European Atlantic Coast – Cultural Highlights

This voyage of rich history and culture calls on colourful towns and sails stunning coastlines. We visit a total of ten ports of call in six countries on this expedition cruise, starting in Germany, sailing south through the English Channel to explore coastal highlights of France and Spain, and finally taking in the dramatic coast of Portugal.

  • See UNESCO World Heritage sites along the European coast
  • Enjoy charming towns and beautiful islands on this expedition cruise
  • Learn about the history, culture and natural world of the places we visit
  • Enjoy an overnight stay in Bordeaux
Early booking offer

On 03 December, we released our new expedition cruise program for 2020/21. If you book this voyage before 31 March 2019, you can save £200 per person.

The price you see online already includes the discount.


The itinerary

Hurtigruten offers unique expedition cruises to some of the most remote and pristine waters of the world. As with all expeditions; nature prevails. Weather, and ice and sea conditions, sets the final framework for all Hurtigruten’s operations. Safety and unparalleled guest experiences are at all times our top priorities. All our indicative itineraries are continuously evaluated for adaptions, whether this is due to constraints the elements unexpectedly presents – or exciting possibilities nature and wildlife offer. That is why we call it an expedition.

Departure 22 September 2020

Departs from Hamburg, Germany

Treasures of Europe

Our expedition cruise in European waters offers beautiful scenery, interesting ports and a less-traveled way to explore the continent´s cultural and natural treasures.

Each morning that dawns on your journey offers another fascinating and unique European treasure with amazing excursions waiting for you ashore.

Our expert Expedition Team leads lectures, activities and excursions to bring the fascinating history, architecture and culture of Europe to life. We have handpicked a selection of memorable port calls that offer some of the continent´s most fascinating sights, including many on the exclusive UNESCO World Heritage list.

In addition to European culture and history, this voyage offers a chance to experience some of the beautiful areas of the continent, which you can enjoy aboard our advanced hybrid powered expedition ship.

Day 1: Hamburg, Germany

Canals and Gardens

Embarkation - Full day

The second-largest city in Germany is one of the greenest urban areas in Europe – boasting large parks, botanical gardens and nature reserves.  Before embarking on your ship, you may want to enjoy a tour on a harbour barge to explore some of the city´s canals.  

Day 2: Amsterdam (IJmuiden), Netherlands

Amsterdam – Treasures of Art

Full day

We’ll be docked just a short drive outside Amsterdam which has grown from a village in the 13th century to one of the most charming and vital cities in the world today, Amsterdam blends fascinating history with modern energy. Tour the famed Canal District and enjoy world class art at the Rijksmuseum, the Rembrandt House or the van Gogh Museum.

Day 3: Ostend, Belgium

More than a Beach Destination

Full day

There´s a wide choice of sights in Ostend: browse the fish market or take a tour in the footsteps of the singer Marvin Gaye. Perhaps you would enjoy a moment of tranquility in the beautiful Japanese Garden or at the Ostend Art Museum. History buffs can wander through the fortifications in the infamous German Atlantikwall.

Day 4: At sea

Navigating the English Channel

Today we sail the English Channel, heading towards St. Malo in France. Enjoy time out on deck or join our experts, who will invite you to take part in lectures and talks about our next destinations.

Day 5: St. Malo, France

A Pirate Stronghold

Full day

Saint Malo from the sea is a quite a sight, fringed by impenetrable bastions and shallow beaches. Since Roman times, it has been a prized fortification for empires. Tour the Château Saint Malo town museum, and visit the Privateers House built in 1725, where you can learn about local pirate heritage. 

Day 6: Belle Île, France

A Well-kept French Secret

Full day

Belle Île is one of France’s most beautiful islands with stunning cliffs, quaint seaside hamlets, pastel houses, lush countryside and rocky coastlines. The town´s beauty has inspired writers like Dumas and painters like Monet. Join our Expedition Team for hikes and outings, or discover the markets, shops and sights independently.

