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Grand Arctic Adventure - New York to Barcelona

23rd June 2023 FOR 78 NIGHTS | Seven Seas Navigator

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This fly cruise holiday is financially protected by REGENT SEVEN SEAS CRUISES under ATOL 10297

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Concierge expertise

First-class service

BRAND NEW SAILING! Incldues Business Class flights, overseas transfers, one-night pre-cruise hotel stay and up to 357 FREE shore excursions

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Please check that you can meet the conditions below in order to travel on this cruise

1) All guests need to be in possession of a valid UK passport. This is also the case on any British Isles cruises. Please click here to check your passport will still be valid on your dates of travel.

2) Please check your travel insurance meets any criteria as specified by your cruise line. You can check your cruise line requirements here. For a travel insurance quote click here. Proof of travel insurance may be required on boarding.

3) Please check the vaccination and testing requirements from the FCDO, your cruise line and any destination countries here

WHY WE RECOMMEND North America CRUISES

A luxury Baltics cruise offer the chance to appreciate stunning destinations across Estonia, Russia and Latvia – or even further north across the Scandinavian nations of Sweden and Finland.

St Petersburg is by far one of the region’s most famous destinations, and this marvellous city is a true joy to explore. St Petersburg’s distinctive onion-domed architecture is immediately recognisable and a tour of the city will take visitors to some of its most impressive landmarks, including the striking Church of Our Saviour on Spilled Blood and the majestic Hermitage Museum. There’s simply so much to see across this incredible metropolis, you may need an extra day and or two here to truly explore.

The historic city of Tallinn, Estonia’s capital, is also a regularly feature on Baltic cruise itineraries – as is the Latvian capital of Riga. These stunning cities offer a wonderful insight into the region’s rich culture and heritage, brimming with medieval structures alongside contemporary landmarks to create a fascinating atmosphere and marvellous setting for exploration.

Many luxury cruises to the Baltics will also sail a little further north to call upon marvellous Scandinavian cities including Stockholm and Helsinki. Stockholm is a unique metropolis, where the inner city alone comprises of 14 interconnected islands and its cosmopolitan ambience is contrasted by a wealth of historic architecture. The Finnish capital of Helsinki is also a must-see destination, well-known for its beautiful buildings, scenic parks and friendly, welcoming atmosphere.

A cruise to the Baltic States offers a unique and intriguing holiday experience, with a superb blend of intriguing history, vibrant culture and incredible scenery. If you would like to experience the Baltics for yourself, take a look through the full range of itinerary currently available, and once you’ve found your perfect luxury voyage, call your personal Cruise Concierge to book your place on-board. 

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itinerary

1

New York, New York07:00 - 18:00

From Wall Street's skyscrapers to the neon of Times Square to Central Park's leafy paths, New York City pulses with an irrepressible energy. History meets hipness in this global center of entertainment, fashion, media, and finance. World-class museums like MoMA and unforgettable icons like the Statue of Liberty beckon, but discovering the subtler strains of New York's vast ambition is equally rewarding: ethnic enclaves and shops, historic streets of dignified brownstones, and trendy bars and eateries all add to the urban buzz.

23 Jun 2023

2

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts08:00 - 17:00

Martha's Vineyard, a Massachusetts island, sits in the Atlantic just south of Cape Cod. A longtime New England summer colony, Locals refer to being on The Vineyard as “on island.” It's accessible only by boat or air. Known for its miles of beautiful beaches, Martha’s Vineyard invites relaxation. To the north, Oak Bluffs displays the island’s remarkable charm in its gingerbread cottages and the Flying Horses Carousel, a National Historic Landmark. Bring your camera to snap photos of the pristine sandy beaches, the sailboats and the lighthouses.

24 Jun 2023

3
4

Boston, Massachusettsundefined - 18:00

Home to more colleges and universities than any other city in the United States, Boston has been the intellectual capital of America for more than 350 years. Step into the past along Boston’s Freedom Trail, leading you through some of the most interesting chapters in U.S. history: the site of the Boston Massacre, the Old South Meeting House, Faneuil Hall, and Beacon Hill. You will discover 16 of America’s major colonial and revolutionary sites in all, and all within a 1.5-mile walk.

24 Jun 2023 - 25 Jun 2023

5

Bar Harbor, Maine08:00 - 18:00

A resort town since the 19th century, Bar Harbor is the artistic, culinary, and social center of Mount Desert Island. It also serves visitors to Acadia National Park with inns, motels, and restaurants. Around the turn of the last century the island was known as the summer haven of the very rich because of its cool breezes. The wealthy built lavish mansions throughout the island, many of which were destroyed in a huge fire that devastated the island in 1947, but many of those that survived have been converted into businesses. Shops are clustered along Main, Mount Desert, and Cottage streets. Take a stroll down West Street, a National Historic District, where you can see some fine old houses.The island and the surrounding Gulf of Maine are home to a great variety of wildlife: whales, seals, eagles, falcons, ospreys, and puffins (though not right offshore here), and forest dwellers such as deer, foxes, coyotes, and beavers.

26 Jun 2023

6

Saint-John, New Brunswick07:00 - 15:00

Like any seaport worth its salt, Saint John is a welcoming place but, more than that, it is fast transforming into a sophisticated urban destination worthy of the increasing number of cruise ships that dock at its revitalized waterfront. Such is the demand that a second cruise terminal opened in 2012, just two years after the first one, and 2013 will see the two-millionth cruise passenger disembark. All the comings and goings over the centuries have exposed Saint Johners to a wide variety of cultures and ideas, creating a characterful Maritime city with a vibrant artistic community. Visitors will discover rich and diverse cultural products in its urban core, including a plethora of art galleries and antiques shops in uptown.Industry and salt air have combined to give parts of Saint John a weather-beaten quality, but you'll also find lovingly restored 19th-century wooden and redbrick homes as well as modern office buildings, hotels, and shops.The natives welcomed the French explorers Samuel de Champlain and Sieur de Monts when they landed here on St. John the Baptist Day in 1604. Then, nearly two centuries later, in May 1783, 3,000 British Loyalists fleeing the aftermath of the American Revolutionary War poured off a fleet of ships to make a home amid the rocks and forests. Two years later the city of Saint John became the first in Canada to be incorporated.Although most of the Loyalists were English, there were some Irish among them. After the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, thousands more Irish workers found their way to Saint John. It was the Irish potato famine of 1845 to 1852, though, that spawned the largest influx of Irish immigrants, and today a 20-foot Celtic cross on Partridge Island at the entrance to St. John Harbour stands as a reminder of the hardships and suffering they endured. Their descendants make Saint John Canada's most Irish city, a fact that's celebrated in grand style each March with a weeklong St. Patrick's celebration.The St. John River, its Reversing Rapids, and Saint John Harbour divide the city into eastern and western districts. The historic downtown area (locally known as "uptown") is on the east side, where an ambitious urban-renewal program started in the early 1980s has transformed the downtown waterfront. Older properties have been converted into trendy restaurants and shops, while glittering new apartment and condo buildings will take full advantage of the spectacular view across the bay. Harbour Passage, a redbrick walking and cycling path with benches and lots of interpretive information, begins downtown at Market Square and winds along the waterfront all the way to the Reversing Rapids. A shuttle boat between Market Square and the falls means you have to walk only one way. On the lower west side, painted-wood homes with flat roofs—characteristic of Atlantic Canadian seaports—slope to the harbor. Industrial activity is prominent on the west side, which has stately older homes on huge lots.Regardless of the weather, Saint John is a delightful city to explore, as so many of its key downtown attractions are linked by enclosed overhead pedways known as the "Inside Connection."

