Canary Island cruises are one of the more popular itineraries for cruise holidays, especially from the UK and ports like Southampton and Dover that offer so many choices.

The climate in the Islands is one reason these cruises are so well liked. The weather is almost always warm and sunny making cruising possible any time of year.

The Canary Islands are located off of Africa’s north west coast near Morocco and the Western Sahara Desert. They are in an archipelago that is part of the Kingdom of Spain.

The Seven Islands

The seven islands that make up the Canaries are spread across 300 miles of the Atlantic Ocean. Cruises to the Canary Islands typically include stops in other Spanish regions like Seville, Malaga, and Palma, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; and the islands of the Canaries. Canary Island stops during the cruise may include:

· Tenerife – This is the largest of the islands in the chain and has the highest mountain in Spain, Mount Teide. The ship docks in the centre of the town of Santa Cruz and shore excursions leave from here to go to places like the top of the volcano Teide. Once at the top you can see into the crater and witness a spectacular view of all of the other Canary Islands.

· Grand Canaria – This is the third largest of the Canary Islands and shore excursions in the capital, Las Palmas, start with a pleasant 15-minute walk from the dock to the town and the beach. An island tour takes you to the centre of the Bandama crater, banana plantations, and other sites on the island. You can also see the house where Christopher Columbus lived for a time on his way to the new world.

· La Palma – La Palma is the least developed of the islands and tours can take you around the island to admire the sheer cliffs and peaks of the volcano as well as a beautiful rainforest.

· Lanzarote – This island is very different from the other islands of the Canaries. Its landscape is barren and black and covered with lava flow. One of the main excursions here is a trip into Timanfaya National Park where you can ride camels to the top of colourful sand dunes.

Canary Island cruises from the UK require three days at sea at both ends of the cruise. This provides time to relax and enjoy the amenities onboard your ship before and after your Canary Island adventure. If you would rather not spend that much time sailing, you can choose a fly-in cruise that begin at ports that are closer to the Canaries like Malaga or Barcelona.

Just a few of the cruise lines that offer cruises to Canary Islands are Fred Olsen, P&O Cruises, Costa Cruises, Silversea, Seabourn, and Royal Caribbean. Luxury, upmarket, and mainstream cruises are all available

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