7 NIGHT NORTHERN EUROPEAN CITYSCAPES ADVENTURE STARTS HERE

Southampton , England | Hamburg , Germany | Oslo , Norway | Bruges/Zeebruge (Brussels) , Belgium | Southampton , England

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INDEPENDENCE OF THE SEAS

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YOUR SHIP

INDEPENDENCE OF THE SEAS

INDEPENDENCE OF THE SEAS

GRAB HOLD OF BOLD

If all new adventures are your jam, you've come to the right ship. Launch yourself into a virtual world on a new bungee trampoline experience— Sky Pad℠. Dive into batter fried goodness at the new poolside Fish & Ships℠. And brush up on your dance moves with shows like Invitation to Dance.

DAY 1 - Departure Day

Southampton, England

DEPARTS:
4:30 PM

MEDEIVAL MYSTERIES

If you're arriving at the Southhampton International Airport, it's located on the outskirts of the city, making it easy to arrive into town. If you're flying into London a few days earlier, grab a train from Waterloo Station. During your time in Southampton, explore its medieval architectural spots like Bargate and the Old Town walls. Or learn more about the day the Titantic set sail from here in 1912.

The Bargate medieval gatehouse in Southampton, England
The exterior of the Tudor House in Southampton, England
A waterfront quayside in Southampton, England

If you're arriving at the Southhampton International Airport, it's located on the outskirts of the city, making it easy to arrive into town. If you're flying into London a few days earlier, grab a train from Waterloo Station. During your time in Southampton, explore its medieval architectural spots like Bargate and the Old Town walls. Or learn more about the day the Titantic set sail from here in 1912.

The Bargate medieval gatehouse in Southampton, England
The exterior of the Tudor House in Southampton, England
A waterfront quayside in Southampton, England
Things To Do

in Southampton

View of Stonehenge in England

Prehistoric Adventure

Located just an hour from Southampton, Stonehenge is one of the most well-known prehistoric sites in all of Europe. Wander around the miraculous stone circle and transport yourself back in time when Neolithic engineers used only simple tools to build the huge monument — it's believed they hauled those massive stones over 240 miles from Wales without the use of machines.

The entrance to the SeaCity Museum in Southampton, England

A Port of Importance

Southampton is home to one of the largest ports in the UK and millions of travelers pass through each year. In 1912, the most famous of those travelers would pass through as they set out to America onboard the Titanic. Southampton's SeaCity museum gives you the opportunity to learn more about the events that happened aboard that famous ship.

Close up view of The Bargate gatehouse in Southampton, England

Play Knights in Armor

Step back into the medieval era and walk the old walls of the city. Built to protect the town from attack by sea, most of the wall is still standing, leaving visitors a spectacular view of Southampton and the sea. Watch as boats enter the port city, and see how it would have been if you were a knight on watch hundreds of years ago.

Traditional fish and chips in England

Local Cuisine

Head to the pub for a refreshing glass of ale to pair with crispy, mouthwatering fish and chips. If fried food isn't your thing, go in for a salad with fresh watercress, the peppery green that the Hampshire region is famous for. You'll also find upscale fare based on England's most-loved flavors: Try chicken with Indian-inspired vegetable pakora and tandoori puree or braised Hampshire beef with ale cream.

Various antiques at a market

Shopping

Shop for big-name brands galore at Westquay Shopping Centre, the premier shopping destination of the South Coast. Head to Bedford Place for independent shops and boutiques — the country's oldest traditional shoemaker is located here. On weekends, wander down the road to Bar Street to check out the local market for antiques, crafts, vintage accessories and jewelry.

DAY 2 - AT SEA

CRUISING

CAN'T MISS FAVORITES

Man Sliding on the side of Mariner on The Perfect Storm
Man Doing Air Trick on Flowrider

Man Sliding on the side of Mariner on The Perfect Storm
Man Doing Air Trick on Flowrider

THINGS TO DO

Girl Sliding and Smiling on The Perfect Storm
The Perfect Storm℠

A TWISTING TURNING ADVENTURE

Grab a buddy and plunge through three stories of twisting, turning thrills to the bottom of the dual racer slides Typhoon℠ and Cyclone℠. The conditions are just right — for The Perfect Storm℠.

Girl Surfing Flowrider at Daytime with a Smile
FlowRider®

NOW BOARDING FOR ADVENTURE

Grab your board and get ready for 30,000 gallons of rushing awesome headed your way. The surf’s always up on the 40-foot-long FlowRider® surf simulator.

