THE TOP SEVEN CRUISE TOURS OF OLD EUROPE

Andrea Hausold - May 23, 2014
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With a diverse history influenced by a litany of different cultures and civilisations, there are endless discoveries to make throughout some of the grand old cities of Europe. The grandiose spectacle of Bavaria contrasted with the timeless beauty of renaissance Florence signifies the changing, vibrant tapestry that makes up the continent. Here are seven of the top cruise tours to be taken to discover the majesty of old Europe.

Discover the Fjords

People visit the Fjords from every corner of the planet every year to enjoy the unique majesty and geographical significance of the area. With many of the Scandinavian cities’ capitals sitting by the ocean, hundreds’ of years’ of history is at the fingertips of the passengers on a cruise to the Fjords. Tallinn, Copenhagen, Helsinki and Stockholm are all as beautiful as they are unique. These cities also offer some of the world’s best views of the stunning northern lights.

Suggested Cruise: Celebrity Eclipse’s Scandinavia & Russia Adventure

Mediterranean Escape

Many of the great Mediterranean cities were the sites of important ports with the export/import trade high on the list of Europe’s priorities. The likes of Italian Christopher Columbus and Portuguese Henry the Navigator were central to the discoveries of the new world and expanding up trade links between every corner of the planet. This led to some of the world’s most culturally important cities being placed on the cusp of the med. Discover the centre of Catholicism in Rome before taking in the beauty of Naples to understand the diversity of the med.

Suggested Cruise: Island Cruises’ Escape to the Med

Revisit the Vikings

There are few cultures as revered as the great Norse Vikings, fearlessly sailing into battle with just an axe and the promise of Valhalla in return for a brave death. Visit the harsh lands that shaped these tough warriors and explore ancient cities such as Oslo, Stavanger and Kristiansand. There is only one way to truly appreciate the world that the Vikings grew up in and that is on the open seas.

Suggested Cruise: Holland America Line’s Viking Sagas

Beauty of Britain

From being invaded by the Saxons to controlling the largest empire in the history of the planet, Britain has had something of a mixed, chequered past and still bears the scars of the past. Despite its large past, it is still a relatively small island and the best of Britain can be digested in one trip. Visit England, Scotland and Ireland and enjoy their vastly different cultures. Explore the old port cities of Liverpool, Dublin and Cork to discover the beauty of Britain.

Suggested Cruise: Cunard’s Around the British Isles

Canary Islands’ Hidden Gems

The Canary Islands have suffered a shifting persona over the past 30 years with the influx of tourists taking advantage of affordable package holidays. However, many of these islands still contain a fantastic charm that you can find if you just stray slightly off the beaten track. Take advantage of excursions on Gran Canaria to discover areas of outstanding beauty with more than half of the island’s territory being protected natural area.

Suggested Cruise: P&O Cruises’ Canaries, Portugal & Madeira

The Vineyards of France

Nothing represents the aged sophistication of Europe like the vineyards of France, producing vintage after vintage of wine enjoyed all around the world. Many of France’s finest vineyards offer tours and accommodation for wine lovers to enjoy and even learn a little more about wine. After a long day of learning about wine, relax amongst the picturesque beauty of the vineyards.

Suggested Tour: French Wine Explorers

Network with the Rich and Famous

Dust off your tuxedo and enjoy some of the highlights of Europe’s cultural calendar, taking in the Cannes Film Festival and the Monaco Grand Prix. Be transported back to the 1920s and the golden age of glitz and glamour as Hollywood A-listers are on their best behaviour by your side.

Suggested Tour: Fred Olsen’s Film Stars & Fast Cars

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