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Scandinavian Festive Markets

Resort:Scandinavian Festive Markets
Operator: Saga
Destination: Belgium, Denmark, Sweden
Price From: £1199.00

Experience the traditional spirit of some of the Baltic’s most atmospheric Christmas markets with visits to Gothenburg, ‘Scandinavia’s Christmas City’, and Copenhagen where you can explore enchanting Tivoli Gardens. Discover charming chocolate-box old quarters transformed into festive wonderlands and browse stalls laden with authentic handmade gifts and regional specialities, such as roasted almonds, sugar-dusted gingerbread and hot mulled wine.

Saga price includes…

  • All meals on board, including 24-hour room service
  • A choice of wines at lunch and dinner
  • All on-board gratuities
  • Optional travel insurance and additional cancellation rights, or a reduction if not required
  • Guided visit to Meyer Werft visitors’ centre
  • Entertainment and activities
  • Welcome cocktail party and Captain’s dinner
  • All port taxes and visas
  • UK mainland travel service to and from Southampton

Itinerary

Southampton

Embark Saga PearI II. Depart 1600.

Lying near the head of Southampton Water, a peninsula between the estuaries of the Rivers Test and Itchen, Southampton is Britain’s largest cruise port. It has been one of England’s major ports since the Middle Ages, when it exported wool and hides from the hinterland and imported wine from Bordeaux. The city suffered heavy damage during World War Two and as a result the centre has been extensively rebuilt, but there are still some interesting medieval buildings including the Bargate, one of the finest city gatehouses in England.

FactFile

Population

253,651 (estimate)

Language

English

Currency

British Pounds Sterling

Time Difference

N/A

Climate

Southampton experiences an oceanic climate, with cool winters and mild to warm summers. Its sheltered location makes it one of the UK’s sunniest cities.

Ship berths at

Southampton Cruise Terminal

Distance from Centre

300 yards

Distance from gangway to coach

Motor vehicles can pick up and drop off passengers immediately outside the Terminal Building.

Useful Information

Shopping

The city’s main shopping mall is the West Quay Shopping Centre, but there are many other shopping streets in the town centre.

Shopping Opening Hours

The West Quay Shopping Centre is open Monday to Friday 0900-2000, Saturday 0900-1900 and Sunday 1100-1700.

Post Office

The main Post Office is at 32-34 Above Bar Street.

Tourist Office

There are Tourist Information Points at the Novotel Hotel on 1 West Quay Road, and also at the SeaCity Museum.

How to Phone Home

For the UK dial the full STD code followed by the subscriber’s number.

Emergency Services

Dial 999.

Banks

All main UK banks have branches in the city centre, with 24-hour ATMs.

Zeebrugge

Arrive 1200. Depart 2200.

In 1895 work began to construct a new seaport and harbour next to the tiny village of Zeebrugge, situated on the North Sea coast. Today the fast-expanding port of Zeebrugge is one of the busiest in Europe and its marina is Belgium’s most important fishing port. Many attempts were made to destroy this important port during both World Wars. Zeebrugge is ideally located for discovering the historic city of Bruges, and delightful seaside resorts with long sandy beaches can be visited by using the trams that run the whole length of the Belgian coast. A complimentary shuttle bus will operate from the port to the town of Blankenberge, where there are shops, caf s and restaurants. Please note that no food may be taken ashore in Belgium.

FactFile

Population

3,900 (approximate)

Language

Flemish

Currency

Euro

Time Difference

UK+1

Climate

Temperate

Ship berths at

Leopold II Dam

Distance from Centre

3 miles (approximately)

Distance from gangway to coach

Less than 100 yards

Useful Information

Shopping

There are shops available in Blankenberge: Kerkstraat. However, the main shopping area is located in Bruges: Steenstraat and Noordzandstraat.

Shopping Opening Hours

Generally open Monday to Saturday from 1000 – 1800. Some souvenir shops open on Sundays.

Post Office

The Post Office is located at Smet de Naeyerlaan 147, Blankenberge. Open Monday to Friday 0900 – 1730; Saturday 0930 – 1200. Closed on Sunday.

