Northern Europe is vast and beautiful, with a rich history that can be seen anywhere the eyes rest. The British Isles, the Baltic States, Scandinavia and Russia, they are filled with astonishing sights, awe-inducing architecture, unique cultures, and amazing experiences.
For many seasoned travelers, visiting Northern Europe is a self-planned affair best managed by bucket lists, yearly budgets, and detailed plans on transportation, food, and more. However, for the traveler recently bit by the bug of exploration, a Northern Europe cruise may be a better option to consider when deciding to travel the North.
Cruises are the best and easiest way to explore Northern Europe because they free the traveler from the stress of planning. Most Northern European cruises include transportation, accommodation, and food into their prices and offer exquisite dining options that would probably cost more on an independent trip. Not to mention the tours that are part of the cruises package, some of them are unique experiences or adventures tailor-made for the passengers. A Northern Europe cruise – often facilitated by many different cruise companies – gives travelers an efficient way to see a lot of region in a few days.
Here is why you should book a cruise to Northern Europe:
1st – Stunning Bergen, Norway
Coming into the Bergen port is an experience in and of itself, as the docks of Bergen are so rich with history and a UNESCO world heritage site. Tourists can take some time to soak up in the history of Bryggen; admiring the architectural work of the colorful little homes by the water. A visit to the Bryggen museum, which hosts artifacts from the port in years past, is also a must.
Bergen offers many more sights for sore eyes. The Hanseatic Museum and Schøtstuene is very central and gives visitors a view of the lives and activities of the Hanseatic merchants who came to Bergen and traded there. Bergenhus Fortress was built in the mid-fourteenth century and along with Rosenkrantz tower, reflects the majesty of the Hanseatic League to this day. You can also take a ride on the popular Fløibanen funicular – a ride that takes you high above the city, to the top of Fløien Mount from which you can walk back down.
Beyond the historical activities in Bergen, Norway also provides the most amazing views that nature has to offer. Tourists that pick summer to sail through its coast have the opportunity to see the Midnight Sun on full display. While in winter, the Aurora Borealis makes a beautiful appearance for all.
2nd – Friendly Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen is one of Northern Europe’s most tourist-friendly travel destinations with many sights and activities. With lakes going through it and the sea all around it, visitors in cruise ships will find their entry to Copenhagen welcoming and exciting. Right at Langelinje Pier, The Little Mermaid sculpture, which is over 100 years old and is one of Copenhagen’s most famous attractions will be waiting for you.
Past the pier and inside the city, tourists can spend their day going around Strøget – one of the largest pedestrian malls in the world. They can also spend a lot of time looking through the wealth of historical artifacts from Denmark’s past, which are on display at Copenhagen’s National Museum or Nationalmuseet.
Tivoli Gardens Amusement Park is Copenhagen’s most famous attraction with its remarkable architecture and lush gardens. It was the inspiration for Disney World. It is situated only a few minutes from the City Hall and features fun rides that are suitable for all ages.
3rd – Cultural Stockholm, Sweden
When the cruise docks at Stockholm port, travelers can discover why it is fondly referred to as “the Venice of the North”. This coastal city has views on land and on the sea for true explorers, and as the capital of Sweden, it merges the urban with the medieval, ensuring unique experiences for each visitor.
Regardless of where the cruise ship docks and how long you will be in Stockholm, do not miss out on the nearly 30,000 islands, islets, and rocks that make up Stockholm’s archipelago. A beauty worth seeing and exploring alone or with family by boat, bus, or train.
If the tourist in you likes land adventures, ensure you visit the Nationalmuseum, Sweden’s national museum of art and design with beautiful views on the inside and even more enchanting scenery from the inside looking out. An impressive performance you do not want to miss is the 40-minute Changing of the Guard at the Royal Palace, especially in the summer. The guards in their blue and white uniforms march from downtown Stockholm, accompanied by a full military band from the Swedish Armed Forces Music Centre, before the ceremony in the main courtyard of the palace.
Need more travel tips? Discover what to do in Stockholm here!
4th – Wild Shetland Islands, UK
This Scottish archipelago boasts of more than a hundred islands with dramatic landscapes and artistic scenery that displays proof of prehistoric settlements and views that will inspire the wildest stories in your mind. Let your Northern European Cruise take you to this landscape of contrasts: an ancient oceanic crust, an extinct volcano, shifting sands, sea inlets, stunning sandy or shingle beaches, bars and tombolos. All of which make the Shetland Islands a UNESCO Global Geopark.
Experience extraordinary seafood delicacies and other specialties the islands have to offer, such as Reestit Mutton and a special type of spiced sausage meat called Sassermaet. Ensure you do not miss out on the best light show in town, the Aurora Borealis! Make it a romantic experience by setting up camp under the canopy of stars and watch!
5th – Diverse London, UK
Diversity. History. Culture. Searching for a destination that has all these experiences and more? London is definitely a perfect stop on any Northern Europe cruise. North, East, West, South, or the busy Central London? Wherever you choose, you will find the world’s best entertainment, shopping, and dining.
Even if you arrive via on a Northern Europe cruise, do not miss out on a cruise along the Thames to see the Tower Bridge, the Houses of Parliament, and the London Eye (a giant Ferris wheel offering gorgeous views across the city). Every tourist can inspire their inner detective with a visit to Baker Street, where Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes lived on and also visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum. If you want to meet your favorite celebrities, make sure you visit Madame Tussaud’s.
Whatever you are searching for, London is the perfect place to find it. Ensure your cruise has shore excursions to help you discover this breathtaking city!
Staying in London? So read our guides:
With so many cities to see and experiences to be had, it is often difficult to decide where to go first, or how to start out. A Northern Europe cruise provides large groups of travelers with a chance to visit the major cities in the North and to get a quick but tantalizing taste of the beauty, fine art, culture, and history each one offers in seven to fourteen days.
So what are you waiting, book a Northern Europe Cruise today and start planning this dream trip?
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