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Visit charming Passau

Western Europe: Hamburg to Bilbao

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Sea Cloud II
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Discover the Channel Islands, Brittany, and the Basque Country on this incredible 12-day summer cruise through the most distinctive landscapes of Europe. Stroll around Bruges past ramparts, windmills and romantic canals. Enjoy the jewel of the Atlantic, Belle-Île-en-Me - as soon as the sun rises over this Breton isle, the cafés and squares are instantly filled with the friendly chatter of locals, accordion players, and women selling their wares in the market. With its serene atmosphere, the port of Le Palais is the perfect place to relax and walk around. Delight yourself at the gourmet and culture capital - San Sebastián. In the exuberant old town, your taste buds are in for a treat thanks to the countless cozy little bars, where the culinary diversity of the city is proudly presented.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Hamburg, Germany | Embark
Day 2 : At Sea
Day 3 : Amsterdam
Day 4 : Ostende, Belgium
Day 5 : Honfleur
Day 6 : St. Peter Port, United Kingdom
Day 7 : Saint Malo
Day 8 : At Sea
Day 9 : Le Palais, Belle-Île-en-Mer, France
Day 10 : La Rochelle, France
Day 11 : Pasajes, San Sebastian, Spain
Day 12 : Bilbao, Spain | Disembark


  • Catch charming harbor views of the little villages along the Elbe River
  • Stroll along the Ostende beach with its creamy sand and medieval atmosphere
  • Visit San Sebastián, a mecca for food lovers
  • Join optional cycling tours in Hamburg, Bruges, St Peter Port and Bilbao


Sea Cloud II

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Visit charming Passau Visit unique European towns Idyllic islands line the coast View along the river The colorful streets of Spain

Day 1 Hamburg, Germany | Embark

Arrive in Hamburg and board the Sea Cloud II. Settle in to your cabin and attend a welcome dinner as the ship sets sail.

Optional cycling excursion package: The tour guide meets you at midday to show you around the Elbphilharmonie. At 16:00 it is time to embark.

Day 2 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy this day offshore, relaxing and taking in the smell of the fresh ocean breeze up on deck.

Day 3 Amsterdam

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Amsterdam is small and unhurried, cosmopolitan and avant-garde, a multi-cultural lively city and a royal capital. The countless canals and bridges, and the charming cityscape with all its beautiful gabled houses nestling beside the secluded canals, shape the character of the inner city. Amsterdam is considered the cultural centre of the Netherlands. The Reichsmuseum, with its famous Night Watchman by Rembrandt and other masterpieces from the Golden Age is the largest of the innumerable museums, the Van Gogh Museum is the most colourful, and the Hermitage Amsterdam, with its high-profile opening back in summer 2009, is the newest.

Day 4 Ostende, Belgium

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
King Leopold II built the white palace and the long, wonderfully shady galleries on the beach. Like the casino and kursaal, they hark back to the Belle Époque when Ostende was the favorite summer resort of the aristocracy on the Flemish North Sea coast and was one of the most chic seaside towns in Europe. Although both world wars took their toll on the king's 'queen of seaside resorts', people still come in droves to stroll along the wide beach with its creamy sand and the long promenade. The lively old Hanseatic city of Bruges is captivating and its medieval atmosphere enchants you. A rich historical heritage has been preserved inside its vast ramparts and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Optional cycling excursion package: Head for the jewel of Flanders: Bruges. From Ostende cycle along small canals to Bruges. Bruges was once a prolific cloth-making and trading city that was on a par with the magnificent Italian cities of Florence and Venice. See the most beautiful spots in the city during a guided tour before heading back to the ship. Cycling distance: 26 km (16 miles).

Day 5 Honfleur

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Many famous impressionists caught the quaint atmosphere of this town at the mouth of the Seine on canvas in the 19th century. This small town in Calvados is still one of the most charming places in Normandy. Tall and narrow slate-clad buildings crowd around the quayside, the exquisite Vieux Bassin and the old 17th century dock. Honfleur honours its famous sons, painter Eugène Boudin and composer Eric Satie, in a museum. East of Honfleur, the breathtaking Pont de Normandie spans the Seine estuary and links Honfleur with Le Havre, an engineering masterpiece and one of the longest bridges in Europe.

Day 6 St. Peter Port, United Kingdom

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
'A piece of France fallen into the sea and grabbed up by the English' is how Victor Hugo described his place of exile in the Bay of St. Malo, which is closer to the northern coast of France than the south coast of England. Guernsey, the second largest British Channel Island, later inspired Auguste Renoir to produce a whole series of paintings. Narrow, meandering roads bordered by hedges and embankments wind through the interior of the island, which boasts luscious vegetation courtesy of the mild Gulf Stream climate, while in the south, green hills give way to rocky cliffs on the sea's edge. Here, spectacular crags, bays and sandy beaches have been shaped by the vast tidal range pummelling the rock. The pretty island capital of St. Peter Port overlooking the large sheltered harbor and castle boasts a fascinating mixture of styles in a tangle of terraces and stepped gardens.

Optional cycling excursion package: Follow in the footsteps of Victor Hugo. The Sea Cloud II docks in the charming capital of St. Peter Port. Here enjoy a light stroll along the wild, rocky coastline with views over steep headlands and picturesque bays. Walking distance: 5 km (3 miles).

Day 7 Saint Malo

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This former 'corsaire' town in northern Brittany has always had a close relationship with the sea. Although the buccaneers have left, St. Malo is now the start or end point for many famous sailing regattas. Behind the legendary town defences lies the historic centre, which is surrounded by water on three sides and has always been impregnable. On one side of the town walls you will see the narrow alleyways and tall houses of the old town which bear testament to the prosperity of past traders and sailors. The other side offers exquisite views of the emerald sea, dazzling white sandy beaches, harbour and forts. Tidal variations in the Bay of Saint-Malo provide an impressive natural spectacle with twelve metres difference between high and low tides.