Tourist Office

The Tourist Office is located at Koning Leopold III Square, Blankenberge. Open daily April – September 0900 – 1145 and 1330 – 1700.

How to Phone Home

For the UK dial 00 44 followed by the full STD number, omitting the first zero.

Emergency Services

For all emergencies dial 112.

Banks

KBC/P, Devauxstraat 10, Blankenberge. Open Monday – Friday 0930 – 1230 and 1400 – 1630; Saturday 0900 – 1200. Closed Sundays. ATMs are available.

Shore excursions you may be able to enjoy:

Bruges Transfer

Enjoy the day at leisure in Bruges. The ancient city of Bruges was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2000, and possesses a wealth of culture and beauty. A 30-minute transfer brings you to Bruges, where your tour escort will guide you to Walpein Square in the city centre. Perhaps visit the Christmas market area and absorb the festive atmosphere, or maybe browse one of the many museums or relax in one of the canal-side caf s, or simply explore this delightful city. The decision is yours.

We recommend that you take an umbrella as there is limited shelter during your visit to the city. Coach access to the centre of Bruges is restricted: please note that Walpein Square is approximately 700 yards from the coach drop-off point. Any additional walking is at your own discretion. This transfer is non-guided and does not include lunch or entrance fees to any exhibitions or museums. Please bear in mind that walking in Bruges is over uneven surfaces with cobblestones and steps.

Bruges on Your Own

Enjoy the day at leisure in Bruges. This ancient city was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in the year 2000, and has numerous historic buildings, beautiful squares, old fortifications and fascinating churches. A 30-minute coach transfer brings you to Bruges, where your tour escort will guide you to Walpein Square in the city centre. You may like to visit one of the many museums, relax in a canal-side caf , buy a glass of local beer or a portion of delicious chips in the Market Square, go shopping for lace or chocolates or stroll along the ramparts with their lovingly restored windmills. The decision is yours: Bruges has so much to offer!

We recommend that you take an umbrella as there is limited shelter during your visit to the city. Coach access to the centre of Bruges is restricted: please note that Walpein Square is approximately 700 yards from the coach drop-off point. Any additional walking is at your own discretion. This transfer is not guided and does not include any refreshments or entrance fees, but your tour escort will supply basic information about the city. Please bear in mind that walking in the city centre is over uneven surfaces with cobblestones and steps. There is typically a charge of about …0.50 for the use of public conveniences, so please bring some change in euros.

Christmas Spirit in Bruges and Chocolates

This wonderful, half-day guided tour starts with a coach drive through the Flemish countryside to the medieval town of Bruges. Here you walk to a Belgian chocolate maker’s workshop to see first-hand how raw chocolate bars are made into the finest Belgian chocolates using only the freshest and best ingredients. Enjoy a hot cup of chocolate while watching this demonstration. Afterwards, you have free time to purchase some Belgian chocolates if you wish, and make a short visit to the Chocolate Museum. You will also have enough time for an independent exploration of Bruges. The city centre is transformed by the charming Christmas Markets in the medieval squares; browse around the pretty stalls selling hand-made decorations, gifts, chocolates and tasty local delicacies. The traditional step-gabled buildings decorated with sparkling lights, the huge Christmas tree and the ice rink in the Market Square all add to the delightfully festive atmosphere. Following your free time, enjoy a guided city walk through the cobbled streets, passing centuries-old buildings, including the market place with its Guild Halls. View the Belfry, the Town Hall and the 12th-century Gothic Basilica of the Holy Blood – which used to be the residence of the Count of Flanders – and the 13th-century Church of Our Lady, with its tall spire. At the end of your walk, your guide will lead you to the romantic ‘Lake of Love’, to re-join your coach for the journey back to the ship.

During the city tour you should expect to walk approximately one mile, over uneven ground and cobblestones. In addition, you will need to walk about 700 yards between the coach drop-off point and the city centre, and back again. Further walking during your free time is at your discretion.

