There’s never a bad time to look for Canary Island cruise deals. That’s because the islands get year-round warm weather that rarely dips below 20°C, making them particularly popular for winter breaks. One of the main islands, Tenerife, has even been dubbed The Island of Eternal Spring for its superb temperatures.
Set in the Atlantic Ocean, the Canaries are Spanish islands but owe their sub-tropical climate to being far south of Spain, in line with Morocco. Transatlantic and Western Europe cruises to the Canary Islands also commonly take in extra destinations around Spain, Portugal, Morocco and Cape Verde.
July to September are the hottest months, with average temperatures of around 25°C that reach higher mid-season. And with only 5.5 inches of rainfall each year, there’s ample chance to enjoy the islands’ 500 or more beaches, whatever time of year it is! Ranging from black volcanic sand to vast rolling dunes and busy resort beaches, full to the brim with facilities – the choice is yours on where to lie.
Visiting between December and March means you’ll have to share the Canaries with other visitors, particularly Brits looking to escape the gloom back home. Many come for the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in February, which is second only to Rio in terms of scale – and well worth visiting for.
Cruise the Canary Islands with Marella Cruises
Each of the seven Canary Islands has its own distinctive features and surprisingly varied landscapes. You can relax in the sunshine on a volcanic sand beach, hike into the mountains, enjoy watersports in the shimmering seas or experience local arts and culture.
It’s possible to stop at any of the islands on a cruise – Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro. However, some cruise lines will take in one or two Canaries ports, with the most common ports being in Gran Canaria, La Palma and La Gomera. An exception to this is Marella Cruises who’s seven-day plus Canary island based itineraries ensure you cover most, if not all of these beautiful destinations!
Marella Cruises have three main Canary Island itineraries for you to choose from, being:
- Canarian Flavours
Ports of call: Gran Canaria, La Gomera, Madeira, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Tenerife
- Iberian Delights
Ports of call: Gran Canaria, La Palma, Madeira, Portugal, Spain, Gibraltar, Ibiza, Majorca
- Colourful Coasts
Ports of call: Gran Canaria, La Palma, Madeira, Morocco, Lanzarote, Tenerife
All of these sailings will be onboard the lovely Marella Dream – an old and very much loved favourite of the Marella Cruises fleet! If you’d like to cruise for more than 7 nights, you will find some of these itineraries can be cruised back to back, guaranteeing you get your fill of the islands.
Your main ports of call
Tenerife is the largest island in the archipelago and is a mix of vibrant resorts and a rich landscape of jagged coastlines, fertile mountains, an extinct volcano and miles of sandy beaches. Many of its towns have beautiful Spanish-style architecture and a history so rich that the island boasts a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stop at the capital of Santa Cruz for beautiful churches, and immerse yourself in Canarian history at the Museum of Man and Nature.
One of the closest islands to Africa, Lanzarote is also the warmest and known for its outstanding beaches, fishing spots and artworks by César Manrique. It has a rich history of volcanic activity and even stories of long-gone pirates. Inland is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve with lunar-like scenery.
Gran Canaria’s desert landscapes, mountains and vast beaches make it a haven for those looking to explore a varied landscape and really get away from it all. In fact, it’s known as the miniature continent due to its variety of climates and terrain, with the capital Las Palmas de Gran Canaria having one of the best climates of all the cities in the world. The resort of Maspalomas in the south is a big draw for its desert-style sand dunes, complete with camel rides, of course!
Adventurous visitors should try Fuerteventura to get out on the waves – or underneath them – with surfing, sailing and snorkelling. It has two national parks along its coast – Corralejo Natural Park with 10 kilometres of rolling sand dunes and Jandia National Park in the south, a peninsula with superb beaches. And beyond, you can see the rugged mountainous interior of the island.
Other islands in the scattered volcanic chain include La Palma, the ‘green island’ famous for its beautiful national park and stargazing possibilities. In fact, the Observatory of El Roque de Los Muchachos has one of the most extensive fleets of telescopes in the world, which make full use of the excellent night-time visibility here. Meanwhile, La Gomera has a history of yodelling among its locals, and El Hierro is the smallest Canary Isle but has a dramatic landscape of enormous mountains.
Tips for cruises to the Canary Islands
Governed by Spain, the main language of the Canary Islands is Spanish, but you’ll have no problem getting by even if you don’t speak the lingo as English is widespread. The currency in the Canary Islands is the euro and, pleasingly, VAT is not applied in the Canary Islands! Instead there is a specific Sales Tax(IGIC) which has a general rate of 5% – far lower than the rest of the EU.
When you’re traversing the streets of Santa Cruz de Tenerife or looking for a bargain in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, it’s good to know that most local shops are closed on Sundays, Saturday afternoons and in the heat of the day between 1pm and 4pm. However, shops then stay open until around 8.30pm, and many of the large shopping centres will be open all day.
You’ll no doubt want to spend some time on as many of the Canaries’ amazing beaches as possible – the most spectacular of which are generally located away from the big resorts. Swap Playa de las Americas for the quiet black sand beach of El Bullolo in northern Tenerife, or head to the peaceful 10 kilometres of sand in Corralejo on the edge of Fuerteventura’s Corralejo Natural Park.
Interested? Visit our Canary Islands deals page to see the latest cruise offers.
We are acting as an agent on behalf of travel suppliers and your booking will be subject to the supplier’s terms and conditions. Prices may be subject to very limited availability and are correct as at the date and time of writing. Prices may go up or down from time to time. Prices quoted are for the dates, accommodation, board basis, departure points and number of persons sharing specified only and cannot be combined with any other offer. We reserve the right to amend any quotes given if there is a genuine error as soon as we become aware of it. We reserve the right to withdraw any offers without notice.