European Atlantic Coast – Cultural Highlights
Duration: 13 days
Ship: MS Fridtjof Nansen
22 September 2020
- See UNESCO World Heritage sites along the European coast
- Enjoy charming towns and beautiful islands on this expedition cruise
- Learn about the history, culture and natural world of the places we visit
- Enjoy an overnight stay in Bordeaux
- Day 1 Hamburg, Germany - Embarkation
- Day 2 Amsterdam (IJmuiden), Netherlands
- Day 3 Ostend, Belgium
- Day 4 At sea
- Day 5 St. Malo, France
- Day 6 Belle Île, France
- Day 7-8 Bordeaux, France - Overnight
- Day 9 Bilbao, Spain
- Day 10 Gijon, Spain
- Day 11 La Coruna, Spain
- Day 12 Porto, Portugal
- Day 13 Lisbon, Portugal - Disembarkation
The second-largest city in Germany is one of the greenest urban areas in Europe – boasting large parks, botanical gardens and nature reserves. Before embarking on your ship, you may want to enjoy a tour on a harbour barge to explore some of the city´s canals.
We’ll be docked just a short drive outside Amsterdam which has grown from a village in the 13th century to one of the most charming and vital cities in the world today, Amsterdam blends fascinating history with modern energy. Tour the famed Canal District and enjoy world class art at the Rijksmuseum, the Rembrandt House or the van Gogh Museum.
Canal Cruise (3 hrs 30)
Amsterdam is most famous for its narrow, gabled houses lining the canal. Travel to Amsterdam’s city centre by bus and board a glass-topped canal boat that takes you on a 1.5 hour tour through the fabled city’s canals. View the city from a unique angle, gliding past iconic gabled houses, the Maritime Museum, town hall and more.
There´s a wide choice of sights in Ostend: browse the fish market or take a tour in the footsteps of the singer Marvin Gaye. Perhaps you would enjoy a moment of tranquility in the beautiful Japanese Garden or at the Ostend Art Museum. History buffs can wander through the fortifications in the infamous German Atlantikwall.
Bruges on your Own (4 hrs 30)
Bruges is a perfect place to wander about and enjoy at your leisure. Our guides accompany you on a shuttle bus and provide helpful advice about where to go and what to explore. The city centre of Bruges is car-free so you can enjoy the picturesque old town and Walplein Square without worrying about traffic - and take post card quality pictures.
Today we sail the English Channel, heading towards St. Malo in France. Enjoy time out on deck or join our experts, who will invite you to take part in lectures and talks about our next destinations.
Saint Malo from the sea is a quite a sight, fringed by impenetrable bastions and shallow beaches. Since Roman times, it has been a prized fortification for empires. Tour the Château Saint Malo town museum, and visit the Privateers House built in 1725, where you can learn about local pirate heritage.
UNESCO Mont Saint Michel (5 hrs 30)
Depart the pier at Saint Malo and head straight to Mont Saint Michel, which, as Victor Hugo said, ‘is to the ocean what the Pyramid of Cheops is to the desert’. Discover the narrow streets of the medieval village and enjoy a guided tour of the abbey. Afterward, use free time for independent sightseeing and shopping.
Belle Île is one of France’s most beautiful islands with stunning cliffs, quaint seaside hamlets, pastel houses, lush countryside and rocky coastlines. The town´s beauty has inspired writers like Dumas and painters like Monet. Join our Expedition Team for hikes and outings, or discover the markets, shops and sights independently.
Walking Le Palais & Citadel (2 hrs)
Take a tour of Le Palais, Belle Île's fortress, built in the 16th century. Walk from the pier through the charming port of Le Palais to the entrance of the Citadelle Vauban, where you meet colourful characters of the past. Discover the soldiers’ quarters, prison cells, gunpowder storage and kitchens, as well as the Governor Bastion and its garden view over Le Palais port, the coast and distant islands of Houat and Hoedic.
This city incorporates the modern and the ancient effortlessly. Bordeaux’s Old City is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and spans nearly 5,000 acres, with 350 listed monuments and churches. Nearby, magnificent chateaux sit grandly amongst vineyards. We will overnight here to get the very best of this amazing city.
History and Heritage of UNESCO Classified Bordeaux (2 hrs 30)
Embark on a panoramic bus tour of Bordeaux's many highlights. Discover City Hall, Cathedral St. Andrews and the old Bordeaux district on your own by foot. With more than 350 UNESCO Cultural Heritage sites, the Bordeaux area never seizes to amaze. One of these remarkable sites is Saint Andrews Cathedral, where Eleanor of Aquitaine and Louis VII, the future king of France, were married in 1137.
The heart of Basque country is sophisticated and humming with action, while maintaining a relaxed pace of life. The Casco Viejo, Bilbao’s atmospheric old quarter, is full of charming streets dating as far back as 1400’s and features a fine market and plenty of unique shops, while other parts of the city are cutting-edge contemporary, symbolised by the Guggenheim museum.
