Along with the Caribbean, the Mediterranean is probably the most popular cruising territory in the world. The Caribbean is to the Americas what the Mediterranean is to Europe, and given that Costco Travel is pretty deeply integrated into the global cruise industry, it stands to reason that there are many Costco cruises to Europe and the Mediterranean. (Of course, these aren’t necessarily separate destinations, as a cruise to Europe often involves some time on the Mediterranean, and a cruise on the Mediterranean almost always has a few stops at European ports.) To help you make sense of all the options, we’ve composed a guide to Costco cruises to Europe and the Mediterranean, which addresses not only the cruises themselves, but also how to book them through Costco Travel.
If you go to the Costco Travel website and look at the cruises to Europe and the Mediterranean, you’ll likely be overwhelmed by options, at least if you are searching during the main European cruising season (which is essentially an extended summer that starts in the spring and ends in the fall). If you are looking for a cruise in, say, May or June, you’ll be confronted with well over 400 cruises for each month. The problem is only exacerbated when you extend your search to include multiple months. (Costco allows you to search for cruises within a three-month range.) What’s the best way to find the cruise you want to take without sifting through hundreds of results?
Despite some of the glaring limitations of Costco Travel’s search tools – check out our article on the Costco cruises to Australia and New Zealand for more details – they do at least allow you to filter your search results in a fairly extensive and straightforward way, which is crucial when you are dealing with a search as broad as “cruises to Europe and the Mediterranean.” This set encompasses a dizzying array of different options, ranging from two-night cruises between English ports to two-week river cruises within the European Continent, from trips across the Atlantic to cruises that stay only in the Black Sea. When you are looking for a European cruise, you are almost certainly going to have something more specific in mind than “any cruise that involves Europe,” and Costco (for the most part) allows you to home in on what you are looking for. Of course, your initial search on the Costco website allows you to limit your results by selecting basic cruise criteria, but these categories are broad and you’ll likely want to keep some of them blank anyway (like “cruise line,” unless you are dedicated to one company), meaning you’ll still be left with a lot of results. Fortunately, Costco allows you to filter results after the initial search. Probably the most helpful filter is “departure port,” as this will be a crucial factor in whatever cruise you select, but there are other helpful filters as well, like “ship rating” (compiled by the feedback of other Costco members) and “promotions,” which allows you to select cruises that are discounted in one way or another.
Although what we have said basically covers everything you need to know about finding and booking a Costco cruise to Europe or the Mediterranean, we’ll conclude by mentioning two things that might aid your cruise research. First, Costco Travel, in addition to being a website, is essentially a travel agency as well. They employ hundreds of travel experts who can be reached toll free (1-877-849-2730), and they can be called on at any point in the search process if you are having trouble finding what you are looking for. Second, unless you have a definite European cruise in mind before you start looking for one, it is probably worth checking out the “featured deals” on the Costco page dedicated to European and Mediterranean cruises. You might find a good deal right away, which will spare you from examining several different vacation options and the attending complexity of each. And finally, for more general information, check out our guide and overview of Costco cruises.