Hidden gems, hidden mysteries. Step aboard the 5-star Ocean Odyssey and unearth some of Europe’s most enigmatic cities and stories on a journey from London to Copenhagen, featuring a mix of lesser-visited ports and cultural capitals in seven different nations. Our agile and state-of-the-art small ship will also cruise you to places larger ships can’t — including Gothenburg, Sweden; Le Havre, France; and Kristiansand, Norway. Throughout your journey, you'll have your pick of tours at several ports of call, so you can tailor your trip to your specific interests.
This journey is so rich in history and culture with explorations of Normandy’s D-Day beaches, tours of Amsterdam and Bruges, and a visit to innovative Oslo. Alongside 30 included features and Cultural Discoveries, you'll revel in distinctive gastronomical experiences, including a Normandy oyster tasting, Belgian chocolate making, and a visit to a food market in Copenhagen — arguably the most groundbreaking and celebrated food destination in the world. Illuminating your discoveries will be an experienced Resident Lecturer who will remain onboard throughout your journey.
Onboard spa, gym facilities — these are but a few of the luxury amenities you’ll relish on a small ship ocean cruise aboard the Ocean Odyssey. Its small passenger-to-crew ratio ensures optimum service and its small size (just 77 cabins including a landmark 15 solo cabins) allows you to berth in many ports and walk right off the ship into the heart of your destination (please note: tendering is required in some port cities). All the while, a complimentary onboard Concierge can customize your journey by planning additional excursions, securing Michelin-starred restaurant reservations, and offering expert insight into every port. Add optional extensions to Dublin and Copenhagen — the perfect way to cap off an exploration of Europe’s nooks, crannies, and unsung glories.
If you're interested in this itinerary and want to revel in even more Cultural Discoveries and immersive experiences, check out our combination cruises Wonders of the World Cruise 2023: A 150-day Voyage from Australia to Sweden and Treasures of the Atlantic: England, France, Scandinavia & the Baltics. Explore more and save.
Fly to London
Your European voyage is underway — today you’ll fly overnight to London, England.
Please note: If you're taking advantage of the pre-trip extension to Dublin, you will follow the pre-trip itinerary until Day 2, then you will join your fellow base travelers for the rest of the journey. All activities and inclusions will be covered; please see the pre-trip extension itinerary for details.
Land in London
Land this morning in London. If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a Vantage representative will meet you and arrange transfer to your centrally located and elegant hotel. Enjoy the balance of the day free until this evening’s Welcome Briefing and Dinner at the hotel.
London’s landmarks and UNESCO Sites
Today’s half-day guided city tour by coach and by foot includes some of London’s most notable landmarks — Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Parliament, Buckingham Palace, and more. You’ll also be delighted by a visit to the Imperial War Museum. Lunch and dinner are on your own — perhaps you'll do as the locals do and head to the nearby pub! Our local experts can recommend many restaurants and activities in the area surrounding your hotel, thanks to it's central location.
Tour inside Windsor Castle, embark the Ocean Explorer
From the bustling heart of London you’ll transfer to Poole to board the Ocean Odyssey and begin your small ship ocean cruise. Along the way, embark on a guided tour of Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. Today, Queen Elizabeth II spends most of her private weekends at the castle, which has housed 39 monarchs since its founding by William the Conqueror in the 11th century. Enjoy free time and lunch on your own in Windsor.
After embarking the Ocean Odyssey later this afternoon, take some time to explore its amenities, including the onboard boutique, spa and gym. Stop by the Concierge desk and discover all of the services available to you — from securing tickets for onshore excursions to organizing a group dinner with your travel companions. Hungry? Ask about the several dining options onboard, from a sit-down dining room to a restaurant that allows you to prepare your own meal with the ancient art of hot-rock cooking. Best of all, the small size of your ship allows you unparalleled access to your destinations. In many instances we’ll be able to dock right in the port; while for others, we’ll anchor and use Zodiacs or tenders to cover the short distance to the shore.
Later, join the captain and crew for an onboard Welcome Briefing, followed by the Captain's Welcome Dinner.
Enjoy your choice of tours in France: D-Day history or "Taste of Normandy"
Today the Ocean Odyssey arrives in the port of Le Havre, where you’ll have your choice of tours, depending on your interests.
