Europe is full of places to see and explore. MSC Cruises takes you to more of them every year. Up north in the Fjords, the Baltic sea and Northern continental Europe. In the Med to Albania, Corsica, Sardinia and mainland Italy. Let’s explore all the destinations in our article.
One of Europe’s greatest characteristics is the variety of locations it offers. We want to give you the opportunity to see as many of them as possible from the comfort of one of our cruise ships.
This is why we constantly add new destinations and improve our shore excursions, so you can choose to immerse yourself in art, scenery, culture and culinary experiences as well as pools and total relax.
The magic of the North is something we know a lot about from the many cruises that sail to the British Isles, Scandinavia, the Baltic States and Russia just to mention a few. This year, as well as our well known destinations, we offer you the novel chance to visit Rotterdam, Klaipeda and Molde.
With one of the largest harbours in the world, Rotterdam welcomes its visitors with open arms. It is built on a maze of rivers and canals that join the Rhine to the sea. Having recovered from WWII devastation, today Rotterdam is a vibrant city that offers a stimulating mix of bars, clubs, museums, festivals and architectural styles. Rotterdam’s Kunsthal and Boijmans van Beuningen Museums are home to the works of some of the best Dutch painters, while the Oude Haven and Delfs haven are harbours well worth visiting. If you are luck you may be there during one of the many festivals that take place during the year like the North Sea Jazz Festival and the colourful Summer Carnival.
Klaipeda is a 13th century port town in the Baltic Sea. The only Lithuanian port, it still looks the same as when it was built as a German medieval town including the square with its majestic clock tower. The old warehouse district has now become a fashionable area with cafes, clubs and art galleries, all located in original trellised buildings. Admire some of the many statues you’ll bump into just by walking around town, like the Four Winds statue in the harbour, or visit the handsome neo-classic Dramos theatre. You could also go amber hunting on the beaches of Palanga, the largest Lithuanian seaside resort with a walk that ends at the long pier on the sea. This is located along the ancient Amber Road and it is not rare to find bits of this resin stone on the white beach after a heavy storm. As well as the Amber Museum you could visit the Neringa peninsula where the longest dune in the world separates a lagoon from the Baltic Sea, beautiful enough to be named a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Molde is the most populated city in Norway, and there are some very good reasons for this. Surrounded by natural wonders and full of tradition it is one of the most beautiful spots you could visit. The Romsdal museum will show you the history of this part of the world, but what people come here for is not manmade. The impressive Fjord and the peaks that surround it offer a unique life experience. Protected as a UNESCO Heritage Site, the surroundings offer amazing excursions and hikes to some of the most evocative peaks and sights, the Trollstigen mountain road, the Stigfossen Falls or the maelstroms in Gudbrandsjuvet.
The Mediterranean always gives a warm welcome and we have added 4 destinations to discover more of its secrets, from art and culture to beautiful natural spots in Cagliari, Saranda, Ajaccio and Livorno.
Sardinia’s main city and port, Cagliari, has a beautiful fortified historic city centre, a striking seafront and tranquil lagoons with lush bird sanctuaries to the east and west of the city. You’ll gladly lose yourself along the promenades and porticos of the old town to check out the boutiques and stop for refreshments in one of the many traditional bars. You can also visit an impressive Roman amphitheatre, while nearby excursions include Nora, the most complete ancient site on Sardinia, and the islands of Sant’Antioco and San Pietro.
Saranda is close to the Greek border and in view of Corfù, as well as being one of the most appreciated spots in the Ionian Sea. Here you’ll find the ruins of ancient Onchesmos, the original name of Saranda, or of Foinike, the Roman archeological site Butrinto, as well as the Ali Pascià Tepeleni castle, one of the most representative buildings in Albania. Without forgetting the beautiful beaches and the deep blue water of the many seaside spots where you can sunbathe or relax.
Fans of Napoleon will love Ajaccio, a XV century citadel full of the emperor’s memorabilia. On the French island of Corsica, it is full of ancient streets that spread from Place Foch with a wealth of smart cafés, restaurants and shops that lead down to the marina or up to the “bourgeoisie’s territory”. The secluded streets in this part of town, with their dusty buildings and hole-in-the-wall restaurants lit by flashes of sea or sky at the end of the alleys, retain more of a sense of the old Ajaccio than anywhere else.
Livorno is one of the main port towns in Tuscany. Clustered with landmarks such as the Old and New Fortresses, Livorno also offers a true Tuscan culinary experience. Traditional meat and seafood recipes can be found in all of the many restaurants found in the old town. Not to mention the Tuscan wine selection, with Chianti and Brunello as just two examples. Florence, with its fashion shops and art galleries, is only a short excursion away. There you will be able to walk around the same streets as Dante, Donatello and Brunelleschi. If you get the chance you should not miss out on the chance of visiting the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore or the Uffizi Gallery.
With all these new destinations the hardest part of your 2017 summer cruise will be deciding where to go from April onwards. But wherever you decide to go and enjoy a week or two of adventure and relaxation, book now!