It’s June, it’s the start of the summer and I bet you can’t wait to catch some sunshine. That’s why our round-up of where’s hot for cruises in June covers places that have lots going on at this time of year and offer the perfect balmy temperatures too.
The majority of cruises in summer focus on Europe, so you can travel from a home port or take a short flight to experience where is hot in June. From the wonderful waterfalls and wildlife of the fjords to the classic destinations of the Mediterranean and enticingly grand cities of the Baltics, a cruise in June provides good weather, with a complementary line-up of interesting events to boot.
The Mediterranean Sea covers a large area all the way from Spain in the west, to Turkey in the east. You can cruise the whole of the Med, or on a one- or two-week cruise, enjoy the highlights of the gorgeous Western Mediterranean. Temperatures hover around the mid to high 20s ⁰C for June holidays, before they start to tip over the 30⁰C mark, later in the summer.
A number of cruises allow you to take in Mainland Spain and its Balearic Islands, the south of France, Italy and its islands, like the hidden gem, Corsica. You can split your time between exploring ancient cities like Rome and lounging on beaches in such beautiful places as Palma, Majorca. Historic Ibiza Town will allow you to do both, in one port.
You can coincide your visit with some key events, such as the Superyacht Cup Palma, at the end of June each year. Europe’s longest running superyacht regatta allows you to watch these ultimate racing yachts, averaging around 40-metres-long, out-manoeuvre each other. Or if dance is more your thing, check out what’s on for the International Dance Festival, while in Marseille.
You might not associate the fjords with warm weather, especially when you see images of the snow-capped mountain peaks rising above the mirror-like water. However, June is when temperatures start to warm up in top fjord cruise destinations like Bergen, with highs around 17⁰C. It’s also when the meltwater fills the rivers, so you can see the area’s waterfalls at their fullest and best.
At this time of year, the scenery is a mix of lush green gorges and flowering fruit orchards, which produce the delicious juices the fjordlands are known for. You’ll get the chance to spot puffins nesting in the shoreline and the rarer white-tailed eagle, with its huge wingspan. If you take a forest trail excursion, you could also spot Eurasian elk and just maybe, some trolls. A mystical troll forest is located in Mount Floyen, with a trail of wooden trolls and a Three Billy Goats Gruff bridge.
A cruise through the fjords on a ship like the Marella Discovery will allow you to take in some of the most spectacular scenery in the world, as well as visiting both traditional and modern Norwegian towns. They range from art nouveau Alesund, to the city of Bergen, which mixes medieval and modern architecture seamlessly.
The Adriatic is the area from Italy’s eastern shore across the Adriatic Sea, out to the Baltic coast that takes in much-loved Croatia and less travelled Slovenia. Another big contender when planning where to go in June, temperatures average 20⁰C in northern destinations like Venice and tend to be a couple of degrees warmer in more southerly Dubrovnik.
Of course, a major attraction on any Adriatic trip will be the romantic city of water, Venice. As Venice is so popular, visiting in June will be busy but you’ll miss the bigger crowds of July and August, the latter of which is when locals also holiday here. A highlight of June Venice travels is that you can catch the previews of the Venice Art Biennale, which is held every other year.
Another prime Adriatic destination is Croatia, which serves up equal measures of glorious beaches and ancient sites. June is perfect tanning weather here, without it being unbearably hot. The temperate weather also makes June a good time to visit outdoor wonders of the world such as Dubrovnik’s old town and Split’s fortress, the Diocletian’s Palace.
If sophisticated city exploration is on your radar for June, there are few better places to get your culture fix than the Baltic. For starters, it’s home to Sweden’s grand Gothenburg and Russia’s suave St Petersburg. But you can take in cities in upwards of eight countries, all a short sail from each other, starting from handy home ports like Newcastle. Baltic winters can be, well, Baltic! But June is the time to visit for temperatures averaging around 18⁰C and lower rainfall than experienced in the latter half of the year.
St Petersburg is a treasure trove of palaces, and, from April up until the first week of June, you can watch world class musicians in the city’s imperial palaces and gardens, as part of the Palaces of St. Petersburg Festival. Another spectacle, set to classical music, is June’s Scarlet Sails festival, which tells a fairytale on the water through old sail boats.
Other stop offs on a Baltic cruise include Oslo, with its excellent museums and the beautiful harbour city of Helsinki. Latvia’s capital, Riga, wins on many levels too, with the Dome Cathedral being the biggest church in the Baltics and its bustling Central Market, which is the oldest in Europe.
June cruises provide good weather, especially if you don’t like it sizzling hot, as well as slightly fewer crowds than later in summer. If you’re travelling as a couple or group of adults, you’ll also get the advantage of less school-age kids onboard, before the summer holidays start. Now all you have to do is pick your ideal destination, or bolt on a couple of voyages to make a long and leisurely June cruise.
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