27 Jun 2023

7

Halifax, Nova Scotia10:00 - 18:00

Surrounded by natural treasures and glorious seascapes, Halifax is an attractive and vibrant hub with noteworthy historic and modern architecture, great dining and shopping, and a lively nightlife and festival scene. The old city manages to feel both hip and historic. Previous generations had the foresight to preserve the cultural and architectural integrity of the city, yet students from five local universities keep it lively and current. It's a perfect starting point to any tour of the Atlantic provinces, but even if you don't venture beyond its boundaries, you will get a real taste of the region.It was Halifax’s natural harbor—the second largest in the world after Sydney, Australia’s—that first drew the British here in 1749, and today most major sites are conveniently located either along it or on the Citadel-crowned hill overlooking it. That’s good news for visitors because this city actually covers quite a bit of ground.Since amalgamating with Dartmouth (directly across the harbor) and several suburbs in 1996, Halifax has been absorbed into the Halifax Regional Municipality, and the HRM, as it is known, has around 415,000 residents. That may not sound like a lot by U.S. standards, but it makes Nova Scotia’s capital the most significant Canadian urban center east of Montréal.There's easy access to the water, and despite being the focal point of a busy commercial port, Halifax Harbour doubles as a playground, with one of the world's longest downtown boardwalks. It's a place where container ships, commuter ferries, cruise ships, and tour boats compete for space, and where workaday tugs and fishing vessels tie up beside glitzy yachts. Like Halifax as a whole, the harbor represents a blend of the traditional and the contemporary.

28 Jun 2023

8

Sydney, Nova Scotia10:00 - 18:00

If you come directly to Cape Breton via plane, ferry, or cruise ship, Sydney is where you’ll land. If you’re seeking anything resembling an urban experience, it’s also where you’ll want to stay: after all, this is the island’s sole city. Admittedly, it is not the booming center it was a century ago when the continent’s largest steel plant was located here (that era is evoked in Fall on Your Knees, an Oprah Book Club pick penned by Cape Bretoner Anne-Marie MacDonald). However, Sydney has a revitalized waterfront and smattering of Loyalist-era buildings that appeal to visitors. Moreover, it offers convenient access to popular attractions in the region—like the Miner’s Museum in nearby Glace Bay (named for the glace, or ice, that filled its harbor in winter), the Fortress at Louisbourg, and beautiful Bras d'Or Lake.

29 Jun 2023

9

Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador09:00 - 17:00

Newfoundland's fourth-largest city, Corner Brook is the hub of the island's west coast. Hills fringe three sides of the city, which has dramatic views of the harbor and the Bay of Islands. The town is also home to a large paper mill and a branch of Memorial University. Captain James Cook, the British explorer, charted the coast in the 1760s, and a memorial to him overlooks the bay.The town enjoys more clearly defined seasons than most of the rest of the island, and in summer it has many pretty gardens. The nearby Humber River is the best-known salmon river in the province, and there are many kilometers of well-maintained walking trails in the community.

30 Jun 2023

10

Saint Pierre12:00 - 20:00

By heading almost due east from Cap-aux-Meules in Canada, it is possible to reach France in about one day’s worth of steaming! With barely 6,000 inhabitants living on tiny St. Pierre, it is the smallest French Overseas Collective. The residents of St. Pierre are predominantly descendants of Normans, Basque and Bretons and the French spoken is closer to Metropolitan French than to Canadian French. Although Basque is not spoken any longer, the influence is still felt through sport and a Basque Festival. Interestingly, this small island has two museums in part dedicated to the Prohibition. The Musée Heritage is St. Pierre’s newest museum with a focus on medical artefacts from the 19th and 20th century. Another claim to fame is a guillotine, the only one ever used in North America. In this quirky village it is easy to find the Post Office; just look for the clock tower shaped like a praying monk.

01 Jul 2023

11

Saint-John's, Newfoundland and Labrador09:00 - 18:00

Old meets new in the province's capital (metro-area population a little more than 200,000), with modern office buildings surrounded by heritage shops and colorful row houses. St. John's mixes English and Irish influences, Victorian architecture and modern convenience, and traditional music and rock and roll into a heady brew. The arts scene is lively, but overall the city moves at a relaxed pace.For centuries, Newfoundland was the largest supplier of salt cod in the world, and St. John's Harbour was the center of the trade. As early as 1627, the merchants of Water Street—then known as the Lower Path—were doing a thriving business buying fish, selling goods, and supplying alcohol to soldiers and sailors.

02 Jul 2023

12

Cruise Labrador Sea

03 Jul 2023

13

Nuuk

The largest city in Greenland, Nuuk is the cultural and economic center of the country. Explore the picturesque colonial harbor with its quaint old buildings and the newly renovated market where locals sell their daily catch. Greenland’s history comes alive in the National Museum, and its culture thrives in the Nuuk Museum of Art and the Katuaq Cultural Centre. Nuuk’s extensive fjord system is home to many whales, and the area is also populated by seals, reindeer, arctic foxes, arctic hares and ravens.

04 Jul 2023

14

Nuuk (Godthaab)09:00 - 18:00

Nuuk, meaning “the cape”, was Greenland’s first town (1728). Started as a fort and later mission and trading post some 240 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle, it is the current capital. Almost 30% of Greenland’s population lives in the town. Not only does Nuuk have great natural beauty in its vicinity, but there are Inuit ruins, Hans Egede’s home, the parliament, and the Church of our Saviour as well. The Greenlandic National Museum has an outstanding collection of Greenlandic traditional dresses, as well as the famous Qilakitsoq mummies. The Katuaq Cultural Center’s building was inspired by the undulating Northern Lights and can house 10% of Nuuk’s inhabitants.

05 Jul 2023

15

Paamiut (Fredrikshaab)08:00 - 17:00

06 Jul 2023

16

Cruising The Denmark Strait

07 Jul 2023

17

Isafjordur

Discover the dazzling natural beauty of Isafjordur. With its striking steep mountains on three sides rising dramatically around a gorgeous bay, this is one of the most awe-inspiring places on Earth. Trace the area’s history with a visit to the Maritime Museum in one of the oldest buildings dating back to the 18th century. A delightfully urban atmosphere prevails with major music schools, free concerts and festivals. Bring home fine handmade woolen items, nautical-themed articles, as well as arts and crafts. Feast on fresh baked goods and coffee at one of the many cafés.

08 Jul 2023

18

Isafjørdur09:00 - 18:00

Two colossal terraces of sheer rock stand either side of this extraordinarily located town - which rides a jutting spit onto an immensity of black fjord water. Surprisingly, considering the remoteness of its location and its compact size, Isafjordur is a modern and lively place to visit, offering a great choice of cafes and delicious restaurants – which are well stocked to impress visitors. The town is a perfectly located base for adventures amongst Iceland's fantastic wilderness - with skiing, hiking and water-sports popular pursuits among visitors.

