Imagine exploring a land where fairy tales spring to life from legendary castles and fields that are illuminated by a golden sun. From Scandinavia to Russia and from the British Isles to the awe-inspiring coast of Iceland, these glorious regions are surrounded by vast seas and storied bodies of waters that have enticed adventurers and explorers for centuries, from the Vikings to the modern day luxury cruiser. A glorious revolution of the senses awaits, whether sailing across the Baltic toward grand palaces, delighting in the wondrous cities from the English Channel to the Bay of Biscay, or reveling in nature’s profound beauty beyond the North Atlantic Ocean.
North Atlantic Exploration
Magnificent mountains and glistening glaciers are just a primer for the experiences that await you in the North Atlantic. Spanning from the elegant Iberian Peninsula to the southwest coast of Greenland’s vast swaths of natural beauty, voyages across northern Europe bring the world’s most remarkable cities to your suite’s doorstep. Explore the distinctive neighborhoods of Lisbon, the ‘City of Explorers.’ Witness the striking steep mountains of Iceland in Isafjordur. Take in the incomparable architecture and charming lifestyle of Norway’s beloved Bergen. Every port on your itinerary boasts a rich maritime tradition and a living history that begs to be explored.
Royal Waters: Bay of Biscay and the English Channel
There is a certain air of sophistication along the western coast of Europe between Spain, France and the United Kingdom, and there is no better way to experience it than by sea. Cosmopolitan London anchors the English Channel, which serves as the gateway to magnificent cities in Scotland and Ireland. And the centerpiece of the Bay of Biscay is the world’s wine capital, Bordeaux, where you can spend your overnight call sampling the first grapes of the season. Visit the remarkable Guggenheim Museum of Bilbao or delight your palate at the famous Black Friars Distillery with famed Plymouth gin. Along these waters, there are endless opportunities to indulge in the very best.
The Exquisite Baltic
The cities along the Baltic Sea are especially resplendent as the final days of the season near. Gorgeous colors envelope Tallinn and Riga and the summer’s warmth brings a more festive flavor to Helsinki and Amsterdam. The hallmark of any voyage across the exquisite Baltic is a one- or two-night stay in St. Petersburg. Tour the many cathedrals, including St. Isaac’s, with floors of different-colored marble and a remarkable array of frescoes. For cultural perspective, take in a traditional Russian ballet and, of course, explore the world-class Hermitage Museum. From Art Nouveau architecture to outstanding UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Baltic Sea beckons.
Which body of water inspires your inner explorer? Share in the comment space below.