Virtuoso Global March 2019 6 Reasons to Book a Cruise to Northern Europe Now

6 Reasons to Book a Cruise to Northern Europe Now

Fjord-hop in Norway in 24-hour daylight during a 15-day trip from London to Copenhagen.
Fjord-hop in Norway in 24-hour daylight during a 15-day trip from London to Copenhagen.
Silversea Cruises offers exclusives, firsts, and bests this summer.

To scientists, the Baltic Sea and the North Atlantic are rich aquatic laboratories. To historians, the region was the center of the powerful medieval trade group known as the Hanseatic League. To travelers, these waterways unite Scandinavia, Russia, Poland, Lithuania, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom with delightful ease.

“You have all the culture of these different countries close by,” says Virtuoso travel advisor Lynn Hayes, who recommends experiencing the region with Silversea cruises this summer. “It’s nice to be able to stay in port late to sample the nightlife, sail four to five hours at night, and be at your next destination at sunup.”

Between June and September, Silversea offers 16 departures in northern Europe and the Baltic, sailing during the long days of summer and making history as well as exploring it. Here are a few reasons to book your suite now.

Make way in style aboard the <em>Silver Wind</em> as you sail under the Tower Bridge in London.
Make way in style aboard the Silver Wind as you sail under the Tower Bridge in London.

1. Be among the few to sail under the Tower Bridge in London.

Only Silversea offers the breathtaking experience of passing beneath the landmark bridge on a series of departures, including a 13-day round-trip from London on the 298-passenger Silver Wind, departing June 9. The sailing offers two chances to visit the Tower Bridge; tour Windsor Castle, site of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding last spring; and spend time in Copenhagen and Oslo, home to their own royal palaces. This journey also includes a maiden stop at Aalborg in Denmark, which is home to one of Scandinavia’s best-preserved Viking burial sites.

2. Call at ports that are off-limits to larger vessels.

Boutique ships in the Silversea fleet make it possible to visit small, historic towns, including the walled city of Saint-Malo in Brittany, France (London to Barcelona aboard the 608-passenger Silver Spirit, departing September 8) or Scotland’s wild Isle of Mull and Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides (London to Reykjavík aboard the Silver Wind, departing August 24). “The beauty of a small ship is where it can go,” says Virtuoso advisor Tanya Sands. “Those smaller ports get you closer to the destination and the culture.”

World famous for its Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Oban also offers castles, cathedrals, and wild moors, during a journey from London to Reykjavik.
World famous for its Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Oban also offers castles, cathedrals, and wild moors, during a journey from London to Reykjavik.

3. See thousands of years in history in a single site.

Explore the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, an ancient tomb and ceremonial stone circles in the far north of Scotland that are collectively a UNESCO World Heritage site, on a 14-day sailing from London to Reykjavík aboard the 254-guest Silver Cloud, departing June 4. The voyage also calls on the bucolic isle of Guernsey, where an 800-year-old castle looms over cobblestoned Saint Peter Port; makes a maiden stop at the archaeologically rich Saint Mary’s, gateway to the Isles of Scilly; and offers a chance to visit the twelfth-century Iona Abbey in Scotland, birthplace of the famous illuminated Book of Kells – all as prelude to waterfall treks and puffin-watching in Iceland.

4. Bask in the midnight sun.

Sail along the North Cape at the tip of Norway, just inside the Arctic Circle, during the summer solstice on a 15-day trip from London to Copenhagen aboard Silver Spirit, departing June 12. Fjord-hop – with loads of opportunities to hike, kayak, or take a scenic seaplane ride – on your way far north to experience the longest day of the year in 24-hour daylight. Watch for whales, seals, and dolphins while sipping Champagne at midnight.

Silversea gives Saint Petersburg its due with multiple-day stops in this culturally rich city.
Silversea gives Saint Petersburg its due with multiple-day stops in this culturally rich city.

5. Spend a night or two in Saint Petersburg.

London, Copenhagen, and Saint Petersburg are among Europe’s most energetic cities. To allow passengers a richer experience, Silversea ships often pull in for a night or two. “Leaving us in both Saint Petersburg and Amsterdam for two full days, we felt like those were vacations on their own rather than just stops, ” says Virtuoso advisor Pat Gregory. The seven-day Copenhagen-to-Stockholm trip aboard the Silver Spirit, departing July 4, offers three days to steep in the tsarist culture of Saint Petersburg. The same ship also spends two nights in Saint Petersburg during the 11-day Stockholm-to-London sailing, departing August 28. “You get to see some of the most dynamic cities in Europe on a Baltic cruise,” says Virtuoso advisor Dee Dyer. “Even if you’ve been a long time ago, there’s so much change. It’s really an exciting time to be there.”

Silversea’s all-inclusive fares include dedicated butler service.
Silversea’s all-inclusive fares include dedicated butler service.

6. Planning for this summer can also mean better value.

While all of Silversea’s northern Europe voyages include free round-trip economy airfare or an upgrade to business class from $699 each way, some late-booking voyages qualify for last-minute savings, such as $1,000 in shipboard credits and a one-category cabin upgrade. Plus, since it’s Silversea, nearly everything is included in the fare, from alcohol and specialty coffees to tips and a dedicated butler. “You have butler service in every suite to unpack and pack, bring hors d’oeuvres in the evening, and bring breakfast in the morning on your veranda,” Sands says. “It’s very personalized.”

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