Christmas Markets Cruise
Make this year’s festive season extra special on a magical 10-day cruise to four of Europe’s most enticing cities. Experiencing their individual Christmas style along the way, we’ll first call at fairytale Bruges, to indulge in Belgian chocolate. Scandinavians do Christmas in a beautifully subtle way and we’ll spend an afternoon each in Oslo and Copenhagen. We’ll finish in ultimate festive style with time in Germany, stopping in Warnemünde and Hanseatic Hamburg - cities home to an explosion of Yuletide charm.
- 9 nights cruise on Balmoral
- 26 meals: 9 breakfasts (days 2-10) 8 lunches (days 2-9) 9 dinners (days 1-9)
- Varied daytime activities, lectures, talks and evening entertainment
- Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service
- Services of the Fred. Olsen staff on board
- Port taxes
Day 1 - Southampton
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your journey to Southampton. Embark Balmoral (3T+) in preparation for a late night sailing.
Day 2 - Zeebrugge (Bruges), Belgium
Zeebrugge is the gateway to beautiful Bruges, often considered the ‘Venice of the North’ for its scenic canals and historic buildings. The city is a fairytale combination of Gothic and medieval architecture, making it a delight to simply wander. In the festive season, the Markt (market square) fills with stalls selling handicrafts galore and tasty treats to spoil your taste buds. Don’t miss the chance to try warm waffles, washed down with a mug of hot chocolate or Belgium’s renowned selection of beers.
Day 3 - At sea
As we sail to our next exciting destination, you’re free to do as much (or as little) as you wish. Maybe start your day off with a brisk walk around the deck. Or opt for a yoga class. Spend the afternoon learning a craft, or perfecting your golf swing. After your choice of dinner, you can catch a show or dance into the night.
Day 4 - Cruising Oslofjord - Oslo, Norway
We’ll spend the morning sailing towards Oslo through the dramatic Oslofjord. Our smaller-sized ship is quite at home gliding along the glassy waters of the 100km-long fjord. Keep an eye out for snow-dusted islands and fishing villages, plus some of the countless bird species resting on shore or soaring high above. Even though Oslo is Norway’s capital and its largest city, it’s still compact enough to explore on foot. There’s a range of museums to spend your afternoon in - perhaps make a beeline for the National Gallery, where you’ll find Edvard Munch’s iconic ‘The Scream’. At the Viking Ship Museum, three ships reveal the more creative side of these ancient plunderers. The eagerness to celebrate light in the dark months of winter is a great inspiration for Scandinavians at Christmas. Their Christmas markets are less grand and less busy than others in Europe, yet no less enjoyable. You’ll find lots of traditional Scandi items to browse, whilst warming your hands on a glass of gløgg.
Day 5 - Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen is the essence of Scandinavian cool, with a vibrant atmosphere and modern culture. In the run up to Christmas, pretty Nyhavn harbour turns into a cosy Christmas market, with decorated stalls lining the water’s edge. You’ll be tempted by Danish beers, mulled wine and delicious traditional foods to keep you warm as you stroll. Tivoli Gardens is a must at this time of the year too, with mesmerising displays of light. Or the 18th century rococo district is well worth a visit - home to the Royal Family’s Amalienborg and Christiansborg Palaces and Rosenborg Castle.
Day 6 - Warnemünde, Germany
The seaside town of Warnemünde is a lovely destination in itself, with an attractive seafront lined with colourful buildings. Mosey round the shops or spend time in the great selection of eateries. If you fancy travelling a little further afield, then it’s not far to vibrant Berlin and the historic town of Rostock. For iconic monuments, Berlin is up there. The grand Brandenburg Gate and the remains of the infamous Berlin Wall are both on the tick list. A whole collection of different Christmas markets means magical, brightly lit places to wander are around every corner. If a more historical backdrop makes you feel extra Christmassy, then head to Hanseatic Rostock.
Day 7 - Kiel Canal Transit
We’ll spend the day traversing the Kiel Canal, passing picturesque German villages and towns as we journey between the Baltic and North seas.
Day 8 - Hamburg
As Germany’s largest port, Hamburg has been the country’s gateway to the world for centuries. Hanseatic League and maritime influences have helped shape a city now criss-crossed by canals, attractive monuments and a thousand bridges. We’ll have a full day here, so why not make your way along Jungfernstieg Boulevard, looking out for ornate St Michael’s Church on the way. The Miniatur Wunderland museum is recommended favourite, especially its Christmas Village. And if you’re a fan of The Beatles there are plenty of sites linked to their time here in the early 1960s. If you haven’t had your fill of Christmas markets, then stroll to the green-roofed Rathaus (City Hall), where you’ll find Hamburg’s most famous market.
Day 9 - At sea
As we sail home you may want to rest after all your sightseeing. If you’re still full of energy, there‘s lots to fill your time - from quizzes, games and music recitals to walks on deck and dance classes. And of course there’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy all the tasty food options.
Day 10 Southampton
We disembark after breakfast and your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.