Loppem Castle and Damme

Drive through the Belgian countryside to the quaint village of Damme. This typical Flemish village has retained its historic character. Here you have free time to stroll or sit down at a caf and enjoy one of the many kinds of beer that Belgium produces. Damme is known as a book town, with numerous bookshops and regular book fairs. Continue your tour with a drive through the outskirts of Bruges, passing windmills and the medieval city walls, stopping at one of the region’s largest chocolate shops. Afterwards, you will be taken south of Bruges to visit to the impressive Castle of Loppem. A country house rather than a fortress, it was built between 1859 and 1862 for Baron Charles van Caloen and his family, and designed by the British architect Edward Welby Pugin, whose father, August Welby Northmore Pugin, was one of the architects of the British Houses of Parliament. Pugin was assisted by Jean-Baptiste de B thune, who gave the building something of a Flemish character. Loppem Castle came to play a prominent role in the political history of Belgium at the end of World War I. The castle has a richly decorated and furnished interior, and houses a collection of works of art – paintings, stained glass and statuary. It is surrounded by a romantic park with ponds and a maze.

There is approximately 450 yards’ unavoidable walking on this tour, plus additional walking at your discretion, sometimes over cobblestones.

Romantic Bruges

With origins that can be traced back nearly 2,000 years, the ancient city of Bruges was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2000, and possesses a wealth of culture and beauty. Discover this ‘Venice of the North’ as you depart for a walking tour and canal boat ride through this most magical of cities. A thriving commercial centre throughout the Middle Ages, the city has hardly grown since medieval times. Pass charming domestic buildings with their distinctive gables, tree-lined canals, old bridges and the bustling market square. See the 273-foot high Belfry and the 14th-century Town Hall, from where the city has been governed for more than 700 years. Pause outside the Chapel of the Holy Blood, home to the relic of the Holy Blood, brought to Bruges by the Count of Flanders in the 13th century. The network of canals that cover Bruges offer an equally fascinating insight into the city and, during your 30-minute open-top boat cruise, you will drift through the waterways and discover hidden corners and sights that are not accessible on foot. Apart from its architecture and beauty, Bruges is also known as the home of some of the great Flemish artists including Jan Van Eyck and Hans Memling, and is famous for its chocolate and lace shops. Enjoy some free time to discover the shops and sights before returning to your ship via the Lake of Love, a picturesque body of water that was formerly a barge dock.

There is a total of around one mile of walking on this tour, some of which is over cobblestones. Walking during free time is at your discretion. We recommend that you take an umbrella and a jacket, as there is limited shelter during your stay in the city. Coach access to the centre of Bruges is restricted: please note that Walpein Square is approximately 700 yards from the coach drop-off point. There is typically a charge of about …0.50 for the use of public conveniences, so please bring some change in euros.

Ypres – In Flanders Fields

This tour provides an insight into the dramatic history of wars and battles in and around the town of Ypres. Restored to its former glory following complete destruction during the Great War, a number of poignant museums and monuments pay testament to the thousands who died on the battlefields. Your excursion starts with a visit to one of the region’s many Allied cemeteries, and then continues to the Menin Gate. This monumental gateway stands as a memorial to lost British soldiers who have no known grave, with the names of 54,896 engraved on its walls. The ‘In Flanders Fields’ museum, in the restored Cloth Hall, is a unique award-winning museum that brings to life the experiences of soldiers, nurses and children during the First World War. You also visit St George’s Memorial Church, dedicated to the thousands who died in the three battles of the Ypres Salient. Enjoy free time for lunch on your own, and for shopping in and around the Market Square in the town centre, before returning to your ship.

You will need to walk approximately £¾-mile: we have graded this excursion as ‘strenuous’ as much of the walking will be over cobbled streets and uneven ground. Further walking during your free time is at your discretion. There is usually a charge of …0.50 to use public conveniences. Lunch is not included in the cost of this excursion.

Day at sea.

Day at sea.

Gothenburg

Arrive 0800. Depart 2000.

