Sailing from the UK
Setting sail from Harwich
Harwich is one of the Haven ports, situated near the confluence of the Stour and Orwell rivers on the Essex coastline. There is plenty of history packed into the compact old town - Harwich is where the Pilgrim Fathers built the Mayflower, and was once home to an important Royal Navy dockyard - though these days it is showing the same signs of wear and tear as many other English seaside towns. However, you're within easy reach of a number of interesting places, including the picturesque villages of Dedham and Flatford.
If you’re travelling to Harwich from further afield, it’s worth considering the train; there is a station within the port itself, right next to the cruise terminal.
Florø is Norway’s westernmost town, surrounded by scattered islands and archipelagos rising dramatically from the waves. Historically the locals made their living from fishing, and more recently from North Sea oil. It’s a great region for outdoor exploration, and popular activities include coastal hikes, sea kayaking and fishing.
Spread over several islands on an impressive natural harbour, Kristiansund is intimately connected to the sea, and is famous for its 'klipfish' - a dish of dry, salted cod. The city was badly damaged by fire during the war, and was rebuilt in a distinctive, multi-coloured style.
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.
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.
Svalbard and Jan Mayen: Longyearbyen
Longyearbyen is the largest settlement in Svalbard, remotely located in the high Norwegian Arctic, and originally built as a mining town. The locals continue to make the best of this hostile environment, and brightly painted wooden buildings line the main street. The surrounding area is breathtakingly beautiful.
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.
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.
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.
The Sognefjord is the largest fjord in Norway and the second longest in the world, stretching for 127 miles from the ocean to the little village of Skjolden. The surrounding mountains are popular with hikers, and there are many smaller fjords that branch off, some with stunning emerald green glacial waters.
Leirvik is the main settlement on the island of Stord, and the main attraction is the Stord Maritime Museum,which documents 100 years of Norwegian maritime history. The island also has some nice walking trails and a small folk museum.
Arriving in Harwich
Your home from home
A near replica of the 1913-built ocean vessel France II, Golden Horizon aims to operate under sail for 70% of each season.
What we love
This beautiful tall ship, the world's largest, aims to deliver a true sailing experience in the utmost comfort. Powered by nature, the vessel encapsulates the charms and romance of a tall ship with modern and contemporary touches to ensure the comfort of a predominantly British clientele.
|Style||Relaxed, with a touch of formality.|
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Where to stay near Harwich
Grayson Perry’s spectacular live-in artwork 'A House for Essex' in nearby Wrabness is available to book as accommodation, although you’ll have to luck out in one of the highly competitive ballots.
Nearby Colchester is full of history; the imposing Norman castle was built on the former site of the Roman Temple of Claudius, which was torched by Boudicca in AD60/61.