From Hamburg to Lisbon - Europe´s Atlantic Highlights

From Hamburg to Lisbon - Europe´s Atlantic Highlights

From Hamburg to Lisbon - Europe´s Atlantic Highlights

From Hamburg to Lisbon - Europe´s Atlantic Highlights

Travel information 12 MS Spitsbergen
Departure
10 October 2023
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Join us on an expedition cruise from Hamburg to Lisbon, taking in dramatic coastal landscapes, medieval ports, distinct cultures and famed UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 

New beginnings in historic Hamburg 

Sailing from Hamburg, your 12-day expedition cruise visits Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain and Portugal. Along the way, you’ll witness historical eras and regional identities reflected in the architecture. Soak up Harlingen’s nautical heritage as you explore its canals, warehouses and pretty harbours, while in Brugge you’ll see the exquisite mansions and churches that make it such a beautiful example of a well-preserved medieval town.  

UNESCO treasures and architectural gems 

Each of the countries you’ll visit features UNESCO World Heritage Sites within reach of the ports of call. From Hamburg’s Speicherstadt to Lisbon’s Tower of Belem get ready to discover medieval towns, ancient monuments, and some of Europe’s more recent industrial heritage. Explore the iconic Mont St Michel when we visit Saint-Malo, and walk a section of the famous Santiago pilgrimage trail in Spain. 

Sail along the edge of Europe 

This expedition cruise takes you along the often rugged and always picturesque western seaboard of Europe. The ports of call have been handpicked to showcase the best of Europe’s rich heritage, from Douarnenenez and Vigo, to A Coruña and Lisbon. In each place you’ll find charm and beauty in equal measure, along with some fascinating museums, unique scenery and a smorgasbord of culture. 

From Hamburg to Lisbon - Europe´s Atlantic Highlights From Hamburg to Lisbon - Europe´s Atlantic Highlights
  • Day 1
    Hamburg, Germany

    Your adventure begins

    10 October 2023

    Explore Hamburg's delights before setting sail.

    There’s so much to see and do in Hamburg – the so-called 'Venice of the North' due to its picturesque canals. If you have time, you'll find most of the city's attractions in the Altstadt, like St Nikolai Memorial and Deichstraße Historic Street.  

    Hamburg is also home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Chilehaus, and the world's largest historic warehouse complex in Speicherstadt. Art lovers should head to Kunsthalle, the nation’s foremost art museum.  

    Your comfortable expedition ship MS Spitsbergen will be ready and waiting for you in the port.   

    Pre-Programme 

    Add an extra night in Hamburg before your expedition cruise and explore the maritime spirit of this culture-rich Hanseatic, city.

    Day 1
    Hamburg, Germany

    Your adventure begins

  • Day 2
    Harlingen, The Netherlands

    Historic harbour city on the Wadden Sea

    11 October 2023

    Scenic harbours, canals and warehouses – soak up the nautical heritage of this lively port town.

    Located on the southern shore of the Wadden Sea – a UNESCO World Heritage Area – Harlingen has a strong nautical heritage. Go Dutch and cycle to some of the city’s highlights on a rented bike – there’s a beautiful centre with canals, pretty harbours, and historic warehouses.  

    In the Old Town, visit the 18th century City Hall, Hannemahuis Museum and  Blauwe Hand – the city’s oldest warehouse. The delightful Harlingen Earthenware Museum is a must-see if you’re interested in the area’s famed blue-and-white ceramics. 

    Day 2
    Harlingen, The Netherlands

    Historic harbour city on the Wadden Sea

  • Day 3
    Oostende (Brugge), Belgium

    The gateway to Europe’s past

    12 October 2023

    Gaze upon rich medieval architecture as you step back through the ages of Europe.

    First a fishing village, then a medieval city, and later a royal seaside resort – the strategic port of Oostende is steeped in European history. Yet, despite the ravages of war and time, plenty of fascinating sights survive to keep you busy exploring. 

    Oostende is an excellent from which base to visit Brugge – aka Bruges – a beautifully preserved medieval town. Here, you can lose yourself in the 14th century, and explore winding streets, picturesque canals and many fine buildings of great artistic extravagance.   

    • Included Bruges on your Own
    Day 3
    Oostende (Brugge), Belgium

    The gateway to Europe’s past

  • Day 4
    Ouistreham, France

    Normandy past and present

    13 October 2023

    Discover historic beaches, visit pretty Caen and see moving WWII memorials.

    Normandy's history, from the Viking invasion to the D-Day landings in 1944, makes it a fascinating region. In Ouistreham, you'll learn more about the Operation Overlord landings at the Musée de Debarquement No 4 Commando.  