Gothenburg, founded in 1621 after King Gustav II, tiring of Danish raids, ordered a strong fortress built to secure Sweden’s only western port. Gothenburg grew rapidly into the trading and maritime city envisioned by the King, and the East India Company became Sweden’s first international trading company during the 18th century. Silk, tea, spices and porcelain, the luxury items of the era, were imported to Sweden from countries such as China, despite journeys often lasting more than a year. Discover quaint canals, the cobbled streets of historical Haga and countless green open spaces. Immerse yourself in the Swedish lifestyle, soaking up the buzzing outdoor caf culture with ‘fika’ (a drink, usually coffee, and a bite) or indulge in food markets, impressive museums and fine restaurants – five with Michelin stars.

FactFile

Population

approximately 550.000

Language

Swedish

Currency

Swedish Krona

Time Difference

UK+1

Climate

Cool and temperate with frequent rain.

Ship berths at

Arendal 751

Distance from Centre

Approximately 8 miles

Distance from gangway to coach

Less than 100 yards

Useful Information

Shopping

Nordstan shopping centre located on Hamngatan Street. Nordstan is Scandinavias largest shopping centre.

Shopping Opening Hours

Generally open from 1000 to 1800.

Post Office

Located at Nordstan Shopping Centre on Norra Hamngatan 26

Tourist Office

Tourist info is available at the pier as well as in the city centre in Nordstan Shopping Centre.

How to Phone Home

To dial the UK dial 00 44 followed by the STD number, omitting the first zero

Emergency Services

Dial 112

Banks

Banks are located in Nordstan Shopping Centre. Generally open 1000 to 1700.

Shore excursions you may be able to enjoy:

Best of Gothenburg

Start with a one-hour panoramic coach tour around Gothenburg, stopping for photos at Klippan, a historic former industrial district, where the Scottish Carnegie family once owned sugar refineries and breweries. Today this has become the city’s cultural quarter. Your tour will also pass Gustaf Adolf Square, the Opera House, Götaplatsen with its statue of Poseidon, Aveneyn Street, the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre and the ice hockey and football stadiums. At Kungsportsplatsen you leave your coach to embark one of the characteristic flat-bottomed boats known as ‘Paddan’ for a 50-minute cruise around the city’s network of canals. These canals are reminiscent of moats and were constructed by Dutch engineers in the 17th century. The boat has room for about 80 passengers and the trip passes Lejontrappan, Lilla Bommen and Feskekyrkan. You will see the old shipyards and fishing port, and pass under the notorious low bridge known as the ‘cheese slicer’ when you leave the canal system for a short cruise on the Göta Älv river. A local guide will give a full commentary during the journey. Leaving your canal boat, re-join your coach and head to Haga, a district renowned for its picturesque wooden houses and 19th-century atmosphere. Originally a working-class suburb with something of a seedy reputation, this district has been gradually transformed into a popular tourist destination. After a short guided walk, spend some free time exploring on your own before returning to your ship.

There are approximately three steps up and three steps down when embarking and disembarking the canal boat; regrettably these vessels are not wheelchair accessible. Visiting Haga involves walking approximately 450 yards, partly over cobbled streets with slight inclines. Additional walking at photo-stops is at your discretion.

Gothenburg and Liseberg Christmas Village

This tour not only shows you the highlights of Gothenburg but also gives you an opportunity to visit Liseberg Christmas village. Sweden’s second-largest city, Gothenburg was founded in 1621 by King Gustavus Adolphus. It stands at the estuary of the Göta Älv – the river that runs through the city – and is the largest seaport of the Nordic countries. Your tour begins at Gustav Adolf Square, where you can find out about the city’s history and about the significance of the canals to its development as a trading centre. Then you continue down to the water to admire the famous Gothenburg Opera House. As you pass through the city centre, you will view some of the main highlights, including the famous statue of Poseidon by Carl Mille, which rises above Götaplatsen Square and overlooks the main street, Avenyn, with its many pubs, shops and restaurants. Your tour continue to the events district, passing the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre, the Scandinavium ice-hockey arena and the Nya Ullevi Stadium – Scandinavia’s largest, with a seating capacity of 43,000. At the end of your city tour you reach Liseberg. During the summer months this is one of Sweden’s largest amusement parks, but, when Christmas draws near, it is transformed into Scandinavia’s biggest winter-themed park. Stroll through the park, lit by 5,000,000 sparkling lamps, and take in the spirit of the season. During your free time in the park, you can go shopping for presents or sit down for a cup of warm Glögg, a beverage traditionally associated with Christmas holidays in Sweden. After your visit to this enchanting winter wonderland, it is time to re-join the coach and head back to your ship.

