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.
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.
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.
United Kingdom: Ullapool
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.
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.
The Geirangerfjord is arguably the most spectacular fjord in all of Norway, a sinuous ten mile stretch of sheer mountain walls and tumbling waterfalls. The village of Geiranger itself sits at one end of the fjord, and in summer the population swells with an influx of visitors to this beautiful region.
The intriguing city of Oslo, Norway’s capital, has so much to offer, from the open air Norwegian Folk Museum to the amazing Vigeland sculpture park, and from the Holmenkollen Ski Museum to the Munch Museum’s collection of memorable paintings. History, art and culture are what defines this lovely city.
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.
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.
Wonderful Copenhagen is the perfect city to explore on foot, by bicycle or by water. Visit the bustling wharf at Nyhavn, enjoy the palaces, galleries and museums, wander through the amazing Tivoli Gardens, and if you have time, make the most of Copenhagen’s gastronomic revolution.
Situated at the very northern tip of Jutland, Skagen is famed for its wonderful light and beautiful coastal scenery, which attracted many artists during the 19th century. Today it’s a popular destination for well-to-do Danes, drawn here by the beaches, charming architecture and spectacular sunsets.
Arriving in 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.
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.
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.