5 Music Festival Destinations To Visit On A European Cruise This Summer

5 Music Festival Destinations To Visit On A European Cruise This Summer

Summer in Europe offers more than just picturesque landscapes and pleasant weather; it’s also a season bustling with some of the best summer music festivals.

If you’re looking at 2024 Europe cruises, why not elevate your experience by syncing your travel dates with some of the best festivals in Europe? Whether you’re a devoted music enthusiast or simply looking to add a unique experience to your holiday, Europe’s summer festivals in 2024 are your ticket to a sensational season.

Join us as we explore five of the best summer music festivals in Europe that pair perfectly with the luxurious itineraries of European cruises.

Les Nuits de Fourvière – Lyon, France (30th May – 25th July 2024)

A Cultural Extravaganza in a Historic Venue

Les Nuits de Fourvière festival turns Lyon’s ancient Roman amphitheatre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, into a stunning stage for two months each summer. This festival stands out not just for its breathtaking setting – situated atop Fourvière hill and overlooking the enchanting city of Lyon – but also for its unique format.

Unlike typical summer festivals in Europe that span a few days, Les Nuits de Fourvière offers a rich, multidisciplinary line up over several weeks, featuring everything from concerts to ballet, dance, and theatre.

This year, the stage will host an array of diverse talents, including PJ Harvey, LCD Soundsystem, and the legendary Patti Smith, alongside astounding acrobatic performances from the Australian circus group Gravity & Other Myths.

Ease of Access via Lyon’s Port

Take a 2024 Europe cruise along the Rhône and Saône rivers, and you’ll find Lyon readily accessible. Sailing along France’s scenic waterways, your cruise ship will stop in Lyon, allowing you to disembark right in the heart of the city and immerse yourself in the festival activities.

Cruise lines, such as Emerald River Cruises, Avalon Waterways, and AmaWaterways, are offering several spectacular 2024 European cruise itineraries. You’ll also get to take in other charming cities on these summer European cruises, such as Nice, Arles, Avignon, and Torunon-sur-Rhone.

Rock Werchter – Belgium (4th – 7th July 2024)

A Must-See Festival in Belgium

Since 1976, Rock Werchter has been a staple of Belgium’s music scene, attracting fans from across the globe to the quaint village of Werchter. Despite this seemingly serene location, like the best of Europe’s summer festivals of 2024, this event’s programme will make plenty of noise!

The four-day lineup kicks off with rock icons like Lenny Kravitz and Eurovision stars Måneskin, along with Snow Patrol and PJ Harvey. Mid-festival highlights include pop sensation Dua Lipa, the unique sounds of Khruangbin, and pop-punk favourite Avril Lavigne. Rock Werchter culminates in a grand finale featuring the legendary Foo Fighters and the soulful Michael Kiwanuka.

Travel and Access via Antwerp

You can get to Rock Werchter via a short train ride from Antwerp’s port, seamlessly integrating this musical extravaganza into many 2024 European cruise itineraries.

Cruise lines sailing to Antwerp include Holland America Line, Fred. Olsen and Ambassador Cruise Line, with other stops in their itineraries including dazzling destinations like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Bruges.

NOS Alive – Lisbon, Portugal (11th-13th July 2024)

Beach by Day, Music by Night

Set against Lisbon’s breathtaking Atlantic coast, NOS Alive is famed for its sun-soaked days and thrilling nights of music, living up to its motto of “beach by day, music by night.”

As one of the best summer festivals in Europe, it boasts an impressive lineup, featuring British-Albanian pop sensation Dua Lipa, alongside other major acts like Jessie Ware, Pearl Jam, Arcade Fire, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Michael Kiwanuka.

Arrive in Style at Lisbon’s Port

Many leading cruise lines sail to Lisbon’s cruise port, including MSC Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Line, meaning access to the NOS Alive festival is super easy.

With these 2024 European cruise itineraries, you’ll also get to explore other vibrant cities like Porto, Barcelona and Seville, blending cultural exploration with this top-tier musical entertainment.

oasis of the seas

Sziget Festival – Budapest, Hungary (7th – 12th August 2024)

A Euphoric Island Escape

Located on the Óbuda island in Budapest’s 3rd district, the Sziget Festival is more than just a music event; it’s a six-day euphoric escape into a world of musical extravagance. Celebrating its 31st year, Sziget has grown from a modest gathering into one of the best summer festivals in Europe, twice crowned Europe’s greatest by the European Festival Awards.

This year, Sziget promises an exhilarating array of headliners, including Fred Again.., Sam Smith, Stormzy, and Martin Garrix. The festival also features performances by Louis Tomlinson, Four Tet, AURORA, and Fontaines D.C., among others.

With its unique island setting, Sziget offers mesmerising music and an atmosphere charged with energy and excitement, drawing nearly half a million attendees from around the globe.

Convenient Access via Budapest’s River Ports

To combine the Sziget Festival with a cruise, look for river cruises that stop in Budapest. These will provide convenient access to the festival, combining luxurious river travel with an unparalleled cultural experience.

River cruise lines, such as Emerald River Cruises, Avalon Waterways, and AmaWaterways, offer these Europe cruises, taking in other captivating cities, including Bratislava, Vienna, Belgrade and Munich.

Flow Festival – Helsinki, Finland (9th – 11th August 2024)

World’s First Carbon-Neutral Festival

Step into the heart of Helsinki this summer for the Flow Festival, renowned for being the world’s first carbon-neutral festival. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, it showcases a pioneering mix of music and international talent. Organised by Nuspirit Helsinki since 2004, Flow Festival has become one of the best festivals in Europe and a prominent event on the global music scene.

This year, Flow Festival boasts a rich musical mix featuring standout artists. Highlights include PJ Harvey, known for her powerful performances, and The Smile, a Radiohead side project that brings the essence of their music with a fresh twist. RAYE, recently crowned at the BRIT Awards, and Britpop legends Pulp are also on the bill, alongside electronic music phenom Fred Again.., promising a dynamic experience.

Accessible Nordic Experience

Flow Festival’s central Helsinki location means it’s quick and simple for you to make your way there from Helsinki’s cruise port. Many major cruise lines dock at Helsinki, including Celebrity Cruises, Cunard and Norwegian Cruise Line.

This means you’ll have a wide choice of itineraries that allow you to merge your summer European cruise experience with this standout musical event. Along with visiting Helsinki, these 2024 European cruise itineraries also offer stops in enchanting destinations like Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Tallinn.

From Lyon’s ancient amphitheatre to Lisbon’s lively beachside vibe, these premier European summer festivals promise not only fantastic music but also a deep dive into the heart of some of Europe’s most beautiful destinations. Incorporate one into your 2024 Europe cruise, and you’ll add an extraordinary experience to your holiday.

If you have any questions about including a European music festival in your next cruise holiday, please get in touch with our cruise specialists.

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