You will need to walk about 25 yards at Gustav Adolf Square, although you may remain in the coach if you prefer. At Liseberg, you should expect to walk a minimum of 250 yards. All walking is on level ground but there are a few cobblestones. We recommend that you wear comfortable shoes and warm clothing. Refreshments are not included in the cost of this excursion.

Gothenburg City Tour

Gothenburg is Sweden’s second-largest city, after Stockholm, and was founded in 1621 by King Gustavus Adolphus. It is situated by the sea at the mouth of Göta Älv and is the largest seaport in any of the Nordic countries. Your tour begins at Gustav Adolf Square, where your guide will give you an overview of the city’s history, especially the significance of the canals that played a large role in Gothenburg’s development as a trade centre. Continue towards the waterfront to admire the stunning modern Opera House, built in 1994 and designed by Jan Izikowitz. Passing through the city centre, view some of Gothenburg’s main highlights, including the famous statue of Poseidon which rises above Götaplatsen Square, the city’s cultural centre. Your drive also takes you past the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre and the Nya Ullevi Stadium – Scandinavia’s biggest event arena. On your way back to the ship you will pass the entrance to Liseberg, one of the largest amusement parks in Sweden.

All sightseeing is from the coach. Any walking at photo-stops is at your discretion. The only wc facilities available will be those on the coach.

Tjolöholm Manor and Costumes from Downton

Many who take a guided tour around Tjolöholm Manor are heard to exclaim “It’s just like Downton Abbey!†Certainly this grand house in Halland has many similarities to the stately home depicted in the popular TV series: visitors will admire the beautiful lounges where no effort was spared to create a comfortable environment to host the extravagant social life of the aristocracy, with their banquets, hunts and afternoon tea. You can also learn all about the fascinating relationship between the owners and their servants. The glory days of the Dickson and Bonde families in their British-inspired Tjolöholm Manor coincides with the era portrayed by the Downton Abbey television series. Even here in Sweden social etiquette was observed – such as the post-dinner custom of the ladies retiring to the drawing-room whilst the men took a cigar in the smoking-room and the servants carried on with their duties. In 2017 Tjolöholm is hosting a major exhibition, ‘Costumes from Downton’. This illustrates the fashion and lifestyle for the gentry and servants on a large estate in the early 1900s. The costumes on display were all worn by all the leading characters in the television series, from Mrs Hughes, the housekeeper through to the Dowager Duchess of Grantham. Your guided tour will take you through the Downton Abbey exhibition, with interesting facts about the TV series and life at Tjolöholm around 1910.

This tour involves approximately 600 yards’ walking including grass and gravel paths, with approximately 70 steps inside the four-storey manor house. Any further walking in the grounds after the main tour is at your discretion. The wc facilities are located in the basement and are only accessible by walking down a steep flight of about 20 steps. Comfortable shoes are recommended.

West Coast Islands

Sweden’s west coast is one of the country’s most popular holiday destinations and is frequently referred to as The Sunshine Coast. The whole area is full of picturesque fishing villages, inlets and idyllic seaside resorts, making it a real paradise in the summer. This tour takes you north from Gothenburg along the coast to the city of Kungläv, site of a famous meeting between the three Kings of Scandinavia in 1100. Drive along the charming Västra Gatan, the town’s main street, as your guide tells you dramatic tales about its history. Your tour continues with a short drive west to the Tjörn Bridges and out towards the North Sea. Your first stop is at the fishing village of Klädesholmen, well-known in Sweden for its herring industry. In the late 19th century local villagers started preserving spiced herring in tins and small barrels, and today nearly half the pickled herring in Sweden comes from Klädesholmen. The village is located on two little islands, with its traditional houses built on bare rocks, and a small harbour for its numerous fishing boats. From Klädesholmen your tour continues to the village of Skärhamn, which has a population of about 3,000. This small port with its active fishing harbour is also famous for its watercolour museum. Stop for coffee or tea and a cinnamon bun in Skärhamn before returning by coach to Gothenburg.