    See the German fortifications at the Grand Bunker Mur de l’Atlantique Musée, and visit the war cemetery at Hermanville-sur-Mer. Stroll along the beautiful Riva-Bella beach and stop at the 12th century St Samson church and 1905 lighthouse.  

    Afterwards, we'll explore the pretty town of Caen. The 11th century Romanesque church of Saint-Étienne, the Mémorial de Caen museum and the Musée des Beaux-Arts are highlights not to be missed. 

    • Included Shuttle bus to Caen
    • Included The Battle of Normandy: Sword Sector
    Day 4
    Ouistreham, France

    Normandy past and present

  • Day 5
    Saint Malo, France

    The citadel of Saint-Malo

    14 October 2023

    Majestic Saint-Malo, a beautiful town steeped in history.

    Viewed from the sea Saint-Malo is an impressive sight, fringed by fortified bastions and gently sloping beaches. 

    A circular walk along the ramparts offers the best views of the town and surrounding islands. Or head out on your own and take a tour of the Privateers House to learn about the feared Corsairs and the town’s pirate heritage. 

    You can also follow the historical trail within the old city walls through a maze of cobbled streets. The Gothic-style Saint Vincent Cathedral and the Chateau de la Duchesse Anne are worth a visit. At low tide, you can walk to the fortified island, Le Grand-Bé, where the renowned local writer Chateaubriand is buried. 

    • Included Inside the Walls of St Malo
    Day 5
    Saint Malo, France

    The citadel of Saint-Malo

  • Day 6
    Douarnenez, France

    Finistère, the Land’s End of Brittany

    15 October 2023

    See what inspired painters around the historic harbours of Finistère.

    In the picturesque seaside town of Dourarnenez, you'll find the colourful quaysides, sandy beaches, and steep cliffs that inspired famous painters like Renoir and Boudin. As well as fishermen’s huts and seamen’s chapels, Dourarnenez hosts a wonderful maritime museum with boats from around the world. 

    If conditions don’t allow a visit to Dourarnenez, nearby Brest is a fascinating maritime city with many medieval fortifications. Here, you’ll discover the National Naval Museum – inside the military fortress of Chateau de Brest. Brest is a modern city too, with lively quays and docks that are perfect for a scenic stroll. 

    • Included Brittany's Land’s End - Pointe du Raz
    Day 6
    Douarnenez, France

    Finistère, the Land’s End of Brittany

  • Day 7
    At sea

    Sailing the Bay of Biscay

    16 October 2023

    Relax into a leisurely time at sea with cetacean spotting and onboard activities.

    Take the opportunity to relax on deck with your binoculars and look out for whales, dolphins and porpoises. This is one of the few places in the world where beaked whales can be seen – if you’re lucky – as they’re drawn to the nutrient rich waters of the Bay. 

    You can also learn about the marine biology of the seas along our cruise, with hands-on demonstrations and in-depth lectures about the history, geography, and environment of the destinations to come. And don’t forget the leisure facilities on board – why not try out the panoramic sauna? 

    Day 7
    At sea

    Sailing the Bay of Biscay

  • Day 8
    Ferrol, Spain

    Arriving in Spain’s Galicia

    17 October 2023

    Get a taste of Galicia as we visit Ferrol and A Coruña.

    Our next stop is Ferrol on the rugged coast of Galicia. Originally a small fishing hamlet, it’s been Spain’s main naval base for almost three centuries. No other harbour in Spain has as many forts, citadels or barracks.  

    Optional excursions from Ferrol will include the old town of Lugo, famed for its Roman walls. Late in the afternoon we’ll sail to neighbouring A Coruña and dock for the night. Seeing the historical light of Torre de Hercules is an experience not to be missed. This oldest functioning lighthouse in the world is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    • Included Ferrol walking discover
    Day 8
    Ferrol, Spain

    Arriving in Spain’s Galicia

  • Day 9
    A Coruña, Spain

    The English Way

    18 October 2023

    Plenty to see, do and drink.

    If you didn’t manage to see the Tower of Hercules yesterday evening, be sure to do so today. Call in at one of the many bars or restaurants and sample the unique gallego cuisine. Ask for a selection of tapas and sample a glass of famous Galician cider – traditionally poured into the mouth from a height.  

    Galicia is a region of Spain that’s culturally distinct - and Galicians are proud of their Celtic roots. A branch of the pilgrimage route to Santiago starts here, called the Camino Ingles – or English Way, and a visit to Santiago de Compostela is available as an optional excursion. 

