Setting sail from Southampton
Southampton is the UK's leading port. Bustling modern cruise terminals, as well as wharfs and commercial harbours, line the waterfront, whilst the city itself is a fascinating mix of ancient and modern, with a picturesque old town, the original city walls still standing, and super-modern shopping centres and office complexes. On all corners you will see tributes to the city's rich history and maritime heritage. Henry V marched his troops through the Westgate on his way to the battle of Agincourt, The Mayflower sailed from here with a cargo of settlers to the New World, and the Titanic started her fateful voyage here.
Get a copy of the Old Town Walk map from the tourist information centre, a perfect (and free!) way to explore Southampton at a leisurely pace.
United Kingdom: Edinburgh
Cosmopolitan Edinburgh, Scotland’s lovely capital, is located in spectacular countryside, always visible from the city centre. Striking architecture, lots to see and do, and great food mean that your time here will be very busy. And if your visit coincides with the Festival, you have a treat in store.
United Kingdom: Kirkwall (Orkney Islands)
The flat, windswept Orkney Islands, just off the northeast coast of Scotland, have a distinctive Scandinavian heritage that’s discernible in everything from the unusual place names to the ancient Norse architecture of the capital, Kirkwall. Don’t miss the Ring of Brodgar, a fascinating Neolithic stone circle.
Faroe Islands: Tórshavn
Tórshavn, named after the Norse god Thor, is one of the world’s smallest capitals, with a population of just 20,000. The brightly coloured facades and turfed roofs lend the harbour an attractive, storybook quality, and the narrow streets are home to some atmospheric pubs and cafés.
Akureyri is Iceland’s second city, though with just 18,000 inhabitants it’s really more of a small town. Situated on the north coast at the head of Iceland’s largest fjord, it’s a cute and quirky place that also serves as a base from which to explore the bubbling mud pools and lunar landscapes around Lake Mývatn.
Ísafjörður is the largest town in Iceland’s wild Westfjords, dramatically located on a spit of sand hemmed in by mountains on three sides. The town itself is fairly low key, and the main attraction is exploring the surrounding landscapes, such as the spectacular Hornstrandir Peninsula.
Qaqortoq is southern Greenland’s largest town, though with just 3,000 inhabitants it’s hardly crowded. A trip to the nearby hot springs at Uunartoq is recommended; relaxing in the 38°C water and watching icebergs drift across the bay is quite something.
Capital of Iceland and gateway to this extraordinary volcanic island, modern Reykjavík is home to an impressive collection of interesting attractions and places of historic significance. Visit the impressive Hallgrímskirkja church, relax in a thermal pool, potter around the old harbour, and enjoy 24 hour daylight in the summer months.
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.
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: Southampton
Southampton is the UK’s leading port. Bustling modern cruise terminals, as well as wharfs and commercial harbours, line the waterfront, whilst the city itself is a fascinating mix of ancient and modern, with a picturesque old town, the original city walls still standing, and super-modern shopping centres and office complexes
Belgium: Zeebrugge (Bruges)
Zeebrugge’s main attraction is its proximity to Bruges. This beautifully preserved old town is a magical maze of winding cobbled lanes, narrow canals and gorgeous gabled houses, and it’s no wonder so many visitors throng the streets in summer.
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.
Finland’s lovely capital Helsinki is a maritime city, with the sea on three sides and almost 100 kilometres of shoreline, as well as around 300 islands. Its contemporary architecture and focus on modern design sit surprisingly well alongside its four hundred year history.
Russia: St Petersburg
Lovely St Petersburg, the jewel in the crown of Baltic cities, features so much to see and do, with its high art, lavish architecture, dramatic history and rich cultural traditions. An extraordinary wealth of treasures sit alongside historical tales which will captivate and intrigue you.
The historic harbour city of Tallinn in Estonia is really quite captivating. Just the perfect size to explore on foot, its medieval (and UNESCO listed) town centre, with its cobblestone streets and a busy Town Hall Square, is the perfect introduction to Estonia’s rich history.
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.
The Baltic port of Gdansk occupies an important place in 20th century history; the first shots of World War II were fired at the Westerplatte naval base, and it was amongst the shipyards of Gdansk that the Solidarity movement was born in the 1980s.
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
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
Overnight in Southampton
Stay at the Pig in the Wall, stylish with great food. Very small so book early.
Day trips from Southampton
Visit historic Winchester, home to King Arthur’s Round Table, the Great Hall and Winchester Cathedral.
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.