From Norwegian Fjords to Iberian Charm – Europe’s Atlantic Highlights

From Norwegian Fjords to Iberian Charm – Europe’s Atlantic Highlights

From Norwegian Fjords to Iberian Charm – Europe’s Atlantic Highlights

From Norwegian Fjords to Iberian Charm – Europe’s Atlantic Highlights

Travel information 15 MS Spitsbergen
Departure
October 7, 2023
Price from $ 5,929
$ 5,040
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Sail the Atlantic coast from Bergen to Lisbon and set foot in seven different countries to explore spectacular fjords, perfectly preserved old towns, and fabled UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Norway’s beautiful fjords

Bergen is the start of your grand European expedition cruise and the gateway to one of the world’s most scenic travel destinations. Immerse yourself in the otherworldly beauty of the Lysefjord, with its lush coastal landscape and striking vertical cliffs, before visiting Stavanger and seeing its 12th-century cathedral. Gaze upon Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock), which rises majestically above the Lysefjord, and of of Norway’s most famous landmarks.

UNESCO treasures and architectural gems

Each of the countries you’ll visit features UNESCO World Heritage Sites within reach of the ports of call. From Hamburg’s Speicherstadt to Lisbon’s Torre de Belém (Belém Tower), you’ll discover medieval towns, ancient monuments, and some of Europe’s more recent industrial heritage. Explore the iconic Mont St Michel when we visit Saint-Malo, and walk a section of the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in Spain.

Sail along the edge of Europe

This expedition cruise takes you along Europe’s often rugged and always picturesque western seaboard. The ports of call have been handpicked to showcase the best of Europe’s rich heritage, from Douarnenez and Vigo to A Coruña and Lisbon. In each place, you will find charm and beauty in equal measure, including fascinating museums and unique scenery, all steeped in culture.

From Norwegian Fjords to Iberian Charm – Europe’s Atlantic Highlights From Norwegian Fjords to Iberian Charm – Europe’s Atlantic Highlights
  • Day 1
    Bergen

    Your Expedition Begins

    October 7, 2023

    One of Norway’s most picturesque cities, surrounded by mountains

    Your journey starts in Bergen, which was once Norway’s capital.

    Stroll through the cobblestone streets and alleyways and consider visiting the historic UNESCO-listed Bryggen district. It’s full of colorful wooden wharfs and the famous fish market, which is brimming with sights, sounds—and scents—to savor.

    Perhaps rid the funicular railway, which has been transporting visitors to the summit of Mount Fløyen for over a century. There, you’ll enjoy amazing views over this picturesque city and its colorful homes.  

    Pre-Program

    If you have extra time in Bergen, we recommend booking our Pre-Program and sampling more of what this charming city has to offer. 

    Day 1
    Bergen

    Your Expedition Begins

  • Day 2
    Stavanger, Norway

    Gateway to the Lysefjord and Pulpit Rock

    October 8, 2023

    Explore the dynamic city of Stavanger, the gateway to the Lysefjord and Pulpit Rock.

    Stavanger is known for its international ambience and lively cultural scene, and a terrific place for visitors to Norway to experience. You can discover the architectural relics of Old Stavanger, including a magnificent 12th-century cathedral. Or, visit the Petroleum Museum, pop into a local boutique, or simply enjoy a beer on the waterfront.

    An optional five-hour guided hike will reward you with breathtaking views of the Lysefjord from Preikestolen, internationally known as ‘Pulpit Rock’, standing nearly 2,000 feet high. Leaving Stavanger, we’ll sail into the Lysefjord, surrounded by some of the most striking vertical cliffs of all the Norwegian fjords. 

    Day 2
    Stavanger, Norway

    Gateway to the Lysefjord and Pulpit Rock

  • Day 3
    Sea day

    Hamburg bound

    October 9, 2023

    Today, we’ll sail south and cross the North Sea as we head towardto Hamburg.

    Our onboard Expedition Team will start its lecture program. They’ll give talks and offer insights into the history, heritage, and natural science of our upcoming destinations. Why not follow our biologists to the outdoor decks as they scan the seas for wildlife?

    This is also the perfect time to really get to know the ship and all its amenities. Spend some time getting to know the crew and your fellow explorers, or just relax in a comfortable chair by a window and watch the sea pass peacefully by.

