Northern Europe from Kiel

Europe
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Itinerary

  • Day 1 - Kiel Arriving on your MSC Cruise of Northern Europe, you will have the chance to visit Kiel, an expanding urban centre on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Kiel became the Imperial military port of Germany in 1871 and, when its canal was opened to connect the Baltic and the North Seas in 1895, the town began to control the largest artificial waterway in the world. Kiel is the ideal location for a relaxing vacation in Germany with an MSC cruise: it is simple and quiet, even during the Kieler Woche international regatta, an event not to be missed by sailing enthusiasts. The few city museums can be visited in one morning, however, if you want to get acquainted with Kiel you cannot ignore its waterways, to which the town is indissolubly bound: they can be visited by taking the Kiellinie footpath or taking a cruise along the Kieler Förde and along the canal. A spacious promenade along the pier will give you the chance to admire a variety of vessels of all sorts, amongst which the dinghies of the sailing school and, from the wet dock in front, the best view one can get of Kiel. 6 km south-west of the centre, in Molfsee, where we find the Schleswig-Holsteinisches Freilichtmuseum. This open air museum shows about seventy traditional buildings taken from the Lande and assembled in miniature villages: the colonial houses still maintain the original furniture – outstanding beds sleeping the entire family in order to keep warm in the freezing winters. While on vacation in Kiel with your MSC Cruise, an excursion will take you to Lubecca, one of the few towns on the northern coasts of Europe that has kept its Medieval glory. For more than two centuries it has been one of the wealthiest and most powerful European cities. The wealth deriving from trade is best expressed through its architecture: from the oldest Rathaus in Germany to the churches with the tallest bell towers and the merchants’ mansions.
  • Day 2 - At Sea
  • Day 3 - Tallinn Tallinn, Estonia’s compact, buzzing capital, with its enchanting heart surrounded by medieval walls, has been shaped by nearly a millennium of outside influence. A cruise of the Baltic Sea with MSC Cruises can take you to visit the heart of Tallinn, its Old Town, still largely enclosed by the city’s medieval walls. At its centre is the Raekoja plats, the historic marketplace, above which looms Toompea, the hilltop stronghold of the German knights who controlled the city during the Middle Ages. Raekoja plats, the cobbled market square at the heart of the Old Town, is as old as the city itself. On its southern side stands the fifteenth-century Town Hall (Raekoda), boasting elegant Gothic arches at ground level, and a delicate steeple at its northern end. Near the summit of the steeple, Vana Toomas, a sixteenth-century weather vane depicting a medieval town guard, is Tallinn’s city emblem. The well-labelled and informative museum inside the cellar hall depicts Tallinn town life through the ages, and there is a good view from the belfry. For an even better view of the town square, climb the spiral staircase of the Town Hall Tower. The fourteenth-century Church of the Holy Ghost (Puhä Vaimu kirik) on Pühavaimu is the city’s oldest church, a small Gothic building with stuccoed limestone walls, stepped gables, a carved wooden interior, a tall, verdigris-coated spire and an ornate clock from 1680 – the oldest in Tallinn. Contrasting sharply is the late Gothic St Nicholas’s Church (Niguliste kirik), south-west of Raekoja plats. It now serves as a museumof church art, including medieval burial stones and the haunting Danse Macabre (“Dance With Death”) by Bernt Notke.
  • Day 4 - St Petersburg When you’re cruising the BalticSea with MSC Cruises, St Petersburg is the port of call for you. A sophisticated capital of the tsarist Empire, the cradle of the Communist Revolution of 1917, and a symbol of Russian stoicism due to the city’s heroic endurance of a three-year Nazi siege during World War II, present-day St Petersburg has eased into modernity without sacrificing any of its old-world magnificence and charm, with shopping malls sitting alongside opulent palaces. You’ll find a great city when you step ashore from your MSC cruise ship, maybe the most beautiful in the whole of Russia. MSC Northern Europe cruises offer excursions to the centre of St Petersburg on the south bank of the Neva, with the curving River Fontanka marking its southern boundary. The area within the Fontanka is riven by a series of avenues fanning out from the golden spire of the Admiralty on the Neva’s south bank. Many of the city’s top sights are located on and around Nevsky prospekt, the backbone and heart of the city for the last three centuries, stretching from the Alexander Nevsky Monastery to Palace Square. Sited on the banks of the River Neva, the 200m-long Baroque Winter Palace is the city’s largest and most opulent, and was the official residence of the tsars, their court and 1500 servants until the revolution of 1917. Today the building houses one of the world’s greatest museums, the Hermitage, launched as Russia’s first public art museum in 1852. The Hermitage collection embraces over three million treasures and works of art, from ancient Scythian gold and giant malachite urns to Cubist pieces. After the elaborately decorated staterooms and the Gold Collection, the most popular section covers modern European art from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
