make sure your trip is enjoyable.

4. Keep Your Travels in Mind When Packing

Just because you aren’t having to stuff everything into a tiny carry on for an airplane, you still should consider what you are packing.

Make sure that you pack clothes that will be practical to wear and can even possibly be worn multiple times. If you are going to take a freighter for your trip, make sure that you have movies, books, and anything else to help keep you entertained.

You can also pack these for a cruise, but there will most likely be plenty of activities to keep you occupied.  

5. Have an Open Mind

If you’ve never traveled on a cruise or freighter before, the best way to make sure that you enjoy is to go into the experience with an open mind. 

You may have expectations, but try not to hold anything to those standards. Even when you get to your destination, make sure that you have an open mind as well.

Plans can change all the time, and you need to be open to moving to Plan B if something goes wrong.  

6. Learn Some Foreign Words

planning travel

If you are going to a country that doesn’t speak your language, make sure that you try and learn a few of the words in the language they speak.

You don’t have to be fluent, but you should try and learn a few phrases. You will be thankful you did; it will make your experience so much easier.

7. Take a Train When You Get There

If you don’t want to take a plane when you get to Europe but still want to go to some different countries, you can always take a train to different kinds of places. 

Taking a train can actually get you to your destination faster than flying and going through the airport procedures can be. Plus, it’s normally cheaper as well. 

There are train stations in a lot of big cities. There may even be one within walking distance from you. 

Just make sure that you are able to take a train back to where your ship will pick you up and take you home

Travel to Europe by Boat Today!

If you’ve always wanted to travel to Europe by boat, now is your chance.

These are only a few tips to help you get started, but there are so many more, especially if you’ve never visited Europe before.

Make sure you check out some of our other blog posts to learn more about how to plan the perfect trip to Europe!

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