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A moment of stillness in Copenhagen

From Medival Cities to the Normandy Beaches

Example 11 Day Cruise aboard National Geographic Explorer
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Voyage from Copenhagen to London along the inland waterways of the North Sea, exploring beautiful coastal cities as well as the crucial and storied role the region has played in history. Stroll through charming, canal-side towns that sprang up along Old-World trade routes. Marvel at the elaborate architecture of medieval ruling capitals. And reflect at the sites of battles that helped determine the outcome of World War II. National Geographic Explorer will be your warm and welcoming home base as you experience Europe from a unique vantage point.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Copenhagen, Denmark/Embark
Day 2 : Lübeck
Day 3 : At Sea
Day 4 : Amsterdam, Netherlands
Days 5-6 : Bruges and Antwerp
Days 7-8 : Beaches and Historical Battlefields of Operation Overlord
Day 9 : Sark | Alderney, Channel Islands
Day 10 : Dover, England
Day 11 : London, U.K. | Disembark

Highlights

  • Take in the stunning architecture in the medieval German city of Lübeck
  • Cruise the storybook canals of Bruges on a private boat tour
  • Explore Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum to see the most famous Rembrandt painting
  • Navigate up the River Thames, under the London Tower Bridge
  • Sail past England’s otherworldly Cliffs of Dover

Ship

National Geographic Explorer

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

A moment of stillness in Copenhagen Explore beautiful Amsterdam A moment of tranquility on a Bruges canal Dusk reveals the glow of city lights Springtime in London
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Day 1 Copenhagen, Denmark/Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Depart on an overnight flight to Copenhagen where you’ll explore Nyhavn, the city’s 17th-century waterfront neighborhood, and take a private canal boat tour before embarking National Geographic Explorer.

Day 2 Lübeck

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cruise up the river Trave to the beautiful medieval city of Lübeck. Once the Queen City of the Hanseatic League, Lübeck boasts beautiful brick architecture, much of which was rebuilt after WWII. Taste locally produced marzipan, and visit the incredible Holsten Gate and Hospital of the Holy Spirit—two of the many fascinating buildings to grace this lovely, picturesque town.

Day 3 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Overnight and into the morning, transit the Kiel Canal, a 61-mile waterway connecting the North Sea with the Baltic. During and after breakfast, take in the beautiful views of the Schleswig-Holstein region from the ship until we reach the Brunsbüttel Lock and exit out into the North Sea to sail along the coast of mainland Europe. Unwind, head to the spa, browse the library, and hear talks from our staff.

Day 4 Amsterdam, Netherlands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cluttered with bicycles, bursting with flowers, and carved by canals, Amsterdam is a vibrant city with an arts scene that has flourished since the Middle Ages. Take in the unique character of the canal-lined streets by boat or on foot, and experience the spectacular Rijksmuseum, recently reopened after a mammoth, nine-year renovation. On a guided tour, get an insider’s view of the world’s largest collection of Dutch masters with works by Vermeer, Rembrandt, and more. 

Day 5-6 Bruges and Antwerp

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Bruges is a UNESCO World Heritage site filled with Gothic architecture and serene waterways. Walk through the bustling and colorful Markt Square, and listen as the bells of the medieval bell tower toll the hour. After a walking excursion, board small boats and glide down swan-dotted canals to experience the gem-like old town from another perspective. The port city of Antwerp dates from the Middle Ages. Stroll the centuries-old diamond district; visit the Rubens House to view works by Baroque master Peter Paul Rubens; and admire the Renaissance architecture in Grote Markt. 

Day 7-8 Beaches and Historical Battlefields of Operation Overlord

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Turn your focus toward one of the most important historical events of the 20th century as you retrace the events of D-Day with a historian. Walk in the footsteps of the Allied troops at Omaha Beach, and pay your respects at the American Cemetery. Visit the famous Pegasus Bridge across the Caen Canal, where the British 6th Airborne Division glided into land at the very start of the Allied invasion. See the remains of Mulberry Harbor, created from partially sunken blockships to provide a safe point of entry for supplies and equipment after the initial invasion began.

