Have you ever wanted to cruise like a Viking? Sailing through the often snowy yet surprisingly diverse landscapes of Norway, Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland can be a transportative experience in more ways than one.
Get ready to challenge our assumptions and boost your expectations – following the voyage of the Vikings is full of unanticipated and thoroughly wondrous thrills and now that amazing opportunity is at your fingertips.
Pack your bags, charge your camera, and find out why so many return for Holland America Voyage of the Vikings year after year. Cruise Specialists is offering exclusive perks on this sailing to enhance your experience even further, enjoy an experienced Voyage Host, exclusive shore tours, cocktail parties and more.
Red Bay, Labrador, Canada
While Red Bay got its current name thanks to the red granite cliffs that mark the spot where the town’s land hits the water, until the 17th century the fishing village was known as Balea Bay (“Whale Bay”). That makes sense, given that the area was the historical home to a sizeable Basque-led whaling operation that’s now skillfully detailed in fascinating displays at the Red Bay National Historic Site.
Thanks to the well-preserved site that showcases the living and working quarters where the whalers once lived, Red Bay is now on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Qaqortoq may be the biggest city in South Greenland but you can still easily explore the entire quaint locale on foot – in fact, we recommend that you do (unless it’s winter, in which case snowmobiles are a must). That way you can really take the time to stop and appreciate the way the fog rolls over the Hobbit-esque hills, drifting over the wildflower covered slopes and the cozy and brightly painted homes.
Qaqortoq’s 3,000 or so inhabitants are mainly involved in the fishing industry and you can often see whales doing drive bays in the bay. Make sure to stop by the Qaqortoq Museum and hot springs and snag a selfie in the “Stone and Man” sculpture park.
Any city that holds the title of “world’s northernmost capital” is going to get a bit of a chilly reputation, but there’s much more to Reykjavik than cold temps. While there’s often snow on the impressive mountains that serve as the city’s backdrop, there are also incredible indoor spas and geothermal springs that deliver luxurious opportunities for rest and relaxation.
From stellar locally sourced food at high-concept restaurants to pulse-racing outdoor adventures to the rich entertainment culture that seamlessly blends both old and new, there is much to see and do.
Known for its concentration of Art Nouveau architecture, Alesund is nothing short of a natural masterpiece. Occupying seven islands and adjacent to UNESCO World Heritage Site, Geiranger Fjords, the sweeping views remain largely unspoiled for miles.
Be sure to visit the Sunnmore Museum, an outdoor folk museum devoted to the Norwegian coastal culture and includes replicas of old Viking ships.
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
In 1270, the people settled near Rotte river decided to construct a dam to better protect their new home. Today, Rotterdam has grown into a city of more than 630,000 people and it’s the largest cargo port in Europe.
Traditional Dutch-style houses providing a mesmerizing contrast to angular modern architecture and post-war high-rises and the nearby windmills add further visual interest. As for your tour agenda, you can’t go wrong with a trip to the Royal Zoo, a stop at the Maritime Museum Rotterdam, an afternoon at the Art Hall, and a leisurely walking tour.
Scotland, United Kingdom
There’s something about Ireland that’s a bit magical. The way the water laps up to the lush green coastline, the towering cliffs that are somehow both imposing and utterly romantic.
You may or may not encounter a fairy or selkie (half seal, half-human creatures that often pop up in local lore), but what you miss out on in terms of mythological excitement is easily made up for in culture and charm. Check out a nature or heritage tour, visit some of the area’s historical monuments, and be sure to snag yourself some of the freshest seafood you’ll ever taste.
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