Preziosa, France, UK, Portugal, Spain, Netherlands & Germany ex Le Havre Return 14 Night cruise sailing roundtrip from Le Havre aboard MSC Preziosa.
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14 Night cruise sailing roundtrip from Le Havre aboard MSC Preziosa.
Cruise all round the world in luxury on the eco-ship MSC Preziosa, savouring the pleasures of the Mediterranean way of life.
The classic design and detailed craftsmanship of our ships include a real stone piazza and spectacular features such as sweeping Swarovski crystal grand staircases and a magical ‘infinity’ pool.
Award winning favourites such as the MSC Aurea Spa with beauty and wellness treatments melt the tension away. And the secluded luxury of MSC Yacht Club, a ship-within-a-ship of exclusive suites, butler service, dedicated facilities and private decks - all offer privileged access to the world-class leisure on board, including a full-gaming casinoand Broadway -scale theatre. Discover services exclusive to MSC Preziosa, like the delicious Butcher's Cut restaurant, the adults-only sun deck complete with spa treatments and the Tiki bar for kids and teens.
From the splash-packed fun and games of the Doremi Castle kids aqua park, to Vertigo, the longest single-rider water slide on the seas, awarded ‘Best Innovation’ by Cruise International in 2013, there’s every facility for kids and teens.
The Galaxy restaurant open-kitchen boasts delicious all-day dining and a panoramic disco that keeps the beat ‘til late ensures the fun continues into the evening.
There’s all this and more to discover at your own pace on the MSC Preziosa cruise line, living in the Mediterranean style and enjoying every moment to the full as you voyage to the most beautiful places on earth across the seas.
Highlights of this cruise:
Le Havre, France
A beacon to great modern architecture and a popular holiday resort thanks to its long and well-equipped beach.
Le Havre is a large port town in the Normandy region of north-west France. The name ‘Le Havre’ simply translates as ‘the harbour’, reflecting the status of this active maritime city, which boasts the oldest sailing club in France.
Le Havre was almost flattened during WWII, but today is a beacon to great modern architecture and a popular holiday resort thanks to its long and well-equipped beach. Once your luxury MSC cruise liner has docked in Le Havre you can either choose to explore this appealing and modern French city or venture with us further afield on one of our excursion packages.
Worth pointing out to art-lovers is the Andre Malraux Museum, with a world-class collection of great French paintings including works by Dufy, Monet, Renoir, Bonnard, Gaugin and Sisley; it is worth leaving the ship for this alone.
For a completely different experience, join us in France’s capital city Paris, known as the ‘city of light’. Le Havre is a great starting point for many destinations including the cathedral city of Rouen and the charming seaside resort of Honfleur.
Southampton, United Kingdom
On a cruise from Southampton, you will visit this large port city located on the south coast of England. Situated in the pretty county of Hampshire, Southampton is a gateway to many of southern England’s historic attractions.
Enjoy the best deals on outings to top sights such as Winchester, famous for its 11th century cathedral, as well as the legendary Arthurian Round Table. The natural delights of the New Forest will be a draw for nature lovers and this large National Park is ideal for hiking and pony trekking. The stately home of Beaulieu Palace House is close by and makes for a superb day out with its large gardens, an historic Gothic home complete with ancient abbey, large motor museum of classic cars, an amusement park and ‘living history’ tours.
Brest is a port town in the Brittany region on the west coast of France. Your MSC cruise will take you on the discovery of a place full of charm, history and culture, set in a natural inlet whose beauty will leave you breathless.
There are many things to be seen in Brest, including the Tanguy Tower which houses historical findings from the city dating from ancient times to the period of World Wars. Another institution worth visiting is the National Maritime Museum located inside Château de Brest containing a real submarine.
To start your tour of Brest, you can walk along Rue de Siam, a lively commercial district. The look of the road is severe, in full 1950s style. Both here and the entire district found between Pont de Recouvrance and the Town Hall is filled with large multi-story residential buildings, symmetrically arranged on a perfectly straight axis.
Pont de Recouvrance, which dominates the docks and military port, was built in 1954 with a vertical lifting device. For a long time, it was the largest lifting bridge in Europe and is undoubtedly a stop not to be missed on your visit to Brest during an MSC cruise.
Another really interesting place found at the docks is Les Ateliers des Capucins, a series of buildings that face the sea, built during the 19th century. In 2009, they were converted into a cultural and commercial center. In the bay of Brest, you can also see the delightful Phare du Petit Minou, a lighthouse built in 1848 that stands in front of the fort with the same name and is connected to the mainland by a stone bridge in the commune of Plouzané. Aligned with the Portzic lighthouse, the Petit Minou had guided ships for over one hundred and fifty years along the safest route to make their way through the natural channel that unites Brest to the Atlantic Ocean.
