In summer 2018, soccer’s World Cup kicks off in St. Petersburg, and Azamara has tickets waiting for you. While the opportunity to see the world’s finest soccer players compete in the stunning Zenit Stadium designed by Kisho Kurokawa is a highlight of this 12-night Northern Europe itinerary, it’s only one of many.
After boarding in London, you’ll sail to Antwerp, where you’ll visit the well preserved medieval town of Ghent and sample Belgium’s famous chocolates. Amsterdam with its picturesque network of canals is your next stop, followed by the German port of Hamburg, one of that country’s most cosmopolitan cities. Your stop in Copenhagen will include an opportunity to see the royal landmarks that make Denmark’s capital arguably Scandinavia’s most elegant capital. In Tallinn, you’ll get an introduction to Estonia’s history and architecture, followed by three nights in St. Petersburg. There you’ll cheer on World Cup matches and also marvel at the Hermitage Museum and the former palaces of the tsars nearby. You’ll end your journey with calls at two other Scandinavian capitals, Helsinki and, last but certainly not least, Stockholm.
The first two nights of your cruise you’ll be docked in London at Tower Bridge. We suggest spending the first day in the capital’s historic heart, the City. On a visit to the Tower of London, literally right next to your ship, almost a thousand years of English history will come to life, including some of the most tragic episodes in the saga of the country’s monarchy. A more inspiring moment of resilience is celebrated in the 51 churches that Christopher Wren rebuilt following the Great Fire of London. The most majestic of them all is St. Paul’s Cathedral, with its dome soaring above the city skyline to this day.
London’s West End
Having seen London’s oldest neighborhoods on your first day, why not spend today exploring some of its most stylish ones. Hyde Park is the green lung of the western side of the city, with its manicured grounds and Serpentine Lake. Running along its eastern edge, Park Lane features many of the city’s most elegant hotels—ideal for lunch or afternoon tea. To the south of the park you’ll find Knightsbridge, long the prime shopping destination in London, counting the Harrods department store among its many shops. Harrods’ food hall alone makes this vast emporium a must-see in London.
You’ll arrive this morning in Antwerp, Belgium, noted for its elegant Flemish Renaissance buildings. On Azamara’s Panoramic Ghent by Canal Boat excursion, you’ll have a chance to visit one of the country’s medieval gems. You’ll start with a narrated stroll across St. Michaels Bridge, which crosses the river Lys and has views of the city’s Gothic towers. You’ll then explore the historic medieval quarter before boarding a boat for a cruise along the city’s canals, passing by landmarks like the Castle of the Counts, or Gravensteen, which was built at the end of the 12th century. You’ll also have some free time to explore the city center, stopping into shops and enjoying the city’s unique ambiance before returning to your ship.