Discover the natural beauty of Northern Europe
Visiting Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and more, our Scandinavian cruises are always an awe-inspiring experience. Expect stunning landscapes, welcoming communities and a great range of unique excursions.
The incredible experiences had onshore are matched by the small-ship luxury offered on board our boutique sister ships, Spirit of Adventure and Spirit of Discovery. Expect first class service, all-inclusive fine dining and premium drinks, as well as excellent facilities and your own private balcony. Plus, cruising to Scandinavia from the UK has never been easier, with our included chauffeur service or free port parking.
There are so many reasons to cruise to Scandinavia. From beautiful architecture and ‘Scandi style’, to quaint towns and delicious cuisine, you’ll be blown away your Scandinavian cruise. Find out more about why you should visit Scandinavia below…
Scandinavian cruise destinations
Oslo’s roots reach back to the Viking era when Harald Hardrada, in 1040, established a trading place at the head of the Oslofjord. It’s a compact capital city packed with sights, including theatres, art galleries and museums. The Viking Ship Museum preserves three Viking-era burial ships, while Vigeland Sculpture Park has 200 pieces made by the artist after which it is named. Landmark sights the Opera House, Nobel Peace Centre and City Hall can be seen from the waterfront.
Established in Viking times, Aarhus has a strategic position on the Jutland peninsula and has long been an important centre for trade with Germany and the Baltic countries. Today, the city is celebrated for its thriving culture scene, having previously been recognised as a European Capital of Culture. Aarhus has an array of art galleries and museums, such as the ARoS Art Museum and underground Viking Museum where you can learn more about the local history.
The cosmopolitan Danish capital is an eclectic mix of architectural styles which attest to its long history. Once a small village, it was fortified when Bishop Absalon of Roskilde built a castle here in 1167. Attractions include Tivoli Gardens, Nyhavn Canal overlooked by 17thcentury houses, the Baroque-inspired Christiansborg Palace and Rococo Amalienborg Palace, residence of the Danish Royal Family. The Little Mermaid Statue, which has been plucked straight from Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy-tale of the same name, graces the waterfront.
With its attractive canals, intriguing architecture, trams and art, Gothenburg is one of Sweden’s trendiest cities. The waterfront and the ‘Haga’ – the city’s old quarter – are the perfect places to experience the Scandi atmosphere. The city has a choice of museums and galleries to visit too, from the Gothenburg Museum of Art and the cutting edge Roda Sten Art Centre, to the niche Radiomuseet (Radio Museum) and the Volvo Museum, where you can learn more about Sweden’s iconic brand. Gothenburg’s northern Öckerö archipelago, spread across ten islands, is home to ancient remains, traditional harbours and quaint fisherman’s huts nestled beneath granite cliffs.
Spread across an archipelago of 14 islands, Sweden’s capital offers a scenic approach by sea. Its distinct districts are linked by scores of bridges. The most notable and oldest quarter is medieval Gamla Stan, home to the Royal Palace and a warren of narrow lanes crowded by 16th and 17th-century gabled merchant houses. While the island of Djurgården is home to the Vasa Museum, where you can see the beautifully restored 17th-century Swedish warship which sunk on her maiden voyage in 1628.
The medieval walled city of Visby stands as a reminder of the Hanseatic League’s power and influence. Set on the strategically located island of Gotland, it was the Baltic’s main centre of trade during the 12th to 14th centuries. Limestone towers and red-roofed merchant houses are encircled by remarkedly well-preserved 13th-century ramparts, and the unique UNESCO-listed townscape is dominated by the towers of St Mary’s Cathedral which was constructed between 1190 and 1225.
Finland’s capital is surrounded by an archipelago of over 330 islands. At the heart of the city is a historic Market Square brimming with stalls selling a variety of local produce. Nearby lies architect Carl Ludvig Engel’s Senate Square, home to the neoclassical Helsinki Cathedral. Other landmarks include the quasi-abstract sculpture dedicated to the city’s most famous son, composer Jean Sibelius. From Helsinki you can take a ferry to the nearby Suomenlinna fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is spread across six islands.
Timeworn spires and watchtowers pierce the skyline of this former Hanseatic trading port that has earned its place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Cobblestone streets lead up past merchant houses to the top of limestone Toompea Hill, crowned by St Mary’s Cathedral which was founded in 1240. Tallinn’s medieval history is juxtaposed against its more recent cold war past that is laid bare in the KGB Museum. If you head out into the Estonian countryside you can visit Kadriorg Park, a Baroque palace built by Peter the Great and dedicated to his wife.
16th and 17th-century gabled merchant houses line the narrow lanes of medieval Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s oldest quarter. While in Visby the red-roofed merchant houses and limestone towers are encircled by 13th-century ramparts.
Scandinavian art and design are instantly recognisable. Often inspired by nature, Scandi style combines functionality with beauty and is renowned for its minimalist and simplistic approach.
Among the showcase of Scandi design are Denmark’s Aros Art Museum, the SkyView in Stockholm and Gothenburg’s Kuggen, designed by renowned Swedish architect firm, Gert Wingårdh. When cruising to Scandinavia, be sure to pick up plenty of unique gifts and souvenirs!
Tempting cuisine and a healthy lifestyle
A typical smorgasbord of Swedish nibbles would usually include pickled herring served with rye and crispbread, beetroot and apple salad, meatballs, pâtés, and a variety of cured and smoked salmon. We highly recommend sampling the local cuisine during your Scandinavian cruise. A healthy diet and high standards of living are important in the Scandi culture.
The Danes go one step further and incorporate the hygge concept, by creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life. So, it’s no surprise that the Scandinavian countries rank highly in the World Happiness Report.
No Scandinavian cruise would be complete without a visit or two to the array of fascinating museums across the region. From the Vasa and Abba Museum in Stockholm to Gothenburg’s Volvo Museum and the Munch Museum of Oslo, the cities of Scandinavia boast a variety of museums.
You’ll find historic landmarks, trendy boutiques, a vibrant art scene, buzzing cafe cultures and a variety of gourmet restaurants.