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Old August 30th, 2006, 10:17 AM
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Default North sea (Bruges, Hamburg, Olso ...)

Hi people !
I'll go there there in 2007 winter, and I just wanna know if anyone already did this cruise ...
If yes, do you know good transports, restaurants, places to visit ... or any recomandations for the tour ?
Thanks.
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Old August 30th, 2006, 02:20 PM
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roheme,

I'll go there there in 2007 winter, and I just wanna know if anyone already did this cruise ...
If yes, do you know good transports, restaurants, places to visit ... or any recomandations for the tour ?


Not knowing which cruise and cruise line you are considering, I can't offer specific advice. I did a cruise in that region, round trip from Soutampton, aboard (the original) MV Royal Princess in 2001, though, and would love to go back to that region. Most of the ports of call have a LOT of attractions, so the ship's shore excursions will be the best way to maximize what you see of the ports in a day. Here's a run-down of the ports of call on my cruise in that region.

>> Rosyth: The ship offered shuttles to downtown Edinburgh as well as several tours. The Royal Mile Walking Tour from the castle to Holyrood Palace is excellent. Downtown Edinburgh has a splendid park and public garden, which is a great place to stroll on a nice day, and fantastic shopping for all things Scottish. The shoppers among us will be in seventh heaven there! IIRC, there was also a shore excursion to St. Andrews but I don't know whether the participants in that excursion could play the course or not.

>> Oslo: I took a tour of the city that included a visit to the ski jump (it's within city limits), the city hall (quite impressive!), and the park with the progression of statues depicting human life from birth to death (very worthwhile!), then stayed in town for lunch and a stroll along the main street, which the city converted to a pedestrian mall. The main street is teeming with sidewalk cafes, shops, and an impressive array of street performers. There's also a museum commemorating the city's maritime heritage that I did not get to see. Oslo is also a great place to shop for Nordic sweaters.

>> Copenhagen: We landed there on a Sunday, so I went to church in the morning and then took a tour that visited the famous statue of "The Little Mermaid" (from Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale) and one of the royal palaces in the afternoon. This city's main street is also a pedestrian mall teeming with sidewalk cafes, shops, and street performers.

>> Hamburg: I opted for a tour of the city-state of Hamburg, which was quite fascinating, as I had never been there before. Hamburg apparently played a pivotal role in the Hanseatic League in times past, and remains an automomous city-state within the Federal German Republic. The ship also offered a shore excursion to Berlin, but I decided that it was far too ambitiouis. YMMV....

>> Amsterdam: Having seen much of Amsterdam on a previous tuor, I opted for a shore excursion that went to several outlying communities whose names now escape me. Stops included a religious commune, a historic town that has maintained its traditional Dutch heritage (the shops actually sell wooden shoes and such), and a Gouda cheese factory. There's also a tour to the Delft china factory, for those who are interested.

>> Zeebrugge: I opted for the tour of the city of Brugge (also spelled Bruges), which was quite interesting. In particular, the city's Cathedral has impressive architecture and art including a true masterpiece depicting the "Wedding Feast of the Lamb." IIRC, there are also tours to Brussels -- which has risen to considerable prominance as the headquarters of NATO and the emerging capital of the European Union. If you have time while in Belgium, be sure to stop at a sidewalk cafe for a Belgian waffle with (fresh) strawberries and (real) whipped cream -- to die for, just like the Belgian chocolates! The shoppers will also find a lot of Belgian lace.

>> Le Havre: I chose the tour of Rouen, which visited the site of the martyrdom of (Ste.) Jeanne d'Arc ("Joan of Arc") in a public park. The Church of Ste. Jeanne d'Arc, built in and over the park, is a fascinating blend of classical and contemporary elements, with beautiful stained glass windows in one wall that came from an older church rendered structurally unsound by bombing in World War II. Miraculously, the bombing did not damage any of the windows! After the tour, I went to a mall in Le Havre and bought a couple bottles of French wines to bring home. Le Havre is also the gateway to Paris and to the beaches at Normandy but I decided that both of those tours were too ambitious for the last day of the cruise, when we had to pack for disembarkation the next morning.

When it comes to going back to this part of the world, I'm ready!

Norm.
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Old August 30th, 2006, 02:52 PM
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Thank you Rev22:17, you answered me very well.
The map of the tour :
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