DAY 3 - DOCKED

Hamburg, Germany

ARRIVES:
7:00 AM
DEPARTS:
5:00 PM

HAM IT UP

Discover the international flair of Germany's Tor zur Welt, or "Gateway to the World." Explore Hamburg landmarks like the Rathaus (City Hall), with its distinctive sky-high spire and ornate courtyard fountain. Marvel at the ships and seabirds of Hamburg Harbor. Then, hop on a canal tour — you'll get a lay of the land as the architecture shifts from the medieval Old Town to the ultra-modern HafenCity, a waterside quarter recently built on reclaimed land along the waterfront.

The Alster River in Hamburg, Germany
The famous water castle in Hamburg, Germany
Statue at Hamburg, Germany's Town Hall

Discover the international flair of Germany's Tor zur Welt, or "Gateway to the World." Explore Hamburg landmarks like the Rathaus (City Hall), with its distinctive sky-high spire and ornate courtyard fountain. Marvel at the ships and seabirds of Hamburg Harbor. Then, hop on a canal tour — you'll get a lay of the land as the architecture shifts from the medieval Old Town to the ultra-modern HafenCity, a waterside quarter recently built on reclaimed land along the waterfront.

The Alster River in Hamburg, Germany
The famous water castle in Hamburg, Germany
Statue at Hamburg, Germany's Town Hall
Things To Do

in Hamburg

Frontal view of the town hall in Hamburg, Germany

Gain a New Perspective

Hamburg has more museums than almost any other city in Europe, but the best way to gain an education is by visiting the historical sights themselves. Visit the Rathaus City Hall, with a 19th-century facade making for a perfect backdrop for selfies. Then, ascend the steps of the baroque Church of St. Michael to enjoy a panorama from 432 feet in the air.

A boat traveling through a canal in the famous Speicherstadt warehouse district in Hamburg, Germany

Venice of the North

Did you know Hamburg has more canals than Venice? A Hamburg harbor boat trip is one of the most exciting things to do here. Cruise through the historical warehouses along the Speicherstadt canal for a breathtaking experience.

Beer in glass mugs in Germany

Toast the World

Your Hamburg cruise probably won't stop in the middle of the night, but you can still appreciate the fun of the Sankt Pauli nightlife district. Many of its bars are open during daytime hours. Want to learn about the roots of the local brew? Check out Groninger Privatbrauerei, a baroque building where they brew a much-loved Pils.

A franzbrotchen pastry in Hamburg, Germany

Local Cuisine

Food in Hamburg has nothing to do with what you know as hamburgers. Herring is the most common fish here — it's served marinated in vinegar and fried as Brathering, a popular choice for lunch or dinner. Hamburger Hummersuppe, on the other hand, is a creamy lobster-based soup, while Hamburg sweets include sugary Franzbrotchen pastry and Hamburger Speck candies.

An assortment of souvenir beer steins in Germany

Shopping

In addition to being cosmpolitan and chic, Moenckebergstrasse is Hamburg's most iconic shopping street. Stop in at the aptly named Art of Hamburg near the harbour to find forward-thinking fashions and handcrafted bags and other accessories during your Germany cruise. Take a trip back in time at Walter Eisenberg der Mutzenmacher, a classic hat shop, or take home an ornate beer stein.

INSIDER TIP

Hamburg is a huge city, so limit the scope of your sightseeing. Plan to stroll through Sankt Pauli or take a harbor cruise, but not both.

DAY 4 - AT SEA

CRUISING

FOR FOODIES

Two plates with sushi at Izumi on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship
Sugar Beach on Independence of the Seas

Two plates with sushi at Izumi on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship
Sugar Beach on Independence of the Seas

THINGS TO DO

Assorted Sushi Rolls Platter served at Izumi, Japanese Restaurant. One of the best fine dining cuisine on a cruise.
Izumi

A FAR EAST FEAST

Say “Konnichiwa” to a reimagined favorite. Sushi, sashimi and more, all made-to-order with intense flavors, the best ingredients and impeccable presentation. Now that’s fresh.

Assortment of Candy from Sugar Beach
Sugar Beach℠

TREAT YOURSELF

Treat your sweet tooth to every candy under the sun — plus a few sugarcoated surprises. Sugar Beach℠ is stocked to max candy capacity with all your favorite confections.

DAY 5 - DOCKED

Oslo, Norway

ARRIVES:
7:00 AM
DEPARTS:
5:00 PM
CLASSIC

SCANDINAVIAN COOL

Oslo's award-winning Opera House is perfect for exploring, both inside and out. Take advantage of its unique modern design and climb up to the top of the roof. Close by, you'll find the imposing Royal Palace and the Parliament, both of which offer insightful tours. Then, head to the Old Town to see medieval Oslo as it once was, and get some shopping and eating done.

