A unusual voyage starting in Amsterdam and touching Hamburg en route to Norway’s majestic fjords and islands during the Midnight Sun.
June 6 Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The delightfully attractive city of Amsterdam is home to many of the world's great art treasures, and is a major center of the glamorous diamond trade as well. Unique architectural styles of the past blend with superb modern structures, and the web of curved and straight canals makes the city as easy to traverse by water as by land. The hospitality of the local people has been remarked upon by generations of travelers, and the Dutch's respect for and tolerance of the beliefs of others has attracted refugees from around the world for centuries.
June 7 Scenic Cruising North Sea Canal
The North Sea Canal is a 24km/15mi waterway constructed from the new city of IJmuiden on the North Sea coast of the Netherlands to the old IJ bay , allowing seagoing ships to call directly at the city of Amsterdam. The canal was excavated through the sand dunes between 1865 and 1876. Four locks control the water level, with the assistance of the largest pumping station in Europe A fifth lock is due to be opened in 2019. Nine additional side canals were dug to reclaim the adjacent lands and designated as Canals A – I.
June 8 Hamburg, Germany
The residents of Hamburg have retained the independent spirit which earned this autonomous commercial center its 'Free City' designation in the Middle Ages. One of Germany's principal ports, Hamburg is surrounded by enormous dock areas and the gaudy, licentious Reeperbahn (which translates loosely to 'Anchorage of Joy') is fully prepared to offer every form of entertainment to the world's sailors. The vaudeville acts at the Hansa-Theater are bright and clever (and language is no barrier). The Kunsthalle (art museum) boasts an outstanding collection of 16th- and 20th-century masterpieces, and the Renaissance Rathaus (city hall) sits atop some 4,000 piles driven into marshy ground proving that the engineers of Hamburg have been skilled and imaginative for centuries.
June 9 Scenic Cruising Elbe River
The Elbe River is one of Central Europe’s most important rivers, flowing from the mountains of the Czech Republic through Germany to the North Sea. The Elbe River basin comprises 52,247 sq. mi./148,268 sq. km. and drains from four countries, the Czech Republic, Austria, Poland and Germany. Ships enter the river at Cuxhaven, on the southwestern bank of the estuary across from Brunsbüttel where the Kiel Canal begins. The lower reaches of the river comprise the 68 miles/110km between Cuxhaven and Hamburg. The Elbe divides into two branches above Hamburg, which then rejoin just below the city. The lower branch, called at that point the Köhlbrand, flows by Hamburg’s Elbe Philharmonic Hall in the city center. Cruising in the lower reaches, your ship passes between the German states of Schleswig-Holstein on the northeast and Lowers Saxony on the southwest.
June 10 Day At Sea
June 11 Bergen, Norway
Stunningly beautiful Bergen is the ideal combination of nature, culture and exciting urban life, and is also the gateway to Norway’s fjords. Since King Olav Kyrre founded the city in 1070, Bergen has attracted people from all over the world. The city's history has been marked by numerous great fires, and what remains of the Bryggen, its old inner harbor, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the colorful setting for one of Norway’s most popular postcard views.
Bergen is a cultural melting pot, with concerts, international festivals and museums of all kinds. The renowned Hanseatic Museum and Gamlehaugen Mansion, the residence of the Norwegian Royal Family, are two of the many highlights. Den Nationale Scene Theater is one of the oldest in Norway, while beautiful Christ Church Cathedral, built by King Olav Kyrre in 1066, has been the site of numerous royal coronations and burials. The Bergenhus fortress, built in 1240, is situated at the harbor entrance and is one of the oldest and best-preserved stone fortifications in Norway.
June 12 Alesund, Norway
Stretching into the Borgundfjord and backed by the Sunnmoere Alps, Aalesund abounds with natural beauty. The town itself dates from the 9th century, when it was a Viking base for establishing settlements in France. Following a great fire in 1904, Aalesund was rebuilt in the popular Art Nouveau style of the time. Today, the towers, turrets and romantic facades make this one of the loveliest towns in all of Norway. The city is also the world's largest supplier of "klippfisk," or dried cod, but the main attraction by far is the scenic beauty of Aalesund's fjords and surrounding peaks, including 550-foot Mt. Aksla.
