April signals the start of spring, with an explosion of colour as the natural world comes to life. For cruising, it’s also an excellent month to take a repositioning cruise as ships move to their summer season itineraries. In this article, I share the best cruise destinations for April.
Cruise Destinations for April
April is a month when repositioning cruises can open up a huge variety of destinations to be explored. It’s the end of the winter cruise season and the start of the summer season. A repositioning cruise begins at one port and ends in another. Depending on where a ship is heading, a repositioning cruise can be an epic journey e.g. Southampton to Asia or can be booked in shorter sections e.g. Southampton to Rome.
I am a particular fan of repositioning cruises for a number of reasons:
- Repositioning cruises can have a good variety of cruise destinations
- There is usually a good balance of port and sea days
- Repositioning cruises are great value as they visit ports during shoulder seasons
- You can cruise on a new ship as it repositions from the shipyard port to it’s first home port
There are cruise destinations that are particularly special in April because of nature or a special event.
April sees the cherry blossoms in full bloom, which has been celebrated for centuries by the Japanese. The cherry blossom season is tracked by forecasters each year and therefore differs slightly, year to year. During April, the weather is typically sunny and mild with an average high of 17ºC. Many cruise lines offer cruises that take in the cherry blossom season such as Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises. The closest port to Kyoto is Kobe.
Japan is one of the great cruise destinations for April because of the cherry blossom and an excellent opportunity for a repositioning cruise. As cruise ships move from winter to summer deployments, a nice option is transpacific cruise from Japan to Alaska.
Cruise the Norwegian Fjords in April
With breath-taking scenery, a trip to the Norwegian Fjords is a must for any cruiser. A cruise will enable you to get up close to the Fjords with their dramatic waterfalls and magnificent glaciers, stopping off at ports such as Bergen to explore the town with its brightly-coloured timber houses. All major cruise companies offer Norwegian Fjords itineraries of varying lengths and ports of call. Many Norwegian Fjords cruises start in Southampton so this is advantageous for U.K. cruisers who are looking for no-fly options.
Cruise to the Galapagos Islands
Cruises to the Galapagos Islands tend to be on smaller, expedition cruise ships such as Celebrity Xpedition. Expedition cruises can be more expensive than mainstream cruises but it’s one of the best cruise destinations for April to see the legendary giant turtles, baby sea lions and sea turtles. If you want to see these creatures in their natural habitat, it’s worth planning a Galapagos cruise a few years ahead of time as they are extremely popular.
See the Tulips of Amsterdam
Spring is the best time to see the blooming tulips in Amsterdam and in 2022 you can book a cruise to coincide with the Floriade Expo, starting in April. Floriade Expo is an international horticultural event that only takes place once a decade. Not only will there be tulips but 150 acres of themed exhibits to explore.
Amsterdam is also one of the best cruise destinations for April as there are national celebrations to mark the King’s Birthday on 27 April. Koningsdag is one of the world’s largest street parties with markets, parties, street entertainment and canals filled with boats to celebrate the national day. If you happen to be in port for Koningsdag, don’t forget to pack something orange to wear.
Rome in April
Rome was founded on 21 April and the city celebrates its birthday every year with special events to mark the occasion. You can expect re-enactments and Romans wearing traditional costumes.
Another reason to cruise to Rome around 21 April is a particularly special occurrence at midday in the Pantheon.
The Pantheon has the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world and has stood in Rome for thousands of years. The domed roof has a hole in it’s centre called the oculus. At midday on 21 April, the sun is in the perfect position to be framed by the oculus.
If you cruise starts or ends in Rome, you should also consider booking tickets for the Roman Forum Light Show, which runs from April to October. The light show brings the ancient ruins to life every evening with an audio tour and projections on to the ruins.
Final Thoughts on the Best Cruise Destinations for April
These cruise destinations are recommended for April to coincide with particular events, whether they are natural or man-made. It might be to witness the beautiful cherry blossom season in Japan or the Roman birthday celebrations.
Repositioning cruises are a potential option in April and offer great value along with unusual itineraries. Choosing to visit ports during the shoulder seasons also avoids the huge crowds that visit in peak season.
If you have any cruise destinations you’d recommend visiting in April, I’d love to read about them in the comments below.