An aerial view of Oslo, Norway
View of Oslo's city hall from harbor
The parliament building in Oslo, Norway

Oslo's award-winning Opera House is perfect for exploring, both inside and out. Take advantage of its unique modern design and climb up to the top of the roof. Close by, you'll find the imposing Royal Palace and the Parliament, both of which offer insightful tours. Then, head to the Old Town to see medieval Oslo as it once was, and get some shopping and eating done.

An aerial view of Oslo, Norway
View of Oslo's city hall from harbor
The parliament building in Oslo, Norway
Things To Do

in Oslo

The Akershus Fortress in Oslo, Norway

Fortified History

Construction of Akerhus Castle and Fortress began in 1299, and the structure has fended off a number of attacks since then. It's also been a royal residence and a prison, so there's a lot of history to take in. Don't miss the great views over the harbor while you're here.

View of the Holkmenkolen ski jump in Oslo, Norway

Slope Excursion

The observation deck at the top of the Holmenkollen Ski Jump offers 360-degree views of the city. But it's the Ski Museum that really delivers, with thousands of years of skiing history right up to modern times, as well as polar exploration artifacts.

A fountain in Vigeland Sculpture park in Oslo, Norway

Stroll With the Arts

Frogner Park is the largest sculpture park made by a single artist in the world, with over 200 sculptures of varying sizes rendered in iron, bronze and granite. The collection of sculptures in the park's middle section is particularly of note; only wander there if you're strong of heart, and don't bring the kiddos.

A herring fillet sandwich

Local Cuisine

In Oslo, hearty traditional fare is as popular as hip international cuisine. The popular Grunerlokka neighborhood is the perfect place to grab a bite. For a taste of down-home Norway, seek out local cod, hake or herring served with local garnishes like pea puree and pickled red onions. With cruises to Oslo, you can head to an Indian spot for samosas and fried king prawns — the local bounty shows up in the international eats, too.

Various wood carvings

Shopping

When it comes to shopping, Oslo has it all — whether you love big malls and department stores or prefer small boutiques, antique shops and markets. The hip Grunerlokka district offers that well-known Scandinavian cool. Stop here for top international designer outlets and smaller shops offering traditional items like sterling silver jewelry and handmade woodcrafts.

INSIDER TIP

The Munch Museum isn't just for enthusiasts of its namesake painter — it also stages regular exhibitions that highlight some of the world's greatest artists.

DAY 6 - AT SEA

CRUISING

SUN DRENCHED DAYS

Kids Splashing Mom at Splashaway Bay Water Park
Relaxing Day at the Solarium

Kids Splashing Mom at Splashaway Bay Water Park
Relaxing Day at the Solarium

THINGS TO DO

Girl Getting Splashed on Harmony of the Seas
Splashaway Bay℠

FUN BY THE GALLON

The fun comes in gallons. This bigger, better kids aqua park features slides, water cannons, waterfalls and more. And when the drench bucket gets full, everyone gets wet.

Beautiful Night on the Pool Deck
Whirlpools

ENJOY SOME BUBBLY

It’s easy to let every thought melt away while relaxing in a whirlpool, especially when you’re soaking up ocean views, too.

DAY 7 - DOCKED

Bruges/Zeebruge (Brussels), Belgium

ARRIVES:
7:00 AM
DEPARTS:
4:00 PM

A MEDIEVAL MASTERPIECE

Begin your day in Bruges at Markt, the historic main square, before exploring the canals. Marvel at the impressive medieval and Dutch architecture: Highlights include the Church of our Lady, the Basilica of the Holy Blood and Bruges Vrije. A 40-minute train ride will take you to Zeebrugge and its popular oceanfront. There, enjoy pristine beaches, hip brasseries and Seafront Maritime Theme Park.

Various colorful homes reflecting on a canal in Bruges, Belgium
View of a canal in Bruges, Belgium with buildings on both sides
Street view of buildings in Bruges, Belgium

Begin your day in Bruges at Markt, the historic main square, before exploring the canals. Marvel at the impressive medieval and Dutch architecture: Highlights include the Church of our Lady, the Basilica of the Holy Blood and Bruges Vrije. A 40-minute train ride will take you to Zeebrugge and its popular oceanfront. There, enjoy pristine beaches, hip brasseries and Seafront Maritime Theme Park.

Various colorful homes reflecting on a canal in Bruges, Belgium
View of a canal in Bruges, Belgium with buildings on both sides
Street view of buildings in Bruges, Belgium
Things To Do

in Bruges/Zeebruge (Brussels)

The market square in Bruges, Belgium

Behold the Belfry

Standing 83 meters tall and founded in 1240, Bruges' Belfry tower is home to a carillon with 47 bells. Learn about the tower's history in the reception area, then ascend 366 steps up the narrow staircase for a breathtaking Bruges view.

