08 Apr 2017
A cruise to Northern Europe opens up lands where fairy tales come to life amid castles and palaces, where lakes, mountains and glaciers are lit by the midnight sun, where sophisticated cities stand beside prehistoric remains. With their sensational landscapes, scenic towns and picture-postcard villages, viewed through sparkling clear air, the lands of Northern Europe offer cultural diversity and historical attractions in abundance, as well as some of the world's most jaw-dropping scenery. And with its wealth of seascapes, inlets and estuaries, few areas are more ideal for cruising.
The Northern Europe cruising region mainly comprises Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea, and stretches from the British Isles right through to St Petersburg in Russia. The most popular ports of embarkation are Stockholm and Copenhagen, but cruises also leave from Amsterdam, and from Dover and Hull in UK. Because of the cooler climate, the cruising season is quite short, generally from May to September, though an increasing number of cruise lines have started operating winter sailings, for the chance to see the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights.
The most popular cruise destination is the Norwegian fjords, and there are plenty of these from the UK, mostly of 7-14 nights. The scenery is some of the most magnificent in the world, and the ships are small enough to allow close-up views from the deck of sheer cliffs, hanging valleys and spectacular cascading waterfalls. The cruise will include the port of Oslo, with its picturesque harbour dominated by a mediaeval fortress.
Some Norwegian fjord cruises extend round the cliffs of the North Cape, the northernmost part of Norway, to the mysterious White Sea and the icy wonderland of Spitsbergen, where polar bears can be spotted. On the way you might visit the breathtaking Lofoten Islands, a majestic wilderness of dramatic mountains, sharp peaks and plunging fjords. Other fjord cruises may be combined with a visit to Iceland, with its mysterious landscapes of glaciers alongside volcanic lava fields and spouting geysers, including a shore excursion to the stunning Blue Lagoon.
Baltic cruises will focus on the elegant and intriguing city of St Petersburg in Russia, often staying in port for two nights or more to allow travellers to marvel at the opulent baroque palaces and fabulous art collections. Other highlights include the mediaeval city of Tallinn in Estonia and the pretty canals of Riga in Latvia. You will enjoy the architectural splendours of Copenhagen, and sail round beautiful Stockholm, built on over 24,000 islands.
From the legendary palaces of St Petersburg to the awe-inspiring frozen landscapes of North Cape, this region offers diverse treasures equalled by few others in the world. Its natural splendours and historical wonders make Northern Europe a perfect cruising choice, in a land of long summer days where the sun never seems to set.
At Value Added Travel we can tailor make your cruise to include anything from a 5* hotel stay before or after your cruise, or even add additional tours and excursion to make sure you get the most out of the destinations you visit.