Day 9 Sark | Alderney, Channel Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Begin the day in remote Sark and explore its rolling hills by foot or bike. Take in the colorful sights and intoxicating scents of La Seigneurie Gardens. In the afternoon, anchor at Alderney and take a walking tour of the island to learn about its important role in World War II under German occupation. Then, weather permitting, kayak across surrounding waters in search of migratory seabirds: puffins, gannets, and lesser black-backed gulls.

Day 10 Dover, England

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sail past the Cliffs of Dover, a beacon to many WWII pilots returning home from the battle on the continent. Walk the wartime tunnels deep beneath Dover Castle and immerse yourself in the drama of the Dunkirk evacuation – “Operation Dynamo.” Visit Ramsgate, once the embarkation point for the 1940 evacuation, where 4,200 ships left the harbor to rescue men stranded on Dunkirk’s beaches. Overnight, navigate up the River Thames, toward London.

Day 11 London, U.K. | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark in London and transfer to Heathrow Airport for flights home.
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National Geographic Explorer

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Per person starting at
$11,790
National Geographic Explorer's Category 1 Cabin.
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Cat 1
Main Deck with one or two portholes. #301-308
National Geographic Explorer's Category 2 Cabin.
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Cat 2
Main Deck with window. #317-320, 335-336.
National Geographic Explorer's Category 3 Cabin.
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Cat 3
Main Deck with Window #313-316, 321-328, 337-340,342, 344, 346, 348, 350.
National Geographic Explorer's Category 4 Cabin.
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Cat 4
Upper and Veranda Decks with Window. # 103-104, 107-108, 201-202, 204-207, 210, 212, 217, 226, 228.
National Geographic Explorer's Category 5 Upper Deck Cabin.
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Cat 5
Upper Deck with Balcony. #209, 211, 214, 216, 218, 220-222, 224.
National Geographic Explorer's Category 6 Cabin.
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Cat 6
Veranda Deck Suite #101-102; Upper Deck Suite with Balcony #213.
Luxurious Catagory 8 Suite
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Cat 7
Upper Deck Suite with Balcony. #215, 219, 230.
National Geographic Explorer's Category SA and SB.
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Cat SA
C Deck Solo - Cabins 309-312, 329-334. Single cabins with window.
National Geographic Explorer's Category SA and SB.
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Cat SB
Upper and Veranda Decks with Window. #105-106, 203, 208.

Notes

Travelers under the age of 18 save $500 per person.

INCLUDED
Aboard ship
  • All meals and non-alcoholic beverages*
  • Cappuccinos, lattes & filtered water
  • 24-hour coffee, tea & soda on demand 
  • Hors d’oeuvres & snacks during Recap
  • Fitness center or exercise equipment, depending on the ship
  • Fully stocked library, and other gracious public spaces
  • The guidance and company of our expedition staff
  • The services of a physician on certain ships/destinations
Ashore
  • Meals on land, as indicated in the itinerary
  • Sightseeing & entrance fees
  • Special access permits, park fees, port taxes
  • Transfers to and from group flights
  • The expertise of our expedition staff
Activities
  • All excursions
  • Zodiac & kayak explorations
  • Snorkeling, including wetsuits, masks, fins & snorkel where relevant
  • Presentations and guest speakers in the lounge
EXCLUDED
Airfare
  • International and internal airfare
Pre- and post-expedition
  • Additional hotel nights
  • Private transfers
  • Travel Protection Plan
  • Passport, visa, and immigration fees
  • Expedition extensions
  • Gratuities
Aboard ship
  • Alcoholic beverages 
  • Spa treatments
  • Gratuities 
  • Laundry
  • Gift shop items and any other items of personal nature
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.
Lisa Bridge
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