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Cultural Highlights Along Coastal Europe

9 days with Hurtigruten   Rating: First Class

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DAY 1 The Gateway To The Fjords
Location : Bergen
Bergen was founded in 1070 AD, and was the capital of Norway for several years. The city is a central point for Norwegian travel, yet has retained a great deal of local character and history. One example of this is the historic UNESCO-listed Bryggen district with colourful wharfs that date back to the 14th century. Take a stroll around this charming and compact city, spend some time in one of the outdoor cafés and restaurants, enjoy a trip on the Fløibanen Funicular or visit the Fish Market before embarking your European adventure on MS Midnatsol.
DAY 2 Crossing The North Sea
Location : At Sea
Historically, the North Sea has been important during much of the Middle Ages and into the modern era. It was the centre of the feared Viking's rise, and later the Hanseatic League. For many years, the Dutch and the British each tried to dominate the area and the access to markets and resources found here. Today, this shallow north-eastern arm of the Atlantic Ocean is very important for marine transport. The shipping lanes are among the busiest in the world, with major ports located along its coasts. Enjoy a day on deck. Breathe in the fresh salt air, look for birds, mammals, ships and oilrigs - all part of the lively North Sea.
DAY 3 So Much More Than A Beach Destination
Location : Oostende
Oostende has a 9 km long white sand beach and is a popular beach destination for locals, but the city offers so much more. The seafront is Ostend’s principal tourist attraction. But as an adventurer, you might enjoy a visit to the small and bustling fish market. Take a walking tour in the Footsteps of Marvin Gay, the American singer who spent time here. Have your own personal moment of Zen in the beautiful Japanese Garden, called Shin Kai Tei. Visit the deceptively large Oostende art museum, with corridors snaking in all directions. Wander through the subterranean fortifications in the best-preserved sections of the infamous German Atlantikwall. Stand in line to get a large steaming pot of delicious mussels and fries, and later, for dessert, have a waffle or some of the famous Belgian chocolate. Or join in on a trip to Bruges and see the historical centre that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
DAY 4 Cruising "The Channel"
Location : At Sea
We sail through the English Channel, which connects the North Sea with the Atlantic Ocean. This is the world's busiest seaway, with more than 500 ships passing every day. Our observation lounge or on deck are good places to be to watch vessels from all over the world on their way through the Channel. In between relaxing, fully enjoying the experience of being at sea or sharing experiences with fellow adventurers, you can join in for fascinating lectures and talks.
DAY 5 A Well-Kept Secret By The French
Location : Belle-Île
As its name suggests, Belle-île is one of France’s most beautiful islands. With stunning cliffs, quaint seaside hamlets, pastel coloured houses, green countryside and jagged rocky coastlines, Belle-île’s beauty has inspired adventure novelists such as Dumas, as well as impressionist painters like Monet and Matisse. The island is a well-kept secret in France, and now it's your turn to discover it! The town of Le Palais is the "capital" of the island. It is situated around the Bassin de la Saline and is overlooked by the massive Citadelle. From here you can either join several hikes and outings with the Expedition team, or discover this busting towns many markets, shops and sights independently.
DAY 6 Modern, Yet Historic
Location : Bilbao
Bilbao is the heart of the Basque Country. The city boasts an unexpected duality, as it has successfully mixed traditional Basque culture with a new vision for the future. It is sophisticated and humming with action, but at the same time it is super relaxed. And it is an absolute must for design and culture lovers: The Guggenheim Museum designed by architect Frank Gehry, a timeless Metro system designed by Sir Norman Foster, a community center designed by Philippe Starck. The list goes on and on. On the other hand you have the Casco Viejo, Bilbao’s atmospheric old quarter, full of charming streets, the market and plenty of distinctive, independent shops. At the heart of the Casco are Bilbao’s original seven streets, Las Siete Calles, which date from the 1400s. Explore this wonderful and diverse urban landscape, either on your own or with one of our many excursions.
DAY 7 The Legendary Bay Of Biscay
Location : At Sea
At sea.
DAY 8 The Home Of Port Wine
Location : Leixões/ Oporto
From Leixões, it is a short yet very interesting trip to one of the last undiscovered European metropolises: Oporto. This ancient port is steeped in history and tradition, but with a modern outlook and bold new architecture. The cultural attractions are so diverse they will please everyone. See amazing baroque carvings and churches with spectacular interiors as you walk down the monumental avenue Avenida dos Aliandos and discover the historic centre, Ribeira, with colourful houses facing the river and its charming boats. A river cruise in a replica of the old Rabelo boats offers a perfect view over the historic city from the riverside. Oporto is also the home of the Port wine, made exclusively in this area. Join a wine tour through the spectacular landscapes of Portugal. Visit one of the old wineries and taste this sweet and fortified red wine before you finish the excursion with a Portuguese meal.
DAY 9 A Legendary City Built On Seven Hills
Location : Lisbon
As one of the oldest cities in the world, Lisbon offers centuries of heritage and charm, and has been influenced by many different cultures over time. It was home to great explorers like Vasco da Gama, Ferdinand Magellan and Prince Henry the Navigator. Lisbon´s historic districts feel like different villages as you stroll the charming streets. Visit the city’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites; the Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery. Lisbon has a network of quaint, old-fashioned trams that lurch and screech around the narrow streets. No visit is complete without taking a ride on one of these classic, pre-war, Remodelado trams. Discover the many hidden gems of Portugal’s capital at your own pace.
All This Included
This autumn expedition offers an enchanting mix of European cities. Enjoy a rich variety of sights and lifestyles. We invite you to get close to different cultures through our activities and excursions, both on land and during our days at sea.
  • Hurtigruten expedition in cabin grade of your choice on a full-board basis
  • Wind- and water-resistant jacket
  • Landings with small boats and activities on board and ashore
  • Professional English-speaking expedition team that gives lectures and accompanies landings and activities
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Explore 1.980 nautical miles of the European coast
  • Enjoy discovering diverse cities and a rich variety of sights
  • See several UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Fascinating lectures and activities on land and on board
Cruising: Category I cabin onboard ms Midnatsol
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Not Included: International flights, travel Insurance, luggage handling, optional excursions and gratuities.
  • All planned landings are subject to weather conditions.
  • All itineraries are subject to change.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Hurtigruten terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.