Strung out over a series of hills facing the glistening waters of the broad estuary of the Tejo, Lisbon is one of Europe’s most handsome cities. Although its modern suburbs are ungainly, the historic centre is relatively compact and easy to explore in just a day when your MSC cruise takes you to the Lisbon.
The oldest part of the city, the warren of streets that make up the Alfama, sits below the spectacularly sited Moorish Castelo de São Jorge, its ruined walls facing another hill, the Bairro Alto or upper town, famed for its bars, restaurants and vibrant nightlife. The valley between these hills makes up the Baixa., or lower town.
The tall, imposing buildings that make up the Baixa (Lower Town) house some of Lisbon’s most interesting shops and cafés. A shore excursion on your MSC Mediterranean cruise can be the opportunity to reach via a narrow walkway the impressive Torre de Belém (Tower of Belém), an iconic symbol of Lisbon. It typifies M anueline style that was prominent during the reign of King Manuel, its windows and stairways embellished with arches and decorative symbols representing Portugal’s explorations into the New World.
Built as a fortress to defend the mouth of the River Tejo, it took years to complete, though when it opened in 1520 it would have been near the centre of the river – the earthquake of 1755 shifted the river’s course. Today, visitors are free to explore the tower’s various levels, which include a terrace facing the river from where artillery would hav ed been fired.
You can then climb a very steep spiral staircase up four lev el – framed view of the river – to a top terrace where you get a blowy panorama of Belém.
Cádiz is among the oldest settlements in Spain and one of the country’s principal ports.
On an MSC Mediterranean cruise excursion, you can visit its old town, built on a peninsula-island, and remaining much as it must have looked in those days, with grand, open squares, sailors’ alleyways and high, turreted houses.
Literally crumbling from the effect of the sea air on its soft limestone, it has a tremendous atmosphere – while slightly seedy, definitely in decline, it is nevertheless full of mystique.
The Museo de Cádiz, the province’s most important, overlooks the leafy Plaza de Mina and incorporates the archaeological museum on the ground floor with many important finds and artefacts from the city’s lengthy history. Almost irresistible, even if you don’t normally go for High Baroque, is the attraction of the huge and seriously crumbling eighteenth-century Catedral Nueva.
Cádiz is one of Spain’s top holiday cruise destinations for its cathedral, too, decorated entirely in stone, with no gold in sight, and in absolutely perfect proportions. On the edge of the Barrio del Populo, the city’s oldest quarter dating from the Middle Ages, lies the “old” or original cathedral, Santa Cruz.
This was one of the buildings severely knocked during the English assault on Cádiz in 1596, causing the thirteenth-century church to be substantially rebuilt. A fine Gothic entry portal survived, and inside there’s a magnificent seventeenth-century retablo with sculptures by Martínez Montañés. A first-century-BC Roman theatre has been excavated behind.
Much closer to us in time, instead, is the eighteenth-century mansion, Torre Tavira, with the tallest tower in the city, from where there are great views over the rooftops to the sea beyond. In addition, one of the most impressive Baroque buildings in the city, the chapel of the Hospital de las Mujeres, houses a brilliant El Greco painting.
The elegant central zone of Málaga – a stop-off on your MSC cruise of the Mediterranean – is largely pedestrianized with the focal point, marble-paved Calle Marqués de Larios, lined with fashionable stores, its most elegant thoroughfare.
Plaza de la Constitución, Málaga’s main square, hosts a monumental fountain flanked by slender palms and the terraces of numerous cafés and restaurants. Málaga centre has a number of interesting churches and museums, not to mention the birthplace of Picasso and the Museo Picasso Málaga, housing an important collection of works by Málaga’s most famous son.
Perched on the hill above the town are the formidable citadels of the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro, magnificent vestiges of the seven centuries that the Moors held sway here.
Málaga is also renowned for its fish and seafood, which can be sampled at tapas bars and restaurants throughout the city, as well as at the old fishing villages of El Palo and Pedregalejo, now absorbed into the suburbs, where there’s a seafront paseo lined with some of the best marisquerías and chiringuitos (beachside fish restaurants) in the province.
The impressive Alcazaba is the place to make for if you’re joining a shore excursion. Clearly visible from your cruise ship, to the left of its entrance on c/Acazabilla stands the Roman Theatre accidentally discovered in 1951, and – following excavation and restoration – now a venue for various outdoor entertainments.
The citadel, too, is Roman in origin, with blocks and columns of marble interspersed among the Moorish brick of the double- and triple-arched gateways. Above the Alcazaba, and connected to it by a long double wall (the coracha), is the Gibralfaro castle. Like the Alcazaba, it has been wonderfully restored and now houses an interesting museum devoted to its history.
