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Taking the scenic route: 6 of the best long cruises closer to home

Cruise Advice

Cruising close to home offers an embarrassment of riches. From the Mediterranean to the Norwegian Fjords to the Scottish Highlands, here are 6 of the best long cruises closer to home.

You can visit extraordinary volcanic islands, soaring sea cliffs, dramatic fjords, isolated villages with pretty painted wooden houses, or turf-roofed stone cottages. Explore the familiar cities of the UK and Ireland, or discover the rich history of the Baltic capitals. Spot whales in the waters of Iceland, watch the comings and goings of everyday life in a remote village in Greenland, or wander the romantic streets of Paris. For those seeking warmer climes, you can sail from the UK to the Mediterranean and beyond, and almost any combination of these extraordinary destinations is possible, providing you have the time.

Even with life back to normal, we still expect to see more people embracing the idea of 'slow travel' - opting to travel less frequently, but for a longer duration. It means less time spent in airports, better value for money, and a more immersive, enriching experience as you take your time to really explore your chosen region. In this article we've picked out some of the most appealing longer voyages with our favourite small ship cruise lines, with most travelling from or to the UK.

1. Silversea: Southampton to Copenhagen

Silversea offer an enticing programme in Northern Europe, including this fantastic 22-night trip from Southampton on board the 596-guest Silver Dawn, departing on 14 May 2024. You'll begin with calls in at Edinburgh, Belfast and Dublin before travelling between impossibly pretty Norwegian Fjord villages and stylish Scandi cities including Oslo, Gothenburg and Copenhagen, where your journey ends.


2. Viking Ocean Cruises: Scandinavia & the British Isles

Viking's cruise calendar includes several immersive sailings to Northern Europe, and our favourite is the 19 April 2024 Tilbury to Stockholm sailing on board the 930-guest Viking Venus. This special 28-night voyage takes you to Norway's Fjordland before exploring the treasures of Baltic cities such as Gdansk. You'll also enjoy overnight stays in Stockholm and beautiful Bergen, along with exploring the towns along Scotland's wild Shetland islands coast.

Bergen, Norway

3. Regent Seven Seas Cruises: Jewels of Northern Europe

Regent Seven Seas Cruises offer a dizzying range of inclusions, and on longer voyages the number of free shore excursions offers unparalleled choice. The 482-guest Seven Seas Navigator departs Reykjavik on 11 July 2023 on an epic 28-night journey from the Icelandic capital to Copenhagen. Begin with the Celtic charms of Waterford, Dublin and Holyhead - with a call in at the volcanic Faroe Islands - before discovering more of Northern Europe's most beautiful and fascinating cities, from big hitters like Stockholm and Helsinki to more unusual ports of call like the Estonian island of Saaremaa, Belgium's Antwerp and France's Dunkirk, with unlimited shore excursions included in the fare.


4. Seabourn: Jewels of the British Isles & Icelandic Intrigue

If you're looking to escape to more far-flung shores then this exciting 28-night voyage will certainly appeal. This epic adventure on the 458-guest Seabourn Sojourn begins in Dover on 13th July 2024, leaving the white cliffs via Scotland and the east coast of England, with stops at cities like Belfast, Cork and Edinburgh as well as more remote destinations like the Isle of Man, and an unusual call in Great Yarmouth. Then, you'll have time to explore Iceland's geothermal wonders before a final stop at Scotland's Orkney Islands, ending back in Dover.


5. Oceania Cruises: Epic Northern Adventure

Combine remote wilderness with historic cities on this incredible 44-night itinerary, sailing round-trip from Southampton via Greenland, Iceland and the Baltic on board the lovely 1,238-guest Marina on 16 July 2024. Highlights include Iceland's wild Westfjords, a dazzling array of both favourite and lesser-known Northern European cities, the Norwegian Fjords and their chocolate-box villages and two days in the incredible Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. You'll also visit Sweden's charming UNESCO-listed town of Visby, and spend time in lively Glasgow and Dublin.


6. Cunard: Istanbul & Mediterranean Highlights

Enjoy some Mediterranean sunshine straight from Southampton with this appealing 29-night voyage to Trieste on board Cunard's Queen Victoria. Departing on 5 May 2024, your cruise visits some of the most alluring ports in the eastern Med, including Rome, Santorini and Istanbul, and includes an overnight stay in Piraeus, giving you ample time to appreciate the ancient treasures of Athens.

Meet the author

Alex is Director of Sales & Marketing at Mundy Cruising, having worked with the company for 10 years and in travel for over 18 years. Most recently he's cruised on Silversea and has also sailed with Seabourn, Crystal, SeaDream, Tauck, Regent Seven Seas and Ponant. His favourite destination is South America however he's also enjoyed cruises in the Western Mediterranean, Middle East, East Africa & Indian Ocean, India, Myanmar, South East Asia and Antarctica. When he’s not travelling he loves walking holidays; a favourite included a trek to Everest Base Camp.

More about Alex

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