Step back in time and retrace the steps taken by some of history’s most fascinating and influential civilisations. Set the same course as Viking longboats looking to pillage and plunder (although pillaging and plundering are not included in the all-inclusive package, and are widely frowned upon) the shorelines of Europe, and discover how these amazing tribes from small settlements conquered much larger and much more powerful nations.
This amazing cruise from Norwegian Cruise Line charts a roundtrip from Southampton, making a beeline straight for two of Norway’s most delightful coastal towns, where you’ll be given a glimpse into traditional Scandinavian life. The itinerary then heads west to the enchanting island of Iceland, where stunning scenery, unbelievable geography and friendly locals await as you visit the capital city, Reykjavik, and the charming second city of Akureyri.
Then, for the authentic Viking experience, you’ll chart the course so many longboats may have made, skirting around the UK, looking for places to dock and settle. The cruise calls in at the Orkney Islands before visiting the Scottish east coast cities of Inverness and Edinburgh. One last day at sea is bookended with a call at Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and the final stop, Southampton.
The Norwegian Jade will be your luxury, all-inclusive home for the duration of this once-in-a-lifetime trip.
Following a day at sea, you’ll be welcomed by the unmistakable beauty of Norway’s coastline. The ship makes its way through sweeping fjords across dramatic mountain backdrops as it nears the wonderful southwestern city of Bergen. Once a trading powerhouse, Bergen still proudly wears its past on its sleeve, with colourful wooden houses overlooking the waters, welcoming you into Norway.
If the Viking aspect of this cruise has drawn you in, Bergen’s Maritime Museum is the absolute perfect place to start. Regarded as one of the ultimate Viking collections, the museum is home to longboat replicas as well as archaeological finds which give a real insight into what life would have been like for Vikings out at sea.
A few hundred miles north is the next stop on this magical journey, the town of Ålesund. Positioned on a thin strip of land, the town is dominated by the freezing waters and mountainous terrain which surrounds it. Colourful houses are perched perilously close to the water’s edge, and the criss-crossing streets are perfect for a little exploration on foot. And if you didn’t get your fill of Vikings from Bergen, the Sunnmoere Museum offers even more delightful Viking boats and artefacts.
And then it’s time to make the journey across the Norwegian Sea as so many Vikings will have done in the past, and move on towards the Shetlands for a short stop and then on to Iceland.
There are few nations on the face of the planet which inspire wonder and amazement quite like Iceland. With bubbling magma visible between the cracks of the volcanic build-up of this country’s crust, natural hot springs setting steam into the cold air and no infrastructure to spoil all this beauty; Iceland presents a wild and unforgettable experience.
Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, is not your typical European cosmopolitan centre. Without the crowds of Paris, London or Rome, it’s possible to simply enjoy exploring the city at your own pace, popping in and out of the shops, restaurants and cafes as you please. With an overnight on-board stay in Reykjavik, you’ve got plenty of time to explore this enchanting city.
We’d recommend a trip to Svarta Kaffid whilst you are there, where you can sample their famous soups, served in a bowl of bread. And for a few Icelandic Krona, head up to the top of the Hallgrímskirkja, the breath-taking church which proudly perches over the centre of the city. The views from the top on a clear day are stunning – stretching for miles over land, sea and quaint Icelandic homes.
The following day, the cruise calls in at Akureyri – a historically-significant harbour city of Iceland. Unique geographical features provide Akureyri with a mild climate, and the city has been heated by the country’s geothermal power since the 1970s. Much of the city is built around the harbour and fishing industry, making the peaceful and beautiful port absolutely ripe for exploration.
Find Out More About This Magical Scandinavian Cruise:
The final leg of the journey is a cruise back to Southampton, exploring the highlights of the UK’s east coast. The first stop is Kirkwall on the Orkney Islands. The largest town of the islands is absolutely packed with historical highlights to explore, from the ruins of the old Earl’s Palace to the beautiful Saint Magnus Cathedral; Kirkwall is a living, breathing history lesson.
The next day of the journey takes you on to Inverness, steeped in quintessentially Scottish history and lore. Undoubtedly the most popular and impressive port excursion from Inverness is a trip to Loch Ness, where visitors have been trying to find the infamous monster for at least 1,500 years. The beautiful Urquhart Castle, a 16th-century fortress perched on the banks of the Loch, is also definitely worth a visit whilst you are in the area.
Following historical exploration, it’s time to visit two cities which perfectly marry the old with the new. Two of the most culture-rich and vibrant cities in the north of the UK, Edinburgh and Newcastle make unfailingly wonderful days out – whether you wish to visit the old castle in Scotland’s capital or the interactive science museum, Centre for Life, in Newcastle.
You’re then treated to one final day at sea, enjoying all the amenities on-board the Norwegian Jade, before arriving back in sunny (we hope) Southampton.
Full Cruise Details:
All Inclusive Celtic Fire & Viking Ice
Depart: 19 August 2017 from Southampton
Arrive: 3 September 2017 to Southampton
Ship: Norwegian Jade
Deal Reference Number: NCL53
Price: From £1,299
If you’d like to delve into Viking and Celtic history and book your place aboard the All-Inclusive Celtic Fire & Viking Ice cruise from Norwegian Cruise Line, book with Cruise1st UK by calling 0808 231 3669 and quoting Reference Number NCL53.