09 Jul 2023

19
20

Reykjavíkundefined - 21:00

Sprawling Reykjavík, the nation's nerve center and government seat, is home to half the island's population. On a bay overlooked by proud Mt. Esja (pronounced eh-shyuh), with its ever-changing hues, Reykjavík presents a colorful sight, its concrete houses painted in light colors and topped by vibrant red, blue, and green roofs. In contrast to the almost treeless countryside, Reykjavík has many tall, native birches, rowans, and willows, as well as imported aspen, pines, and spruces.Reykjavík's name comes from the Icelandic words for smoke, reykur, and bay, vík. In AD 874, Norseman Ingólfur Arnarson saw Iceland rising out of the misty sea and came ashore at a bay eerily shrouded with plumes of steam from nearby hot springs. Today most of the houses in Reykjavík are heated by near-boiling water from the hot springs. Natural heating avoids air pollution; there's no smoke around. You may notice, however, that the hot water brings a slight sulfur smell to the bathroom.Prices are easily on a par with other major European cities. A practical option is to purchase a Reykjavík City Card at the Tourist Information Center or at the Reykjavík Youth Hostel. This card permits unlimited bus usage and admission to any of the city's seven pools, the Family Park and Zoo, and city museums. The cards are valid for one (ISK 3,300), two (ISK 4,400), or three days (ISK 4,900), and they pay for themselves after three or four uses a day. Even lacking the City Card, paying admission (ISK 500, or ISK 250 for seniors and people with disabilities) to one of the city art museums (Hafnarhús, Kjarvalsstaðir, or Ásmundarsafn) gets you free same-day admission to the other two.

10 Jul 2023 - 11 Jul 2023

21

Torshaven

Surrounded to the north and southwest by towering mountains with dramatic landscapes, Tórshavn is a picturesque port steeped in Viking history. Main attractions include Tinganes, the oldest part of town, with small wooden houses covered in turf roofs. Explore Nordic House, widely regarded as one of the finest examples of modern Nordic architecture; and Listasavn Føroya art museum. To fully experience the Faroe Islands’ ancient history, visit the ruins of Magnus Cathedral.

12 Jul 2023

22
23

Tórshavnundefined - 14:00

Surrounded to the north and southwest by towering mountains with dramatic landscapes, Tórshavn is a picturesque port steeped in Viking history. Main attractions include Tinganes, the oldest part of town, with small wooden houses covered in turf roofs. Explore Nordic House, widely regarded as one of the finest examples of modern Nordic architecture; and Listasavn Føroya art museum. To fully experience the Faroe Islands’ ancient history, visit the ruins of Magnus Cathedral.

13 Jul 2023 - 14 Jul 2023

24

Ullapool07:00 - 16:00

Ullapool is an ideal base for hiking throughout Sutherland and taking wildlife and nature cruises, especially to the Summer Isles. By the shores of salty Loch Broom, the town was founded in 1788 as a fishing station to exploit the local herring stocks. There's still a smattering of fishing vessels, as well as visiting yachts and foreign ships. When their crews fill the pubs, Ullapool has a cosmopolitan feel. The harbor area comes to life when the Lewis ferry arrives and departs.

15 Jul 2023

25

Belfast08:00 - 19:00

Before English and Scottish settlers arrived in the 1600s, Belfast was a tiny village called Béal Feirste ("sandbank ford") belonging to Ulster's ancient O'Neill clan. With the advent of the Plantation period (when settlers arrived in the 1600s), Sir Arthur Chichester, from Devon in southwestern England, received the city from the English Crown, and his son was made Earl of Donegall. Huguenots fleeing persecution from France settled near here, bringing their valuable linen-work skills. In the 18th century, Belfast underwent a phenomenal expansion—its population doubled every 10 years, despite an ever-present sectarian divide. Although the Anglican gentry despised the Presbyterian artisans—who, in turn, distrusted the native Catholics—Belfast's growth continued at a dizzying speed. The city was a great Victorian success story, an industrial boomtown whose prosperity was built on trade, especially linen and shipbuilding. Famously (or infamously), the Titanic was built here, giving Belfast, for a time, the nickname "Titanic Town." Having laid the foundation stone of the city's university in 1845, Queen Victoria returned to Belfast in 1849 (she is recalled in the names of buildings, streets, bars, monuments, and other places around the city), and in the same year, the university opened under the name Queen's College. Nearly 40 years later, in 1888, Victoria granted Belfast its city charter. Today its population is nearly 300,000, tourist numbers have increased, and this dramatically transformed city is enjoying an unparalleled renaissance.This is all a welcome change from the period when news about Belfast meant reports about "the Troubles." Since the 1994 ceasefire, Northern Ireland's capital city has benefited from major hotel investment, gentrified quaysides (or strands), a sophisticated new performing arts center, and major initiatives to boost tourism. Although the 1996 bombing of offices at Canary Wharf in London disrupted the 1994 peace agreement, the ceasefire was officially reestablished on July 20, 1997, and this embattled city began its quest for a newfound identity.Since 2008, the city has restored all its major public buildings such as museums, churches, theaters, City Hall, Ulster Hall—and even the glorious Crown Bar—spending millions of pounds on its built heritage. A gaol that at the height of the Troubles held some of the most notorious murderers involved in paramilitary violence is now a major visitor attraction.Belfast's city center is made up of three roughly contiguous areas that are easy to navigate on foot. From the south end to the north, it's about an hour's leisurely walk.

16 Jul 2023

26

Dun Laoghaire07:00 - 19:00

Discover Douglas, the capital of the Isle of Man, with its horse drawn tram and Victorian Era hotels lining the promenade. Delve into its rich Celtic history and lore. Ride the horse drawn tram to the island’s highest summit where you can see six Kingdoms: Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, the Isle of Man and Heaven. Explore the beautifully transformed Villa Marina complex, first opened in 1931. Enjoy high end shopping while looking for uniquely Manx souvenirs of beautiful tartans, scarves, smoked kippers and locally made cheeses. Enjoy fish and chips and a famous Manx beer along the waterfront in this land of a bygone era.

17 Jul 2023

27

Douglas08:00 - 18:00

The Isle of Man, situated in the Irish Sea off the west coast of England, is a mountainous, cliff-fringed island and one of Britain’s most beautiful spots. Measuring just 30 miles by 13 miles, the Isle of Man remains semi-autonomous. With its own postage stamps, laws, currency, and the Court of Tynwald (the world’s oldest democratic parliament), the Isle of Man is rich with history and lore.Inhabited from Neolithic times, the island became a refuge for Irish missionaries after the 5th Century. Norsemen took the island during the 9th Century and sold it to Scotland in 1266. However, since the 14th Century, it has been held by England. Manx, the indigenous Celtic language, is still spoken by a small minority. The Isle of Man has no income tax, which has encouraged many Britains to regard the island as a refuge. Otherwise, it is populated by Gaelic farmers, fishermen, and the famous tailless manx cats. The varied landscape features austere moorlands and wooded glens, interspersed by fine castles, narrow-gauge railways, and scores of standing stones with Celtic crosses. The hilly terrain rises to a height of 2,036 feet at Mount Snaefell, which dominates the center of the island.

