Fewer crowds and stunning destinations, spring is the time to cruise. Credit: Ambassador

Is spring the best time of year to cruise?

Author: Daniel Edward

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With comfortable weather and fewer crowds, Ambassador Cruise Line’s springtime sailings are some of the best options for exploring Europe

Europe is a tapestry of colour in springtime, and an Ambassador Cruise Line voyage is an idyllic way to experience everything that the season has to offer, from rainbows of tulips in the Netherlands to a cheerful splash of daffodil yellow in Ireland.

Plus, with European summers reaching record temperatures in recent years, the more moderate springtime months present a much more comfortable climate for invigorating sightseeing, without the overbearing heat of summer.

Oh, and – top tip – bringing your summer holiday forward by a couple of months not only makes winter a whole lot more bearable, it also means you’ll be holidaying without the crowds and that can transform your overall experience.

Springtime in Europe from the UK

Ambassador has a wide selection of European voyages throughout the year from eight British homeports all around the country, including Falmouth, Bristol, London, Liverpool and Belfast. No other cruise line offers so many options for UK homeports.

On board the style and service is largely catered to a British audience, which makes for a comfortable experience where you can get straight to relaxing and enjoying your holiday.

Impressive nightly shows, delicious well-thought-out menus, and interesting enrichment activities are all tied together with what the line proudly boasts are the friendliest crew at sea.

Itineraries available in the enticing springtime window include close-to-home voyages around the British Isles and Ireland, journeys north to Norway and Iceland, as well as sun-seeking trips south to France, Spain and Portugal.

Visit the gorgeous Portree in Scotland on an Ambassador cruise. Credit: Ambassador

Top picks for a springtime sailing

1. Setting off from Falmouth, Ambition visits the ‘hidden gems of France, Spain and Portugal’ on an 11-night voyage sure to captivate the imagination.

The cruise first sets sail south to Portugal, with stops in Leixoes (for Oporto) and Lisbon, the colourful capital city with its classic vintage trams.

You’ll then follow the coastline across northern Spain, visiting La Coruna and Getxo, which offers access to the magnificent Basque countryside and the famous Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

Rounding out the trip, you’ll visit Bordeaux and Lorient in France. Back in the UK, you’ll enjoy a long day in Bristol, before returning to Falmouth.

2. In April, Ambition takes an ‘Iberian treasures and Seville fiesta’ tour towards Spain, even reaching northern Africa with a day in Casablanca.

The southbound leg of the trip features Lisbon, Cadiz and Gibraltar – with long days in port maximising your opportunities to get ashore.

Heading back from Casablanca (where many guests choose to take the excursion to Marrakesh), you enjoy a couple of relaxing sea days, as well as a day in La Coruna on the north coast of Spain, and Bristol along the River Avon.

Visit Iceland's beautiful Gullfoss waterfall with Ambassador. Credit: Shutterstock.

3. Alternatively head north towards Norway’s inexplicably majestic fjords with Ambition’s ‘Springtime Fjordland’ itinerary, departing from Bristol on May 13, 2024.

Check into Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis before crossing the North Sea and indulging in the magnificent scenery of Norway’s fjords.

The sailing itself is out of this world, and when you then go ashore and explore the quaint, picture-perfect towns (like Eidfjord and Flam) at the base of huge valleys you’ll be stunned by the beauty of this region.

4. Spring is also the perfect time to explore more of the UK.

Our country’s beautiful coastline comes alive in spring and with a leaning towards northern England and Scotland, Ambition’s late-May ‘Round Britain and France Discovery’ sailing is a dreamy itinerary to discover lesser-visited destinations, including the Isle of Lewis and Isle of Mull.

You’ll also venture across the Channel to Honfleur, where you’ll beat the crowds for an ideal day in this quaint French seaside town.

5. For 12 nights in May, Ambience will be heading out into the Atlantic from London Tilbury to visit the ‘Land of Ice and Fire’.

With four ports in Iceland plus additional stops in Orkney, Faroe Islands and Shetland Isles, this springtime special is one of the most in-depth discovery tours of Iceland available, and by heading out early in the season you’ll have the pleasure of this volcanic island all to yourself before the reliable flood of summer tourists.

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