Expect to walk about half-a-mile in Klädesholmen and around 250 yards in Skärhamn, with some uneven surfaces and cobbled streets. You should be prepared for changeable weather.

Copenhagen

Arrive 0800. Depart 2200.

By the 11th century, Copenhagen was already an important trading and fishing centre and today you will find an attractive city which, although the largest in Scandinavia, has managed to retain its low-level skyline. Discover some of the famous attractions including Gefion Fountain and Amalienborg Palace, perhaps cruise the city’s waterways, visit Rosenborg Castle or explore the medieval fishing village of Dragoer. Once the home of Hans Christian Andersen, Copenhagen features many reminders of its fairytale heritage and lives up to the reputation immortalised in the famous song ‘Wonderful Copenhagen’.

FactFile

Population

600,000 (approximate)

Language

Danish

Currency

Danish Kroner (DKr)

Time Difference

UK+1

Climate

Temperate coastal climate and cool summers averaging 20°C

Ship berths at

Langelinie Pier

Distance from Centre

2 miles (approximate)

Distance from gangway to coach

50 yards (approximate)

Useful Information

Shopping

Langelinie Pier

Shopping Opening Hours

Shops are open from Monday to Friday between 1000-1800. On Saturday and Sunday, shops are open between 1000-1600.

Post Office

There are Post Offices in the centre of Copenhagen open Monday to Friday between 0830 to 1900 and Saturday between 0830 to 1400 but stamps can be bought at all large supermarkets.

Tourist Office

N/A

How to Phone Home

To call the UK dial 00 44 followed by the full STD number, but omitting the first zero

Emergency Services

112

Banks

A 24-hour ATM is at Osterport Station

Shore excursions you may be able to enjoy:

City and Tivoli Gardens

This tour starts with a panoramic coach tour of the most famous sights of Copenhagen. Your guide will point out the majestic City Hall, dating from 1892, the imposing Christiansborg Palace, the colourful Nyhavn canal district and other well-known landmarks. Photo-stops will be made at Copenhagen’s most cherished landmark, the statue of the Little Mermaid, and also at Amalienborg Palace, home to the Danish Royal Family. You then continue to the world-famous Tivoli Gardens for an included visit. Tivoli was opened in 1843 by a Danish army officer called Georg Carstensen, and was originally an example of the ‘pleasure gardens’ that were popular across Europe in the 19th century. The Danish King Christian VIII gave a 15-acre site to Carstensen to develop, and in their early days the gardens had exotic buildings, merry-go-rounds, a primitive miniature railway, a concert hall and an open-air theatre. A roller-coaster was added in 1914, and, since then, modern attractions have ensured that Tivoli remains today the most popular theme park in Scandinavia. In December, Tivoli is truly magical, with hundreds of Christmas trees and fir garlands, beautiful decorations and numerous stalls selling gifts and souvenirs. Seasonal refreshments are on sale, such as roasted almonds, Danish doughnuts, honey cake, roast pork sandwiches and mulled wine.

You should expect to walk a total distance of about £¾-mile. There are six steps at the Little Mermaid and some cobblestones around Amalienborg Palace. Tivoli Gardens is on level ground: walking here is largely at your discretion, but you will need to cover several hundred yards if you wish to see all the attractions. Please bear in mind that some seasonal rides will not be operating. You should bring warm clothing and be prepared for a sudden shower.

