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Cruise Europe: Family fortunes

You can keep the whole family happy on a European cruise holiday, where history and culture pair with natural beauty and adventure, writes Sara Macefield

It’s not surprising that Europe is such a catch for families. This is where youngsters can stride out as gladiators amid the ruins of Rome’s Colosseum; explore the ancient ruins of Pompeii or paddle off on a kayaking trip through Norway’s fjords while enjoying a backdrop of dramatic scenery. Here, we look at why a sailing with Royal Caribbean is the best way to enjoy these continental delights.

Fun for all the family

Allure and Explorer of the Seas will arrive in May with gleaming new facilities following multi-million upgrades as part of the line’s Royal Amplified fleet modernisation, this month also marks the return of Quantum class ship Anthem of the Seas to Southampton for the summer season for the first time in five years. Anthem will be joined in May 2021 by Harmony, Rhapsody and Royal Caribbean’s newest ship Odyssey of the Seas, the first Quantum Ultra-class ship to cruise Europe. These state-of-the-art ships have everything a family could want from their holiday – from West End theatre to waterparks to dozens of dining options. Parents can relax in the Solarium while the kids head to the SeaPlex, play table tennis, basketball or jump on the bumper cars. With surf and sky-dive simulators, laser tag and rock walls, waterslides and escape rooms, kids and adults alike will never face a dull moment. Parents can rest assured that children will not only be safe and well looked after, but having a holiday of a lifetime.

Part of the club

Royal Caribbean’s award winning kids’ clubs are among the best you’ll find anywhere, at sea or on land. The Adventure Ocean youth programmes promise to be both fun and educational, providing kids with memories to last a lifetime and parents with peace of mind – as well as a well-deserved break. The programme is divided into three categories. There are Aquanauts (ages three-five years), who get to conduct cool experiments to become Certified Jr Adventure Scientists; Explorers (ages six-eight years), who partake in activities such as themed parties; and Voyagers (ages nine-11 years), who have the chance to explore a range of activities that Royal Caribbean promises puts the “cool” back into learning. The teen programme allows older kids the freedom to come and go as they please and enjoy dedicated spaces such as the Living Room, the Fuel Teen Club and the Arcades.

Champions of Europe

Royal Caribbean has dozens of options in Europe for families with children, from toddlers to teens. Anthem of the Seas will sail to destinations including the Norwegian fjords, Iberian Peninsula, Canaries and Northern Europe. A summer 14-night Italian Mediterranean voyage explores the cultural glories of Italy with stops in Livorno for Florence and Pisa, Civitavecchia for Rome and the historic port city of Genoa, while a two week Mediterranean Beaches cruise in August combines the coastal appeal of the Spanish resorts of Malaga, Valencia and Barcelona, along with Palma and Ibiza in the Balearics. A two-week Canary Islands cruise in July brings a taste of Spanish fl amenco culture in Cádiz, before reaching Lanzarote with its line-up of exciting water sports; Gran Canaria’s beautiful beaches; Tenerife’s famous volcano, Mount Teide; and the unspoilt colonial treasures of La Palma. An autumn half-term mini cruise showcases the appeal of the French port of Le Havre, from where clients can pay a visit to Paris, and the arty Spanish city of Bilbao. Allure of the Seas will be the first revamped Oasis-class ship in Europe, arriving in May and homeporting from Barcelona to spend the summer on one week Western Mediterranean sailings encompassing the charms of Provence with a stop in Marseille; the Renaissance glories of Florence and Pisa from La Spezia; Palma in Majorca; Rome from Civitavecchia; and Naples for Pompeii and the island of Capri.

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