Setting sail from Dublin
There is nothing like a visit to Ireland for a warm welcome, and in Dublin great literature, fascinating history and the friendly atmosphere make a stay here an unforgettable experience. The fair city of the song is a great place to meet the locals, enjoy the Georgian townhouses, explore the nooks and crannies of the castle, and of course to indulge in some serious retail therapy. And do seek out the Viking roots, medieval streets, city parks and beautiful bridges over the river Liffey - this is after all a great city to investigate on foot.
Temple Bar is where it’s at – dating back to Anglo-Saxon days, it’s a cobblestoned cultural enclave of galleries, restaurants, hopping pubs and the lively Meeting House Square.
Waterford is Ireland’s oldest city, over 1,000 years old, with a fascinating Viking and Norman heritage that is still discernible in the narrow streets of the ‘Viking Triangle’. The city is also famous as the home of Waterford crystal, and the glass-making industry here dates back to the late 18th century.
The attractive town of Cobh is situated on an island in Cork Harbour, one of the largest natural harbours in the world. It’s a colourful place with an interesting history; Cobh was the main exit point for thousands who fled Ireland during the famine years, and it was also the final port of call for the ill-fated Titanic.
30 June - 2 July
Ireland: Bantry, Galway
United Kingdom: Londonderry
United Kingdom: Belfast
The 1998 Good Friday Agreement was a watershed moment for Northern Ireland, and its rejuvenated capital is enjoying a surge in popularity. The new Titanic Belfast museum is the star attraction, while the city centre boasts some handsome Victorian architecture and a lively pub scene.
Isle of Man: Douglas
Rugged and unspoilt, peaceful and perhaps a little parochial, the Isle of Man is proud to be different. The island has its own government, the Tynwald, which is said to be the oldest continuous parliament in the world, as well as its own language and even its own currency, the Manx pound.
The city of Dublin has something for everyone with great shopping, beautiful Georgian architecture, lovely parks, galleries and museums. Everywhere you go you will be bowled away by the jovial Irish welcome. Don’t miss the chance to sample a local pint of Guinness.
United Kingdom: Lerwick
Lerwick is the only town of any size in the Shetland islands, and originally grew up around the herring trade. Highlights include the charming 18th century architecture along the waterfront and the informative Shetland Museum, which provides an excellent introduction to the history and culture of the islands.
Beautiful Bergen, Norway’s former capital, is a perfect city to explore on foot. Bryggen – the old Hanseatic wharf, and a UNESCO World Heritage site – still has the old harbour timber buildings, whilst other attractions include the funicular up Mount Floyen and the busy fish market.
When Ålesund was destroyed by fire in 1904, the German Kaiser Wilhelm II agreed to foot the bill to rebuild it. The result was the stunning Art Nouveau architecture that you see today, which blends elements of the German 'Jugendstil' with Viking flourishes.
Trondheim’s wooden buildings look much as they would have done in the Middle Ages, rebuilt in the same style and layout throughout history. Here also Norway's national sanctuary, Nidaros Cathedral, was built over the grave of St. Olav, Norway's patron saint, with parts dating back to the 12th century.
Situated over 600 miles beyond the Arctic Circle, Hammerfest claims to be the world’s northernmost town, although other Arctic settlements would contest this. It’s also the only place where you can join the Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society, a slightly eccentric club with some 250,000 members worldwide.
Murmansk is the largest city north of the Arctic Circle, of key strategic importance due to the fact that the port is kept ice-free by the warmer waters of the Gulf Stream. The city was heavily damaged during World War II but never captured, and while the Soviet architecture is not pretty, the surrounding countryside is well worth exploring.
Russia: Solovetsky Islands
The Solovetsky Islands, situated in the chilly waters of the White Sea, are known for both their natural beauty and their fascinating history. The Solovetsky Monastery, one the most famous in Russia, was established here in the 15th century, and the islands later became a brutal prison camp during the Soviet era.
Arkhangelsk was Russia’s chief seaport during the medieval and early modern period, reaching its zenith in the 17th century. Although most of the city’s original wooden buildings have disappeared, the nearby Malye Karely museum is a beautiful showcase of traditional Russian architecture.
The port of Honningsvåg is the gateway to Europe’s most northerly point, the North Cape, and enjoys 24-hour daylight in summer. Aside from tourism, fishing is the major industry in this part of Norway, and the region is also said to be inhabited by trolls.
Dramatically located at the head of the Aurlandsfjord, the picturesque little village of Flåm is a popular base for excursions into Norway’s great outdoors. Strike out into the surrounding countryside and you’ll find steep mountains, cascading waterfalls and bucolic farms, with some spectacular walking and cycling trails.
Arriving in Copenhagen
With a history that dates back to 1043, this small city is full of historic landmarks, significant buildings and interesting sights and museums. It is of course also a history that sits alongside the height of modern Danish design. It is great to explore on foot, by bicycle or by water. Be sure to visit Amalienborg Palace and to walk down the famed shopping street (Strøget). The pretty harbour of Nyhavn is a great location to stop for coffee or lunch and watch the world go by. And of course highlights include the Tivoli Gardens, and the (surprisingly) tiny statue of The Little Mermaid.
Copenhagen boasts some of the world’s best restaurants, so plan your visit and book ahead to get a real taste of Denmark. Really – they book up fast!
Your home from home
Small enough to operate fascinating port-intensive itineraries, but with the space for dining options, comfortable accommodation and more, sister ships Insignia, Nautica, Regatta and Sirena are for many the perfect size.
What we love
These four boutique style sister ships carry just 684 guests apiece, with a comfortable, relaxed country house style and plenty of intimate corners. We love the alternative restaurants - Oceania is rightly renowned for great food - and the pretty little library up on deck 10.
|Crew||400 International Staff|
|Style||On Oceania it's all about the time spent ashore, so back on board it's relaxed and unpretentious, with no dressing up. Open seating throughout creates an atmosphere which is friendly and sociable.|
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay in Dublin
The Merrion – great location, an elegant setting (four restored Georgian townhouses) and a Michelin restaurant.
Head out of the city to Brú na Bóinne - even older than the Pyramids, here are three Neolithic passage tombs.
Two nights in Copenhagen
Excellent super modern hotels abound, but our favourite for comfort and value is 71 Nyhavn, overlooking the harbour front.
Travel out of the city to North Zealand to see the renaissance Frederiksborg Castle, and Hamlet’s Kronborg Castle at Elsinore.