Sailing from Denmark
Setting sail from 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.
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.
Stavanger originally grew rich from its fishing industry, though these days it’s Norway’s oil boom that is powering the city’s economic growth. In spite of this modern gold rush the historic centre of Stavanger retains its charm, and the spectacular Lysefjord is within easy reach of the city.
Olden is a lovely little village surrounded by green meadows and rippling mountain scenery, at the mouth of the Oldeelva river. The most popular excursion is a trip to the nearby Briksdalsbreen, an arm of the vast Jostedalsbreen glacier.
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.
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 of 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.
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.
United Kingdom: Lerwick
Lerwick is the only town of any size in the Shetland islands, and originally grew up around the herring trade. Highlights include the charming 18th century architecture along the waterfront and the informative Shetland Museum, which provides an excellent introduction to the history and culture of the islands.
United Kingdom: Invergordon
Invergordon’s deep natural harbour makes it a popular jumping off point for the Scottish Highlands, and most cruise ship visitors will head inland on excursions to Loch Ness, Culloden battlefield or the nearby city of Inverness, capital of the Highlands.
Arriving in 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.
Your home from home
When luxury goes exploring, you are on a Regent ship. Intimate and inviting, the comfortable Seven Seas Navigator is the perfect size.
What we love
Just 490 guests enjoy space, comfort and great value on board this, the smallest of the Regent Seven Seas ships. With spacious accommodation, a relaxed and unpretentious style and good dining choices, the most all-inclusive of all luxury cruise lines is perhaps the perfect choice for laid-back travellers.
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Regent Seven Seas offers luxury without pretensions - not too dressy, and with lots of focus on the itineraries. So - with their excellent all-inclusive offer - you might get off the ship without having to pay a single further penny!
Tailor-make your trip
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.
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.