18 Jul 2023

28

Holyhead07:00 - 22:00

Once a northern defense post against Irish raiders, Holyhead later became best known as a ferry port for Ireland. The dockside bustle is not matched by the town, however, which maintains just a small population. Nonetheless, thousands of years of settlement have given Holyhead rich historical ruins to explore, with more in the surrounding hiking friendly landscape.

19 Jul 2023

29

Liverpool07:00 - 17:00

From world-class attractions and sports to legendary music, Liverpool offers old-world charm with modern sophistication, underpinned by a rich cultural history.

20 Jul 2023

30

Waterford07:00 - 17:00

The largest town in the Southeast and Ireland's oldest city, Waterford was founded by the Vikings in the 9th century and was taken over by Strongbow, the Norman invader, with much bloodshed in 1170. The city resisted Cromwell's 1649 attacks, but fell the following year. It did not prosper again until 1783, when George and William Penrose set out to create "plain and cut flint glass, useful and ornamental," and thereby set in motion a glass-manufacturing industry long without equal. The famed glassworks closed after the 2008 financial crisis, but Waterford Crystal has triumphantly risen again from the flames in a smaller, leaner version, opened in 2010 and now relocated to the Mall.

21 Jul 2023

31

Dartmouth09:00 - 19:00

Southampton is the largest city and port on the south coast of England. Tour the historic byways of Old Town with its Medieval walls and Tudor architecture. Spend an hour or two meandering along the pathways of Royal Victoria Country Park, picturesquely set along the waterfront on the grounds of a former military hospital where Florence Nightingale once worked. Southampton's maritime past can be explored by strolling along the Town Quay with its marina and lively bars and restaurants. It was here that the Titanic departed on its fateful journey and where the Mayflower sailed for the New World.

22 Jul 2023

32

Southampton06:00 - 18:00

Lying near the head of Southampton Water, a peninsula between the estuaries of the Rivers Test and Itchen, Southampton is Britain’s largest cruise port. It has been one of England’s major ports since the Middle Ages, when it exported wool and hides from the hinterland and imported wine from Bordeaux. The city suffered heavy damage during World War Two and as a result the centre has been extensively rebuilt, but there are still some interesting medieval buildings including the Bargate, one of the finest city gatehouses in England.

23 Jul 2023

33

Saint-Malo08:45 - 15:30

Thrust out into the sea and bound to the mainland only by tenuous man-made causeways, romantic St-Malo has built a reputation as a breeding ground for phenomenal sailors. Many were fishermen, but others—most notably Jacques Cartier, who claimed Canada for Francis I in 1534—were New World explorers. Still others were corsairs, "sea dogs" paid by the French crown to harass the Limeys across the Channel: legendary ones like Robert Surcouf and Duguay-Trouin helped make St-Malo rich through their pillaging, in the process earning it the nickname "the pirates' city." The St-Malo you see today isn’t quite the one they called home because a weeklong fire in 1944, kindled by retreating Nazis, wiped out nearly all of the old buildings. Restoration work was more painstaking than brilliant, but the narrow streets and granite houses of the Vieille Ville were satisfactorily recreated, enabling St-Malo to regain its role as a busy fishing port, seaside resort, and tourist destination. The ramparts that help define this city figuratively and literally are authentic, and the flames also spared houses along Rue de Pelicot in the Vieille Ville. Battalions of tourists invade this quaint part of town in summer, so arrive off-season if you want to avoid crowds.

24 Jul 2023

34

Dunkerque09:00 - 20:00

The two most recurring sights in Antwerp are the works of local sculptor Peter Paul Rubens and hands, which adorn everything from the town flag to the local Belgian chocolates. The hands' symbolism is explained at Brabo Fountain in Grote Market Square, which depicts the soldier that severed the hand of a mythical giant who bullied the townspeople by taking tolls. Antwerp is also known for its beautifully preserved Gothic and Baroque architecture, which includes the Cathedral of Our Lady, a masterpiece of lace work in stone on Groenplaats public square.

25 Jul 2023

35

Antwerp08:00 - 18:00

Explore Antwerp, Belgium's second city. Known for its diamond cutting industry, fashion and the many great artists that lived in its vicinity, Antwerp is a city focused on art and culture.

26 Jul 2023

36

Rotterdam08:00 - 18:00

Rotterdam is a city that's a long way removed from most people's stereotypical notion of the Netherlands. There are few, if any, canals to be found here nor are there any quaint windmills. There is, however, a thriving modern city which is one of the busiest ports in the entire world.

27 Jul 2023

37
38

Wismarundefined - 21:00

You might be interested to know that Wismar was part of Germany’s Hanseatic League in the 1400s. And you might be even more interested to know that this laid-back port is distinctive enough to have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Stroll the cobblestone streets of the Old Town to visit several noteworthy churches and inviting little shops, and then see if you can find the Schweinsbrücke. This bridge with a sculpture of a pig rolling around in apparent glee is said to bring good luck if you give it a rub. Also note that Wismar is close to several other quaint northern German towns, as well as gorgeous Schwerin Castle.

28 Jul 2023 - 29 Jul 2023

39

Rønne09:00 - 18:00

Visby is the largest city on the island of Gotland, and was once one of the most powerful cities in Europe. The entire island is full of ruins, artifacts and memories from its periods of greatness during the Viking period and Middle Ages when Visby was a member of the Hanseatic League. The town is surrounded by the Visby Ringwall, a huge 13th century stone wall that encloses the city. Inside the wall, Visby beckons with its medley of modern and medieval times.

30 Jul 2023

40

Visby08:00 - 17:00

Gotland is Sweden's main holiday island, a place of ancient history, a relaxed summer-party vibe, wide sandy beaches, and wild cliff formations called raukar (the remnants of reefs formed more than 400 million years ago). Measuring 125 km (78 miles) long and 52 km (32 miles) at its widest point, Gotland is where Swedish sheep farming has its home. In its charming glades, 35 varieties of wild orchids thrive, attracting botanists from all over the world.

31 Jul 2023

41
42

Stockholmundefined - 15:00

Stockholm is a city in the flush of its second youth. Since the mid-1990s, Sweden's capital has emerged from its cold, Nordic shadow to take the stage as a truly international city. What started with entry into the European Union in 1995 gained pace with the extraordinary IT boom of the late 1990s, strengthened with the Skype-led IT second wave of 2003, and solidified with the hedge-fund invasion that is still happening today as Stockholm gains even more global confidence. And despite more recent economic turmoil, Stockholm's 1 million or so inhabitants have, almost as one, realized that their city is one to rival Paris, London, New York, or any other great metropolis.With this realization comes change. Stockholm has become a city of design, fashion, innovation, technology, and world-class food, pairing homegrown talent with an international outlook. The streets are flowing with a young and confident population keen to drink in everything the city has to offer. The glittering feeling of optimism, success, and living in the here and now is rampant in Stockholm.Stockholm also has plenty of history. Positioned where the waters of Lake Mälaren rush into the Baltic, it’s been an important trading site and a wealthy international city for centuries. Built on 14 islands joined by bridges crossing open bays and narrow channels, Stockholm boasts the story of its history in its glorious medieval old town, grand palaces, ancient churches, sturdy edifices, public parks, and 19th-century museums—its history is soaked into the very fabric of its airy boulevards, built as a public display of trading glory.