June 13 Molde, Norway
Strewn prettily on the shore of its fjord, The City of Roses welcomes you to an awesome panorama of the 222 mostly snow-capped peaks comprising the Romsdal Alps. It is a sight that has inspired artists from centuries, and has continuously attracted visitors such as yourself since the 19th century. Its charms extend to its climate, which is blessed by the warm Gulf Stream, resulting in mild winters and delicious summers that support luxuriant vegetation not seen elsewhere at this latitude. The open-air Romsdal Museum is a collection of historic buildings collected from the region and arranged in a small village-like setting. The Fisheries Museum, on an island in the fjord, gives insight into the daily lives of the men who seasonally harvested the silver hordes of herring from the surrounding seas.
June 13 Scenic Cruising Romsdalsfjord
Romsdalsfjord is Norway’s ninth-longest at 55 miles (88 km) in length. It is protected at its seaward end by several islands and skerries, and is a so-called threshold fjord, being shallower near its seaward end than further in. It is one of Norway’s most scenic waterways, with sharp stone ridges rising on either side above green slopes dotted with occasional perilously-clinging farms and colorful shoreline towns. The island of Veøya, located where the fjord splits into three tributaries, was the most important market town between Trondheim and Bergen in the Middle Ages.
June 14 Geiranger, Norway
Each of Norway's fjords has its own special attraction, but one of the most outstanding is without doubt the Geirangerfjord. Breathtaking waterfalls with names like 'The Seven Sisters' and 'The Suitor' course down steep, opposing cliffs which loom over the deep, narrow waterway. At the head of the fjord lies the charming village of Geiranger. Its inhabitants are mostly self-sustaining, building their own homes, furniture and boats, and spinning their wool during the long winter months when the area is cut off from the rest of the world. Geiranger is a popular starting point for spectacular mountain rides full of hairpin turns, stunning scenery and splendid views.
June 14 Cruising Geirangerfjord
One of Norway’s most popular natural attractions is the 15-kilometer branch of the Storfjord sometimes called “The Queen of Fjords.” This long, narrow UNESCO-cited waterway twists between high, snow-capped ranges, with antique farms clinging impossibly to the steep walls at several points. The famous Seven Sisters waterfalls spill down one wall, while the single cascade of The Suitor tinsels the opposite cliff in eternal courtship. As monumentally majestic as these mountains appear, in geologic terms the fjord is a temporary accommodation, since scientists predict immense rockfalls at some unspecified future time will generate tsunami-like waves that, once they occur, will likely obliterate the towns and other structures within minutes. Enjoy its breathtaking beauty while it lasts.
June 15 Olden, Norway
The small village of Olden is located deep in the Nordfjord, cradled in a lush valley among snowcapped peaks. It has welcomed visitors arriving by ship since the end of the 19th century, as attested by the venerable Hotel Alexandria dating from 1884. There are some very old farms around Olden, including some believed to predate the Christian era here. Less than four miles away, the village of Loen is nestled at the base of Mt. Hoven, where a newly opened Skylift cable car can carry visitors from sea level to the mountaintop at 1,011 meters in about five minutes. There, they will enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and glaciers, and the fjords, farms and villages below. A strung cable Via Ferrata invites ambitious climbers to clip on and ascend the mountain on foot. The village is the popular gateway to the sprawling Jostedalsbreen National Park, with its system of glaciers feeding waterfalls including the Ramnefjellsfossen, whose three free-falling cascades tumble nearly 2,700 feet, making it the world’s third-highest waterfall. Mt. Skala is another popular attraction, boasting twin peaks of over 7,000 feet in altitude.
June 15 Scenic Cruising Nordfjord
Cruise Norway’s sixth-longest fjord, which arises from the mighty Jostedalsbreen Glacier, Europe’s largest, high in the mountains and empties into the sea at Husevågøy island south of the Stadlandet Peninsula. The fjord is 66 miles/106 km long, with six main branches. It is surrounded by snow-capped peaks, some of which are capable of offering year-round skiing on their highest slopes. There are a number of fishing communities along the fjord which date from pre-Viking days, including Stryn, Gloppen, Eid, Utvik, Olden and Loen. Enjoy the passing panorama of shining water, steep mountainsides and tiny villages glowing in the endless sun of Norway’s summer.
