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Linger longer with our overnight stays in port

24th April, 2020

When creating our itineraries for Spirit of Discovery and Spirit of Adventure, our Cruise Planners often factor in overnight stays in selected ports or cities, so that you can immerse yourself in the local culture, explore in more depth or enjoy the experience of a lifetime.

The benefits of overnight stays

  • See more of the local sights and soak up the culture, without worrying about rushing back to the ship.
  • Using our free shuttle bus service - come and go as you please, returning on board for lunch or dinner before heading back out to explore further.
  • Dining out at night – overnight stays are also a great opportunity to visit the local eateries and try the region’s cuisine, perhaps sampling national dishes and local delicacies.
  • Experiencing the nightlife - if you’re calling at a city, you might like to catch a show, visit the local wine bars or indulge in some late-night shopping.
  • Joining one of our evening excursions – the Explore Ashore team can arrange evening tours some of which are exclusive to Saga guests, for a really special one-off experience.
  • One day becomes two – it’s also likely that you won’t sail away until much later on the second day, giving you two full days to see everything you want to in the destination.

Some highlights…

We include overnight port stays on many of our cruises, highlights include:

St Petersburg, Russia

St Isaac's Cathedral in St Petersburg

All of our cruises to the Baltic include an overnight stay in Russia’s showcase city, St Petersburg, as there is so much here to discover. Founded in 1703 it is decorated with a dazzling array of ornate palaces and churches, from the famous Winter Palace to the lavish Church of the Saviour, Saint Isaac’s Cathedral and the seafront Peterhof Palace.

Staying overnight gives you lots of options, whether you want to take your seat for a magical night at the ballet or join a special out-of-hours evening tour through the stunning rooms of the Hermitage Museum. Here, you ascend the opulent Jordan staircase, following in the footsteps of the Imperial family, through the graceful state apartments and past an art collection that includes Rembrandt’s ‘Return of the Prodigal Son’ and Canova’s first sculpture of ‘The Three Graces’. Finally sip sparkling wine whilst listening to a performance by the Hermitage Academy Symphony Orchestra in a magnificent room adorned with yet more great works of art. It really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Venice, Italy

Traditional gondolas ply the Venetian canals by the historic St Mark’s Basilica

Boasting an abundance of fine art galleries, impressive museums and designer boutiques, Venice is one of Italy’s most iconic cities. Discover the city’s most famous landmarks like the elaborate St Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace as you wander around St Mark’s Square, take a memorable gondola ride along the Grand Canal or stroll the Piazza dei Signori, overlooked by the recently-restored Basilica Palladiana – a masterpiece attributed to the architect Andrea Palladio.

If you love opera, then an evening at the Scuola Grande Di San Teodoro is not to be missed – with a canal cruise there and back included. After seeing the city sights by night, you can ‘step back in time’ and enjoy the orchestra and singers of the Venice Opera perform the most beautiful arias of the Baroque era, in traditional 18th-century dress. Listen to famous pieces by Mozart, Rossini, Verdi and Puccini to name a few.

Alta, Norway

The Northern Lights over Alta in Norway

Extended stays in port aren’t just about the big cities – our cruises that seek out the Northern Lights include overnight stays in Alta, known as ‘the town of the Northern Lights’ and gateway to a host of incredible experiences which put Mother Nature at the forefront.

For an unforgettable included excursion, head out across the tundra in search of a glimpse of the spectacular Aurora Borealis. As you look out for this amazing spectacle, we’ll keep you warm with a campfire, hot drinks and a complimentary Arctic jacket. Other overnight experiences you may like to try from Alta include ‘glamping’ under the stars in a comfortable lavvo tent, enjoying a thrilling husky sled ride and a stay at the Ice Hotel.

Santa Cruz, Tenerife

Stars in the sky at Mount Teide

Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, is one of the best places in the world to go stargazing, and the great heights of Mount Teide make it a perfect vantage point to enjoy the constellations and wonders of the night sky.

The stargazing experience begins as you slowly ascend up the craggy landscapes of the National Park, into the foothills to a height of 7,500 feet. Then, as the sun starts to dip below the horizon, we serve sparkling Spanish Cava and toast the sunset. Once it becomes dark, the incredible part of the experience really begins as our expert astronomer takes you on a fascinating journey through the night sky.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.