01 Aug 2023 - 02 Aug 2023

43

Helsinki09:00 - 18:00

A city of the sea, Helsinki was built along a series of oddly shaped peninsulas and islands jutting into the Baltic coast along the Gulf of Finland. Streets and avenues curve around bays, bridges reach to nearby islands, and ferries ply among offshore islands.Having grown dramatically since World War II, Helsinki now absorbs more than one-tenth of the Finnish population. The metro area covers 764 square km (474 square miles) and 315 islands. Most sights, hotels, and restaurants cluster on one peninsula, forming a compact central hub. The greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which includes Espoo and Vantaa, has a total population of more than a million people.Helsinki is a relatively young city compared with other European capitals. In the 16th century, King Gustav Vasa of Sweden decided to woo trade from the Estonian city of Tallinn and thus challenge the Hanseatic League's monopoly on Baltic trade. Accordingly, he commanded the people of four Finnish towns to pack up their belongings and relocate to the rapids on the River Vantaa. The new town, founded on June 12, 1550, was named Helsinki.For three centuries, Helsinki (Helsingfors in Swedish) had its ups and downs as a trading town. Turku, to the west, remained Finland's capital and intellectual center. However, Helsinki's fortunes improved when Finland fell under Russian rule as an autonomous grand duchy. Czar Alexander I wanted Finland's political center closer to Russia and, in 1812, selected Helsinki as the new capital. Shortly afterward, Turku suffered a disastrous fire, forcing the university to move to Helsinki. The town's future was secure.Just before the czar's proclamation, a fire destroyed many of Helsinki's traditional wooden structures, precipitating the construction of new buildings suitable for a nation's capital. The German-born architect Carl Ludvig Engel was commissioned to rebuild the city, and as a result, Helsinki has some of the purest neoclassical architecture in the world. Add to this foundation the influence of Stockholm and St. Petersburg with the local inspiration of 20th-century Finnish design, and the result is a European capital city that is as architecturally eye-catching as it is distinct from other Scandinavian capitals. You are bound to discover endless engaging details—a grimacing gargoyle; a foursome of males supporting a balcony's weight on their shoulders; a building painted in striking colors with contrasting flowers in the windows. The city's 400 or so parks make it particularly inviting in summer.Today, Helsinki is still a meeting point of eastern and western Europe, which is reflected in its cosmopolitan image, the influx of Russians and Estonians, and generally multilingual population. Outdoor summer bars ("terrassit" as the locals call them) and cafés in the city center are perfect for people watching on a summer afternoon.

03 Aug 2023

44
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Saint Petersburg (ex Leningrad)undefined - 18:00

Commissioned by Tsar Peter the Great (1672–1725) as "a window looking into Europe," St. Petersburg is a planned city whose elegance is reminiscent of Europe's most alluring capitals. Little wonder it's the darling of fashion photographers and travel essayists today: built on more than a hundred islands in the Neva Delta linked by canals and arched bridges, it was called the "Venice of the North" by Goethe, and its stately embankments are reminiscent of those in Paris. A city of golden spires and gilded domes, of pastel palaces and candlelit cathedrals, this city conceived by a visionary emperor is filled with pleasures and tantalizing treasures. With its strict geometric lines and perfectly planned architecture, so unlike the Russian cities that came before it, St. Petersburg is almost too European to be Russian. And yet it's too Russian to be European. The city is a powerful combination of both East and West, springing from the will and passion of its founder to guide a resistant Russia into the greater fold of Europe, and consequently into the mainstream of history. That he accomplished, and more. With a population of nearly 5 million, St. Petersburg is the fourth largest city in Europe after Paris, Moscow, and London. Without as many of the fashionably modern buildings that a business center like Moscow acquires, the city has managed to preserve much more of its history. Here, you can imagine yourself back in the time of the tsars and Dostoyevsky. Although it's a close race, it's safe to say that most visitors prefer St. Petersburg's culture, history, and beauty to Moscow's glamour and power. That said, St. Petersburg has begun to play a more active role in politics in recent years, as if it were the country's northern capital. It may be because of the affection the city holds in the heart of the country's political elite, many of whom are natives of the city. New high-speed trains now travel between Moscow and St. Petersburg, a new international airport and metro stations have just opened, and some crumbling parts of the city are undergoing reconstruction. St. Petersburg revels in its historic beauty but also embraces the new.

04 Aug 2023 - 05 Aug 2023

46

Tallinn09:00 - 18:00

Estonia's history is sprinkled liberally with long stretches of foreign domination, beginning in 1219 with the Danes, followed without interruption by the Germans, Swedes, and Russians. Only after World War I, with Russia in revolutionary wreckage, was Estonia able to declare its independence. Shortly before World War II, in 1940, that independence was usurped by the Soviets, who—save for a brief three-year occupation by Hitler's Nazis—proceeded to suppress all forms of national Estonian pride for the next 50 years. Estonia finally regained independence in 1991. In the early 1990s, Estonia's own Riigikogu (Parliament), not some other nation's puppet ruler, handed down from the Upper City reforms that forced Estonia to blaze its post-Soviet trail to the European Union. Estonia has been a member of the EU since 2004, and in 2011, the country and its growing economy joined the Eurozone. Tallinn was also named the European City of Culture in 2011, cementing its growing reputation as a cultural hot spot.

06 Aug 2023

47
48

Copenhagenundefined - 21:00

Copenhagen, the royal capital of Denmark, is one of Europe's oldest capitals. It was a fishing village until the middle of the 12th century, but then grew in importance after being fortified in 1167. Because of its harbor, it soon became a place of commercial importance. Copenhagen has a long history well-integrated with today's modern life. Theaters, museums, art galleries and musical entertainment are among the attractions that make Copenhagen memorable.

07 Aug 2023 - 08 Aug 2023

49

Gothenburg08:00 - 19:00

Don't tell the residents of Göteborg that they live in Sweden's "second city," but not because they will get upset (people here are known for their amiability and good humor). They just may not understand what you are talking about. People who call Göteborg (pronounced YOO-teh-bor; most visitors stick with the simpler "Gothenburg") home seem to forget that the city is diminutive in size and status compared to Stockholm.Spend a couple of days here and you'll forget, too. You'll find it's easier to ask what Göteborg hasn't got to offer rather than what it has. Culturally it is superb, boasting a fine opera house and theater, one of the country's best art museums, as well as a fantastic applied-arts museum. There's plenty of history to soak up, from the ancient port that gave the city its start to the 19th-century factory buildings and workers' houses that helped put it on the commercial map. For those looking for nature, the wild-west coast and tame green fields are both within striking distance. And don't forget the food. Since its inception in 1983, more than half of the "Swedish Chef of the Year" competition winners were cooking in Göteborg.

09 Aug 2023

50

Oslo08:00 - 21:00

Oslo is the capital of Norway and is also its largest city, situated at the head of Oslo Fjord and surrounded by hills and forests. Home to some 50 museums and full of galleries, cafés, a sculpture park and the Royal Palace, this vibrant city with its handsome 19th-century buildings and wide streets has much to offer. Its history dates back 1,000 years, and includes a rich seafaring heritage that ranges from the Viking era to Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon Tiki expedition. Discover more about this exciting city on our varied selection of excursions.