Day 8 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy the ship's luxurious amenities as it sails to France.

Day 9 Le Palais, Belle-Île-en-Mer, France

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At 54 square miles, Belle-Île-en-Mer is the largest of Brittany's islands. For a few weeks every summer, the storms and crashing waves subside and the island takes on a laid-back holiday atmosphere, with lots of bicycles, beach towels, and music. On the west coast, the waves break on the rocks causing white crests to dance on the water. Small, idyllic bays and beaches nestle in deep inlets on the rocky coastline, sometimes only accessible from the sea. The island's capital is the port of Le Palais with its imposing citadel and countless street cafés along the harbor and in the Place de la République. Claude Monet spent two and a half months on the island, producing 39 paintings of the wild Côte Sauvage.

Optional cycling excursion package: This cycle route starts at the Le Palais harbor and ends on the other side of the island, following in the tracks of Claude Monet, who was so fascinated by the beauty of the island that he created 39 paintings here in just 75 days. Cycling distance: 30 km (19 miles).

Day 10 La Rochelle, France

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Vieux Port dock and the beautiful front, which teems with cafés, form the center of the picturesque old town. Two imposing towers once served as lookout posts for the harbor and town, and are now the symbol of La Rochelle. The medieval town walls, town hall, churches, and shipowners' offices bear testament to its former glory. Today, the Les Minimes marina is one of the largest examples of its kind in Europe. A bridge spans the 3km gap between the mainland and the Ile-de-Ré. With its enchanting beaches and dunes, little villages, cottages with green shutters, and alleyways lined with hollyhocks, the 'White Isle' is a paradise for cyclists.

Optional cycling excursion package: After breakfast, get back on your bike and travel across the impressively long bridge that leads to the Île de Ré. You can stop off at bistros in peaceful little port villages, see a wide variety of birds in the salt marshes, and explore some Mediterranean forests. Cycling distance: 34 km (21 miles).

Day 11 Pasajes, San Sebastian, Spain

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Optional cycling excursion package: Explore the pearl of the Cantabrian Sea. You can visit the old town and see the town hall, before cycling along the stunning beach promenade and a coastal road with a breathtaking view of the green countryside. Cycling distance: 35 km (22 miles).

Day 12 Bilbao, Spain | Disembark

Arrive in Bilbao and disembark after breakfast for your continued independent journeys.

Optional cycling excursion package: After breakfast, visit the Guggenheim Museum before it is time for your transfer to the airport.

Sea Cloud II

Per person starting at
Category F cabin
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Category F
Two portholes, chair, table, TV with DVD player, mini-bar, dressing table, closet, safe, individually adjustable A/C.
Category E cabins
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Category E
Two portholes, sofa, table, TV with DVD player, mini-bar, dressing table, closet, safe, individually adjustable A/C.
Category D cabins
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Category D
Two portholes, two chairs, table, TV with DVD player, mini-bar, dressing table, closet, safe, individually adjustable A/C.
Category C cabins
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Category C
Panorama windows, two chairs, table, TV with DVD player, mini-bar, dressing table, closet, safe, individually adjustable A/C.
Category B cabins
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Category B
Panorama window, sofa, table, chair, decorative fireplace, console with TV/DVD and mini-bar, dressing table, walk-in closet, safe, individually adjustable A/C.
Category A cabins
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Category A
Panorama window, sofa, table, chair, desk, decorative fireplace, TV and DVD player, mini-bar, dressing table, four closets, safe, individually adjustable A/C.


Rates are based on double occupancy. A limited number of cabins can be booked for individual use for an additional charge.

Please note: Shore excursions are NOT included in this cruise-only rate. Contact us for details.

Rates Include:
  • Beautifully appointed cabin in selected category
  • Welcoming bottle of champagne in your cabin
  • All meals (six per day) from early-bird breakfast to the exquisite 4-course dinner menu with choice of main course
  • 5-course gala dinner during the cruise
  • Welcome and farewell cocktail with champagne
  • Selected wines and beers thoughtfully chosen to complement lunch and dinner
  • All soft drinks and juices throughout the cruise
  • All alcohol-free coffee and tea specialties
  • Bottled water on the excursions
  • Fresh fruit basket in your cabin, replenished daily
  • E-mails can be sent free of charge from the on-board laptop
  • English-speaking tour guide
  • Travel documents with detailed destination information
  • All port fees
  • The use of snorkeling and waterskiing equipment is free of charge
Rates Exclude:
  • Tips
  • Excess luggage (allowance is up to 40 kg per passenger)
  • Additional meals and beverages (so far as not expressly included)
  • Other personal expenses
  • Transfers
Route profile:  The cycling routes will take you down small and quiet side streets and are suitable for every cyclist. The Guernsey walk includes some coastal paths and takes about 2.5 hours.

Optional cycling excursion package includes:

• Guided tours and entrance fees in Hamburg, Bruges, St Peter Port and Bilbao (the Guggenheim Museum)
• Guided cycling tours and walks on selected routes on six days including all transfers listed in the program
• A rental bike with 8-gear back pedal or with a 24-gear freewheel chain/hub gear (you will need to reserve this in advance)
• Route assistance from the support van with transfer option and bike maintenance
• All transfers listed in the program
• A tour guide from terranova
• Drinks during breaks, mineral water on excursions, and a picnic service
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.
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