    Day 3
    Sea day

    Hamburg bound

  • Day 4
    Hamburg, Germany

    City of culture and history

    October 10, 2023

    Explore Hamburg’s highlights.

    There’s so much to see and do in Hamburg, whose picturesque canals have earned it the nickname ‘Venice of the North’. You’ll find most of the city’s attractions in the Altstadt neighborhood, like the St. Nikolai Memorial and the historic Deichstraße Street.

    Hamburg is home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Chilehaus, and the world’s largest historic warehouse district in Speicherstadt. Art lovers should head to Kunsthalle, the nation’s foremost art museum.

    If you get hungry, we recommend sampling traditional local snacks like aalsuppe, a ham soup with dried fruits, or labskaus (corned beef with potato and pickles).

    • Included Snapshot of Hamburg
    Day 4
    Hamburg, Germany

    City of culture and history

  • Day 5
    Harlingen, The Netherlands

    Historic harbor city on the Wadden Sea

    October 11, 2023

    Soak up the nautical heritage of this lively port town, including scenic harbors, canals, and warehouses.

    Located on the southern shore of the Wadden Sea (a UNESCO World Heritage Area), Harlingen has a strong nautical heritage. Be like the Dutch and rent a bike to travel to some of the city’s highlights, including a beautiful city center with canals, pretty harbors, and historic warehouses. 

    In the Old Town, you can visit the 18th-century city hall, the Hannemahuis Museum and Blauwe Hand—the city’s oldest warehouse. The delightful Harlingen Earthenware Museum is a must-see if you’re interested in the area’s famed blue and white ceramics.

    • Included Old Harbor Zodiac Cruise
    Day 5
    Harlingen, The Netherlands

    Historic harbor city on the Wadden Sea

  • Day 6
    Oostende (Bruges), Belgium

    Gateway to Europe’s past

    October 12, 2023

    Gaze upon the medieval architecture as you step back through European history.

    The strategic port of Oostende was first a fishing village, then a medieval city, and later a royal seaside resort; this place is steeped in European history. Yet, despite the ravages of war and time, plenty of fascinating sights have survived.

    Oostende is an excellent base for visiting Bruges, a beautifully preserved medieval town. Here, you can lose yourself in the 14th century. Explore winding streets, picturesque canals, and many fine buildings of great artistic extravagance.  

    • Included Bruges at Your Leisure
    Day 6
    Oostende (Bruges), Belgium

    Gateway to Europe’s past

  • Day 7
    Ouistreham, France

    Normandy’s past and present

    October 13, 2023

    Discover historic beaches, visit pretty Caen, and pay tribute at some moving World War II memorials.

    Normandy’s history is fascinating, from the Viking invasion to the D-Day landings in 1944. In Ouistreham, you’ll learn more about the Operation Overlord landings at the Musée de Débarquement No 4 Commando.

    See the German fortifications at the Grand Bunker Mur de l’Atlantique Musée, and visit the war cemetery at Hermanville-sur-Mer. Stroll along the beautiful beach of Riva-Bella and stop at the 12th-century St. Samson Church and the lighthouse from 1905.

    Then, we’ll explore the pretty town of Caen. The 11th-century Romanesque church of Saint-Étienne, the Mémorial de Caen museum, and the Musée des Beaux-Arts are also highlights not to be missed.

    • Included The Battle of Normandy: Sword Sector
    • Included Shuttle Bus to Caen
    Day 7
    Ouistreham, France

    Normandy’s past and present

  • Day 8
    Saint-Malo, France

    The citadel of Saint-Malo

    October 14, 2023

    Majestic Saint-Malo, a beautiful town steeped in history.

    Viewed from the sea, Saint-Malo is an impressive sight, fringed by fortified bastions and gently sloping beaches.

    A circular walk along the ramparts offers the best views of the town and surrounding islands. If you head out on your own, take a tour of the Privateers House to learn about the feared Corsairs and the town’s pirate heritage.

    You can also follow the historical trail through a maze of cobbled streets within the old city walls. The Gothic-style St. Vincent of Saragosse Cathedral and the Château de la Duchesse Anne are also worth a visit. At low tide, you can walk to the fortified island, Le Grand-Bé, where the renowned writer Chateaubriand, a local of the area, is buried.

