Treasures of Northern Europe, Medieval to Modern – England to Denmark Aboard Ocean Albatros

Treasures of Northern Europe, Medieval to Modern – England to Denmark Aboard Ocean Albatros



Set sail on this North Sea voyage from the south of England to Denmark, and explore the extravagant legacy of those riches in the great public buildings, private houses, and above all, the museums that these fortunes built and furnished. Transfer from London to Portsmouth, where you will embark the recently christened Ocean Albatros and sail to French Normandy. Call in Belgium for an excursion to charming medieval Bruges, or visit Ghent, where you will admire the sublime Van Eyck altarpiece. In Holland, choose between special museum openings exclusively for us at Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum or The Hague’s Mauritshuis. Arrive in Germany for a day in Hamburg, with its massive UNESCO-listed district of brick warehouses, or delve into Hanseatic history at the European Hansemuseum in elegant Lübeck. Then navigate the picturesque, 61-mile-long Kiel Canal connecting the North Sea to the Baltic. Call in sparkling Rostock, the “Gateway to Scandinavia,” and spend a day in Copenhagen.

Pricing from
Trip Type
Group Travel Tour, International Ocean & Sea Voyages
Departure Dates
Apr 27, 2024 - May 7, 2024


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Treaures of N Europe map


  • day 1


    Depart for London on an overnight flight.

  • day 2


    Arrive this morning at Heathrow Airport and transfer to Ocean Albatros docked in Portsmouth. Enjoy lunch on board, followed by an afternoon at leisure to explore the ship or learn about the Royal Navy’s historic past with a visit to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Gather for a welcome and safety briefing, and savor dinner on board as you sail across the English Channel to Normandy in France. L,D

  • day 3


    From the port of Ouistreham, visit historic Caen, whose Norman treasures have survived the centuries. Continue to Bayeaux and the Memorial Museum of the Battle of Normandy. Then visit the 11th-century cathedral and the Bayeux Tapestry, an embroidered depiction of the Norman conquests and one of the most renowned surviving works of medieval art. Stop at Malcolm Forbes’s 17th-century Château de Balleroy to visit the Musée des Ballons, which houses Forbes’s collection of hot-air balloons, and sip cocktails while enjoying views of its surrounding gardens. As an alternative, you may visit Mont-Saint-Michel, a tidal island and UNESCO World Heritage Site topped with a gravity defying medieval monastery. Return to Ocean Albatros, and sail east to the Belgian coast. Stand on deck as we pass the chalky cliffs and the extraordinary rock formations of Les Falaises d’Étretat and the Manneporte rising from the sea. Painter Claude Monet captured these striking rock pillars in numerous works during the years he lived in the seaside village of Étretat. Mingle with fellow travelers at the captain’s welcome reception and dinner this evening. B,L,R,D

  • day 4


    Dock today in Ostend, and you may choose to travel by train or motor coach into Bruges, a perfectly preserved medieval town, for a walking tour. Immerse yourself in one of the best art collections in Belgium, including the Groeninge Museum, the Hans Memling collection at St. John’s Hospital, and a sculpture by Michelangelo displayed in the Church of Our Lady. Continue to Ghent, and visit the magnificent Saint Bavo’s Cathedral and the revered Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (Ghent Altarpiece), completed by the Van Eyck brothers in 1432. Joined by an expert, admire this masterpiece in the cathedral’s Sacrament Chapel, where it is displayed inside a bespoke glass case specially designed to house the polyptych, which consists of 12 panels, in optimal climatic conditions. Aboard Ocean Albatros, enjoy a chamber music concert performed by one of Europe’s renowned quartets. B,L,D

  • day 5


    Dock in Scheveningen near The Hague, and choose from two excursions. You may explore Amsterdam, one of the great capitals of Europe and home to a wealth of museums and picturesque canals. Wander the famed Rijksmuseum with its unrivaled collection of works by Dutch masters. Savor lunch aboard a private canal cruise, followed by a special opening of the wonderful Van Gogh Museum (pending confirmation). Botanical enthusiasts may opt to see the Keukenhof Gardens, where more than a million flowering bulbs provide a spectacle of color. After lunch, visit The Hague and its historic museum, the Mauritshuis, and see the Peace Palace, home to the International Court of Justice. Reunite as a group in The Hague to visit Panorama Mesdag. This museum houses Hendrik Mesdag’s vast 1881 panoramic canvas, which depicts the seaside resort of Scheveningen
    as it appeared in the 1880s. Return to the ship to sail past the Frisian archipelago as we navigate our way along the Wadden Sea to Delfzijl. B,L,D

