Exploring the past
You’ll visit some of Europe’s most historic sites on this cruise along Europe’s Atlantic coast. Learn about Normandy’s history from Viking invasions to the D-Day landings, visit UNESCO-listed sites such as Lisbon’s Torre de Belém, watch for wildlife as you cross the Bay of Biscay, and prepare for the rugged fjord-like landscapes of the Galician Rías.
Cultures and cuisine
Experience the diverse coastal cultures of Europe from the Bretons in France to the Galicians in Spain, and delve into the region’s maritime history. You’ll also get an authentic taste of the towns we visit by sampling sumptuous local cuisine, like tapas accompanied by traditional Galician cider.
Your Atlantic coast adventure starts here
Your adventure along Europe’s Atlantic coastline begins in Hamburg – the so-called 'Venice of the North' due to its picturesque canals. If you have time, you'll find many attractions in the Altstadt, like St Nikolai Memorial and Deichstraße Historic Street.
Hamburg is also home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Chilehaus, and the world's largest historic warehouse complex in Speicherstadt. Art lovers should head to Kunsthalle, the nation’s foremost art museum.
Your comfortable expedition ship MS Maud will be ready and waiting for you in the port.
Experience the Frisian port city of Harlingen
You can walk or bike around Harlingen, a city of canals and pretty harbours, and home to the last traditional pottery factory in the Netherlands. Harlingen lies on the shores of the Wadden Sea, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
You'll find traditional sailing ships and historic warehouses around the old harbours of Noorderhaven and Zuiderhaven. Don’t miss the Harlingen Aardewerkmuseum to admire displays of distinctive Frisian pottery.
Rich medieval architecture among winding streets
First a fishing village, then a medieval city, and later a royal seaside resort – the strategic port of Oostende is steeped in European history. Yet despite the ravages of war and time, many of its medieval features have survived to the present day.
It’s also a great base from which to visit UNESCO-listed Bruges. Lose yourself in this beautifully preserved medieval town, as you explore winding streets, picturesque canals and grand 14th century buildings.
Discover historic beaches and see moving WWII memorials
Normandy has a fascinating history, from the Viking invasion to the D-Day landings in 1944. In Cherbourg, you'll learn more about the Battle of Normandy and the role played by the city at Musée de la Liberation.
The city also boasts the Thomas Henry Museum, Normandy's third Museum of fine arts, displaying a unique collection of works by Jean-François Millet, as well as an incredible collection of 300 paintings and sculptures from the 15th to the 19th century.
Join one of our optional excursions and explore some of the famous beaches of the D-Day landings, pay homage to moving WWII memorials, and visit the famous Bayeux tapestry.
A beautiful Breton town steeped in history
Viewed from the sea Saint-Malo is an impressive sight, fringed by fortified bastions and gently sloping beaches.
A circular walk along the ramparts offers the best views of the town and surrounding islands. Or head out on your own and take a tour of the Privateers House to learn about the feared Corsairs and the town’s pirate heritage.
Visit the Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel or walk to Île de Grand Bé at low tide. The island has remains of an ancient fort and is where the renowned local writer Chateaubriand is buried.
Inspiring coastal scenery and maritime history
In the picturesque seaside town of Dourarnenez, you'll find the colourful quaysides, sandy beaches, and steep cliffs that inspired famous painters like Renoir and Boudin. As well as fishermen’s houses and seamen’s chapels, Dourarnenez hosts a wonderful maritime museum with boats from around the world.
If conditions don’t allow a visit to Dourarnenez, we’ll head to nearby Brest, a fascinating maritime city with medieval fortifications. Here, you can visit the National Maritime Museum inside the military fortress of Château de Brest. It’s a modern city too, with lively quays and docks that are perfect for a scenic stroll.
Unwind and enjoy the natural world around you
Today is the perfect day to relax on deck with your binoculars and look out for whales, dolphins and porpoises. This is one of the few places in the world where beaked whales can be seen – if you’re lucky – as they’re drawn to the nutrient rich waters of the Bay.
You can also learn about the marine biology of the seas along our cruise, with hands-on demonstrations and in-depth lectures about the history, geography and environment of the destinations to come. And don’t forget the leisure facilities on board – why not try out the panoramic sauna?
Explore Ferrol and get a taste of Galicia
Our next stop is Ferrol on the rugged coast of Galicia. Once a small fishing hamlet, for the past three centuries it’s been Spain’s main naval base. There are more forts, citadels and barracks here than any other harbour in the country.
An overnight stay in Ferrol gives us two full days to explore the highlights of northern Galicia. Get to know the Neoclassical historic centre of Ferrol on a guided tour, walk a section of the ancient pilgrimage trails that crisscross Galicia, or join optional excursions to the UNESCO-listed towns of Lugo and Santiago de Compostela.
