If you’re the kind of cruiser who loves to explore the history of each country you visit, then you’ll no doubt have stopped off at number of places of cultural interest on your travels. However, for a comprehensive historical immersion, there’s nothing quite like a good museum and luckily, you can see some of the world’s very best on a Six Star Cruise.
The Louvre – Paris
Possibly the world’s most well-known museum, a reputation helped along by its starring role in The Da Vinci Code, The Louvre is in itself a historic monument and an architecturally beautiful building. It is home to almost 35,000 different objects but the star attraction is the Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, arguably the most famous painting in the world. The museum as it stands today was opened in 1793, though the building is actually much older dating back to the 12th century, when it started off life as a fortress built by Phillip II.
How to visit: Book a European cruise which includes an excursion to Paris.
The Hermitage – St Petersburg
The State Hermitage Museum is one of the world’s oldest and largest museums. Founded by Catherine the Great in 1764, it’s been open to the public since 1852 and is home to a staggering three million items, though understandably only a small portion of these are on display at any one time. Egyptian artefacts, Renaissance art Flemish Baroque, prehistoric art – it’s all here. Art lovers take note – there are more paintings to be found in the Hermitage than anywhere else in the world. If you’re lucky enough to be there on the first Thursday of the month, it’s free to get in, too.
How to visit: Most Baltic cruises include a visit to the city.
Vatican Museums – Rome
Rome is one of the world’s most art-rich cities and offers visitors the chance to visit its ‘city within a city’ the Vatican. Its own state, The Vatican is of course the seat of Catholicism and the Roman Catholic Church has amassed a huge collection or works over the years, including some of the world’s most famous sculptures. On the visitor route through the museums, you’ll be able to see Michelangelo’s legendary Sistine Chapel ceiling and Raphael’s Stanze della Segnatura. The Vatican has been building up its awesome collection of works since 1506, when then-Pope Julius II purchased a sculpture from a vineyard close to Rome.
How to visit: Just book a Mediterranean cruise which calls a Civitavecchia, the port for Rome.
The Acropolis Museum – Athens
As you may have guessed, the Acropolis Museum is located at the foot of the city’s most famous attraction. It’s the perfect companion piece to a visit to the celebrated collection of buildings and your mission to get the perfect picture of the Parthenon, as it houses every single artefact unearthed at the complex. Built to replace the original museum on the Acropolis and opening in 2009, its one of the newest museums you can visit and lies on the ruins of what part of Roman Athens. Much of the museum’s floor is made of transparent glass, so these ruins are visible and act as a kind of continuous exhibit.
How to visit: Book a Mediterranean or Greek Isles cruise which calls at the Greek capital.
American Museum of Natural History – New York
Another of the world’s very biggest museums, this one’s located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, just across the street from Central Park. The complex comprises 27 different buildings and is home to 32,000 million artefacts in total. Even though there are 45 exhibition halls, only a small fraction of those are on display at any one time. The museum has a strong astronomic leaning, housing many meteorite and rock samples, a planetarium and its own staff of scientists. Dinosaur enthusiasts are in for a treat also, as the museum houses a complete Tyrannosaurus skeleton made of real fossil bones not casts, as well as numerous other great lizard remains.
How to visit: Book a transatlantic cruise from or to New York
By Simon Brotherton