Lately, we’ve presented you with many cruises that depart from Southern Europe, taking you halfway across the globe. This one is more for our readers in the North of France, who don’t have a lot of time for a long cruise but still want to experience something exciting. Departing from Le Havre, you would visit Belgium and the Netherlands, before reaching Hamburg as part of its yearly cruise parade celebrating the birthday of its port. You would even get to spend a night in Hamburg before disembarking.
And it’s even really cheap! The whole thing costs €213 per person, including tips and all meals.
No matter which cabin type you choose, the price includes the service charges, gratuities, buffet, main restaurant dining, hot drinks, water, and access to broadway-style theatre shows, sports facilities, and pools.
This is the cruise’s itinerary:
- May 3: Le Havre (departs at 20:00)
- May 4: Zeebrugge near Bruges (10 hours)
- May 5: Rotterdam (12 hours)
- May 6: Hamburg Cruise Parade (4 hours)
- May 7: Hamburg
Hamburg’s Cruise Parade
Since over 830 years, Hamburg celebrates the birthday of its harbour (Hafengeburtstag) once a year on a weekend in May. More than a million spectators usually visit this special event. Apart from music shows and many other fun activities, the highlight of the weekend is the parade, where ships from all over the world sail along Hamburg’s Elbe river. By booking this cruise, you would be part of the parade at the world’s biggest “harbour birthday party”.
The MSC Preziosa had its first trip in 2013 and offers a lot of ways to have fun and relax for families and young couples in its 1,751 cabins across 14 passenger decks. The onboard language is English and the onboard currency is the Euro.
There are 5 restaurants, 3 of which are included: L’Arabesque Panoramic Restaurant (Specialty), Maya (Buffet), and Inca (Buffet).
Those who wish to do sports can do gymnastics, aerobics, and yoga (among others), while those who wish to relax can enjoy shows, casino, or theatre. There are also 4 swimming pools and 12 whirlpools onboard.
Getting to Le Havre
Most people will probably travel to Le Havre from Paris. Apart from driving roughly 200 km from Paris to Le Havre by car, you also have the following options:
- SNCF train for €27-60 (takes over 2 hours and departs every hour)
- Blablabus bus for €9-13 (takes over 2 hours and departs every 4 hours)
- FlixBus bus for €11-14 (takes over 2 hours, 5x a day)
Flying back from Hamburg
If you want to fly back to Paris non-stop on Sunday afternoon (after disembarking in the morning), Eurowings will charge you €100 for that flight. If, however, you spend an entire day in Hamburg and fly back on Tuesday morning, that price drops to €60 with Eurowings or €65 with Air France.
Luckily, Eurowings only charges €20 extra for 23 kg of luggage. Air France, while being more generous with the included carry-on, charges €30 for 23 kg of luggage.
Cover Picture: MSC Rights