  • day 6


    Step ashore in Delfzijl and transfer to charming Groningen, often described as one big open-air museum. Discover the gems of its Grote Markt (Great Market Square), including the Town Hall dating from 1810; the 15th-century Martinitoren, the town’s tallest church steeple and bell tower; and the Gothic Martinikerk, a 13th-century church with beautiful frescoes and a baroque organ. Most dazzling is the eye-popping trapezoidal building called The Forum, the city’s most striking piece of contemporary architecture, designed by Italian architect Alessandro Mendini. Continue to the Groninger Museum, a futuristic structure showcasing modern and contemporary painting and sculpture. After lunch, learn about traditional printmaking at the GRID Grafisch Museum Groningen. Attend a specially arranged workshop that touches on the history of graphic art and
    explores various print and bookbindery techniques along with design and typesetting. Garden lovers may choose to visit Hortus Haren, one of Holland’s oldest botanical gardens, featuring themed spaces such as the magnificent Chinese garden, a rock garden, and a Celtic garden. Delight in a visit to the Museum De Buitenplaats, a botanical complex that features creative examples of organic architecture. Admire its distinctive brick walls, overgrown piled stones, flowery garden roofs, and multicolored borders that run along with trimmed box and yew trees. As you return to the port, take a look at the old warehouses along the canal as well as other historic buildings and municipal monuments. B,L,D

  • day 7


    Dating back more than eight centuries, Hamburg’s famous port was a vital link during the Hanseatic League. Today, Hamburg delights with its stunning architecture, dynamic museums, and burgeoning art and culture scene. Experience the city’s iconic,UNESCO-listed Speicherstadt district, the world’s largest warehouse district, an ensemble of 19th- to early 20th-century brick and timber buildings standing on oak log foundations along the canals. Set near the Speicherstadt and perched atop a 1960s brick warehouse is the Herzog & de Meuron-designed architectural masterpiece, the Elbphilharmonie concert hall. A feat of engineering, the Elbphilharmonie has become Hamburg’s most magical landmark, with its glistening wave-like top soaring hundreds of feet into the sky. Lunch will be in the Elbphilharmonie’s rooftop restaurant overlooking the Elbe. Enjoy free time to browse the many cafés and shops fronting the Alster River. With the ship in port in Hamburg until midnight, we may have an opportunity to attend a musical performance at the Elbphilharmonie concert hall (schedule pending). Alternatively, spend the day in Lübeck, which earned the title of “Queen of the Hanseatic League.” Visit the European Hansemuseum, which includes interactive displays on Hanseatic trade and the expanding economy. Admire Lübeck’s excellent architecture, especially its iconic Holstentor city gate and the Old Town. B,L,D

  • day 8


    Spend the day navigating the 61-mile-long Kiel Canal, which cuts across the Jutland Peninsula and connects the Baltic Sea to the North Sea. While sailing, attend lectures and learn about the engineering involved to build the canal. B,L,D

  • day 9


    Step off in the resort town of Warnemünde and venture to Rostock, an important trading center known as the “Gateway to Scandinavia” during the height of the Hanseatic League. Learn about this 800-year-old port city’s maritime history at the Schiffbau und Schifffahrtsmuseum (Shipbuilding and Maritime Museum). Return to Ocean Albatros as we sail to Copenhagen. B,L,D

  • day 10


    Experience the Danish capital’s abundant street life. Shop along the Strøget, one of the world’s longest pedestrian streets, and stroll along the quay of Nyhavn. After lunch, continue to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art and its impressive 20th-century collection, including several important works by Henry Moore. Gather for the captain’s farewell reception and dinner this evening. B,L,R,D

  • day 11


    Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for flights home.   B

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