10 Aug 2023

51

Kristiansand09:00 - 18:00

Nicknamed "Sommerbyen" ("Summer City"), Norway's fifth-largest city has 78,000 inhabitants. Norwegians come here for its sun-soaked beaches and beautiful harbor. Kristiansand has also become known internationally for the outdoor Quart Festival, which hosts local and international rock bands every July. According to legend, in 1641 King Christian IV marked the four corners of Kristiansand with his walking stick, and within that framework the grid of wide streets was laid down. The center of town, called the Kvadraturen, still retains the grid, even after numerous fires. In the northeast corner is Posebyen, one of northern Europe's largest collections of low, connected wooden house settlements, and there's a market here every Saturday in summer. Kristiansand's Fisketorvet (fish market) is near the south corner of the town's grid, right on the sea.

11 Aug 2023

52

Stavanger08:00 - 17:00

Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Stavanger flourished in the 19th century as a fishing port. While other towns in Norway have suffered with the decline of this industry, Stavanger has kept its economy booming by diversifying, first into shipbuilding and now into oil. These two contrasting industries have created a city of two halves – a modern area of high-rise buildings and a historic centre with cobbled streets and old wooden houses. The city centre was the birthplace of Alexander Kielland, one of the great 19th-century Norwegian novelists. Stavanger Cathedral, dating from 1125, is an impressive building and the only medieval cathedral in Norway that has not been substantially altered since it was first built. From Stavanger you can explore the attractive blue waters of Lysefjord, surrounded by cliffs and striking rock formations, and also visit Hafrsfjord where the Viking King Harald won an important battle that started the Unification of Norway. Those preferring to explore on their own may wish to visit the interesting Petroleum Museum.

12 Aug 2023

53

Nordfjordeid08:00 - 18:00

Norway’s history is written in the buildings and monuments of Norway’s first capital and third largest city, Trondheim. The Sagas tell us how King Olav Tryggvason of Viking fame founded the city on this ice-free fjord in 997, mesmerized by the winding Nidelva River and lovely forested hills. The timbered architecture of the beautiful 11th-century Nidaros Cathedral is actually built over the tomb of St. Olav, and even today, Norwegian kings are crowned within its massive nave.

13 Aug 2023

54

Trondheim09:00 - 18:00

One of Scandinavia's oldest cities, Trondheim was the first capital of Norway, from AD 997 to 1380. Founded in 997 by Viking king Olav Tryggvason, it was first named Nidaros (still the name of the cathedral), a composite word referring to the city's location at the mouth of the Nidelva River. Today, it's Central Norway's largest (and Norway's third largest) city, with a population of 150,000. The wide streets of the historic city center remain lined with brightly painted wood houses and striking warehouses. But it's no historic relic: it's also the home to NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) and is Norway's technological capital.

14 Aug 2023

55

North Cape (Honningsavag)

15 Aug 2023

56

Honningsvåg09:00 - 23:00

Searching in 1553 for a northeast passage to India, British navigator Richard Chancellor came upon a crag 307 yards above the Barents Sea. He named the jut of rock North Cape, or Nordkapp. Today Europe's northernmost point is a rite-of-passage journey for nearly all Scandinavians and many others. Most cruise passengers visit Nordkapp from Honningsvåg, a fishing village on Magerøya Island. The journey from Honningsvåg to Nordkapp covers about 35 km (22 miles) across a landscape characterized by rocky tundra and grazing reindeer, which are rounded up each spring by Sami herdsmen in boats. The herdsmen herd the reindeer across a mile-wide channel from their winter home on the mainland. Honningvåg's northerly location makes for long, dark winter nights and perpetually sun-filled summer days. The village serves as the gateway to Arctic exploration and the beautiful Nordkapp Plateau, a destination that calls to all visitors of this region. Most of those who journey to Nordkapp (North Cape), the northernmost tip of Europe, are in it for a taste of this unique, otherworldly, rugged yet delicate landscape. You'll see an incredible treeless tundra, with crumbling mountains and sparse dwarf plants. The subarctic environment is very vulnerable, so don't disturb the plants. Walk only on marked trails and don't remove stones, leave car marks, or make campfires. Because the roads are closed in winter, the only access is from the tiny fishing village of Skarsvåg via Sno-Cat, a thump-and-bump ride that's as unforgettable as the desolate view.

16 Aug 2023

57

Hammerfest07:00 - 16:00

More than 600 miles north of the Arctic Circle, the world's northernmost town is also one of the most widely visited and oldest places in northern Norway. "Hammerfest" means "mooring place" and refers to the natural harbor (remarkably free of ice year-round thanks to the Gulf Stream) that is formed by the crags in the mountain. Hammerfest is the gateway to the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean, a jumping-off point for Arctic expeditions. Once a hunting town, Hammerfest's town emblem features the polar bear. In 1891 the residents of Hammerfest, tired of the months of darkness that winter always brought, decided to brighten their nights: they purchased a generator from Thomas Edison, and Hammerfest thus ecame the first city in Europe to have electric street lamps. In addition to two museums, there are several shops within Hammerfest's small city center. There is also a market selling souvenirs and other goods outside the town hall.

17 Aug 2023

58

Leknes11:00 - 20:00

Blessed with some of the most spectacular scenery in Norway (and goodness only know that this is land blessed with rolling hills, soaring peaks, valleys, tranquil fjords and white sandy beaches, so the competition is high!), Leknes is what Norway is meant to be. Pretty red houses lay dotted on the green covered hills, and the midnight sun is rises above the horizon from 26th May to 17th July, (while in winter the sun does not rise from 9th December to 4th January). Part of the stunning Lofoten islands, this pretty port offers much in the way of recreation, although understandably most of this is outdoor based. Take a boat ride around the archipelago, try your hand at some deep sea fishing, or simply stroll thought the city centre, perhaps rent a bicycle and discover the hinterland at your own pace. Bikes can be easily rented and note that hybrid and electric bikes are a great option for those who might be a bit out of practice with their pedal power. Gastronomes with a sweet tooth will be rewarded with one simple pleasure: a fresh-from-the-oven skillingsbolle – or big, fluffy cinnamon rolls, fit for indulging in if all the fresh air has made you hungry! Look out for the quirky coffee shops, settle down for some Norwegian kos, say takk for maten and enjoy!

18 Aug 2023

59

Lerwick, Shetland Islands United Kingdom

Explore Stone Age ruins, heather-covered moors and the rugged Scottish highlands in Lerwick, capital of the Shetland Island Archipelago. With its dramatic cliffs, Grand Victorian houses, charming Shetland ponies, and Nordic heritage Lerwick offers hours of entertainment. Set off on your own to get an historic overview at the Shetland Museum and Archives on the waterfront. Stroll through the numerous galleries and quaint shops looking for unique art, fine hand knitted sweaters made from the wool of Shetland Sheep and beautiful knitted lace. The local-made beer and whiskey is well worth a visit to a pub.

19 Aug 2023

60

Lerwick, Shetland Islands10:00 - 19:00

Founded by Dutch fishermen in the 17th century, Lerwick today is a busy town and administrative center. Handsome stone buildings—known as lodberries—line the harbor; they provided loading bays for goods, some of them illegal. The town's twisting flagstone lanes and harbor once heaved with activity, and Lerwick is still an active port today. This is also where most visitors to Shetland dock, spilling out of cruise ships, allowing passengers to walk around the town.

