If you can only get away for a couple of precious days and want to spend them wisely, here are a few perfect city destinations to choose from.
The chic capital of France’s Cote d’Azur, Nice is a great place to explore. The old town has colourful cobbled streets, galleries and restaurants, while the famous seafront Promenade des Anglais is the place to stroll beside the Med or people-watch from a cafe.
The vibrant Sicilian capital is a treasure trove of palaces, castles and churches, and doesn’t get anywhere near as many tourists as Florence or Rome. Well worth a visit is the Via della Liberta, a decadent array of plush apartments, ritzy cafes and designer shops. There are fruit markets galore too – and they will never be better stocked than in spring, with oranges, lemons and fresh veg.
Set against a backdrop of snow-topped mountains, Reykjavik is known for its spouting geysers, glaciers, hot springs and blue lagoons. It also has a buzzing nightlife, with spas, world-class restaurants and countless museums. May is puffin season - head to the Westmann Islands to see them, and look out for orcas and whales on the boat journey there.
With Renaissance treasures on almost every street, Florence is often described as a living museum. That includes famous galleries such as the Uffizi and Accademia, the Pitti Palace, Boboli Gardens and National Museum of Bargello.
Catalonia's cool capital bursts into life before the summer begins with the annual Feria de Abril de Cataluñya, which runs until May 6th. The festival celebrates Andalucian culture with music, flamenco dancing, food and drink and a fairground at the city’s Forum Park.
History is around every corner in Rome, from the Colosseum to the Vatican and the Trevi Fountain. Throw in gorgeous food and wine, lovely piazzas and cool early summer climate for the perfect weekend. To experience the city as a local, try renting an apartment instead of staying in a hotel.
Discover a buzzing cafe scene, beautiful parks, quaint canals and the cobbled streets of historical Haga in Sweden’s second city.
Malta’s ancient capital is one of the best-preserved fortified cities in the world and one of Europe’s architectural showpieces. Atmospheric alleyways link grand squares lined with bars and shop fronts which have barely changed in over a century in the UNESCO World Heritage site.
Spring is the perfect time to wander the sinking city’s narrow alleys and bridges, discover crumbling palaces and churches, eat ice cream in the gondolas or drink prosecco and eat pasta in a sunny square.
Take a wildlife-watching mini-cruise to Amsterdam with the chance to spot white-beaked dolphins, whales, harbour porpoise and birds. Spend a day in Amsterdam before returning to the ship for more wildlife-spotting on the journey back.