London cruises offer numerous delights, from famous landmarks, world-class museums and galleries to well-manicured parks and cultural experiences. Here is a just a sampling of the wide range of shore excursions available.
Visit Buckingham Palace in London: For just a short period each summer when the Royal Court has left London for summer vacation in Scotland it is possible to view the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace. Here, among some of the finest pictures and works of art in the world, visitors can see where the Queen and members of the Royal Family receive and entertain their guests on State, ceremonial and official occasions.
Discover Stockholm’s waterways on a cruise: Stockholm, strategically built where the freshwater Lake Maelaren meets the Baltic Sea, shows herself from the most beautiful side when seen from the water. Often referred to as "the Beauty on Water", Stockholm is built upon 14 different islands and the mainland, all linked together by over 50 bridges. While cruising the glittering waters, pass many beautiful old buildings, new, modern residential areas, parklands and beaches. Experience the activity arising when going through a lock from the Baltic Sea into the lake.
Tour castles in Copenhagen: Your first stop will be at Frederiksborg Castle in Hilleroed—a magnificent Renaissance castle now serving as the National Museum of History. The visit also includes a peek into the small chapel with the oldest organ in the world still in use. Afterwards, continue to the charming village of Fredensborg for a short photo stop at the summer residence of the Royal Family -- Fredensborg Palace. Next, you head even further north to the town of Elsinore. The last stop on the tour will be a visit to Kronborg Castle, perhaps better known as Hamlet’s Castle, chosen by William Shakespeare as the setting for his play. This castle houses the largest banquet hall in northern Europe.
Venture away from St. Petersburg to Catherine’s Palace: It is about a 50-minute drive from St. Petersburg to reach Catherine's Palace -- truly an architectural masterpiece and a magnificent museum. Its 978-foot façade is an ornate masterpiece in white, gold and blue. Within the palace is a series of magnificent rooms, including the famous Picture Gallery and the Great Hall. You will also see the amazing Amber Room, stolen by the Nazis during the war, smuggled to Paraguay (legend holds) and lost forever. Now, Russian craftsmen have piece-by-piece reconstructed the dazzling panels of semi-precious stone, amassing a stunning, multi-hued collection designed to leave the observer breathless. Splendid gardens and “small” pavilions enhance the richly ornamented exterior of the palace.
Explore the Hermitage Museum in Amsterdam: Amsterdam is the city of canals and bridges, full of its own special charm. During a short canal cruise, watch for the many mansions and buildings dating from the Golden Century when Dutch merchants traded prolifically with the Far East. The Amstel River flows through Amsterdam and on its northern bank you will find the beautiful Hermitage Museum -- opened in 2009 and housed in a former retirement home. The museum exhibits art from the world-famous Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. You will have plenty of time to explore the museum on your own before you return to the ship at the pier in Amsterdam.
Stroll the grand rooms of Versailles in Paris: Louis XIV transformed a hunting lodge into the greatest palace ever built. Visit his royal apartments, the Hercules drawing room and the celebrated Hall of Mirrors. Stroll through Le Notre's formal gardens, featuring meticulously planted parterres, statues, vases and ornamental ponds decorated with superb sculpted fountains.
Take a panoramic tour of Edinburgh: A panoramic narrated tour of the city takes in Edinburgh's principal sights, from Holyrood Palace to the elegant Georgian buildings of the New Town. Visit Edinburgh Castle atop the Royal Mile and enjoy free time to view the Crown Jewels of Scotland or explore St. Margaret's Chapel and the Great Hall of James IV.
Experience the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo: The museum is home to three Viking long boats uncovered during 19th century, and early part of the 20th century, excavations near Oslofjord. In addition to the superbly crafted ships, the museum exhibits sleds, jewelry and other artifacts found aboard the vessels.