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
Departures
October 7, 2023
September 25, 2024
Price from $ 5,647
$ 4,447
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

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

Fjords and wild coasts

From beautiful Bergen, your European expedition cruise will sail to Stavanger and stunning Lysefjord. Across the North Sea, we'll explore historical coastal towns including Hamburg, Harlingen, and Oostende. Enjoy rugged scenery and pretty towns along the western seaboard from Normandy to A Coruña.

Wildlife and culture

Scout for whales, dolphins, and porpoises in the Bay of Biscay. Discover UNESCO World Heritage Sites, ranging from Santiago de Compostela and other wonders of Galicia to Hamburg’s Speicherstadt and Lisbon’s Belém Tower. Savor delicious cuisine, wine, and cultural heritage in Porto and Lisbon.

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

    Explore UNESCO-listed Bryggen and mountain peaks.

    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.

    Ride the Fløibanen funicular, 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, book our Pre-Program and enjoy incredible views over Bergen during a refreshing hike up Mount Fløyen. 

    Day 1
    Bergen

    Your Expedition Begins

  • Day 2
    Stavanger, Norway

    Explore lively Stavanger and striking Lysefjord.

    Sail into striking Lysefjord with incredible views.

    Stavanger has an international ambience and a lively cultural scene. You can discover the architectural relics of Old Stavanger, including a magnificent 12th-century cathedral. You can also visit the Norwegian Petroleum Museum, pop into a local boutique, or simply enjoy a beer on the waterfront.

    Leaving Stavanger, we sail into Lysefjord to experience some of the most striking vertical cliffs of all the Norwegian fjords.  A five-hour guided hike will reward you with breathtaking views of Lysefjord from the 1,980-ft high Preikestolen viewpoint, famously known as ‘Pulpit Rock’.

    Day 2
    Stavanger, Norway

    Explore lively Stavanger and striking Lysefjord.

  • Day 3
    Sea day

    Crossing the North Sea

    Time to relax as we head to Hamburg

    Exploration doesn’t end when you’re onboard—there’s plenty to see and do as we sail towards Germany. You could work up a sweat in the gym or relax in the sauna or hot tub.

    Your Expedition Team will begin a series of lectures, offering unique insights into the history, heritage, and natural sciences of the places we visit.

    On deck, our biologists will help you scan the seas for wildlife. You can also pick up some useful tips from our onboard photographer. Or simply enjoy the scenery from the comfort of the Explorer Lounge & Bar.

    Day 3
    Sea day

    Crossing the North Sea

  • Day 4
    Hamburg, Germany

    Historical Hamburg

    Explore Hamburg's architectural and cultural delights

    There's so much to see and do on your own in Hamburg. Visit the old Landungsbrücken floating dock, and see the old ships and shipyards, waterfront buildings, and the Old Elbe Tunnel.

    You’ll find many attractions in the Altstadt district, including the St. Nikolai Memorial, St. Catherine's Church, City Hall, and the historic street of Deichstraße. Art lovers will enjoy Kunsthalle, Germany’s foremost art museum.

    Visit the architectural wonders of the world’s largest warehouse complex at Kontorhausviertel and Speicherstadt, which together with Chilehaus, are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

    • Included Snapshot of Hamburg
    Day 4
    Hamburg, Germany

    Historical Hamburg

  • Day 5
    Harlingen, The Netherlands

    Harlingten's rich heritage

    Experience the Frisian port city of Harlingen.

    Walk or bike around Harlingen, a city of canals and pretty harbors, and home to the last traditional pottery factory in the Netherlands. Harlingen lies on the shores of the Wadden Sea, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    You’ll find traditional sailing ships and historic warehouses around the old harbors of Noorderhaven and Zuiderhaven. Don’t miss the Harlingen Aardewerkmuseum, where you can admire displays of distinctive Frisian pottery.

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

    Harlingten's rich heritage

  • Day 6
    Oostende (Bruges), Belgium

    Explore Oostende and Bruges.

    Rich medieval architecture among winding streets

    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. Despite the ravages of war and time, many of its medieval features have survived to the present day.

    It’s a great base from which to visit Bruges. Lose yourself in this beautifully preserved medieval town, as you explore winding streets, picturesque canals, and grand 14th-century buildings.

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

    Explore Oostende and Bruges.

