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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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. There is a wealth of famous museums and galleries to choose from, such as the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum and the Anne Frank House.
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.
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.
Just ten miles from the Russian border, Kirkenes has the feel of a frontier town, with signs in both Norwegian and Russian, and this is the end of the line for the Hurtigruten coastal service. The town itself is fairly nondescript, but activities on offer nearby include snowmobiling and husky sledding.
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.
Tromsø’s location well within the Arctic Circle means the summer months are lit by the Midnight Sun, a compensation for long dark winters. Explore the streets with their multi-coloured wooden houses, see the amazing architecture of the Arctic cathedral, or take the cable car up to Mount Storsteinen for a fantastic view.
Norway: Lofoten Islands
The craggy peaks of the Lofoten islands provide some of the most stunning scenery in all of Norway, and sailing through the archipelago is a wonderful experience. Fishing is still the main source of income for most of the picturesque wooden villages that are dotted along the coast.
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.
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.
Arriving in Amsterdam
Explore by water, or by bicycle to get a feel for the city – a hop on hop off canal boat, or rented bike or pedalo will do the trick.
Your home from home
The Prinsendam is a one-off – a very special ship which has been captivating its guests (for those with long memories, this ship was formerly Seabourn Sun) for many years. As Prinsendam, it is the most intimate Holland America Lines ship.
What we love
Prinsendam's wide-ranging itineraries, and manoeuvrable size, make her the perfect choice for the more adventurous traveller, and the lovely artwork featured around this classic ship makes travelling on her all the more special.
|Crew||470 International Staff|
The intimate elegance of Prinsendam makes her quite distinctive. Her clients are inquisitive and well travelled, and the high levels of loyalty she commands makes for a very friendly and club-like atmosphere.
|Cruising Speed||22 knots|
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.