Trace the footsteps of Vikings and succumb to ancient cities. Admire medieval castles guarding secluded coves and sail ethereal fjords where the scenery is spellbinding.
The world’s smallest country, Vatican City, is located in Europe. Home to the Pope, leader of the Catholic Church, this tiny independent nation has around 800 citizens and sits within the city of Rome.
Over 200 languages are spoken in Europe, although only 24 are officially recognised. The others consist of localised regional dialects, while English is the most widely spoken language across the continent.
Of all the countries within Europe, Spain is considered the sunniest. The country regularly records more annual sunshine per year than its European neighbours, earning it the nickname "the frying pan of Europe."
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The Mediterranean is a jewel in Europe. Be captivated by crumbling coastal towns and charming fishing ports, savour exquisite sandy beaches and hidden bays, and indulge to your heart’s content.
This UNESCO listed land where the midnight sun never sets is an awe-inducing blend of glacial granite cliffs, jewel-coloured pine forests and lakes in every shade that nature can conjure.
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Northern Lights cruises
A Northern Lights cruise propels you to the heart of Norway’s atmospheric fjords, where the prospect of glimpsing nature’s famous lightshow only adds to the sense of wonderment.
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Life on board
An oven warm scone served to you by a white-gloved waiter, a chocolate left on your pillow each night and complimentary room service, 24 hours-a day. These are the everyday experiences that await you on a cruise with Cunard. Savour the standard of our White Star Service, relax in the serenity of your ship’s spa, and enjoy evenings illuminated by theatre, music, and fine dining.
Recognised around the world, a Cunard Queen is a British icon of luxury ocean travel as famous for carrying royalty, presidents, and legends of the stage and screen, as for the White Star service provided by our ship’s crew. To travel with us is to become part of history. We’ve transported passengers around the world since 1840 – longer than any other cruise line – and our itineraries always offer a unique point of difference. Be it a naturalist on board to narrate the scenery or an explorer regaling you with tales of adventure.
Europe enjoys over 400 World Heritage Sites, ranging from entire cities like Venice, to the historic centres of Tallinn, Bruges and Riga, and Norway’s spectacular Geirangerford. Other must-see sights include Gaudi’s famous Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, the Colosseum in Rome, Sintra (on a tour from Lisbon) and the Hermitage in St Petersburg.
This all depends on where in Europe you’re going and what you hope to see. If you’re visiting the Mediterranean, you can enjoy warm and pleasant days as early as April and well into October, while July and August generally herald the highest temperatures. Northern Europe is also best explored April-October before temperatures fall below freezing, while if you’re hoping to glimpse the Northern lights September to April offers the optimum window.
Europe mainly operates around three time zones: Western European or WET (+0 UTC/GMT), Central European or CET (+1 UTC/GMT) and Eastern European or EET (+2 UTC/GMT).
Summers tend to be hot and dry in central Europe, Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean, with temps in parts of Spain, Portugal and Italy climbing above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). Winters tend to be cold, often frosty and sometimes snowy in central and Eastern Europe, while Mediterranean winters are cool with rain. Summers are coolest in Northern Europe and winters tend to be harshest here too.
Most European countries, particularly those in the Mediterranean, accept the Euro as currency. You’ll need Euro for France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Germany, Greece, The Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Slovakia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Estonia, Montenegro, Ireland and Latvia.
In Denmark you’ll need Danish Krone, in Sweden it’s Swedish Krona, in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland it’s British Pounds Sterling, in Iceland it’s Icelandic Krone, in Norway it’s Norwegian Krone and in Russia it’s Russian Rouble.
The official total, according to the UN, is 44 countries. However this figure is debated. Some count up to 51 countries within Europe, adding the likes of Turkey, Cyprus, Georgia and Armenia to the list.