The Northern Europe that MSC Cruises brings you is a blend of both Man’s and Nature’s masterpieces. MSC Splendida will show you five things to see and do: from Loch Ness to the North Cape, from geysers to tulips, and a visit to Bergen for an unforgettable journey.
The waterfalls of the Norwegian fjords meet the works of art from the Hermitage in St Petersburg, the chiming of Big Ben in London seems to echo in the Tivoli Gardens of Copenhagen, and the remains of the Berlin Wall skirt the glacial peaks – not just one journey, but many that coalesce, where the lines between fable and reality become blurred.
The summer routes of MSC Splendida run between the British Isles, the Norwegian fjords, and Iceland, and these are our top five suggestions. Five things to see and do. Five easy highlights to remember – one for each finger on your hand: pointers to guide you through these extraordinary landscapes.
A close encounter with the Loch Ness monster: reality or legend? As we have said, in Northern Europe the lines are blurred. The fog, the castle ruins and the darkly reflective lake. It is easy to believe that there may be a monster in the depths of these waters; the atmosphere is certainly sinister enough.
North Cape. Vertigo is the breathtaking sensation you may feel upon arrival. It is like looking down unexpectedly from the highest of skyscrapers. There is only one small monument, and little or nothing other than the expanses of ice and limitless horizons. So much silence. It is an unmissable opportunity to take a photo as a memento.
Krysuvìk is a short distance from Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital. It is a desolate location, but just wait for the Geyser explosion. An unbelievable natural show that will continue to surprise you with each new eruption. In the midst of total stillness, without warning, an enormous column of water and vapour gushes out from underneath the ground. It lasts only seconds, then silence once more.
Bergen: the perfect place for shopping. A city hemmed in by the sea, where beside the splendid fish market is the old Hanseatic district with its typical colourful houses that have become workshops, shops, bars and restaurants. But what should you buy? Maybe a cosy goose-down duvet, a few woolly jumpers, some elegant ceramics or a carved wooden troll – the options are endless.
The scent of Amsterdam’s tulips
is intense and all-embracing. The city is full of them; they grace all the windowsills and small local markets. Out in the countryside there are tulip plantations where their cultivation is assisted by the numerous windmills; they become a palette for painters in the home of Rembrandt and Van Gogh.
MSC Splendida is based at Hamburg, and MSC Orchestra and MSC Sinfonia depart from Copenhagen, Kiel and Warnemunde; all summer long they travel the Northern European itineraries from fjords to capitals, from the British Isles up to the northern reaches of Iceland. Journeys last seven days but there is the possibility of combining, according to your tastes, several different itineraries in a single Grand Tour.
Info and details can be found in the brochure, travel agencies and at www.msccruises.com.