20 Aug 2023

61

Kirkwall, Orkney Islands06:00 - 14:30

In bustling Kirkwall, the main town on Orkney, there's plenty to see in the narrow, winding streets extending from the harbor. The cathedral and some museums are highlights.

21 Aug 2023

62
63

Leithundefined - 18:00

Leith is a buzzing port district, home to hip creatives and longtime locals. Waterfront seafood bistros and traditional pubs dot the Shore area. The Royal Yacht Britannia, a former ocean-going royal residence, showcases elaborate state apartments and an onboard Rolls-Royce. The riverside Water of Leith Walkway and Leith Walk, a busy street with food and thrift shops, link the area with the city centre.

22 Aug 2023 - 23 Aug 2023

64

Hamburg

Hamburg, a major port city in northern Germany, is connected to the North Sea by the Elbe River. It's crossed by hundreds of canals, and also contains large areas of parkland. Near its core, Inner Alster lake is dotted with boats and surrounded by cafes. The city's central Jungfernstieg boulevard connects the Neustadt (new town) with the Altstadt (old town), home to landmarks like 18th-century St. Michael’s Church.

24 Aug 2023

65
66

Bremerhavenundefined - 15:00

Bremerhaven was founded in 1139. In 1827 the decision was taken to make this small fishing town a huge deep-sea port, and today Bremerhaven, along with Bremen, forms the smallest of Germany’s federal states. This busy port is still part of the municipality of Bremen, and half of Germany’s fishing fleet deposit their catch here. Bremerhaven’s lighthouse, a famous landmark, dates back to 1853 and is the oldest working lighthouse on Germany's mainland North Sea coast. Bremerhaven is home to the German Shipping Museum, founded in 1971, which houses many interesting exhibits including a well-preserved 14th-century Hanseatic trading vessel, found at the bottom of the River Weser during dredging operations. Another attraction is the German Migration Museum, which tells the stories of Germans who migrated to the New World and of foreigners who have made their homes in Germany.

25 Aug 2023 - 26 Aug 2023

67
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Amsterdamundefined - 18:00

Amsterdam combines the unrivaled beauty of the 17th-century Golden Age city center with plenty of museums and art of the highest order, not to mention a remarkably laid-back atmosphere. It all comes together to make this one of the world's most appealing and offbeat metropolises in the world. Built on a latticework of concentric canals like an aquatic rainbow, Amsterdam is known as the City of Canals—but it's no Venice, content to live on moonlight serenades and former glory. Quite the contrary: on nearly every street here you'll find old and new side by side—quiet corners where time seems to be holding its breath next to streets like neon-lit Kalverstraat, and Red Light ladies strutting by the city's oldest church. Indeed, Amsterdam has as many lovely facets as a 40-carat diamond polished by one of the city's gem cutters. It's certainly a metropolis, but a rather small and very accessible one. Locals tend to refer to it as a big village, albeit one that happens to pack the cultural wallop of a major world destination. There are scores of concerts every day, numerous museums, summertime festivals, and, of course, a legendary year-round party scene. It's pretty much impossible to resist Amsterdam's charms. With 7,000 registered monuments, most of which began as the residences and warehouses of humble merchants, set on 160 man-made canals, and traversed by 1,500 or so bridges, Amsterdam has the largest historical inner city in Europe. Its famous circle of waterways, the grachtengordel, was a 17th-century urban expansion plan for the rich and is a lasting testament to the city’s Golden Age. This town is endearing because of its kinder, gentler nature—but a reputation for championing sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll does not alone account for Amsterdam's being one of the most popular destinations in Europe: consider that within a single square mile the city harbors some of the greatest achievements in Western art, from Rembrandt to Van Gogh. Not to mention that this is one of Europe's great walking cities, with so many of its treasures in the untouted details: tiny alleyways barely visible on the map, hidden garden courtyards, shop windows, floating houseboats, hidden hofjes(courtyards with almshouses), sudden vistas of church spires, and gabled roofs that look like so many unframed paintings. And don’t forget that the joy lies in details: elaborate gables and witty gable stones denoting the trade of a previous owner. Keep in mind that those XXX symbols you see all over town are not a mark of the city's triple-X reputation. They're part of Amsterdam's official coat of arms—three St. Andrew's crosses, believed to represent the three dangers that have traditionally plagued the city: flood, fire, and pestilence. The coat's motto ("Valiant, determined, compassionate") was introduced in 1947 by Queen Wilhelmina in remembrance of the 1941 February Strike in Amsterdam—the first time in Europe that non-Jewish people protested against the persecution of Jews by the Nazi regime.

27 Aug 2023 - 28 Aug 2023

69

Zeebrugge07:00 - 18:00

In 1895 work began to construct a new seaport and harbour next to the tiny village of Zeebrugge, situated on the North Sea coast. Today the fast-expanding port of Zeebrugge is one of the busiest in Europe and its marina is Belgium’s most important fishing port. Many attempts were made to destroy this important port during both World Wars. Zeebrugge is ideally located for discovering the historic city of Bruges, and delightful seaside resorts with long sandy beaches can be visited by using the trams that run the whole length of the Belgian coast. Please note that no food may be taken ashore in Belgium. We shall not be offering shuttle buses to Bruges, but you may visit the city on an optional excursion: those visiting Bruges should note that there may be quite a long walk from the coach to the town centre.

29 Aug 2023

70

Saint Peter Port10:00 - 19:00

Cobblestone streets, blooming floral displays, and tiny churches welcome you to this wonderfully pretty harbour. The town of St Peter Port is as pretty as they come, with glowing flower displays painting practically every street corner and window-ledge with colour. As the capital, and main port of Guernsey, St Peter Port puts all of the island’s gorgeous beaches, wonderful history and inspiring stories at your fingertips. Feel the gut punch of the midday gun firing at Castle Cornet, which stands guard over one of the world's prettiest ports. This 800-year-old, Medieval castle offers staggering views of the harbour from its imposing, craggy island location, and you can look out across to the looming shorelines of the other Channel Islands from its weathered battlements. With four well-tended gardens, and five museums offering a rich overview of Guernsey's history, you’ll want to leave a few hours aside to explore the many treasures that lie within the castle’s walls.

30 Aug 2023

71
72
73

Bordeauxundefined - 08:45

Bordeaux is located near the European Atlantic coast, in the north of the Aquitaine region in France. The city is built on a bend of the river Garonne, with the city literally divided into two parts. The world's wine capital, Bordeaux has about 60 appellations, 9,000 wine-producing châteaux, and 13,000 grape growers. With an annual production of over 700 million bottles, Bordeaux produces large quantities of everyday wine as well as the most expensive ones.

31 Aug 2023 - 02 Sep 2023

74

Le Verdon-sur-Mer13:00 - 18:00

Situated on the Garonne River, 70 miles (113 km) inland from the Atlantic, Bordeaux's origin can be traced back to the 3rd century when it was Aquitaine's Roman capital called Burdigala. From 1154 to 1453, the town prospered under the rule of the English, whose fondness for the region's red wines gave impetus to the local wine industry. At various times, Bordeaux even served as the nation's capital: in 1870, at the beginning of World War I, and for two weeks in 1940 before the Vichy government was proclaimed. Bordeaux's neo-classical architecture, wide avenues and well-tended public squares and parks lend the city a certain grandeur. Excellent museums, an imposing cathedral and a much-praised theatre add to the city's attractions. The principal highlights, clustered around the town centre, can easily be explored on foot.

