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The Best Alternatives for Family Cruises in Europe

Get ready to embark on a journey of a lifetime with our curated selection of the best alternative European family cruises. From exploring the enchanting Greek islands to leisurely canal cruises in Wales! 

Portofino, Italy
Portofino, Italy. Imagen de Pascvii en Pixabay

Family cruises can be tricky to organise. There are many details to think about before deciding on a cruise, such as where to go, what to do, and what kind of ship to board. Planning a cruise can be difficult enough, but now that more and more tour operators offer family-friendly itineraries, the process has become even more complex. 

If you are tired of the usual family cruises and want to try something new, check out these alternative European family cruise vacations.

1. Greek Island Hopping: A unique Mediterranean experience

Mykonos island
Mykonos island

It is a lot of fun to take the kids on a Greek island-hopping vacation. Your kids will surely love the thrill of exploring many different islands, swimming in the big blue sea, and enjoying many water sports activities. The only difficult part of island-hopping in Greece is choosing where to go.


Santorini is an essential stop for first-time travellers. Contrary to popular belief, it is not just for honeymooners and romantic getaways. There are many activities and beaches in Santorini that are perfect for the whole family to enjoy. Families looking for adventure can rent quad bikes and cruise around Oia and Fira, or they can visit a beach and take in a breathtaking sunset.


Crete, the largest island in Greece, is full of fun activities for kids of all ages. Dinosauria Park, Amazonas Park, and CretAquarium are just some of the family-friendly activities available. Many of the island’s beaches feature calm, shallow waters, ideal for children.


While Mykonos is known for its vibrant nightlife, there are plenty of exciting things to do there that are sure to please even the most adventurous children. The island’s stunning beaches are the perfect setting for a variety of exciting pursuits, such as kayaking, fishing, mountain biking, windsurfing, and snorkelling. The white sands and calm waters of Kalo Livadi Beach make it a great place for families with young children.

More: A unique island-hopping family holiday in Greece

2. Canal Cruise in Wales

Llangollen, Wales
Llangollen, Wales

A canal cruise in Wales is a great option for families looking for a calm cruise experience. You will get to take a narrowboat ride through the historic canal system that was used to move tons of coal and other minerals. Wales is home to beautiful stretches of scenic waterways, and a canal cruise is a fun and relaxing way to see it all. Llangollen canal boat hire is a fantastic way to see Wales’s beautiful landscape. 

One of the best things about a canal cruise in Wales is that you will have to travel slowly, giving you more time to enjoy the sights. The posted speed limit is a strict 4 mph, so be careful! You can relax and take in the beautiful surroundings as your boat drifts along the water. It is a wonderful opportunity to kick back and unwind with friends and family. 

The breathtaking scenery is the highlight of your canal cruise. Depending on where you’re sailing, you can expect to be in awe at the scenes unfolding in front of you as you sail through these canals. You can take a boat ride along the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, widely regarded as Wales’s most picturesque waterway. Much of the route passes through Brecon Beacons National Park, with its picturesque hills and flower-lined canals.

Visit Black Prince Holidays for more information!

3. River Cruise in France

Cruises on the Seine River, Paris
Cruises on the Seine River, Paris

One of the best ways to spend quality time together as a family is to take a cruise through France and marvel at the country’s breathtaking scenery. With its picturesque rivers winding through peaceful vineyards, picture-perfect villages, and magnificent chateaux, France is widely considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful countries. 

Seine River

Sailing along the Seine River at night is the best way to see Paris from the water. From the comfort of your cruise ship, you will have a spectacular view of the City of Lights. The cruise will take you all over Paris, past the city’s most famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and the Cathedral of Notre Dame, which are even more breathtaking when illuminated at night. It’s well worth including on your itinerary when visiting Paris with kids

Loire River

Take your kids on a cruise along the Loire River if they love fairy tales and princess stories. Along the way, you will pass a number of picturesque small towns, as well as some magnificent chateaux and vineyards. Flowing for more than a thousand kilometers, the Loire is France’s longest river. Taking a river cruise is the best way to see the beautiful countryside of France, especially the historic Loire Valley.

4. Island Hopping in Croatia

Hvar, Croatia
Hvar, Croatia

With thousands of islands to choose from, a cruise is the ideal way to see Croatia. Croatian island hopping is a fantastic vacation for the whole family, with opportunities to swim and dive off the boat into the sparkling waters of the Adriatic, to wander through charming medieval towns with their winding alleys and stone steps, and to hike along scenic coastal trails.

Before taking a cruise around Croatia, do some research on the best islands to visit. Here are two kid-friendly favourites to consider. 


If you are a history-loving family, start your trip in Split, a beautiful island known for its stunning Roman ruins. It is home to the Diocletian’s Palace, which was built by the Roman Emperor in the 4th century.


Hvar is a great choice for families with water-sports-loving kids. The beautiful beaches and clear, calm waters make it ideal for your daredevil children to try out water sports like jet skiing, stand-up paddleboarding, and speed boating.

Visit Cruise Croatia for more information!

5. Sailing in Italy: From Portofino to Amalfi

Amalfi Coast, Italy
Amalfi Coast, Italy

Italy is one of the most beautiful places in the world and has become a popular destination for sailors. There’s plenty for families to do in Italy, both on and off the water. From the sparkling shores of the Amalfi Coast to the charming seaside towns of Portofino, Italy has many beautiful places for a family sailing vacation. 

Tuscany Coast

If it is your first time sailing in Italy, the Tuscany coast is a great place to start. You can hop between the beautiful islands of Elba, Capraia, Gorgona, and Montecristo. Stop in Portoferraio, a picture-perfect seaside town, and relax on its tranquil beaches.

Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is one of the most beautiful places in Italy to explore by boat. Here, you can visit the beautiful towns of Ravello or Positano. You and your loved ones will have a blast hiking through the picturesque Mediterranean landscape, with its rugged hillsides and pastel-colored homes.


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Plantation Island MREC May24

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