Cruise From the Atlantic Coast to the North Sea
The best maritime option to connect Lisbon with northern Europe
More than two million years ago, ice covered much of Europe, causing the depth of the sea to be reduced by more than 100 meters, and forcing the coastline as we know it today, to recede tens of kilometers. This situation caused the settlement of the first nuclei of human population in the region of Lisbon, in front of the Portuguese coast. There is no doubt that this is a location that had everything in its favor to help in its full development: a very pleasant climate and abundant vegetation, as well as good hunting and fishing. It is in the Lisbon capital where this eight night cruise From the Atlantic Coast to the North Sea begins. The fact that the famous Tagus River crosses through the heart of Lisbon brings a peculiar and enigmatic touch to the city, which combines perfectly with its curious paths of white and black tiles.
In Lisbon there are three neighborhoods that stand out above the rest: Castelo, Mouraria and Alfama. All of them were constructed during the course of the Middle Ages, and today they remain practically intact, as if time had not passed around them. That is the authentic traditional essence of the Portuguese capital. Originally, all these urban centers were occupied by the upper echelons of society, although they gradually abandoned their homes, allowing in other social sectors which gave a renewed air to this area. In addition, another of the neighborhoods of Portugal where more cultural activities happen is Chiado. This is known for its intellectual environment; a large number of establishments here are the usual meeting places for thinkers and artists.
When it comes to tourism in Lisbon, you should be sure to visit some of its most important places. Among them is the Tower of Belém, recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and one of the favorite monuments for tourists. You also have the castle of San Jorge, Lisbon cathedral, the Oceanarium - widely regarded as the second most important aquarium in Europe - the Plaza del Comercio, which is the most important area in the whole city, and the National Tile Museum. This shows its visitors the evolution of ceramics, a tradition deeply rooted in Portugal.
Discover some of the unique ports of Spain, the United Kingdom and France
The second stop of this Pullmantur cruise, this time in Spanish lands, takes place in the city of Vigo. This is the largest urban center in Galicia and is considered the gateway to the Atlantic Ocean. It also stands out for its varied cuisine and for being a much sought after tourist destination in the north of Spain. When you walk and cross its imposing Rande Bridge, built on the estuary, you will begin to enjoy a city that maintains a most traditional flavor in all its streets and squares. Among the most outstanding places in Vigo are the Collegiate Church of Santa María, the Mercado de la Piedra, and the Rúa dos Cesteiros. This is a curious street where artisans hang their products on the doors of their shops.
Soon after, you will arrive at the island of Portland. This belongs to the United Kingdom and is located within the famous English Channel and just eight kilometers from the tourist resort of Weymouth. The port of Portland, built on the north coast of the island, was of great importance during the two World Wars as it served as the base for the British Royal Navy. During the 2012 Olympic Games in London, this was where open water sailing events were hosted. After landing in Portland, you will see that the island is actually connected with Great Britain through Chesil Beach, an extensive 29-kilometer long beach located in Dorset in the south of England.
After enjoying your stay in British territory, you will sail with the From the Atlantic Coast to the North Sea cruise to Cherbourg, in France. Within the Normandy region, more specifically, in the Cotentín peninsula, this is a privileged area for tourism. If you are a lover of history, Cherbourg is your perfect destination as it has some of the most important battlefields of World War II. This is because they are very close to the landing areas of the invasion that liberated Europe.
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Sail the waters of the North Sea
Back to the UK, this time your Pullmantur cruise will take you to the English town of Dover, the closest part of England to the coast of continental Europe. If there is one thing in this place that catches the attention it is the recognizable natural spaces, among which the standout feature is the white cliffs of Dover. In the past these robust and high rock formations served the United Kingdom as a protective shield against invading peoples. Nowadays they are the main reference point of the nature of Dover. Another of its outstanding features is the South Foreland Lighthouse, a white building from whose balcony you can enjoy magnificent views over the sea.
The last two stops of this cruise From the Atlantic Coast to the North Sea sees you visit two countries which are standout destinations in themselves: the Netherlands and Sweden. First, the port of Ijmuiden will allow you to travel across land straight to Amsterdam, the official capital of the Netherlands. It is in these streets that you will have the opportunity to discover some of the most artistic corners of Amsterdam, such as the Rijkmuseum, which houses the largest collection of paintings of the Dutch Golden Age, and the Museum of the House of Rembrandt. There you can also visit the workshop of the artist himself. However, without a doubt, a must-visit is the Van Gogh Museum, where the greatest number of works of this genius and master of painting are collected.
Finally, your itinerary will come to an end in the third most populated city in Sweden: Malmö. It is located in Scania, the southernmost Swedish province which is just 44 kilometers from Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. Precisely because of this proximity, in the past Malmö was part of the Danish kingdom; it was founded by the inhabitants of Denmark in the 12th century. When visiting Malmö, one of the essential visits is its historic area which is called Gamla Staden. Within it you will find the church of San Pedro which is the oldest building in the whole city. And right next to that, the Town Hall and Malmö Castle, two key pieces of tourism in Sweden.