Today is the 90th anniversary of the first ever Winter Olympics, held in Charmonix, France way back in 1924. Since then, the Winter Olympics has gone from strength to strength, increasing in popularity throughout the 20th century and sparking interest amongst the public with a wide range of winter sports, from skiing to the skeleton bob. To celebrate this anniversary, we have done some of research into the former Winter Olympics hosts that you can visit on a cruise with Six Star Cruises. Although many of the previous hosts are located to far inland to visit on a fabulous all-inclusive cruise holiday, we have found a selection of them that are available on the itineraries of excellent cruise lines voyaging across the globe.
Oslo, Norway – 1952
Over 60 years ago, in 1952, Oslo, the capital city of Norway situated to the south of the country, hosted the Winter Olympics. The 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo saw the creation of the first ever modern athlete’s village, complete with hotels for the attending press and special guests as well as a series of dormitories to house the competition’s many athletes. The games were an all-round success, attracting nearly 700 sports men and women from 30 different countries. The home nation of Norway also achieved highly at the games, with local athlete Hjalmar Anderson winning three of out of four possible speed skating events to become the most highly accomplished participant in the history of the games.
Cruisers who get the opportunity to call in Oslo during northern European or fjord cruises will be delighted by the charming ambience and unique character of this wonderful city. With 1,000 years of illustrious and fascinating history, Oslo boasts a range of stunning architecture and excellent cultural attractions alongside many areas of stunning natural beauty. Visitors can spend time at the superb parks, gardens and museums dotted around the city or head to some of the area’s other great attractions, which include the imposing Royal Palace, the majestic Oslo Cathedral and the city’s contemporary Opera House.
Sapporo, Japan – 1972
Located on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, the port city of Sapporo was the first Asian destination to host the Winter Olympics. The city was originally designated to stage the games in 1940, but the Second World War caused the event to be cancelled. Eventually, in 1972 Sapporo got a second chance at hosting the games and did so to great avail. Previous to the 1972 games, Japan had never won a gold medal in the competition. During the Sapporo Winter Olympics, however, the host nation swept to victory in the ski jumping event, cleaning up with gold, silver and bronze placed athletes.
Nowadays, a sojourn in Sapporo on Far East cruises is a great way to experience modern Japanese culture. Unlike many Japanese cities, Sapporo maintains a grid-like road system, which makes getting around a lot easier. Although it is lacking in the way of the traditional Japanese architecture you may expect to see, the city boasts many splendid boulevards where majestic trees stand in wide open spaces. The city is full of wonderful attractions to keep visitor thoroughly entertained during a stay in the city, including the region’s iconic Clock Tower, the fun-filled and informative Ishiya Chocolate Factory, the beautiful Odori Park and the ever-popular Sapporo Brewery. Visitors can also ascend the nearby Moiwayama Mountain by cable car to appreciate spectacular views out of the surrounding area.
Vancouver, Canada – 2010
Most recently in 2010, the Winter Olympics were held in Vancouver, a coastal seaport city located in the vast Canadian state of British Columbia. A massive total of 82 separate nations took part in the games which were staged between the 12th and the 28th of February of that year. Despite a number of concerns and controversies during the build up to the games, they went ahead as planned and were a roaring success. Canada went on to become the first home nation since Norway in 1952 to lead the gold medals table and with 14, achieved the most gold medals won in a single games by one country in Winter Olympics history.
Four years on, Vancouver is a marvellous city to visit on an all-inclusive North American cruise, boasting a plethora of fantastic attractions to suit all kinds of travellers and often ranked amongst the best cities in the world to live in. Although still a relatively young city, a collection of historic structures can be found in the downtown areas of Vancouver alongside a great selection of museums and parks. Skiing and snowboarding are very popular in the areas surrounding Vancouver, which is particularly appropriate in a city famous for hosting the Winter Olympics.