When to avoid popular European ports during 2020 cruise season

When a cruise boat stops at a port, thousands of tourists descend upon its city en masse - which might not be so great for those not coming from the boat.

WATCH: Cruise passengers stage 'mutiny' as extreme weather sees extended days at sea, missing all the highlight ports 

While popular European destinations are already overrun during peak summer months, cruise ships add thousands of tourists entering a city in one day, congesting all the popular sights and creating long queues. 

One handy tool to help you suss out how to spot the busiest periods is Avoid Crowds - a website that uses tourism data like cruise ship schedules and holidays that will tell you what the crowd would be like in any big city.

We had a look at some of the busiest port cities and when's the best time to avoid their cruise season.

ALSO WATCH: This cruise ship just squeezed through a very narrow canal in Greece 

Barcelona

Cruise season: April to November, while October will be the busiest month followed by May. 

Rome

Cruise season: There's an expected 8% increase in cruise passengers predicted for 2020, starting in May and ending in October. The end of the season is the busiest.

QUICK GUIDE TO ITALY: The Mamma Mia of your Italy trip planning sorted! 

Southampton

Cruise season: April to October, while the busiest month is September followed by May and August.

Venice

Cruise season: May until October, peaking in August.

READ: It's official - visiting Venice will cost a few extra euros for day-trippers

Santorini

Cruise season: March to October, with June and September as the bearing the brunt of the crowds.

Dubrovnik

Cruise season: May to October, with the last month being the busiest. 

Bergen

Cruise season: High season is between May and September, although the year-round destination gets cruise ships from January to November.

READ: Chasing the Midnight Sun in Norway

Valletta

Cruise season: April to October is peak season, with May and October as the busiest times.

Kotor

Cruise season: September to October, with the last month of the short season seeing the most cruise passengers.

Copenhagen

Cruise season: May to September is this city's cruise season, peaking in July and August.

Lisbon

Cruising season: Starts in April all the way to November.

WATCH: Two city itineraries for a long layover in Lisbon 

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