  • Day 7
    Ouistreham, France

    Normandy’s past and present

    Discover historic beaches, Caen, and 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 No 4 Commando. 

    Check out the German fortifications at Le Grand Bunker 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 that commemorates World War II, 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

    A beautiful Breton 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. Follow the historical trail within the old city walls through a maze of cobbled streets and visit Demeure De Corsaire to learn about the feared corsairs and the town’s pirate heritage.

    You can even visit the Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel or walk to Île de Grand Bé at low tide. The island holds the remains of an ancient fort and where the renowned local writer Chateaubriand is buried.

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

    The citadel of Saint-Malo

  • Day 9
    Douarnenez, France

    Fascinating Finistère

    Inspiring coastal scenery and maritime history

    We’ll use our small boats (RIBs) to go ashore at the picturesque seaside town of Douarnenez, where you’ll find 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, we’ll head to nearby Brest, a fascinating and historic city with medieval fortifications. Here, you can visit the National Maritime Museum inside the military fortress of Château de Brest. It’s also a modern city, 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

    Fascinating Finistère

  • Day 10
    At sea

    Sailing the Bay of Biscay

    Unwind and enjoy the natural world around you

    Today is a perfect day to relax on deck with your binoculars and watch 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

    Galician highlights

    See Galicia's heritage in Ferrol, Lugo, and A Coruña

    Our first stop on Spain’s rugged Galician coast is Ferrol. Once a small fishing hamlet, for the past three centuries it has been Spain’s main naval base. There are more forts, citadels, and barracks here than any other harbor in the country.

    A walking tour here will reveal its many historic highlights. You can also visit the old town of Lugo, famed for its Roman walls.

    You’ll then sail to neighboring A Coruña and dock for the night. Here, you’ll find the Tower of Hercules—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—the world’s oldest functioning lighthouse.

    • Included Discover Ferrol on Foot
    Day 11
    Ferrol, Spain

    Galician highlights

  • Day 12
    A Coruña, Spain

    Historic A Coruña

    Sample the flavors of this culturally distinct region

    Today, you’ll have another opportunity to admire the Tower of Hércules before visiting the town of A Coruña for a true taste of Galician culture.

    Trust us, you’ll want to sample the unique Galician cuisine. Ask for a selection of tapas and try a glass of local cider. It’s traditionally poured into the mouth from above, but you can drink it in the usual way if you prefer.

    A Coruña is one of the starting points for the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. It connects to the Camino Inglés—the ‘English Way’. From here, why not join a walk to its eventual destination, Santiago de Compostela.

    Day 12
    A Coruña, Spain

    Historic A Coruña

  • Day 13
    Vigo, Spain

    The ancient port of Vigo

    The beautiful city of Vigo in the heart of Galicia

    Our cruise continues 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 has become 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 Neoclassical and Art Nouveau architectural styles. Or, see the impressive 16th-century Castro Castle and park.

    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

    The ancient port of Vigo

  • Day 14
    Llençois, Porto

    Charming Porto

    Explore the UNESCO-listed historic center of Porto.

    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 take a shuttle bus to Porto, famed for its port wine and UNESCO-listed historic center. This city of undulating terrain is perfect for walking. Fall in love with the pastel houses, colorful tiled façades, street art, ornate churches, and panoramic views across the Douro River.

    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

    Charming Porto

  • Day 15
    Lisbon, Portugal

    Legendary Lisbon

    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.

2024

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
September:
25.

Available Promotions on This Itinerary:

What's Included

Included in Your Expedition

Expedition Cruise

  • Stay in a cabin of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including beverages* in the Aune restaurant
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board†
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organize and guide activities, both on board and ashore
  • Range of included activities

*House beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water

†Please note that Wi-Fi and phone reception are very limited in the remote areas where we travel and streaming is not supported.

Onboard activities

  • In-depth lectures and discussions hosted by experts on the Expedition Team
  • Full use of our Science Center, extensive library, and advanced biological and geological equipment
  • The Citizen Science Program allows guests to contribute to ongoing scientific research projects.
  • Our onboard professional photographer will give photography tips and teach techniques for capturing landscape and wildlife photos.
  • The ship has hot tubs, a sauna with a view, and a gym.
  • Join informal gatherings with the crew for daily briefings.

Landing activities

  • Escorted landings with small boats (RIBs)
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment needed for the activities
  • Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition photographers will be on hand to assist you.

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

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

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