June 16 Flam, Norway
Situated in the innermost part of the Aurlandsfjord and surrounded by steep soaring mountains, deep valleys and majestic waterfalls, Flam occupies the sort of dramatic setting one envisions when imagining the natural beauty of Norway's fjords. In fact, the word Flam means "little place between steep mountains." It's a short walk from the port to a trip on the Flam Railway, widely known as one of the world's most incredible stretches of railroad. Take a hike through the woods, go fishing in the mountains, enjoy a leisurely bike ride, or just enjoy the local shops and culture, including Otternes Bygdetun, with 27 different buildings dating back to the 1600's.
June 16 Scenic Cruising Sognefjord
Threading between the many small islands scattered across its entrance, your ship enters the King of Fjords. Winding 127 miles/205 km deep into the mountainous countryside, it is the largest and deepest of Norway’s fjords. After crossing a narrow sill of shallow water (330 ft/100 m) the bottom plunges to an average depth ten times as great. Its deepest point is 4,231 feet/1308 m below sea level, although a layer of silt blankets the fjord bottom to a depth of 660 feet/200m. The glacier-carved cliffs on either side rise another 3,300 ft/1000m, and at its furthest end, the fjord carves into a range of 6,600-ft/2000m peaks cradling the Jostedalsbreen, Europe’s largest glacier. Its average width is 2.8 miles/4.5 km. Waterfalls tinsel down the steep walls at intervals, sparkling in the endless summer sun. Here and there, a plucky little farm clings perilously to a narrow shelf either beside the water or unbelievably perched partway up the wall, looking like child’s toy against the scale of the peaks. It is a scene that brings to mind the sonorous call of a lur – the wooden horns sounded by Vikings in these majestic fjords.
June 17 Leirvik, Norway
Leirvik is on the island of Stord alongside the large Hardangerfjord, in the traditional region of Sunnhordland. Its shorelines are fringed with small islands and skerries. The town has an attractive harbor, as well as an open-air museum, the Sunnhordlandstunet, consisting of ten historic buildings loaded with period furnishings and artifacts from the region’s history. There are Bronze Age archaeological sites nearby and the town also has a Maritime Museum. An interesting collection contains models built by a local sculptor, Torleiv Agdestein. The town also boasts a number of small art galleries.
June 18 Stavanger, Norway
The town of Stavanger is situated along the shores of the narrow and winding Lysefjord. The natural environment here is dramatic, including the white sands of Sola Beach with its gently rolling waves. A highlight of any visit to Norway is the awe-inspiring peak of the world famous Preikestolen, or ‘Pulpit Rock,’ looming 2,000’ (604 m) directly above and overlooking the fjord. A hike to the table-top summit of the peak is rewarded by spectacularly breathtaking views all round and is truly the experience of a lifetime.
Stavanger itself is one of the oldest cities in Norway, having a well-preserved old town, with over 170 wooden houses on winding streets creating a quaint and charming atmosphere. Stavanger Cathedral is the best-preserved medieval cathedral in Norway, dating back to the year 1125. Once declared a European Capital of Culture, Stavanger is home to a number of prominent museums including the Maritime Museum, the Museum of Archaeology and the Art Museum.
June 19 Day At Sea
June 20 Copenhagen, Denmark
Vibrant Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital, sits on the coastal islands of Zealand and Amager. Originally a Viking fishing village established in the 10th century, Copenhagen today is one the world’s most liveable cities. Its open spaces and lively street life, along with city planning favoring cyclists and pedestrians, encourage inhabitants to enjoy a lifestyle with an emphasis on community, culture and cuisine.
Copenhagen is a highly cultured city, offering highlights including the National Gallery of Denmark, which holds 240,000 works of art, the Ny Carlsberg Museum with its spectacular collection of ancient sculptures from Egypt, Rome and Greece and Rosenborg Castle, where the Danish Crown Jewels are exhibited.
Life in Copenhagen is lived on the seat of a bicycle: everybody rides one. Danes cycle in sun, rain or snow; they bike to work, to school, to bring the kids to kindergarten, to shop for groceries and to social gatherings. Discover one of Europe’s true treasures in Copenhagen.
Ship: Seabourn Ovation
|Date||Veranda Suite||Penthouse Suite||Penthouse Spa Suite||Owner’s Suite & Above|
|6 June – 20 June 2020||From $13,999||From $24,999||From $27,999||From $32,999|
Fares shown are in AUDAU$, per person, based on double occupancy.