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West of Glasgow on the south bank of the River Clyde is Greenock. Once a large part of the city’s ship-building heritage, it now serves the city as a major cruise port and cruises from Greenock can take you to a huge variety of European destinations.
A number of lines offer cruises from Greenock, which explore some of Europe's most iconic capitals. Copenhagen in Denmark is one such port of call, where you'll discover a city proud of its classical architecture but which also embraces the modern metropolitan spirit. The enchanting Tivoli Gardens is a prime example of this cultural mix: an historic theme park which dates back to 1843, it offers two dozen rides along with contemporary music and theatre, in a beautiful central location.
The small city of Tallinn in Estonia is another popular destination on cruises from Greenock; a beautiful historic capital with winding medieval streets and the striking pink stone of Kadriorg Palace and Art Musuem. In stark contrast is the stately city of St Petersburg in Russia, home to the world-famous Hermitage Musuem with millions of exhibits and artworks behind its walls. Explore the Winter Palace, Kazan Cathedral and some magnificent domed churches in the city of the tsars.
Cruises from Greenock also stop off at a number of memorable ports along the Norwegian coast. Art-Nouveau Alesund is a colourful destination straight out of a painting, and consists of a number of islands spread out across the scenic bay. Take a trip up the Sunnmore Mountains here for the perfect place to take in the view.
Flam, meanwhile, is your port of call for the awe-inspiring Naeroyfjord. This destination is home to the famous Flam Railway, one of the world's steepest tracks which offers some spectacular views along the valley of Flamsdalen. Once a Viking stronghold, Bergen is now a popular port of call thanks to its location close to Hardangerfjord and Sognefjord. Its wharf is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and offers a fascinating and picturesque stroll through the city's maritime history – while a walk (or train ride) up Mount Floyen delivers a breathtaking view of Bergen from above.
Some cruises from Greenock also pay visits to a number of Southern European and North African ports. Vigo in Spain offers the perfect sandy escape in the form of Playa Samil, while the Museo de Arte Contemporánea (MARCO) plays host to a wonderful collection of contemporary art. A tour of the Castro Fortress, meanwhile, offers an insight into the town's role in maritime history.
Oporto (or Porto) is Portugal's second largest city after its capital Lisbon, and famous for giving the country, and indeed the world, port wine. There's plenty of opportunity to sample a vintage or two, and this is a wonderful place for a walking tour too – don't miss the city’s blue and white wall tiles, elaborate Art-Nouveau shop fronts and the Ponte D. Luis iron bridge, one of the city's most famous landmarks.
Morocco's Tangier, meanwhile, is one of the oldest cities in North Africa. Due to its strategic location on the strait of Gibraltar, the port boasts a host of artistic and architectural influences, including Roman, Arabian and Byzantine. Don't miss a chance to pick up a bargain in the Tangier Casbah, and spend some time on the sandy beaches along its gorgeous, sweeping coast.
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