Cultural highlights along Coastal Europe

Bergen, Norway - Lisbon, Portugal

This autumn expedition offers an enchanting mix of European cities. Enjoy a rich variety of sights and lifestyles. We invite you to get close to different cultures through our activities and excursions, both on land and during our days at sea.

  • Explore 1,980 nautical miles of the European coast
  • Enjoy discovering diverse cities and a rich variety of sights
  • See several UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Fascinating lectures and activities on land and on board

Overview

In addition to beautiful scenery and interesting ports, Europe offers a rich variety of cultural and natural heritage. Join us and discover Europe at a relaxed pace. Wake up in your comfortable cabin every morning, knowing that thrilling experiences are waiting for you dockside. This handpicked selection of port calls represents some of the most fascinating places on the continent, many of them named on the exclusive UNESCO World heritage list.

Bergen, Belgium, Belle-Île and Bilbao

Norway is known for being the home of the spectacular fjords. This expedition starts in Bergen, which is the gateway to these famous fjords. The city is also where you find the UNESCO site Bryggen, nearby mountains and a very distinct small city charm. Oostende in Belgium is a known beach getaway, but offers small town charm and sights as well. Belle-Île in France looks as if it is a fairy tale landscape that has come to life. Enjoy long sand dunes, steep cliffs, jagged rocks, coastal moors and four incredibly charming towns. Bilbao is mostly known for being the home of the Guggenheim museum, but there is much more to discover here; the old town, architectural pearls and cultural gems.

Oporto is one of the last undiscovered European metropolises, with rich cultural attractions. It is also home of the famous Port wine, so a visit to one of the old wineries is a must. Lisbon is the last port of call, and we hope you take your time to explore this great historic city before you fly back home.

Price includes: 

  • Hurtigruten Expedition with cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis
  • Wind and water resistant jacket
  • Landings with small boats and activities on board and ashore
  • Professional English speaking Expedition team that gives lectures as well as accompanying landings and activities
  • Free tea and coffee

Not included: 

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional excursions and gratuities
Itinerary

The itinerary

This is an expedition where the elements rule, and the weather, wind and ice conditions will determine our final schedule. Safety is paramount and the captain will decide the sailing itinerary during the voyage. Therefore, this itinerary is just an indication of what you can experience, and why every expedition with Hurtigruten is unique.

09 September 2018

Departure port Bergen
Day 1
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The gateway to the fjords


Location: Bergen

Bergen was founded in 1070 AD, and was the capital of Norway for several years. The city is a central point for Norwegian travel, yet has retained a great deal of local character and history. One example of this is the historic UNESCO-listed Bryggen district with colourful wharfs that date back to the 14th century. Take a stroll around this charming and compact city, spend some time in one of the outdoor cafés and restaurants, enjoy a trip on the Fløibanen Funicular or visit the Fish Market before embarking your European adventure on MS Midnatsol.

Day 2
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Crossing the North Sea


Location: At sea

Historically, the North Sea has been important during much of the Middle Ages and into the modern era. It was the centre of the feared Viking's rise, and later the Hanseatic League. For many years, the Dutch and the British each tried to dominate the area and the access to markets and resources found here. Today, this shallow north-eastern arm of the Atlantic Ocean is very important for marine transport. The shipping lanes are among the busiest in the world, with major ports located along its coasts. Enjoy a day on deck. Breathe in the fresh salt air, look for birds, mammals, ships and oilrigs - all part of the lively North Sea.