  • Day 5 - Helsinki Instantly loveable, Helsinki is remarkably different from the other Scandinavian capitals, and closer both in mood and appearance to the major cities of Northern Europe. Today, cruisers will find a youthful buzz on the streets, where the boulevards, outdoor cafés and trendyrestaurants are crowded with Finns taking full advantage of the short summer. Following a devastating fire in 1808, and the city’s designation as Finland’s capital in 1812, Helsinki was totally rebuilt in a style befitting its new status: a grid of wide streetsand Neoclassical brick buildings modelled on the then Russian capital, St Petersburg. Esplanadi, a wide, tree-lined boulevard across a mishmash of tramlines from the harbour, where your MSC cruise ship awaits your return, is Helsinki at its most charming. At its eastern end, the City Museum at Sofiankatu 4 offers a record of 450 years of Helsinki life in an impressive permanent exhibition called “Helsinki Horizons”. To the north is Senate Square (Senattintori), dominated by the exquisite form of the Tuomiokirkko (Cathedral). After the elegance of the exterior, the spartan Lutheran interior comes as a disappointment; more impressive is the gloomily atmospheric crypt, now often used for exhibitions. About 50km east of Helsinki, Porvoo, one of the oldest towns on the south coast and one of Finland’s most charming, is just waiting to be discovered on an MSC Northern Europe excursion. Its narrow cobbled streets, lined by small colourful wooden buildings, give a sense of Finnish life before the capital’s bold squares and Neoclassical geometry. The old town is built around the hill on the other side of Mannerheimkatu, crowned by the fifteenth-century Tuomiokirkko, where Alexander I proclaimed Finland a Russian Grand Duchy and convened the first Finnish Diet.
  • Day 6 - Stockholm Without a doubt Stockholm is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and a vacation in Sweden with an MSC cruise will prove it. Built on no fewer than fourteen islands, where the fresh water of Lake Mälaren meets the brackish Baltic Sea, clean air and open space are in plentiful supply here. An MSC cruise of Northern Europe will give you the opportunity to appreciate its port front, reach the Baltic Sea and experience the atmospheres with a tour of the town where broad boulevards lined with elegant buildings are reflected in the deep blue water, and rows of painted wooden houseboats bob gently alongside the cobbled waterfront. But Stockholm is also a hi-tech metropolis, as you will find out on your excursion on land during your cruise, with futuristic skyscrapers and a bustling commercial heart. The old town, Gamla Stan, is a district with cobbled streets and narrow alleyways huddled together on a triangular-shaped island. Today the area is an atmospheric mixture of buildings surrounded on all sides by a latticework of medieval lanes and alleyways. The district of Norrmalm swaps tradition for a thoroughly contemporary feel: this is downtown Stockholm where you’ll find shopping malls, huge department stores and conspicuous, showy wealth. In the green island of Djurgården you can see an extraordinary 17th century warship, the Vasa, rescued and preserved after sinking in Stockholm harbour. Cross Norrbron or Riksbron from the Riksdagshuset and up rears the most distinctive monumental building in Stockholm, Kungliga Slottet – a low, square, yellowy-brown construction, with two arms that stretch down towards the water. It’s uniform and sombre outside, but with a magnificent Rococo interior that’s a swirl of staterooms and museums. Itssheer size is quite overwhelming: you should not miss the Royal Apartments and the Treasure Room. The former are used for royal receptions and the second keeps a collection of crowns studded with precious stones.
  • Day 7 - At Sea
  • Day 8 - Kiel Arriving on your MSC Cruise of Northern Europe, you will have the chance to visit Kiel, an expanding urban centre on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Kiel became the Imperial military port of Germany in 1871 and, when its canal was opened to connect the Baltic and the North Seas in 1895, the town began to control the largest artificial waterway in the world. Kiel is the ideal location for a relaxing vacation in Germany with an MSC cruise: it is simple and quiet, even during the Kieler Woche international regatta, an event not to be missed by sailing enthusiasts. The few city museums can be visited in one morning, however, if you want to get acquainted with Kiel you cannot ignore its waterways, to which the town is indissolubly bound: they can be visited by taking the Kiellinie footpath or taking a cruise along the Kieler Förde and along the canal. A spacious promenade along the pier will give you the chance to admire a variety of vessels of all sorts, amongst which the dinghies of the sailing school and, from the wet dock in front, the best view one can get of Kiel. 6 km south-west of the centre, in Molfsee, where we find the Schleswig-Holsteinisches Freilichtmuseum. This open air museum shows about seventy traditional buildings taken from the Lande and assembled in miniature villages: the colonial houses still maintain the original furniture – outstanding beds sleeping the entire family in order to keep warm in the freezing winters. While on vacation in Kiel with your MSC Cruise, an excursion will take you to Lubecca, one of the few towns on the northern coasts of Europe that has kept its Medieval glory. For more than two centuries it has been one of the wealthiest and most powerful European cities. The wealth deriving from trade is best expressed through its architecture: from the oldest Rathaus in Germany to the churches with the tallest bell towers and the merchants’ mansions.
  • Day 9 - At Sea
  • Day 10 - Bergen Bergen’s maritime tradition is age old and your MSC Cruise of Northern Europe will lay anchor in a setting which exudes history. An excursion on land will give you the opportunity to visit the Hanseatic quarter, where you find the oldest buildings in Bergen, built along the Bryggen docks, one of the most active and lively parts of town. Included by UNESCO amongst the world heritage sites, this quarter has preserved the old buildings of the port, and is, with its narrow alleys and dark, open galleries, one of the best preserved Medieval boroughs of the country. A vacation in Norway with an MSC cruise will give you the opportunity to explore this fascinating land. A visit to the Hanseatic Museum and the Schøtstuene, the merchant navy league assembly will help you get to better know this intriguing town. Håkon Hall in the royal palace built by King Håkon Håkonsson in the mid-14th century and the adjacent Rosenkrantz tower (1270) reflect to this day the power of the Hanseatic League in the Middle Ages. All this can be admired also from above with a ride on the Fløibanen funicular, that takes you up to the peaks of Mount Fløyen, from which it is worth walking down on foot: after crossing landscapes of rare beauty you will find yourself in the lively bustle of the fish market. You can take a walk amidst the wooden homes built on the side of the hill and along the long smau, the narrow passages typical of Bergen. Take time to visit the original wooden church of Fantoft, built in 1150 but transferred here only in 1882. Along the shores of Lake Lille Lungegårdsvann you find many art galleries and a museum with a collection of paintings by Edward Munch. In Troldhaugen instead, there is the museum-home of the most famous Norwegian composer, Edvard Grieg, who worked and lived here in a small cottage on Lake Nordås.
