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 also offering 5 exclusive tours during this sailing to our guests, so you can go even deeper than some of the ideas listed here.
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 water, until the 17th century the fishing village was known as Balea Bay (“Whale Bay”). That make sense, given that the area was 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 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.
Eidfjord is nothing short of a natural masterpiece. From large open spaces to soaring mountains, plunging valleys to the shimmering waters of the turquoise fjords, the city offers guests and locals alike sweeping views that remain largely unspoiled. Eidfjord is home to the Sima hydroelectric plant, one of the largest facilities of its kind in Europe, and tours are available with advance booking.
There is also a nature center with live, interactive exhibits and multiple aquariums, a burial mound holding Viking graves that date from AD 400-1000, and several waterfalls that are ideal for gawking in the summer and ice climbing in the winter.
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.
Portree (Isle of Skye), Scotland, United Kingdom
There’s something about the Isle of Skye 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 someone of the freshest seafood you’ll ever taste.
Or talk to a Cruise Specialists expert now to answer your questions (888) 993-1318.