Day 7-8: Bordeaux, France

History and Vineyards

Overnight - Full day

This city incorporates the modern and the ancient effortlessly. Bordeaux’s Old City is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and spans nearly 5,000 acres, with 350 listed monuments and churches. Nearby, magnificent chateaux sit grandly amongst vineyards. We will overnight here to get the very best of this amazing city.

Day 9: Bilbao, Spain

Delights of Design

Full day

The heart of Basque country is sophisticated and humming with action, while maintaining a relaxed pace of life. The Casco Viejo, Bilbao’s atmospheric old quarter, is full of charming streets dating as far back as 1400’s and features a fine market and plenty of unique shops, while other parts of the city are cutting-edge contemporary, symbolised by the Guggenheim museum.

Day 10: Gijon, Spain

Maritime History

Full day

Gijon is steeped in history and the surrounding area is known for fine cheeses and cider.  The Old Quarter boasts the baroque Revillagigedo Palace, beautiful churches and interesting museums to explore.  Enjoy a hike to Santa Catalina for spectacular views, or a leisurely stroll in the ancient fishing village of Cimavilla.

Day 11: La Coruna, Spain

Architectural Emblems

Full day

We will pass the 55m/180ft high Hercules Tower, the oldest Roman lighthouse in use today, on our way into the harbour. Stroll through reminders of the historic city´s golden age in the 14th century, when it became wealthy as the main port for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela.

Day 12: Porto, Portugal

The City of Port Wine

Full day

UNESCO´s World Heritage list says this about lovely Porto: `An outstanding urban landscape with a 2,000-year history. Its continuous growth...can be seen in the many monuments, from the cathedral with its Romanesque choir, to the neoclassical Stock Exchange and the typically Portuguese Church of Santa Clara.

Day 13: Lisbon, Portugal

Cruising up the Tejo


Early risers will be rewarded with a lovely view of Lisbon as we cruise up the Tejo river, ending our expedition cruise in the capital of Portugal.

Arrival 04 October 2020

Location Lisbon, Portugal
What's included


  • Hurtigruten Expedition Cruise in cabin grade of your choice


  • A rich program of included activities on all voyages designed to immerse you in the destinations you visit, including onshore exploration with the Expedition Team  
  • Professional English-speaking Expedition Team - an international handpicked team of highly educated experts of various academic fields with profound knowledge of the region we sail in  
  • Complimentary wind- and water-resistant jacket   
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and equipment neededfor optional and included activities  


  • In-depth lectures on science, history, biology, geography, geology or culture that provide context to your voyage and help you understand the destinations you will experience  
  • Explorer Science programme, with educational and Citizen Science activities that let you learn about the sights you’ll see while contributing to research
  •  Introduction photo lecture, camera adjustment and tips & tricks, photo and film footage from the voyage shared in an Expedition Logbook
  • Casual opportunities to engage with the Expedition Team and other guestsincluding a welcome event, daily gatherings to recap the day and prepare for the day to come
  • Opportunities to dine and interact with the Expedition Team and officers  
  • Destination-focused onboard library  
  • Port presentations providing destination insight
  • farewell event  


  • All meals including beverages (ship beer and wine, sodas and mineral water in all restaurants)
  • Coffee and tea included throughout the day
  • Early riser and afternoon treat offered in addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Fredheim restaurant meals included 
  • A la carte restaurant (only for suite guests) 
  • Gym, hot tubs and panoramic sauna
  • Rejuvenating wellness areas with separate treatment rooms, infinity pool, outdoor gym, running track 
  • Free Wi-fi on board for all guests. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
  • No gratuities expected   


  • International flights 
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners  
  • Travel insurance  
  •  Luggage handling 


  • All planned activities are subject to weather conditions
Life on board

Your ship: MS Fridtjof Nansen

Our brand new, state of the art expedition ship MS Fridtjof Nansen serves as a comfortable basecamp at sea – bringing you to spectacular destinations in the most sustainable way.

Read more