    Day 9
    A Coruña, Spain

    The English Way

  • Day 10
    Vigo, Spain

    Galician traditions

    19 October 2023

    Explore the beautiful and ancient city of Vigo.

    Next we travel to Vigo, once the gateway to the Americas. Protected by the beautiful Cíes Islands, Vigo has one of the best natural harbours in Galicia and became its main trading and fishing port.  

    Perfectly located for exploring the city on foot, you can visit the bustling Rúa do Príncipe with its eclectic mix of buildings in neoclassical and Art Nouveau styles. Or perhaps the impressive 16th century Castro Castle and park. 

    On your way to the old town and neoclassical cathedral, take time to stop by the Rúa da Pescadería, and sample some of the delicious seafood Galicia is famous for. 

    • Included Vigo Walking Discovery
    Day 10
    Vigo, Spain

    Galician traditions

  • Day 11
    Llençois (Porto), Portugal

    The City of Port Wine

    20 October 2023

    Discover magical Porto, a UNESCO highlight with ample charm.

    Arriving in Portugal, we dock at Leixoes. From here, you can see the Lighthouse of Leça, the Chapel of Boa Nova, and the beautiful Praia Azul beach.  

    You can take a shuttle bus to Porto – famed for its port wine and UNESCO-listed historic centre. An undulating city made for strolling, you'll fall in love with the pastel houses, colourful tiled facades, street art, ornate churches and panoramic views across the Douro. 

    Stroll along the bustling Ribeira Docks promenade, cross the Dom Luís I bridge, snack on delicious petiscos, and enjoy wine tastings at the port cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia. 

    • Included Porto walking tour
    Day 11
    Llençois (Porto), Portugal

    The City of Port Wine

  • Day 12
    Lisbon, Portugal

    Legendary Lisbon

    21 October 2023

    End your cruise in one of southern Europe's most enchanting cities.

    Your expedition draws to a close as we arrive at the Portuguese capital of Lisbon. 

    A tour of Lisbon's classical districts is essential – almost everything of historic interest is here. Start your exploration at the Praça do Comercio in Baixa and walk towards the narrow streets of Bairro Alto.  

    From there, you'll arrive at Alfama and the old Islamic quarter, the remains of the Roman amphitheatre and the Moorish fortress. If you’ve time, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Torre de Belém and Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, where you'll also find the delicious pastéis de Belém. 

    Post-Programme 

    We feel sure you’ll have had a great cruise discovering the fascinating history of the Atlantic coastline of Europe, but you don’t need to go home just yet. If you would like to explore Lisbon and its surroundings before you return home, we recommend joining our optional Post-Programme. 

    Not only will you see Lisbon’s fascinating historic districts, you’ll also explore the royal resorts outside the city, including the UNESCO town of Sintra, Monserrate Palace and the beaches of Cascais city during a guided excursion. Afterwards, you’ll return to Lisbon for an overnight stay. 

    Day 12
    Lisbon, Portugal

    Legendary Lisbon

Departures

2023

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
October:
10.

What's included

Included in your voyage

Expedition Cruise  

  • Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice 
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurant Aune  
  • Complimentary tea and coffee 
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported. 
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to use at water refill stations on board 
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore 
  • Range of included activities 

Onboard Activities 

  • Experts on the Expedition Team deliver in-depth lectures on a variety of topics 
  • Use of the ship’s Science Center which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes 
  • Citizen Science program allows guests to assist with live scientific research 
  • Professional onboard photographer gives top tips and tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photos 
  • Use of the ship’s hot tubs, panoramic sauna and indoor gym 
  • Informal gatherings with the crew such as daily recaps and preparation for the day to come 

Landing Activities 

  • Complimentary wind and water-resistant expedition jacket 
  • Expedition Photographers help with your camera settings  

Not included in your voyage

  • International flights  
  • Travel insurance 
  • Luggage handling 
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners 
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team

Notes

  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions 
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change  
  • Please make sure you meet all entry and boarding requirements
  • No gratuities expected
MS spitsbergen
A group of people posing for the camera
Photo: Stefan Dall / Hurtigruten
A room filled with furniture and a large window
Photo: © Tor Farstad
Your ship

MS Spitsbergen

Year built 2009
Year of refurbishment 2016
Shipyard Estaleiro Navais de Viana do Castelo (POR)
Passenger capacity 180
Beds 243
Car capacity 0
Gross tonnage 7,344
Length 100.54m
Beam 18m
Speed 14.5 knots
MS spitsbergen

MS Spitsbergen will take you on a voyage beyond the ordinary. She cruises along the Norwegian coast from September to May, and becomes part of our global Expedition sailings during the rest of the year.

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