Guggenheim Museum (4 hrs)
Join us on a tour of the world-famous Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, a jewel in the city's crown. A shuttle bus takes you to this ship-shaped wonder of a museum, designed by renowned architect, Frank Gehry. Here you see well-known masterpieces like the Poppy Puppy by Jeff Koons, and get to freely wander around the museum at your own pace.
Gijon is steeped in history and the surrounding area is known for fine cheeses and cider. The Old Quarter boasts the baroque Revillagigedo Palace, beautiful churches and interesting museums to explore. Enjoy a hike to Santa Catalina for spectacular views, or a leisurely stroll in the ancient fishing village of Cimavilla.
Walking Gijon (4 hrs)
Enjoy a panoramic drive through Gijón, the oldest and the most populated town in Asturias. See the city’s major attractions including the former Labour University of Gijón, an amazing architectural complex built in the mid-20th century. Also see El Molinón stadium, Isabel la Catolica Park and San Lorenzo beach. We start the tour walking through the old town. Take some time to explore on your own before returning to the port.
We will pass the 55m/180ft high Hercules Tower, the oldest Roman lighthouse in use today, on our way into the harbour. Stroll through reminders of the historic city´s golden age in the 14th century, when it became wealthy as the main port for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela.
UNESCO Hercules Visit (2 hrs)
Join us on a guided bus tour to visit the only lighthouse from Roman times still in operation. Torre de Hercules, a UNESCO site, was built more than 2,000 years ago. According to myth, Hercules came here to fight the giant Geryon, who was defeated and buried where the lighthouse stands today. Climb the 234 steps to the top (additional fee) and enjoy the wonderful view over what used to be considered the end of the world.
UNESCO´s World Heritage list says this about lovely Porto: `An outstanding urban landscape with a 2,000-year history. Its continuous growth...can be seen in the many monuments, from the cathedral with its Romanesque choir, to the neoclassical Stock Exchange and the typically Portuguese Church of Santa Clara.
Oporto Sights and River Cruise (4 hrs 30)
Join us on a panoramic drive into Oporto’s centre, passing Foz do Douro (one of the city’s oldest districts) on our way to São Bento Railway Station, one of Oporto’s grandest buildings. We then visit the Ribeira quarter, known for its brightly tiled and pastel-painted façades, and embark on a traditional Portuguese cargo vessel along the Douro River. Afterward, we visit a wine cellar to taste and learn about Portugal´s famous port wine.
Early risers will be rewarded with a lovely view of Lisbon as we cruise up the Tejo river, ending our expedition cruise in the capital of Portugal.
Included in your voyage
- Hurtigruten Expedition Cruise in cabin grade of your choice
EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR AN ADVENTURE
- A rich program of included activities on all voyages designed to immerse you in the destinations you visit, including onshore exploration with the Expedition Team
- Professional English-speaking Expedition Team - an international handpicked team of highly educated experts of various academic fields with profound knowledge of the region we sail in
- Complimentary wind- and water-resistant jacket
- Loan of boots, trekking poles, and equipment neededfor optional and included activities
ENGAGING ONBOARD ACTIVITIES AND EDUCATION
- In-depth lectures on science, history, biology, geography, geology or culture that provide context to your voyage and help you understand the destinations you will experience
- Explorer Science programme, with educational and Citizen Science activities that let you learn about the sights you’ll see while contributing to research
- Introduction photo lecture, camera adjustment and tips & tricks, photo and film footage from the voyage shared in an Expedition Logbook
- Casual opportunities to engage with the Expedition Team and other guests, including a welcome event, daily gatherings to recap the day and prepare for the day to come
- Opportunities to dine and interact with the Expedition Team and officers
- Destination-focused onboard library
- Port presentations providing destination insight
- A farewell event
PREMIUM ONBOARD COMFORT
- All meals including beverages (ship beer and wine, sodas and mineral water in all restaurants)
- Coffee and tea included throughout the day
- Early riser and afternoon treat offered in addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Fredheim restaurant meals included
- A la carte restaurant (only for suite guests)
- Gym, hot tubs and panoramic sauna
- Rejuvenating wellness areas with separate treatment rooms, infinity pool, outdoor gym, running track
- Free Wi-fi on board for all guests. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
- No gratuities expected
Not included in your voyage
- International flights
- Optional shore excursions with our local partners
- Travel insurance
- Luggage handling
- All planned activities are subject to weather conditions
MS Fridtjof Nansen
|Shipyard||Kleven Yards, Norway|
|Passenger capacity||530 (500 in Antarctica)|
|Gross tonnage||20 889 T|
MS Fridtjof Nansen is the latest addition to Hurtigruten’s fleet of custom built ships – and the next generation expedition ship. She will explore some of the most spectacular corners of the globe.
Sailing with MS Fridtjof Nansen
- MS Fridtjof Nansen: Life on board and Practical information
- Meet our Expedition Teams
- Young Explorers’ Programme: Bring your kids on board