City tour and Carlsberg

This tour starts with a panoramic coach tour of the most famous sights of Copenhagen. Your guide will point out the majestic City Hall, dating from 1892, the imposing Christiansborg Palace, the colourful Nyhavn canal district and other well-known landmarks. Photo-stops will be made at Copenhagen’s most cherished landmark, the statue of the Little Mermaid, and also at Amalienborg Palace, home to the Danish Royal Family. You then continue to the Carlsberg Visitors’ Centre in Frederiksberg. Founded in 1847 by Jacob Christian Jacobsen, Carlsberg Brewery had its humble beginnings here thanks to the high quality water source nearby. By the late 19th century, the company’s beer had attained an international reputation, which has not abated since. The original facilities have greatly expanded since those early days, and now include a visitors’ centre where you can learn about the brewery’s past and present with interactive exhibits. Your visit starts with a self-guided walk through the old production area, home to the world’s largest bottle collection and historical exhibits on the history of the company. You also visit the stables where the sturdy Jutland draft horses, used for the vintage brewery drays, are housed. You have the chance to visit the extensive Carlsberg gift shop, before ending your visit in the Jacobsen Microbrewery & Bar. Here you can enjoy a couple of samples of Carlsberg’s many different brands, before returning, suitably refreshed, to the ship.

You should expect to walk a total distance of about £¾-mile. At the brewery, there are two flights of stairs, in addition to areas of gravel and cobblestones. There are six steps at the Little Mermaid and some cobblestones around Amalienborg Palace.

City Tour and Harbour Cruise

Travel to Gammel Strand, the former fish market, where you board a canal boat for a memorable 50-minute cruise along the city’s waterways and through the harbour. Enjoy the views as you sail along the narrow canals past Christiansborg Palace, the Nyhavn canal area, into the open harbour and on to the Langelinie district, where you might get a glimpse of your cruise ship. Then explore the Christianshavn area, with its houseboats, old schooners and very low bridges, and venture into the inner harbour to see Copenhagen’s modern Opera House that opened at the beginning of 2005. The tour then continues by coach to those places unreachable by boat. Travel past the Nyhavn canal district to Christiansborg Palace – the seat of the Danish Parliament – into the busy pedestrianised area of Stroget, past the Botanical Gardens and the 17th-century citadel of Kastellet. A stop will be made for photographs at Amalienborg Palace, home of the Danish Royal Family, and you also pass the enchanting Tivoli Gardens and the City Hall. Your return journey to the pier takes you past Rosenborg Castle, home of the Danish Crown Jewels.

You should expect to walk approximately 500 yards: there are 20 steps at the boat jetty and some cobblestones at Amalienborg Palace. In the event of an unusually high tide, canal boats may not be able to enter the Christianshavn area due to low bridges. In such cases, an alternative route will be taken. Larger groups may be split into two, with half starting their tour with the harbour cruise and the other half going on the coach tour first, and finishing with the cruise.

Copenhagen and Rosenborg Castle Walking Tour

Many of the sights of Copenhagen are located within a short distance of each other in the historical city centre, making this charming Baltic capital ideal to explore on foot. Join a local guide for a walking tour taking you to one of Copenhagen’s most famous sights and landmarks: the world-famous symbol of Copenhagen – the statue of the Little Mermaid. You then continue to the 17th-century coastal fortification of Kastellet and the adjacent Gefion Fountain, dating from 1908 and depicting the goddess Gefion commanding a chariot drawn by four massive bulls. Stop for photos here, before continuing to the Winter Residence of the Danish Royal family, the Amalienborg Palace, a beautiful complex from the 18th century consisting of four identical wings surrounding an octagonal courtyard. Leaving Amalienborg, stop for refreshments before continuing to the scenic Nyhavn Canal district. This is the oldest part of Copenhagen’s harbour, dug in the 1670s, and is lined by colourful step-gable houses that are now occupied by caf s, bars and restaurants, making this area one of the city’s most popular attractions. Admire King’s New Square before continuing to the fairytale castle of Rosenborg for an interior visit. This Dutch Renaissance-style castle houses a unique collection of 17th-century silver furniture, and you also visit the Treasury where the Danish crown jewels are kept. You have a little free time to explore the park surrounding the castle, before making your way back to the ship.