An assortment of Belgium chocolates

Check Out Choco-Story

Belgium is synonymous with chocolate. Learn more about the history of chocolate at Bruges' chocolate museum, Choco-Story. Housed in the 16th-century Huis de Crone building, the museum lets you see chocolate being made. There's also a section dedicated to chocolate's health benefits.

An aerial view of Bruges, Belgium

Get a Seafront Education

Located in a former fish auction hall, at Seafront you'll learn about Belgium's fishing industry and this important world port. Check out the various activities and exhibitions — there are installations on Zeebrugge and World War II. Cruise to Belgium and visit the Russian submarine and West Hinder, the lighthouse-ship. Kids will love the pirate island and the ball pit.

A container with fries topped with mayonnaise

Local Cuisine

Sample some classic Belgian fries, served with mayo rather than ketchup. Got a sweet tooth? Seek out Belgian waffles, or indulge in a delicious bowl of hot chocolate at The Old Chocolate House. Meanwhile, seafood is Zeebrugge's main food group of choice — the dish moules frites combines mussels with the city's signature fries.

Various miniature traditional home souvenirs in Bruges, Belgium

Shopping

The best shopping in Bruges is within walking distance of the historic town center. Purchase chocolate at The Chocolate Line, Dumon or Choco-Story's gift shop. Pick up a miniature Bruges house at a traditional handicraft store. If you're visiting between March and November, explore the flea market along the Dijver every Saturday and Sunday.

INSIDER TIP

There's always something happening at Markt in Bruges, whether it's amusement rides, performances or a market.

DAY 8 - Arrival Day

Southampton, England

ARRIVES:
5:30 AM
PRIME ENGLISH

COUNTRYSIDE

Your adventure doesn't have to end once you've gotten back to Southampton. Before you go, spend a few days exploring the quaint English towns of the Hampshire region like Winchester, the ancient capital, or the pretty market town of Romsey. This village is also home to the Romsey Abbey, one of the most magnificent churches in Southern England thanks to its round Norman arches and lofty nave.

Yachts docked at the Ocean Village Marina in Southampton, England
The Netley Abbey ruins in Southampton, England
The historic Calshot Castle at the entrance of Southampton, England

Your adventure doesn't have to end once you've gotten back to Southampton. Before you go, spend a few days exploring the quaint English towns of the Hampshire region like Winchester, the ancient capital, or the pretty market town of Romsey. This village is also home to the Romsey Abbey, one of the most magnificent churches in Southern England thanks to its round Norman arches and lofty nave.

Yachts docked at the Ocean Village Marina in Southampton, England
The Netley Abbey ruins in Southampton, England
The historic Calshot Castle at the entrance of Southampton, England
Things To Do

in Southampton

View of Stonehenge in England

Prehistoric Adventure

Located just an hour from Southampton, Stonehenge is one of the most well-known prehistoric sites in all of Europe. Wander around the miraculous stone circle and transport yourself back in time when Neolithic engineers used only simple tools to build the huge monument — it's believed they hauled those massive stones over 240 miles from Wales without the use of machines.

The entrance to the SeaCity Museum in Southampton, England

A Port of Importance

Southampton is home to one of the largest ports in the UK and millions of travelers pass through each year. In 1912, the most famous of those travelers would pass through as they set out to America onboard the Titanic. Southampton's SeaCity museum gives you the opportunity to learn more about the events that happened aboard that famous ship.

Close up view of The Bargate gatehouse in Southampton, England

Play Knights in Armor

Step back into the medieval era and walk the old walls of the city. Built to protect the town from attack by sea, most of the wall is still standing, leaving visitors a spectacular view of Southampton and the sea. Watch as boats enter the port city, and see how it would have been if you were a knight on watch hundreds of years ago.

Traditional fish and chips in England

Local Cuisine

Head to the pub for a refreshing glass of ale to pair with crispy, mouthwatering fish and chips. If fried food isn't your thing, go in for a salad with fresh watercress, the peppery green that the Hampshire region is famous for. You'll also find upscale fare based on England's most-loved flavors: Try chicken with Indian-inspired vegetable pakora and tandoori puree or braised Hampshire beef with ale cream.

Various antiques at a market

Shopping

Shop for big-name brands galore at Westquay Shopping Centre, the premier shopping destination of the South Coast. Head to Bedford Place for independent shops and boutiques — the country's oldest traditional shoemaker is located here. On weekends, wander down the road to Bar Street to check out the local market for antiques, crafts, vintage accessories and jewelry.

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