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1st May, 2020

Our best cultural experiences for 2021

Our 2021 cruise itineraries are packed full of incredible experiences for people to enjoy - including tons if you’re craving a cultural fix to look forward to after the world’s lockdown has ended.

To help get you inspired ahead of booking, we’ve rounded up some of the top cultural experiences that you can enjoy on your next trip - focusing on everything from arty experiences to theatre tours and ancient wonders. Whatever you have a penchant for, there’s the perfect cruise adventure waiting for you next year.

A theatrical experience

A close up of ballet dancers feet

Enjoy a ballet performance in St Petersburg

For theatre lovers, the world offers a myriad of places that hold great significance in the performance world. Whether you enjoy the bright lights of stage shows or the serenity of the ballet, there are plenty of opportunities to indulge your passions.

Head to St Petersburg, widely regarded as the heart of Russian ballet traditions, to watch some of the world's best performances. The city has been at the forefront of classical ballet for decades, with many ballets first finding success here. Pairing historic tradition with modern touches, today’s Russian ballet is a must-see for culture vultures looking to expand their experiences.

For a more musical experience, the opera has a long and rich history in Venice, and visitors can still enjoy magnificent classical opera performances today, all housed within beautiful, extravagant buildings. Opera plays a part in the whole culture of the city, making it a truly impressive and memorable experience - and a chance to see a whole new side of the operatic world.

Exploring ancient wonders

The Acropolis in Athens

The famous Acropolis in Athens

Greece is a country known for its rich and varied past, with the country dotted with ancient sites ready to be explored. Head to the Palace of Knossos in Crete, which was thought to be the home of mythical King Minos, son of Zeus and Europa. Covering a site larger than two football fields, it was excavated in the early 20th century by a British archaeologist, and is now one of the most popular sights in Greece. Another iconic Grecian sight comes in the form of the Acropolis in Athens, an ancient citadel located high above the city. Among the ancient buildings you’ll find the Parthenon, a former temple dedicated to the goddess Athena.

Closer to home, Skara Brae is a Neolithic settlement found on the west coast of the largest island in the Orkney archipelago. As Europe’s most in-tact and best preserved Neolithic settlement, and part of the UNESCO Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage site, it offers visitors a chance to step back in time and imagine what life was like - long before the Egyptian pyramids were even built.

Enjoy a traditional performance

A couple dancing the tango

Enjoy a tango in its country of origin

Looking for an authentic musical experience? Head to South America to feel the magic of the tango in your veins with a trip to where the dance actually came from. Originating from the lower-class districts of Buenos Aires, the tango is a dance now famous around the world, and the city is jam-packed with authentic tango shows, bars and cafes where you can witness the magic first hand.

For another dance experience, head to the south of Spain to find the home of flamenco, a dance based on the traditions of this beautiful Spanish area. The highly-expressive dance form is characterised by its intricate movements, clapping, and percussive footwork, with performances often accompanied by live musical performances. In Malaga, you’ll find plenty of wonderful flamenco shows to enjoy - all of which give insight into the history and story behind the famous dance.

Indulge your artistic side

The famous Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

The famous Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

For lovers of the art world, 2021 is the perfect time to see some of the planet’s most famous pieces. If you’re considering a visit to the ballet in Russia then why not make the most of your time there with a trip to The Hermitage Museum - the second largest art museum in the world. With millions of pieces on display across six historic buildings, you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice when planning your visit.

Another art-lovers paradise comes in the form of Amsterdam. Amsterdam’s museums and galleries are regarded as some of the best in the world. Visit the famous Rijksmuseum, containing the largest collection of art and artefacts in the country, or visit the Van Gogh Museum to deep dive into the permanent collection. For a more modern take, try The Stedelijk Museum, with works by Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, and Piet Mondrian.

Think of the art scene in Barcelona and it's tough not to think of Gaudi. The artist has had a lasting impression on the city, and many visitors flock to the area to marvel at the colourful and creative works. From the famous La Sagrada Familia to the Casa Batllo museum and, of course, Park Guell, you’ll find plenty of evidence of Guadi’s influence during a trip to the city.

Roaming historic capitals

An ocean view of Valletta

Beautiful Valletta

If your interests are more broad, or you simply can’t decide what you want to see as part of your next trip, then don’t panic. Europe is packed full of capital cities which offer visitors the whole package - from bustling art scenes and delicious delicacies to sights of historic importance. The sun-drenched streets of Lisbon and Valletta are famous across the globe for their incredible array of things to see and do. Stockholm boasts its own unique charm, and a portal into life in the north, while Istanbul shows guests a window into the many empires that once ruled there. Closer to home, Dublin has tons to offer, from museums and insights into Irish heritage to sprawling city parks and mountains to escape to in the south.

Now all you have to decide is where you will head first. Take a look at our 2021 cruise brochure and start planning your cultural adventure today.

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.