    • Included Inside the Walls of St. Malo
    Day 8
    Saint-Malo, France

    The citadel of Saint-Malo

  • Day 9
    Douarnenez, France

    Finistère, the land’s end in Brittany

    October 15, 2023

    See what inspired painters around the historic harbors of Finistère.

    In the picturesque seaside town of Douarnenez, you’ll find the colorful quaysides, sandy beaches, and steep cliffs that inspired famous painters like Renoir and Boudin. As well as fishermen’s huts and seamen’s chapels, Douarnenez hosts a wonderful maritime museum with boats from around the world.

    If conditions don’t allow a visit to Douarnenez, nearby Brest is a fascinating maritime city with medieval fortifications. It’s home to the Musée National de la Marine, located inside the military fortress of Château de Brest. Brest is a modern city too, with lively quays and docks that are perfect for a scenic stroll.

    • Included Land’s End at Brittany - Pointe du Raz
    Day 9
    Douarnenez, France

    Finistère, the land’s end in Brittany

  • Day 10
    At sea

    Sailing the Bay of Biscay

    October 16, 2023

    Unwind on a leisurely day at sea with cetacean spotting and onboard activities.

    Take this opportunity to relax on deck with your binoculars and look for whales, dolphins, and porpoises. This is one of the few places in the world where you can spot beaked whales—if you’re lucky. They’re drawn to the nutrient-rich waters of the bay.

    You can attend in-depth lectures to learn about the history, geography, and environment of upcoming destinations and learn about the marine biology of the seas along this expedition in hands-on demonstrations. Don’t forget about the leisure facilities on board. This is the perfect time to try out the sauna with a view!

    Day 10
    At sea

    Sailing the Bay of Biscay

  • Day 11
    Ferrol, Spain

    Arriving in Galicia

    October 17, 2023

    Get a taste of Galicia as we visit Ferrol and A Coruña.

    Our next stop is Ferrol, on the rugged coast of Galicia. Originally a small fishing village, it has been Spain’s main naval base for almost three centuries. No other harbor in Spain hosts as many forts, citadels, or barracks.

    Optional excursions from Ferrol include the old town of Lugo, famed for its Roman walls. Late in the afternoon, we’ll sail to neighboring A Coruña and dock for the night. Seeing the historical light of Torre de Hércules is an experience not to be missed. This is the oldest functioning lighthouse and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    • Included Discover Ferrol on Foot
    Day 11
    Ferrol, Spain

    Arriving in Galicia

  • Day 12
    A Coruña, Spain

    The English Way

    October 18, 2023

    Plenty to see, do, and drink.

    If you didn’t manage to see the Torre de Hércules yesterday evening, be sure to do so today. After exploring, relax at one of the many bars or restaurants and sample the unique Galician cuisine. Order a selection of tapas and sample a glass of famous Galician cider, traditionally poured into a cup from a considerable height.

    Galicia is a region of Spain that’s culturally distinct—and the Galicians are very proud of their Celtic roots. As an optional excursion, you can travel a section of the pilgrimage to Santiago, called ‘El Camino Inglés’ (‘The English Way’), followed by a visit to Santiago de Compostela.

    Day 12
    A Coruña, Spain

    The English Way

  • Day 13
    Vigo, Spain

    Galician traditions

    October 19, 2023

    Explore the beautiful and ancient city of Vigo.

    Next, we travel to Vigo—once the gateway to the Americas. Protected by the beautiful Cíes Islands, Vigo has one of the best natural harbors in Galicia and became its main trading and fishing port. 

    Perfectly located for exploring the city on foot, you can visit the bustling Rúa do Príncipe, which has an eclectic mix of buildings in both the Neoclassical and Art Nouveau architectural styles. Or, see the impressive 16th-century Castro Castle and gardens.

    On your way to the old town and the Neoclassical cathedral, stop by Rúa da Pescadería, the best street in town to sample the delicious Galician seafood.

    • Included Discover Vigo on Foot
    Day 13
    Vigo, Spain

    Galician traditions

  • Day 14
    Llençois (Porto), Portugal

    The City of Port Wine

    October 20, 2023

    Discover magical Porto, a UNESCO highlight with ample charm.

