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Setting sail from Amsterdam
Amsterdam is one of our very favourite cities to visit, as well as also being a perfect base to explore the nearby landscape of windmills and dikes. The Amsterdam canal belt is now officially recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and from them there are so many neighbourhoods to explore, such as the Jordaan with its higgledy-piggledy streets and its famed garden courtyards (hofjes). There are also a wealth of famous museums and galleries to choose from, such as the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum and the Anne Frank House, not to mention some more, shall we say, quirky options.
The quaint cobbled streets that straddle Amsterdam’s grandest canals, known as De Negen Straatjes, are awash with history and contain some of the most unique shops in the city.
Known locally as ‘the gateway to the world’, the port of Hamburg has a rich maritime history. Of course the city has its seedy side, as characterised by the old red light district around the Reeperbahn, but it’s also a vibrant, progressive city with some excellent museums, galleries and theatres.
The former Hanseatic port of Wismar is one of the Baltic’s lesser known gems. The town was under Swedish control for most of the 16th and 17th centuries, and there are still many reminders of this period as you stroll around the pretty UNESCO-listed old town, with its cobbled streets and gabled facades.
The buzzing city of Stockholm is the capital of Sweden. Many sights will delight; the busy waterfront, the cobbled streets in the Old Town, and the museums, palaces, gardens and galleries. And of course, just 20 minutes away, its archipelago of 30,000 islands offers a totally different experience.
Situated on the west coast surrounded by thousands of islands, Turku is Finland’s oldest city and was once the nation’s capital. This history is still visible in the medieval castle and impressive cathedral, and the city’s large student population means that there is a vibrant cultural scene.
Estonia: Saaremaa Island
The charming UNESCO-listed town of Visby is the capital of Gotland, the largest island in the Baltic. The photogenic cobbled streets and ruined Gothic churches are a reminder of the island’s fascinating history, invaded by both Germans and Danes and decimated by the Black Death in the 14th century.
Klaipeda is Lithuania’s only major seaport, and served for a time as the capital of Prussia, when it was known as Memel. There is still a noticeable Germanic flavour to the architecture of the old town, and it’s only a short distance from both the spectacular dunes of the Curonian Spit and the lovely seaside town of Palanga.
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.
We love the open air museum, the Frilandsmuseet, just north of the city, housing more than 50 farms, mills and houses from the mid 17th to the mid 20th centuries.
Your home from home
Once again Seabourn leaps ahead, expanding the most modern luxury fleet with the innovative Seabourn Encore and Ovation.
What we love
When Seabourn introduced the three sisters, they changed the face of luxury cruising. Seabourn Encore (and her sister Seabourn Ovation, due to be completed in 2018), with 604 guests on board, will take things a step further, with lots of new thinking and special additions, continuing Seabourn's magical ability to surprise and delight.
The contemporary décor appeals to a sophisticated and cosmopolitan crowd. With lots of outside space, you can enjoy an al fresco experience if you choose.
|Year launched||2016 (Seabourn Encore) / 2018 (Seabourn Ovation)|
Tailor-make your trip
Two nights in Amsterdam
There is a fantastic range of canal front hotels to choose from, but we love the new Waldorf Astoria.
Visit windmills in Zaanse Schans, the flowers at Keukenhof, or the cheese market in Alkmaar.
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.