The Ultimate Guide To Canary Islands Cruises

The Ultimate Guide To Canary Islands Cruises

Take a cruise to the Canary Islands to discover a breathtaking archipelago offering sun, sea and adventure. With the islands located off the northwest coast of Africa, warm temperatures can be expected year-round, making this group of islands a popular destination for cruise guests.

And on a Canary Islands cruise, you can explore all these delightful destinations have to offer, from stunning landscapes and pristine beaches to unique cultural heritage. 

In this ultimate cruise Canaries guide, we will share all you need to know about cruising to this region, answering popular questions, such as:

Where do Canary Islands cruises go to?

Where do Canary Islands cruises leave from?

What cruise line sails around the Canary Islands?

What is there to do in the Canary Islands?

So, sit back and read on to get inspired for your next sunny island cruise holiday.

Where do Canary Islands cruises sail?

The Canary Islands archipelago is made up of 8 main islands: Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa. There are also several small islands and islets. 

Typically, Canary Island itineraries visit several popular destinations, such as Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, and La Palma. Each island offers its own distinct charm and attractions, from the volcanic landscapes of Tenerife’s Mount Teide to the multitude of gorgeous beaches of Gran Canaria.

With Canary Islands cruise ships usually docking close to the main town or city, you can also take in each island’s fascinating history and culture, with plenty of attractions often within walking distance.

How long is a cruise to the Canary Islands?

A cruise to the Canary Islands can vary in length, depending on the itinerary and the departure point. You’ll often find Canary Island cruises that last anywhere from 7 to 14 nights, providing plenty of time to explore the islands and soak in the region’s beauty. 

If you’d prefer a more extended cruise, you can sometimes find longer Canary Island itineraries that incorporate other destinations. For example, some Canary Island cruise holidays visit Madeira, the Azores, Morocco or mainland Spain, allowing you to discover even more stunning locations. 

Where do Canary Islands cruises leave from?

While the Canary Islands are considered part of Spain, they are actually approximately 1100 km from the mainland and 100 km from the African coast. So, when you’re looking at booking your cruise to the Canary Islands, you might be wondering where you can depart from.

Can you fly to the Canary Islands and then cruise the islands? Alternatively, can you cruise to the Canary Islands from the UK? Well, there are options for both. 

Canary Island fly cruises from the UK

Canary Island fly cruises are a popular option for British-based cruise guests, as you can fly from various UK airports. For example, for a fly-cruise to the Canary Islands in 2023, there are departures from London airports, such as Gatwick, Heathrow or London Luton.

Alternatively, some Canary Islands cruises offer departures from regional airports, including Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester, Bristol or Cardiff, with a supplementary charge.

Canary Island no-fly cruise from the UK

If you prefer not to fly, you can cruise to the Canaries from Southampton directly on a no-fly cruise. These Canary Islands itineraries are often for 10-14 nights and may also include stops in Spain, Portugal and Madeira, as well as several of the Canary Islands.

What cruise line sails around the Canary Islands?

When booking a cruise, the Canary Islands is a popular year-round destination. Therefore, you’ll find plenty of choices from the leading cruise lines, with each ship offering a range of amenities, entertainment options, and dining experiences to cater to different tastes and preferences.

Celebrity Cruises and P&O Cruises Canary Island fly cruises

Both Celebrity Cruises and P&O Cruises offer some spectacular Canary Island fly-cruise holidays. For example, Celebrity Cruises’ Canary Island itinerary this winter begins in Barcelona and sails to Lanzarote, Tenerife and La Palma, before taking in Casablanca, Tangier, Seville and Valencia. Flights from the UK are included.

Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Canary Island fly cruises 

Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Canary Island cruises also often take in additional destinations. For example, it offers a Canary Islands, Morocco & Spain cruise with flights from the UK. It also has transatlantic options, which include a stop in one or more of the Canary Islands before sailing out to South America.

These fly from the UK to Lisbon, where you’ll embark on your cruise ship for your holiday.

No-fly Canary Island cruises: a route shared by several cruise lines

For no-fly options, cruise lines offering cruises to the Canary Islands from the UK include Princess Cruises, MSC Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and P&O Cruises. 

Most cruise lines opt to sail from Southampton, along the northwest coast of Spain and down via West Portugal, before heading out into the open Atlantic Ocean and onto the Canaries. Therefore, the itineraries are pretty similar across the different cruise lines. For example, Princess Cruises Canary Islands cruise from Southampton visits mainland Spain, Portugal and Madeira before taking in Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria.

What is the best month to go to the Canary Islands on a cruise?

When booking your next cruise, the Canary Islands are a fantastic destination at any time, thanks to their pleasant climate year-round. However, the best time to go on a cruise to the Canary Islands will depend on your preferences and the activities you wish to engage in. 

The winter months, from November to February, offer mild temperatures and fewer crowds, making this an excellent time to explore the islands’ natural beauty. Spring and autumn, from March to May and September to October, respectively, provide comfortable temperatures, just perfect for outdoor activities like hiking and sightseeing. 

If you wish to go in the summer from June to August, you’ll find yourself in the peak tourist season. The weather will be hot, and the atmosphere vibrant, great for beach days and lively nights out. However, it can be busier during this period.

Things to do in the Canary Islands

The Canary Islands offer a wide array of activities and attractions, with something for almost every taste. If you love the great outdoors and being active, you can indulge in water sports, such as snorkelling and diving, explore the volcanic landscapes or hike through national parks.

Excursions to the incredible natural wonders of the islands, like the Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote or the Teide National Park in Tenerife, are highly recommended.

For a more chilled vibe, you can relax and soak up the sun on the islands’ beautiful beaches – there is certainly no shortage of these! If you fancy a more cultural day, the historic towns and cities offer plenty of attractions to discover and allow you to experience the enchanting Canarian culture.

The best places to eat in the Canary Islands

The Canary Islands are renowned for their delicious cuisine, blending Spanish, African, and Latin American influences. During your cruise, look out for traditional Canarian dishes such as papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes), mojo sauce, fresh seafood, and the famous Canarian cheese. 

Each island has its own culinary specialities and charming restaurants offering a variety of gastronomic experiences. So, when seeking out food in the Canary Islands, be sure to dine at local establishments to discover the authentic flavours of Canarian cuisine.

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