The beautiful city of Vigo in the heart of Galicia
Our cruise continues to Vigo, once the gateway to the Americas. Protected by the beautiful Islas Cíes, Vigo has one of the best natural harbours in Galicia and became its main trading and fishing port.
Perfectly located for exploring the city on foot, you can visit the bustling Rúa do Príncipe with its eclectic mix of buildings in Neoclassical and Art Nouveau architectural styles. Or seek out the impressive 16th century Castro Castle and park.
On your way to the old town and Neoclassical cathedral, don’t miss the Rúa da Pescadería, and sample some of the delicious seafood Galicia is famous for.
Arriving in Portugal, we dock at Leixoes. From here, you can see the Lighthouse of Leça, the Boa Nova Chapel, and the beautiful beach of Praia Azul.
You can take a shuttle bus to Porto – famed for its port wine and UNESCO-listed historic centre. An undulating city made for strolling, you'll fall in love with the pastel houses, colourful tiled facades, street art, ornate churches and panoramic views across the Douro.
Here, you can stroll along the bustling promenade by the Ribeira docks, cross the Dom Luís I Bridge, snack on delicious petiscos, and enjoy wine tastings at the port cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia.
One of southern Europe's most enchanting cities
Your cruise along Europe’s Atlantic coast ends in one of southern Europe's most enchanting cities – Lisbon.
If you have time before your onward journey, we recommend a tour of Lisbon's classical districts. Start your exploration at the Praça do Comercio in Baixa and walk towards the narrow streets of Bairro Alto. From there, you'll arrive at Alfama and the old Islamic quarter, the remains of the Roman amphitheatre and the Moorish fortress. You can also visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Torre de Belém and Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, where you'll also find the delicious pastéis de Belém.
If you’d like to explore more of Lisbon and its surroundings before you return home, why not join our optional Post-Programme.
Itineraries are subject to change.
Vessel Type: Expedition Ship
Length: 135,75 m
Passenger Capacity: 528
About the ship
MS Maud, previously MS Midnatsol, is named after one of the most famous polar vessels of all time, Roald Amundsen's 'Maud' from 1917. The original 'Maud' got her name from the first Queen of modern-day Norway. She also had her namesake in Hurtigruten Expedition’s 1925 flagship, DS Dronning Maud ('DS Queen Maud').
This ship has passed stringent tests and has been accredited by the leading independent certification body Bureau Veritas (BV). The strict and thorough safety audit required by BV ensures every ship is in compliance with industry and international health, safety and hygiene best practices. When you see the SafeGuard label, you can feel confident the vessel you’re sailing in meets the highest standards to achieve certification. SafeGuard furthermore ensures that best practice guidelines are being followed with regard to hygiene, sanitation and limiting the spread of infectious diseases on board.
Today, MS Maud is equipped with advanced technology that makes her exceptionally well-suited for expedition cruises in Norway and the British Isles.
Premium expedition comfort
Her bright interiors are appointed in a classic Art Deco style. Colours are inspired by the Midnight Sun, allowing you to relax in warm vibes every day of the year. Channel your inner scientist in the advanced Science Center and enjoy daily lectures in the lecture hall or in the comfort of your cabin with our new streaming service. Sample delicious dishes from local suppliers in the restaurants and enjoy beverages and the spectacular views in the Explorer Lounge & Bar. On deck 9, you can enjoy the spectacular views from the outdoor Observation deck. There’s also a gym and a sauna with stunning views.
Interior and Cabins
MS Maud is well-suited for expedition cruising, with a décor inspired by Norway’s stunning nature, reflected in many of the pieces of Norwegian modern art on board. Her bright interiors are appointed in a classic Art Deco style. Colours are inspired by the Midnight Sun, allowing you to relax in warm vibes every day of the year.
Explorer lounge & bar
Enjoy the view with a drink in the Explorer lounge & bar.
The hub of onboard learning is our Science Center, an edutainment venue where guests and crew meet to create a deeper understanding of the areas we explore. We stream for your comfort our lectures to cabins.
The MS Maud offers a complete gym.
Sauna & Ralaxation
After a day of exploring, guests can relax and rejuvenate in the hot tubs or the sauna, exercise in the gym, take in the scenery in the elegant Explorer Lounge & Bar, or browse in the on-board shop.
The ship has a small selection of books that are available to guests while on board.
The Observation Deck is an ideal place to scan the scenery and watch wildlife with your binoculars.
Welcome onboard to a culinary journey and our award-winning food sourcing program. On board you find restaurant Aune - our main dining room; Named after the Norwegian ship chandler and polar expedition supplier Tinus Aune.
The ships’ informal and social meeting place – named after a 1900s hunting station on Svalbard. Fredheim - with casual fast food and plant based alternatives.
And our fine dining restaurant Lindstrøm, named after Polar Hero and Amundsen Chef Adolf Lindstrøm. Take a deep breath, relax and enjoy.
Optional tours and excursions available. Please contact us for more details.