If you’re a history lover, embark on a full-day tour of Normandy’s beaches where Allied troops landed on D-Day — June 6, 1944. We’ll drive to the coastal village of Colleville-sur-Mer and the Normandy American Cemetery & Memorial, burial site of nearly 10,000 soldiers, for an exclusive wreath-laying ceremony in remembrance of American lives lost. You’ll have a little bit of free time to explore; then, enjoy le goûter, a traditional French snack time, in a local restaurant. Next, we’ll visit the coastal promontory of Pointe du Hoc, site of a German battery that was destroyed by U.S. Rangers who scaled the sea cliff in a daring attack. Finally, we’ll continue to Omaha Beach, where U.S. Army infantry prevailed in the face of fierce resistance.
Alternatively, you might elect to join our half-day "Taste of Normandy" tour. We’ll drive out to the Fécamp Benedictine monastery to see how the famous Benedictine liqueur, with its traditional blend of 27 spices and herbs, is produced. A scenic drive will next bring us to Étretat, an iconic site on France’s Normandy coastline, for a photo stop and light exploring. Afterward, we’ll transfer back to the ship where a late lunch onboard awaits us.
Dinner is on the ship tonight, and we’ll welcome a scintillating jazz dup onboard for evening entertainment.
Discover Honfleur — and its oysters — on a guided walking tour
After breakfast, we’ll transfer to Honfleur and embark on a guided walking tour of this picturesque town — birthplace of the early Impressionist painter Eugene Boudin and a favorite of Monet, Courbet, and other artists, who maintained studios near the harbor. Here, you’ll also be treated to a delightful tasting session of Normandy’s famous oysters. (We’ll also have local cheeses for those who prefer it.) We’ll return to the ship for a late lunch onboard and an afternoon at leisure as the ship sets sail toward Belgium. Take in another lecture this afternoon before dinner.
Your choice of tours: Explore enchanting Bruges or Ghent
Today, choose between two unforgettable experiences in two of Belgium’s most endearing cities.
Set off for Bruges on an excursion to one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval cities and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A walking tour takes you to Begijnhof area and the historic center, where you’ll see highlights such as the Church of Our Lady and Grote Markt. You’ll also get a chance to taste some of the city’s famous waffles along the way. We’ll also provide you with local currency to enjoy lunch before we return to the ship.
Calling all beer lovers! Our next option whisks you to lively Ghent for a guided walking tour that includes a tasting of one of the local brews. Ghent is a vibrant college town, and you’re sure to fall in love with the canal-side medieval and classical architecture!
Back on the ship this afternoon, we’ll gather for a chocolate making demonstration and tasting.
Discover Amsterdam’s Jewish cultural history
Today we wake up in Amsterdam to discover the city’s WWII history on a walking tour of the Jewish Quarter. See the Hollandsche Schouwburg National Holocaust Memorial, which was used by the German occupying forces as a collection center for Jews. From here, tens of thousands of women and men were deported to concentration and extermination camps. It is now a place of commemoration. We’ll also view the Portuguese Synagogue and Amsterdam’s UNESCO-listed 17th century canal ring.
Lunch is back onboard, with afternoon shuttle service back into Amsterdam. If you’re interested in visiting the Anne Frank House, you’ll want to make a request with our Concierge months before your trip departs — tickets sell out quickly. This evening, we’ll hear another lecture before dinner onboard.
Spend a day at sea as we head to Norway
Enjoy a day at sea to unwind and take advantage of the ship’s facilities. By this time, you’ve likely familiarized yourself with the onboard Concierge, who can help make spa appointments or plan activities on land. Head to the spa for a soothing treatment, get in a workout at the fitness center, or take in some sightseeing from the sun deck. You can also soak in the hot tub, check out a book from the library to read in the multistory lounge, and enjoy curated lectures we’ll be providing throughout your journey.
Explore Kristiansand and take in a private organ concert
After breakfast onboard, we’ll explore Kristiansand, known as “Norway’s Floral Town,” on a leisurely guided walking tour. During your walk, visit Posebyen, one of Northern Europe’s largest collections of charming, old, white wooden houses. Later, you'll have the pleasure of attending a private organ concert at the Gothic-style Kristiansand Cathedral, built in 1884.
After lunch, enjoy a lovely afternoon at leisure onboard or explore more of Kristiansand. Perhaps you’ll visit the lively Fiskebrygga Harbor with its stunning canal scenery — a favorite among the locals, especially on a sunny day.