  • Day 11 - Nordfjordeid, Norway Nordfjordeid is the administrative centre of the municipality of Stad in Vestland county, western Norway. It is located at the end of the Eidsfjorden, an arm off of the main Nordfjorden, west of the large lake Hornindalsvatnet.
  • Day 12 - Flam To reach Flåm, your MSC cruise ship will navigate into the Sognefjord, the longest of the hundreds of Norwegian fjords. Extending over 204 kilometres and 1,308 metres deep, it is a record breaking fjord in which your ship will head southward, to reach the southern end of the Aurlandsfjord. At this point of your MSC cruise of Northern Europe you will see Flåm, amidst mountains of dense forest reaching up to the sky. In this challenging and remote setting you can see how even a modern means of locomotion like the train can blend in with Norway's pectacular natural landscape. Take a train ride from Flåm to Kjosfossen: 20 incredible kilometres inside the green coaches up to the station of Myrdal on the Bergen railway line. The landscapes you will admire are truly unique and will make your journey unforgettable. Nature is revealed in its most beautiful and wild landscape, with rock shaped by rivers that form gorges and rifts and waterfalls that plunge down dizzy heights, and, here and there, mountain farms, perched like mountain climbers, where cattle are raised and excellentcheese is produced. And to think that the current to power the train is actually a gift of nature. It is the imposing Kjosfossen waterfalls, that plunge vertically down almost as if to show off to the tourist’s camera, that move the turbines that produce the electric energy for the railway line. Don’t miss the excursion in rubber dinghies or kayaks in the waters surrounding the small port. You will have the opportunity to see the variety of animals and plants that inhabit these shores. Visit the protected areas of the Aurlandfjord and the Nærøyfjord to admire the majestic beauty produced by the activity of the ice and the sea on this land, from a privileged point of view.
  • Day 13 - Stavanger Attractive and friendly, Stavanger offers visitors arriving on an MSC cruise a variety of activities. Starting from a visit to the town itself, that has a centre full of shops, narrow streets climbing up the hill and an attractive cathedral. You should walk around the old part of town facing the sea where your cruise ship will be anchored. In Stavanger you can enjoy visiting museums. Amongst the most interesting area the oil museum, the canning museum, the Rogaland art museum or the children’s museum. Take a stroll in the environs of Stavanger instead to explore the 23 iron figures that form the “Broken Column” a sculpture by Antony Gormley. In Hafrsfjord look for the three swords in the rock, a monument celebrating the Vikings’ battle of 872 A.D. led by King Harald I. Nearby is the Jærmuseet science centre, elected the “best museum in Norway” in 2009. But the region of Stavanger is known especially for its fjords and in particular the Lysefjord. The mountain walls drop almost a thousand metres vertically along the 42 kilometres of coast, for that is the depth of the sea in this narrow passage. An excursion on the waters is an experience you won’t forget. Also because from here one can admire one of the most famous attractions in Norway, the Preikestolen (the Pulpit), a rocky outcrop soaring 600 metres above the fjord. With an hour and half’s walk from the driveway you can reach this exceptional work of nature . Another tourist attraction is Kjerag, a peak rising 1100 metres above sea level that dominates the Lysefjord, with its northern face plummeting into the sea. But it’s a little lower down, at about 980 metres that you find a natural masterpiece generated by the elements: the Kjeragbolten, a massive rock jammed between two rock faces. The excursion takes up most of the day, but the awesome spectacle is worth the effort.
  • Day 14 - At Sea
  • Day 15 - Kiel Arriving on your MSC Cruise of Northern Europe, you will have the chance to visit Kiel, an expanding urban centre on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Kiel became the Imperial military port of Germany in 1871 and, when its canal was opened to connect the Baltic and the North Seas in 1895, the town began to control the largest artificial waterway in the world. Kiel is the ideal location for a relaxing vacation in Germany with an MSC cruise: it is simple and quiet, even during the Kieler Woche international regatta, an event not to be missed by sailing enthusiasts. The few city museums can be visited in one morning, however, if you want to get acquainted with Kiel you cannot ignore its waterways, to which the town is indissolubly bound: they can be visited by taking the Kiellinie footpath or taking a cruise along the Kieler Förde and along the canal. A spacious promenade along the pier will give you the chance to admire a variety of vessels of all sorts, amongst which the dinghies of the sailing school and, from the wet dock in front, the best view one can get of Kiel. 6 km south-west of the centre, in Molfsee, where we find the Schleswig-Holsteinisches Freilichtmuseum. This open air museum shows about seventy traditional buildings taken from the Lande and assembled in miniature villages: the colonial houses still maintain the original furniture – outstanding beds sleeping the entire family in order to keep warm in the freezing winters. While on vacation in Kiel with your MSC Cruise, an excursion will take you to Lubecca, one of the few towns on the northern coasts of Europe that has kept its Medieval glory. For more than two centuries it has been one of the wealthiest and most powerful European cities. The wealth deriving from trade is best expressed through its architecture: from the oldest Rathaus in Germany to the churches with the tallest bell towers and the merchants’ mansions.
** Itinerary may vary by sailing date.

