Cultural Highlights of Europe's Atlantic Coast

This voyage of rich culture and history calls on colorful towns and sails spectacular coastlines. We visit 10 ports of call in six countries on this exciting expedition cruise, starting in Germany, sailing south through the English Channel to explore the coastal highlights of France and Spain, and finally taking in the dramatic coast of Portugal.

  • See UNESCO World Heritage sites along the European coast
  • Experience charming towns and beautiful islands
  • Learn about the history, culture and natural environment of the places we visit
  • Enjoy a overnight stay in Bordeaux


Cruise Itinerary

Hurtigruten offers unique expedition cruises to some of the purest and most remote waters of the world. As with all expeditions, nature prevails. Safety is always our top priority. We continuously evaluate our cruises to adapt to unexpected weather, ice and sea conditions, and exciting nature opportunities. That’s why we call it an expedition.

Departure September 22, 2020

Departs from Hamburg, Germany

Treasures of Europe

Our expedition cruise in European waters offers beautiful scenery, interesting ports and a less-traveled way to explore the continent´s cultural and natural treasures.

Each morning promises another fascinating and unique European discovery with amazing excursions awaiting you onshore.

Our expert expedition team leads lectures, activities and excursions that bring all the fascinating history, architecture and culture of Europe to life. We have handpicked a selection of memorable ports that feature some of the continent´s most intriguing sights, including many on the exclusive UNESCO World Heritage list.

In addition to European culture and history, this cruise offers the chance to experience some of the most beautiful places on the continent from aboard our new and advanced hybrid-powered expedition ship.

Day 1: Hamburg, Germany

Canals and Gardens

Full Day - Embarkation

The second-largest city in Germany is one of the greenest urban areas in Europe – featuring large parks, botanical gardens and nature reserves.  Before embarking on your ship, you may want to enjoy a harbor barge tour to explore some of the city's canals.  

Day 2: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam – Treasures of Art

Full Day

We’ll be docked a short drive outside Amsterdam, which has grown from a 13th century village to one of the world’s most charming and vital cities. Amsterdam blends fascinating history with modern energy. Tour the famed Canal District and enjoy world-class art at the Rijksmuseum, Rembrandt House, and Van Gogh Museum.

Day 3: Ostend, Belgium

More than a Beach Destination

Full Day

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’d enjoy a tranquil moment in the beautiful Japanese Garden or Ostend Art Museum. History buffs can wander through the fortifications of the infamous German Atlantikwall.

Day 4: At sea

Navigating the English Channel

Today we sail the English Channel, heading towards St. Malo, 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.

Day 5: St. Malo, France

A Pirate Stronghold

Full Day

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. Tour the Château Saint Malo town museum, and visit the Privateers House built in 1725, where you can learn about local pirate heritage. 

Day 6: Belle Île, France

A Well-kept French Secret

Full Day

Belle Île is one of France’s most beautiful islands with stunning cliffs, quaint seaside hamlets, pastel houses, lush countryside and rocky coastlines. The island´s beauty has inspired such writers as Dumas and painters like Monet. Join our expedition team for hikes and outings, or discover the markets, shops and sights independently.

Day 7-8: Bordeaux, France

History and Vineyards

Full Day - Overnight

This port city incorporates the modern and ancient effortlessly. Bordeaux’s Old City is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site and covers nearly 5,000 acres, with 350 listed monuments and churches. Nearby, magnificent chateaus sit grandly amidst vineyards. We will overnight here to experience the very best of this amazing city.

Day 9: Bilbao, Spain

Delights of Design

Full Day

At the heart of Basque country, this sophisticated city hums with action, while maintaining a relaxed pace of life. Bilbao’s old quarter, Casco Viejo, features charming streets dating back to the 1400s, a fine market and unique shops. Other parts of Bilbao are ultra-modern, symbolized by the Guggenheim museum.

Day 10: Gijón, Spain

Maritime History

Full Day

Gijón is steeped in history while the surrounding region 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.

Day 11: La Coruña, Spain

Architectural Emblems

Full Day

We will pass the 180 ft high Hercules Tower, the oldest Roman lighthouse in use today, on our way into the harbor. Stroll through reminders of this historic city's medieval golden age, when it became wealthy as the main port for Christian pilgrims making their way to Santiago de Compostela.

Day 12: Porto, Portugal

The City of Port Wine

Full Day

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.

Day 13: Lisbon, Portugal

Cruising up the Tejo


Early risers will be rewarded with a lovely view of Lisbon as we cruise up the Tejo River, ending our European expedition cruise in the legendary capital of Portugal.

Arrival October 04, 2020

Location Lisbon, Portugal
What's included


  • Hurtigruten expedition cruise in the cabin grade of your choice


  • 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 needed for optional and included activities  


  • 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 program, with educational and Citizen Science activities that let you learn about the sights you’ll see while contributing to research
  • Introductory photo lecture, including camera adjustments and tips and tricks
  • Photos and film/video footage from the voyage shared in the 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
  • farewell event  


  • All meals including beverages (beer and wine, sodas and mineral water in all ship 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, outdoor hot tubs and sauna with windows
  • Rejuvenating wellness areas with separate treatment rooms, infinity pool, outdoor gym, running track 
  • Free Wi-fi onboard for all guests. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
  • No gratuities expected   


  • International flights 
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners  
  • Travel protection plan  
  •  Luggage handling 


  • All planned activities are subject to weather conditions
Life on board

Your ship: MS Fridtjof Nansen

Our brand new, state of the art expedition ship MS Fridtjof Nansen serves as a comfortable basecamp at sea – bringing you to spectacular destinations in the most sustainable way.

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