Sunday, July 20, 2014

Budget Travel by Cruise Ship

Hop-on-Hop-off Bus - Copenhagen
Budget Travel - 
What Comes to Mind

The next #travelpics will take place Monday, July 21st, 2014, from 3-4pm Eastern time (8-9pm UK time). This week’s questions are all about budget travel.

Preparing for this week's Twitter photo chat, we gave that question some serious thought.  Most likely the first thing that comes to mind is backpacking across Europe, traveling by rail, and staying in hostels.  That's fine if you are in your early twenty's but after that, we doubt that would be your preferred method of travel.

Cruising Europe

Baltic Itinerary
We can't argue that backpacking across Europe is the epitome of budget travel, but for those that can no longer travel in that fashion, the next best thing could be seeing Europe by cruise ship.   If you are coming from the United States, the cost of air travel will be your largest component.   Since it is a fixed cost, no matter what you do upon arrival in Europe, we will not factor that into our budget assessment.

We'll use a Baltic cruise for an example on how cruising in Europe can be budget travel.  A typical Baltic itinerary will have about 7 or 8 ports of call.   If you were to visit those same ports by making your own travel arrangements, it would most likely include several flights between the various destinations, which as we've already mentioned could add significant cost to the trip.   Likewise, you would need to have lodging in each destination.

With a cruise, your lodging and transportation between countries is already included in the price.  Meals and entertainment are also included, all of which would have been extras if sight seeing on your own.

Exploring Ports

There are many ways to explore the countries that the ship visits.  There are several options which fall in the budget travel category.  We'll explore some of those which we used during a past cruise to the region.

Under the Bridges of StockholmThe picture above is a "hop-on-hop-off" bus.   With this form of transportation you can typically start the tour when you get off the ship and conclude back at the ship, making a circle around the port city.  For one low price, usually around $20 USD, you have the option to get on and off the bus as many times as you like to see points of interest along the route.  This is how we toured Copenhagen for example.

In several of our ports, there were shuttles from the ship that would take us into town.  In Stockholm, we took the shuttle and then after a short walk, we were able to book a boat excursion "Under the Bridges of Stockholm".  This two hour tour was one of the highlights of the cruise.   We also used the shuttle method to go to Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen for an evening at the amusement park.

In many ports of call, it was possible to simply walk to nearby attractions.  Such was the case in Bergen, Norway.   In this picture, we walked to the Fløibanen Funicular, one of Bergen's most popular attractions. Ride the tramway to the top for views of the entire area.

If you decide to have a meal while in port, for example in Bergen,  you have a full range of choices from the choices for the budget minded to expensive.   Perhaps something in the fish market would give you a taste of Bergen on the budget side.

The great thing about cruising is that it is all about choice.   The cruise lines offer excursions, which typically cost more than if you organize the same tour on your own.  The benefit to the ship's tours is that you don't have to plan anything and also, they are responsible for getting you back to the ship on time.  Which ever way you decide to go, you have already saved money by not having to pay for hotels, meals, entertainment and additional transportation during your multi-port visit.

Follow us on Twitter: @ChrisPappinMCC  Pinterest: CruiseWithChris Pappin and Facebook: CruiseWithChris Pappin Cruises Inc for more ideas.

1 comment:

Tirun Travel Marketing said...

Much needed amazing facts and information when you're planning to travel to Europe.