Day 3
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So much more than a beach destination


Location: Oostende

Oostende has a 9 km long white sand beach and is a popular beach destination for locals, but the city offers so much more. The seafront is Ostend’s principal tourist attraction. But as an adventurer, you might enjoy a visit to the small and bustling fish market. Take a walking tour in the Footsteps of Marvin Gay, the American singer who spent time here. Have your own personal moment of Zen in the beautiful Japanese Garden, called Shin Kai Tei. Visit the deceptively large Oostende art museum, with corridors snaking in all directions. Wander through the subterranean fortifications in the best-preserved sections of the infamous German Atlantikwall. Stand in line to get a large steaming pot of delicious mussels and fries, and later, for dessert, have a waffle or some of the famous Belgian chocolate. Or join in on a trip to Bruges and see the historical centre that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 4
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Cruising "The Channel"


Location: At sea

We sail through the English Channel, which connects the North Sea with the Atlantic Ocean. This is the world's busiest seaway, with more than 500 ships passing every day. Our observation lounge or on deck are good places to be to watch vessels from all over the world on their way through the Channel. In between relaxing, fully enjoying the experience of being at sea or sharing experiences with fellow adventurers, you can join in for fascinating lectures and talks.

Day 5
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A well-kept secret by the French


Location: Belle-Île

As its name suggests, Belle-île is one of France’s most beautiful islands. With stunning cliffs, quaint seaside hamlets, pastel coloured houses, green countryside and jagged rocky coastlines, Belle-île’s beauty has inspired adventure novelists such as Dumas, as well as impressionist painters like Monet and Matisse. The island is a well-kept secret in France, and now it's your turn to discover it! The town of Le Palais is the "capital" of the island. It is situated around the Bassin de la Saline and is overlooked by the massive Citadelle. From here you can either join several hikes and outings with the Expedition team, or discover this busting towns many markets, shops and sights independently.

Day 6
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Modern, yet historic


Location: Bilbao

Bilbao is the heart of the Basque Country. The city boasts an unexpected duality, as it has successfully mixed traditional Basque culture with a new vision for the future. It is sophisticated and humming with action, but at the same time it is super relaxed. And it is an absolute must for design and culture lovers: The Guggenheim Museum designed by architect Frank Gehry, a timeless Metro system designed by Sir Norman Foster, a community center designed by Philippe Starck. The list goes on and on. On the other hand you have the Casco Viejo, Bilbao’s atmospheric old quarter, full of charming streets, the market and plenty of distinctive, independent shops. At the heart of the Casco are Bilbao’s original seven streets, Las Siete Calles, which date from the 1400s. Explore this wonderful and diverse urban landscape, either on your own or with one of our many excursions.

Day 7
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The legendary Bay of Biscay


Location: At sea

At sea

Day 8
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The home of Port wine


Location: Leixões/ Oporto

From Leixões, it is a short yet very interesting trip to one of the last undiscovered European metropolises: Oporto. This ancient port is steeped in history and tradition, but with a modern outlook and bold new architecture. The cultural attractions are so diverse they will please everyone. See amazing baroque carvings and churches with spectacular interiors as you walk down the monumental avenue Avenida dos Aliandos and discover the historic centre, Ribeira, with colourful houses facing the river and its charming boats. A river cruise in a replica of the old Rabelo boats offers a perfect view over the historic city from the riverside. Oporto is also the home of the Port wine, made exclusively in this area. Join a wine tour through the spectacular landscapes of Portugal. Visit one of the old wineries and taste this sweet and fortified red wine before you finish the excursion with a Portuguese meal.

Day 9
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A legendary city built on seven hills


Location: Lisbon

As one of the oldest cities in the world, Lisbon offers centuries of heritage and charm, and has been influenced by many different cultures over time. It was home to great explorers like Vasco da Gama, Ferdinand Magellan and Prince Henry the Navigator. Lisbon´s historic districts feel like different villages as you stroll the charming streets. Visit the city’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites; the Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery. Lisbon has a network of quaint, old-fashioned trams that lurch and screech around the narrow streets. No visit is complete without taking a ride on one of these classic, pre-war, Remodelado trams. Discover the many hidden gems of Portugal’s capital at your own pace.

17 September 2018

Location Lisbon
Your ship

Our ship sailing this route

Move down the coast of Europe on board MS Midnatsol, our discovery style ship with unmatched panoramic views

Everything you need to know about a cruise with Hurtigruten

Learn more about what you can experience on board - and cruise with confidence on MS Midnatsol

Things to see and do Extend your holiday

Getting you there

Please contact us if you wish to add on return flights and airport transfers to Bergen and Lisbon