Onboard experience

MSC Splendida carries you in stylish luxury to the most desirable cruise destinations in the world. You’ll love the live music and wide variety of bars and restaurants on board. Food choices to explore include authentic Mediterranean specialities and spicy Tex-Mex. Complete the night with a world-class show in The Strand Theatre, a winning streak in the Royal Palm Casino or dancing ‘til dawn in the Club 33 Disco. We’ve got fitness and sport covered with four swimming pools, a squash court, volleyball court, ultramodern gym and even a running track, allowing you to take in the stunning ocean views and refreshing sea breeze. For those looking to relax, head to the MSC Aurea Spa where you will find pampering Balinese massages, a range of beauty treatments, a Turkish bath, sauna, whirlpool and solarium. There is also the option to sunbathe in peace on the Top 18 sun deck, located at the top of the ship, where complimentary, refreshing fruit skewers and a thirst-quenching bar menu will keep you cool all day. And while you are topping up your tan, the Kids and Teens can enjoy fabulous facilities and clubs of their own. The foredecks of the ship are home to the exclusive MSC Yacht Club, a luxurious ship-within-a-ship with 71 spacious suites, its own Concierge Reception, 24-hour butler service, private Top Sail Lounge, pool deck and bar.

Facilities

Fitness: Aerobics/Yoga, Tennis Court, Squash, Jogging Track, Basketball, Fitness Center, Fitness Equipment
Food and Drink: Pizzeria, Bimini Bar, Mediteranean, Michelangelo Dining Room , Cafe, Coffee Bar, Ice Cream Bar, Mexican, Botticelli Dining Room, Yacht Club, Canaletto Restaurant
Other: Art Gallery, Emporium, Security Safe, Boutique, Photo Shop, Duty-free shop, Atrium
Entertainment: Open Air Cinema, Disco, Theatre, Entertainment Team
Recreational: Library, Grand Prix Simulator
Relaxation: Thalassotherapy Pool, Sauna, Aurea Spa, Whirlpool, Fully Air Conditioned, Massage, Spa, Solarium, Balinese Head Massage, Swimming Pool, Sun Deck
Technology: Interactive TV, Satelite Telephone, Internet Cafe

Deck layout

Botticelli Deck
Canaletto Deck
Caravaggio Deck
De Chirico Deck
Flume Deck
Giotto Deck
Leonardo da Vinci Deck
Michelangelo Deck
Modigliani Deck
Pierro dla Francesca Deck
Raffaello Deck
Sun Deck
Tintoretto Deck
Tiziano Deck

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