This tour is entirely on foot, and covers over three miles, including level ground, cobblestones and wooden floors. You will need to negotiate half-a-dozen steps before reaching Rosenborg Castle, where there are two flights of stairs. The castle grounds include areas of gravel, grass and cobblestones.

Maritime Museum and Kronborg Castle

Board your coach and travel to Helsingør, one of Denmark£´s best-preserved medieval towns with half-timbered houses, picturesque, cobbled streets and old churches. You stop here to view the famous Royal Castle of Kronborg, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, situated on the Øresund Strait just across the water from the Swedish city of Helsingborg. This richly-decorated Renaissance castle dates from the 16th to the 18th centuries and is famous as the setting for Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’. In the past it was used by Danish kings to control tolls on ships sailing into the Baltic Sea, but it has not been used by the Royal Family since the late 1600s. After viewing the Castle’s inner courtyard, head to the nearby Maritime Museum, opened in 2013 on the site of an old dry dock. Designed by the Bjarke Ingels Group, this innovative museum has won many awards for its dramatic architecture and for the way it is integrated into the local environment. The museum tells the history of Danish shipping and seafaring over the past 600 years, with ship models, computer simulations, collections of marine artefacts and inter-active displays where you can learn about the lives of sailors and their families.

You should expect to walk a distance of about 700 yards at Kronborg Castle, with some uneven surfaces and cobblestones. There are no lifts, and you will need to negotiate three flights of stairs. Walking in the Maritime Museum is at your discretion, but you will need to cover several hundred yards if you wish to view all the exhibits. However, the museum is a very modern building designed to be accessible to visitors with mobility impairments.

Roskilde Viking Ships and Cathedral

Denmark is the Land of the Vikings, and no here would be complete without visiting the site of early Danish culture where the fierce Vikings lived. A drive across the picturesque island of Zealand brings you to the ancient town of Roskilde, former capital of Denmark and home of the spectacular Viking Ship Museum. On display are five Viking longboats – sunk over 1,000 years ago to prevent enemy ships from entering the fjord – and recovered in the 1960s. These ships are now beautifully displayed at the museum, which also has many other interesting Viking finds and exhibits on show, including a section with life-size ship replicas and Viking costumes, where you can act out your ‘inner Viking’. Outside the museum is the Museum Island, with an archaeology workshop and a working Viking boatyard where master craftsmen make replicas of Viking-age wooden boats and longboats, using the same materials and techniques as the ancient Vikings. In the summer you may see demonstrations of Viking crafts, such as writing in Runes, painting shields or striking coins. Also included in this tour is a visit to Roskilde Cathedral, which has been the traditional burial place of Danish Kings and Queens for more than 500 years, and now houses 37 Royal Tombs. The Cathedral stands on a ridge in the heart of the city and is a prominent local landmark. There has been a church on this site for more than 1,000 years, and since 1995 the present building has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. It is one of the earliest examples of French-inspired, Gothic brick architecture. After visiting this historic building, return by coach to Copenhagen.

You should expect to walk about £½-mile, with occasional steps and some cobblestones in Roskilde. There are two flights of stairs to the upper floor of the museum, but a lift is also available.

Seaside Town of Dragoer

This scenic tour takes you to Dragoer, one of Denmark’s oldest and quaintest fishing villages. Set on Amager Island and lapped by the blue waters of the Øresund, Dragoer is well preserved and has retained its historic character due to the fact that conservation work was started as long ago as 1934. In 1968, parking was prohibited in the entire old district, and in 1978 Dragoer became Denmark’s first ‘pedestrian town’, which is now protected by a local preservation plan. Historically, Dragoer was once an international trading post for Hanseatic merchants, and it became a thriving fishing port during the 16th and 17th centuries. After the herring industry dwindled, the town survived as a major centre for shipping, and is now a friendly place with a fascinating history. Your guide will take you on a leisurely stroll through the cobbled back streets to the bustling harbour. Then you have free time to explore: look around the village, browse for souvenirs in some of the small handicraft shops that line the main street or admir