Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning 2023

Representatives from destinations and cruise lines offering itineraries in the Northern Europe area tell Elly Yates-Roberts about the region’s charm and how a shift to slow tourism is boosting its popularity Cruising has long been praised for enabling passengers to visit a variety of destinations during one trip. Vessels are able to travel to a number of cities and countries in one itinerary, inviting guests to explore a range of landscapes, activities and cultures. This is as true in Northern Europe as it is anywhere else. “The Baltic Sea and Northern Europe region stands out because of the diversity in destinations,” says Ida Katrine Skaarup, manager of Cruise Baltic. “In a Baltic itinerary, visitors can experience multiple countries, up to five capitals, more than eight languages and a variety of cultures, each with its own history and traditions. There is something for everyone.” Many of the region’s destinations are not so well known by tourists, which gives cruise visitors a unique experience. “Where possible, we look to include interesting, lesser-known locations in our itineraries, which we hope will surprise and delight,” says Michelle Lupino, head of destination management at Ambassador Cruise Line. And Martin Lister, head of itinerary planning and destination experience at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, agrees. “Northern Europe offers so many fantastic destinations to visit by cruise,” he says. “The region provides great scenery, from the Swedish archipelago to Norway’s fjords. In addition, so many of the towns and cities are rich in history and allow our guests to experience really contrasting cultures. In northern Norway, for example, our guests can spend time with the indigenous Sami communities to learn more about their way of life.” However, there are other considerations for cruise lines visiting the region. “Our itinerary planners factor in many things, including location, berth or anchorage position, and proximity to the town centre and local attractions,” says Lupino. “In order for our guests to have the best cruising REGIONAL SPOTL IGHT: NORTHERN EUROPE Taking the scenic route Photo: Ambassador Cruise Lines 8 2