La Coruna, Spain
The fine port of La Coruña centres on a narrow peninsula that juts from Spain’s northern coast, 64km north of Santiago.
A broad headland curves in both directions from the end of that peninsula to create two large bays: one facing across to Ferrol, and sheltering a large harbour, the other lying open to the Atlantic, lined by a long sandy beach.
In the dynamic city in between, a five-minute walk by way of old stone alleyways, with tantalizing restaurants, tapas bars and nightspots jostling for attention, takes you from bustling modern port – where your MSC cruise ship awaits your return – to relaxed resort. The heart of La Coruña, poised between the old city and its modern sprawl just inland from the port, is the colonnaded Praza de María Pita. The narrow and atmospheric streets of the old town wind around the Romanesque churches of Santiago and Santa María del Campo, and are shielded from the sea by a high wall.
The distinctive glass-fronted galleries of the sea-facing buildings, rising six storeys high along the Avenida da Marina in front of the port, form a magnificent ensemble. They were originally designed so local residents, whose lives were intertwined with the ocean, could watch the activity of the harbour in shelter.
When sailing the Nothern Europe with MSC Cruises, the most obvious excursion from La Coruña is Santiago de Compostela, which ranks among the most beautiful cities in all Spain. A superb mix of twisting stone lanes, majestic squares and ancient churches, interspersed with countless hidden nooks and crannies, Santiago’s medieval core remains a remarkably integrated whole, all the better for being very largely pedestrianized.
Your MSC cruise will lay anchor in the largest port in the world, Rotterdam, is a no-nonsense working-class city lying at the heart of a maze of rivers and artificial waterways that together form the outlet of the rivers Rijn (Rhine) and Maas (Meuse). After devastating damage during World War II, Rotterdam has grown into a vibrant, forceful city dotted with first division cultural attractions.
Your MSC cruise of Northern Europe will give you the opportunity to see that the immense land reclamation work hasn’t obliterated its earthy character though: its tough grittiness is part of its appeal, as are its boisterous bars and clubs.
Amongst the most interesting attractions to enjoy during your vacation in Holland, is Rotterdam’s Kunsthal, the museum of contemporary art, and the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum, which has an outstanding art collection including representative works from almost all the most important Dutch painters: both are in the city’s designated culture zone, the Museumpark.
Other interesting sites to visit on an MSC excursion are the Oude Haven, the city’s oldest harbour, ravaged during World War II but sympathetically redeveloped, and Delfs haven, an antique harbour that managed to survive the bombs pretty much intact. Rotterdam also boasts a string of first-rate festivals, including the much-lauded North Sea Jazz Festival and the colourful Summer Carnival.
The postwar period saw the rapid reconstruction of the docks and, when huge container ships and oil tankers made the existing port facilities obsolete, Rotterdammers promptly built an entirely new deep-sea port, the Europoort, jutting out into the North Sea some 25 km to the west of the old town. Completed in 1968, the Europoort is able to welcome the largest ships in the world, amongst which also the MSC cruise ships.
Located between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, Hamburg will fascinate you from the moment you first set eyes on its elegant and austere buildings looking onto the port, one of the largest in Europe.
When you reach this destination on an MSC Cruise of Northern Europe, you can get a taste of its glorious history. Hamburg is a cosmopolitan, wealthy and fashionable city, with an aggressive economy, that still prides itself of the title “free Hanseatic city”.
It has, in fact, never cut its umbilical cord with maritime trade that has its heart in the port where your cruise liner will be waiting for you. Many tourist come here to visit the Reeperbahn, the red light district, but if you want to take in the atmosphere of the city, you shouldn’t miss an excursion to Speicherstadt (Warehouse Town), where the cobbled streets, gables and turrets combine to make the area on the other side of Zollkanal (Tax Canal) a world apart from the city opposite.
Another city icon, St Michaelis, at the western edge of the city centre by Ludwig-Erhard-Strasse, is Hamburg’s iconic church and no wonder. More than any other building, the “Michael” mirrors the city’s irrepressible spirit. Burned down after a lightning strike in1750, it was rebuilt in Baroque style under Ernst Georg Sonnin but it again accidently caught fire in1906.
In 1945, the Allies obliterated the roof and decor of church number three. Reconstructed again to Sonnin’s plans, it is now the finest Baroque church in North Germany. Probably the most gratifying attraction during an excursion on an MSC Cruise is the scenery you can admire from one of the best views over Hamburg: the 360-degree panorama takes in Speicherstadt, the container port and shipping on the Elbe, the Alster lakes, and the five spires of the churches and Rathaus.