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The part in Red describes December.
In the Eastern Med you are probably going to Spain, Morocco and the Canaray Islands. In the East you will go to a few Greek Islands and possibly to Alexandria Egypt.
The weather will be similar to Florida in the Winter, possibly a little cooler. The Canaries and Madiera should be a little warmer than that.
Moving Into Europe Year-Round
by Paul Motter
It isn't any secret that Europe's economy is far better than our own domestic economy. Wouldn't it be great if you could just pick up your business and move it where the money is? That is exactly what the cruise lines are doing - moving ships to Europe.
And not just this summer, two US-based cruise lines plan to keep at least one ship in Europe year-round. Royal Caribbean announced last summer that Brilliance of the Seas will stay in Europe year-round after this summer season. Now NCL has also announced that Norwegian Jade will be doing the same thing.
And to keep the record straight, Carnival Corp, parent company of Carnival Cruise Lines, owns an Italy-based cruise line, Costa Crociere, that has been sailing several ships sailing in Europe year-round for decades now.
What are the challenges of European cruising in December, for example? Geographically, Europe is situated much farther north on the globe that the United States. Rome Italy, for example, is farther north than New York City. Paris is latitudinally equal to Nova Scotia (Canada), and Stockholm is farther north than Juneau.
Even Barcelona, Spain, which will serve as the homeport for these year-round cruises, is as far north as Middletown, Pennsylvania. But weather patterns in Europe are far different than the U.S. Our famous jet stream of cool arctic weather often dips down from the vast plains of Canada into our major cities. In Europe, the continent often gets weather that circles around from Saharan Africa, on average it is very similar to ours though they are much farther north.
The problem with Euro-winter cruising is the lack of palatable southern destinations. Our hemishere has the Caribbean with hundreds of islands stretching all the way from Florida to South America. On the West Coast we have the Mexican Riviera. In Europe, the only southerly destinations they have are Africa or the Middle East. Or the Canary Islands belonging to Spain and in the Atlantic off the coast of Southern Morocco, which are already chock-a-block full of timeshares and hotels.
Norwegian Jade next December through March is sailing 9-day itineraries from Barcelona to Casablanca and Agadir (Morocco); Las Palmas, one of the Canary Islands; Funchal on Madiera, another Atlantic island near Portugal; and Malaga (Spain). The 9-night cruise starts at $849 per person.
Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas offers a similar itinerary in December; from Barcelona to the Canary Islands and Madeira, ports in Morocco and Spain. A 14-night cruise sells from $1229 per person.
Costa Cruises, on the other hand, has several December itineraries on three different ships sailing from Italy to ports in the Greek Islands, Alexandria, Egypt, Turkey and as far north as Savona (near Genoa) Italy. They also have a popular new cruise sailing in the Persian Gulf out of Dubai.
Another European-based cruise line marketed to Americans, MSC Cruises, also offers Spain, Morocco and the Canaries in December. Bottom line, Las Palmas in Gran Canaria probably looks like St Thomas in December.