Before dinner tonight, hear another lecture.
Fall for innovative Oslo on a city tour
Today is reserved for exploring one of Europe’s most eco-friendly and innovative cities - Oslo. You'll have the chance to truly immerse in local life, beginning with a panoramic tour that includes the stunning Oslo Opera House, where you can see its famed, sloped roof that visitors can walk along. Next is Aker Brygge along the water, the Nobel Peace Center, and Akershus Fortress, a medieval castle dating back to 1300 AD. You’ll then visit Vigeland Sculpture Park, with more than 200 works of art depicting humans in many unusual forms. You'll conclude your tour with a walk through the historical center of Oslo, called Kvadraturen, and a visit to Oslo City Hall, where they hold the annual Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.
Lunch is back on board. After, indulge in an afternoon at leisure in Oslo. Perhaps you'll discover Oslo on foot or explore Bygdøy and visit one of the many interesting museums, such as the Viking Ship Museum or Norwegian Museum of Cultural History. You may also ask your onboard Concierge to book a boat tour so you can explore the diverse and unique islands and colorful houses of the Oslo Fjord, discovering charming landscapes and amazing city views.
Enjoy a day of sailing toward Sweden
Enjoy another day at sea as the Ocean Odyssey makes its way toward Sweden. Visit the spa, get in a workout at the gym, relax on the sun deck catching up with a great book, and enjoy another enriching lecture.
We arrive in Gothenburg later this afternoon. Tonight, more local entertainers join us onboard the ship after dinner.
Explore the Swedish city of Gothenburg
Dive into Swedish tradition and fun with a morning city tour of Gothenburg. Your experience will include a visit to the popular indoor fish market, Feskekôrka, as well as the main indoor market called Store Saluhall. You'll have the opportunity to try some savory and sweet samples at some of the stalls in the markets.
In addition to the market visit, you'll enjoy a guided sightseeing tour that takes you on a combined motorcoach and walking tour. Begin with a panoramic tour through some distinct neighborhoods, then past major attractions such as Maritiman, Gothenburg Opera, Feskekôrka, Liseberg Amusement Park, and many more. We'll take a closer look at the neighborhoods of Haga, full of wooden homes, and Vasastan, boasting neo-renaissance stone houses, on the walking portion.
In the afternoon after lunch back on the ship, you'll have a choice of two tours — either a visit to the massive vehicle collection housed at the Volvo Museum, or the Botanical Garden, full of more than 16,000 species of local and exotic plants.
A delicious dinner will be offered in the evening on board the Ocean Odyssey.
Disembark the Ocean Odyssey before a panoramic tour of Copenhagen
The ship arrives to Copenhagen this morning and after your final breakfast on board, you'll disembark the Ocean Odyssey.
Today's panoramic tour of charming, friendly Copenhagen features the famed Little Mermaid statue on her watery perch, the Nyhavn canal district, towered and turreted Rosenborg Castle, and the dignified Amalienborg Castle where Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II resides today. Part of your tour includes a private and scenic canal boat ride, and you’ll see how Copenhagen’s residents make use of these historic channels.
From renowned Noma restaurant to an up-cropping of other Michelin-starred gems, food has become Copenhagen’s main attraction! On a visit to a local food market, you’ll see what the locals are cooking up. Lunch is on your own here, too, among more than 60 stalls selling everything from tacos to tapas, sushi to salad.
After, check into your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure, with dinner on your own at one of this city's numerous celebrated restaurants.
A leisurely day in Copenhagen on your own
You have today to uncover the delights of Copenhagen at your leisure. Don't miss a stroll down the city’s famed Strøget, one of the longest pedestrian streets in the world. Later, celebrate your journey with your fellow travelers at a Farewell Dinner.
Fly home from Copenhagen, or spend more time here with a post-trip extension
After breakfast you’ll transfer to the airport for your return flight home. Or, if you’re joining the post-trip extension right here in Copenhagen, you’ll stay on for two more nights!
Please note: Ocean-cruising is not the same experience as river cruising; as such, you may experience fluctuating tides and weather patterns that may involve some rocking of your vessel. Itineraries will include all activities as planned except in extreme cases that can’t be controlled by your shipboard crew. Day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Cruise Director or regional expert.