02 Sep 2023

75

Bilbao08:00 - 17:00

Time in Bilbao (Bilbo, in Euskera) may be recorded as BG or AG (Before Guggenheim or After Guggenheim). Never has a single monument of art and architecture so radically changed a city. Frank Gehry's stunning museum, Norman Foster's sleek subway system, the Santiago Calatrava glass footbridge and airport, the leafy César Pelli Abandoibarra park and commercial complex next to the Guggenheim, and the Philippe Starck AlhóndigaBilbao cultural center have contributed to an unprecedented cultural revolution in what was once the industry capital of the Basque Country.Greater Bilbao contains almost 1 million inhabitants, nearly half the total population of the Basque Country. Founded in 1300 by Vizcayan noble Diego López de Haro, Bilbao became an industrial center in the mid-19th century, largely because of the abundance of minerals in the surrounding hills. An affluent industrial class grew up here, as did the working class in suburbs that line the Margen Izquierda (Left Bank) of the Nervión estuary.Bilbao's new attractions get more press, but the city's old treasures still quietly line the banks of the rust-color Nervión River. The Casco Viejo (Old Quarter)—also known as Siete Calles (Seven Streets)—is a charming jumble of shops, bars, and restaurants on the river's Right Bank, near the Puente del Arenal bridge. This elegant proto-Bilbao nucleus was carefully restored after devastating floods in 1983. Throughout the Casco Viejo are ancient mansions emblazoned with family coats of arms, wooden doors, and fine ironwork balconies. The most interesting square is the 64-arch Plaza Nueva, where an outdoor market is pitched every Sunday morning.Walking the banks of the Nervión is a satisfying jaunt. After all, this was how—while out on a morning jog—Guggenheim director Thomas Krens first discovered the perfect spot for his project, nearly opposite the right bank's Deusto University. From the Palacio de Euskalduna upstream to the colossal Mercado de la Ribera, parks and green zones line the river. César Pelli's Abandoibarra project fills in the half mile between the Guggenheim and the Euskalduna bridge with a series of parks, the Deusto University library, the Meliá Bilbao Hotel, and a major shopping center.On the left bank, the wide, late-19th-century boulevards of the Ensanche neighborhood, such as Gran Vía (the main shopping artery) and Alameda de Mazarredo, are the city's more formal face. Bilbao's cultural institutions include, along with the Guggenheim, a major museum of fine arts (the Museo de Bellas Artes) and an opera society (Asociación Bilbaína de Amigos de la Ópera, or ABAO) with 7,000 members from Spain and southern France. In addition, epicureans have long ranked Bilbao's culinary offerings among the best in Spain. Don't miss a chance to ride the trolley line, the Euskotram, for a trip along the river from Atxuri Station to Basurto's San Mamés soccer stadium, reverently dubbed "la Catedral del Fútbol" (the Cathedral of Football).

03 Sep 2023

76

Ferrol10:00 - 19:00

El Ferrol has been inextricably linked to the sea for more than two millennia, being a major shipbuilding centre for most of its history. From its beginnings as a tiny fishing port in the 1st century BC, it endured conquests by Vandals, Suebis, Arabs and Christians. With the arrival of the Bourbons in the 18th century, Ferrol became a leading maritime centre, largely due to its large natural harbour on the Ferrol Inlet, an arm of the Atlantic. Now a large commercial port, Ferrol is also the gateway to the northern Spanish province of Galicia, a region noted for its green mountains, deep gorges and fast-flowing rivers. It is also well placed for visiting the medieval holy city of Santiago de Compostela. Interestingly, Ferrol's city centre is modelled on Lisbon in Portugal, a country with which it has strong historical and linguistic ties. The layout comprises of a rectangle lined with six parallel streets, with two squares on each side. These squares have the city's best shops, restaurants and bars.

04 Sep 2023

77

Porto09:00 - 18:00

Lively, commercial Oporto is the second largest city in Portugal after Lisbon. Also called Porto for short, the word easily brings to mind the city's most famous product - port wine. Oporto's strategic location on the north bank of the Douro River has accounted for the town's importance since ancient times. The Romans built a fort here where their trading route crossed the Douro, and the Moors brought their own culture to the area. Oporto profited from provisioning crusaders en route to the Holy Land and enjoyed the riches from Portuguese maritime discoveries during the 15th and 16th centuries. Later, port wine trade with Britain compensated for the loss of the spice trade and the end of gold and gem shipments from Brazil. In the 19th century, the city went through a period of new prosperity with the rise of industries. In its wake followed the building of workers' quarters and opulent residences. Since the declaration of Oporto as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the city aims to build up a cultural reference that will provide it with a new image, based on deep historical roots. Among the attractions that make Oporto such an interesting place are its graceful bridges spanning the Douro River, a picturesque riverfront quarter and, most notable, its world-famous port wine lodges. Although Oporto is a bustling centre and home to many different businesses, the source of its greatest fame is the rich, sweet fortified red wine we know as port.

05 Sep 2023

78

Lisbon08:00 - 17:00

Set on seven hills on the banks of the River Tagus, Lisbon has been the capital of Portugal since the 13th century. It is a city famous for its majestic architecture, old wooden trams, Moorish features and more than twenty centuries of history. Following disastrous earthquakes in the 18th century, Lisbon was rebuilt by the Marques de Pombal who created an elegant city with wide boulevards and a great riverfront and square, Praça do Comércio. Today there are distinct modern and ancient sections, combining great shopping with culture and sightseeing in the Old Town, built on the city's terraced hillsides. The distance between the ship and your tour vehicle may vary. This distance is not included in the excursion grades.

06 Sep 2023

79

Barcelona

One of Europe’s most visually stunning cities, Barcelona balances the medieval intimacy of its Gothic Quarter with the grace and distinction of the wide boulevards in the Moderniste Eixample. It was the home of architect Antoni Gaudí, whose Sagrada Familia Cathedral, Park Güell and Casa Milà are the most profound statements of Modernisme. View the splendid works at the Picasso Museum and the Miro Foundation, or discover Barcelona’s passionate ambiance at a flamenco show.

07 Sep 2023

(This holiday is generally suitable for persons with reduced mobility. For customers with reduced mobility or any medical condition that may require special assistance or arrangements to be made, please notify your Cruise Concierge at the time of your enquiry, so that we can provide specific information as to the suitability of the holiday, as well as make suitable arrangements with the Holiday Provider on your behalf).

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This website will provide you with information on the financial protection that applies in the case of each holiday and travel service offered before you make your booking. At the time of booking, our Cruise Concierge will also confirm the financial protection applicable to your specific holiday. Please ask us for further information should you require it. The flight inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. The cruise-only holidays on this website are financially protected by ABTA. Please see our booking terms and conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate, click here. SixStarCruises acts as a retail agent to you and also as a disclosed agent of the holiday provider (the Organiser of the holiday).