    Arriving in Portugal, we’ll dock at Leixões. From here, you can see the Leça Lighthouse, Boa Nova Chapel, and the beautiful beach of Praia Azul.

    You can also take a shuttle bus to Porto, famed for its port wine and UNESCO-listed historic center. This hilly city is perfect for strolling, and you’ll fall in love its the pastel houses, colorful tiled façade, street art, ornate churches, and panoramic views across the Douro.

    You can stroll along the bustling Ribeira Docks promenade, cross the Dom Luís I bridge, snack on delicious petiscos, and enjoy wine tastings at the port cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia.

    • Included Porto Walking Tour
    Day 14
    Llençois (Porto), Portugal

    The City of Port Wine

  • Day 15
    Lisbon, Portugal

    Legendary Lisbon

    October 21, 2023

    End your cruise in one of Southern Europe’s most enchanting cities.

    Your expedition draws to a close in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon.

    A tour of Lisbon’s historic neighborhoods is essential—almost everything of historic interest is found here. Start your exploration at the Praça do Comercio in Baixa and then walk to the narrow streets of Bairro Alto.

    From there, you’ll arrive at Alfama and the old Islamic quarter, the remains of a Roman amphitheater, and a Moorish fortress. If you have time, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Torre de Belém and Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, where you’ll also find the delicious Pastéis de Belém.

    Post-Program:

    We hope that you’ve enjoyed this fascinating history of Europe’s Atlantic coastline has been fantastic, but you don’t need to go home just yet. If you’d like to explore Lisbon and its surroundings before you return home, we recommend joining our optional Post-Program.

    On this Post-Program, you’ll explore Lisbon’s fascinating historic districts outside the city, including the UNESCO World Heritage town of Sintra, Monserrate Palace, and a guided excursion to the beaches of Cascais. Then, you’ll return to Lisbon for an overnight stay.

    Day 15
    Lisbon, Portugal

    Legendary Lisbon

Departures

2023

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
October:
7.

Available Promotions on This Itinerary:

  • Save up to 15% + $500 Air Credit

    Book an expedition cruise aboard the world’s first hybrid electric-powered expedition ship or any of our other ships to destinations, and you’ll save up to 20% as well as receive up to a $1,000 air credit per person!
    See Special Offer
  • Kids Save up to 50%

    Young Explorers Save up to 50% off
    See Special Offer

What's Included

Included in Your Expedition

Expedition Cruise

  • Expedition cruise in the cabin of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurant Aune
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to fill at onboard water refill stations
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organizes and guides activities, both on board and ashore
  • Range of included activities

Onboard activities

  • Experts from the Expedition Team present detailed lectures on a variety of topics
  • Use of the ship’s Science Center, which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
  • The Citizen Science program allows guests to contribute to current scientific research
  • The onboard professional photographer will give tips and tricks for taking the best landscape and wildlife photos
  • The ship has hot tubs, a sauna with a view, and an indoor gym
  • Participate in informal gatherings with the crew, such as daily recaps and the next day’s preparations

Landing Activities

  • Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition photographers help you configure your camera settings

Not Included In Your Expedition

  • International flights
  • Travel protection
  • Baggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team

Notes

  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change
  • Please ensure you meet all entry and boarding requirements.
  • No gratuities are expected
Longyearbyen, Svalbard - MS Spitsbergen
Photo: Genna Roland
A large ship in the water
A large bed in a room
Your Ship

MS Spitsbergen

Year built 2009
Year of refurbishment 2016
Shipyard Estaleiro Navais de Viana do Castelo (POR)
Passenger capacity 180
Beds 243
Car capacity 0
Gross tonnage 7,344
Length 100.54 m
Beam 18 m
Speed 14.5 knots
Longyearbyen, Svalbard - MS Spitsbergen
Photo: Genna Roland

MS Spitsbergen will take you on a cruise beyond the ordinary. She cruises along the Norwegian coast from September to May and becomes part of our Global Expedition sailings the rest of the year.

Read more about MS Spitsbergen

A group of people posing for the camera
Photo: Stefan Dall / Hurtigruten

Here are a few suggestions: