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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.
Dramatically located at the head of the Aurlandsfjord, the picturesque little village of Flåm is a popular base for excursions into Norway’s great outdoors. Strike out into the surrounding countryside and you’ll find steep mountains, cascading waterfalls and bucolic farms, with some spectacular walking and cycling trails.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
United Kingdom: Dover
White Cliffs Country is a fascinating region, one packed with history and natural beauty. We think there is no sight like that of the stunning cliffs rising from the sea, topped by the fortifications of Dover Castle, and surrounded by lush green countryside.
United Kingdom: Portland, Falmouth
United Kingdom: Fishguard
Fishguard holds the unusual distinction of being the site of the last invasion of Britain by a foreign power; a band of 1,400 French revolutionaries landed here in 1797, and were promptly repelled by the locals. The surrounding countryside is also full of history, with a plethora of impressive medieval castles.
United Kingdom: Liverpool
Few British cities can match the historical and cultural significance of Liverpool. The famous docks have been transformed in recent years, and are now home to the Tate gallery and a museum honouring the city's most famous sons, the Beatles.
The city of Dublin has something for everyone with great shopping, beautiful Georgian architecture, lovely parks, galleries and museums. Everywhere you go you will be bowled away by the jovial Irish welcome. Don’t miss the chance to sample a local pint of Guinness.
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: Campbeltown
United Kingdom: Stromness
Stromness is the second biggest town in the Orkney Islands, an atmospheric and friendly place with a proud seafaring heritage. Enjoy local music in a cosy pub, explore independent shops and galleries or head out to one of the nearby prehistoric sites, such as the intriguing Ring of Brodgar.
United Kingdom: Peterhead
United Kingdom: Edinburgh
Cosmopolitan Edinburgh, Scotland’s lovely capital, is located in spectacular countryside, always visible from the city centre. Striking architecture, lots to see and do, and great food mean that your time here will be very busy. And if your visit coincides with the Festival, you have a treat in store.
United Kingdom: Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Renowned for its boisterous nightlife, passionate football fans and shipbuilding heritage, Newcastle has been reinvented in recent years as a forward-looking cultural hub. Key to this has been the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, the centrepiece of the rejuvenated Gateshead Quays.
United Kingdom: Great Yarmouth
Arriving in Dover
White Cliffs Country is a fascinating region, one packed with history and natural beauty. We think there is no sight like that of the stunning cliffs rising from the sea, topped by the fortifications of Dover Castle, and surrounded by lush green countryside. But the nearby area is also packed with charm, and not so further afield are captivating pretty villages, fascinating towns such as Sandwich (one of the original Cinque ports), and of course Kent's glory, Canterbury with its magnificent cathedral. A final thought must go to the many castles including Deal, Walmer and the magnificently photogenic Leeds Castle.
You will be amazed how much there is to see and do, so drive down early, pick a base such as Canterbury to explore, and join your cruise completely relaxed.
Your home from home
Once again Seabourn leaps ahead, expanding the most modern luxury fleet with the innovative Seabourn Encore and Ovation.
What we love
When Seabourn introduced the three sisters, they changed the face of luxury cruising. Seabourn Encore (and her sister Seabourn Ovation, due to be completed in 2018), with 604 guests on board, will take things a step further, with lots of new thinking and special additions, continuing Seabourn's magical ability to surprise and delight.
The contemporary décor appeals to a sophisticated and cosmopolitan crowd. With lots of outside space, you can enjoy an al fresco experience if you choose.
|Year launched||2016 (Seabourn Encore) / 2018 (Seabourn Ovation)|
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.
Extend your stay in Kent
We love historic Walletts Court, just ten minutes outside Dover but feels like another world – cosy, welcoming, and great food too.
Our recommended private tour
An extraordinary trip up the coast by RIB to the mouth of the Stour River and the orange seals basking on the mudflats.