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Adventures in Helsinki, Finland and Tallinn, Estonia with Disney Cruise Line

posted on March 20th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Manager, Port Adventures Research & Development

This summer, we’re setting sail once again to destinations around the Baltic Sea! Helsinki, Finland and Tallinn, Estonia are two of the locales you can explore on our Northern European cruises, and we have fantastic Port Adventure options for your family to make the most of your time in these historic cities.


Helsinki, Finland is known for its historic architecture, lively squares and beautiful green spaces. Our Helsinki Highlights and Finnish Food-Tasting tour takes you to see some of the city’s most popular sights, such as Senate Square, and taste delicious local food, including smoked Finnish delicacies and typical Finnish desserts. The unique Temppeliaukio Rock Church is one of my favorite stops on this tour, as this impressive venue, located in the heart of Helsinki, was built directly into solid rock!


Our Helsinki, Porvoo and Countryside Port Adventure takes you to Temppeliaukio Rock Church and Senate Square, too, and this full-day tour also includes a visit to the historic town of Porvoo and the Finnish countryside. In Porvoo, you can explore Old Town, with its narrow lanes and 16th century wooden houses, and the small handicraft shops. Next up is a visit to the charming Savijärvi Farm, a local family’s home, as well as a Finnish horse-breeding farm and riding school. After meeting the family and eating a three-course meal in their 19th century manor house, you’ll also have the chance to see some of the horses and learn more about the family’s way of life on the farm.


Tallinn, Estonia is another destination on our Baltic cruises brimming with beautiful architecture and rich history. On our Port Adventure, Best of Tallinn with Concert and Lunch, you’ll get an up-close look at many of the city’s historic landmarks, including the Gothic Town Hall, domed churches and the baroque palace that once was a summer residence of Russian czars and now houses the Museum of European Art. A highlight of this excursion is the walking tour through the cobblestone streets of the old town, followed by a three-course lunch at a neighborhood restaurant and a concert of medieval music in St. Nicholas Church.


A different Port Adventure that celebrates the area’s architecture and art is Estonian Architecture and Art for Families, created exclusively for Disney cruisers. Following a sightseeing tour, a visit to the Museum of European Art gives adults the chance to have a guided tour while the kids join Disney Cruise Line youth counselors in a fun art project. First, the costumed Dame of the Palace will welcome you and take the children on a short tour of the palace to exhibitions geared for kids. Then, the children will enjoy a drawing workshop where they can draw their impressions of the palace to take home as a souvenir.

Up next, I’ll tell you about adventures in St Petersburg, Russia and Stockholm, Sweden. Who’s sailing the Baltic with us this summer?

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Bringing History to Life in Oslo, Norway and Kirkwall, Scotland on a Disney Cruise

posted on March 18th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Manager, Port Adventures Research & Development

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing some of our exciting Port Adventures in Norway and Iceland! Today I want to tell you about excursions in Oslo, Norway and Kirkwall, Scotland, two more destinations you can explore on our 11-night Norwegian Fjords sailing.


Oslo is one of the largest capital cities in the world, but it’s more than just a big city. It is flanked by the Oslo Fjord to the south and lush forests and mountains to the north, giving you the chance to join some pretty awesome adventures. Nature lovers won’t want to miss Hiking In Oslomarka, which takes you on an 8-mile hike through the quiet trails surrounding Oslo. For a more relaxing way to enjoy nature, you can join our Oslo Fjords By Boat excursion, a journey that takes you past amazing scenery, fjord cabins, cloisters of private boats, small villages, the Akershus Fortress and the famous Norwegian Opera house.


History buffs have their pick of more than 50 museums in Oslo, and our Historical Oslo tour takes you to visit three of the most popular. The Kon-Tiki Museum and the Fram Museum celebrate maritime history with historic vessels on display. The Norwegian Folk Museum incorporates a large open air museum with more than 150 buildings relocated from towns and rural districts, including one of the famous Norwegian stave churches. Another great museum in Oslo is the Viking Ship Museum, home to well-preserved Viking long ships, which you can visit on three of our Port Adventures, including Oslo Highlights, Tusenfryd Amusement Park And Viking Ship Museum and Hadeland Glass Works and Viking Ships.


Kirkwall, the capital of the Orkney Islands in northern Scotland, is a small and charming port town with steep-roofed houses, medieval buildings and Renaissance palaces. Just beyond Kirkwall, you’ll discover ancient remnants of the Neolithic Era, including the Standing Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar stone circle, the Maeshowe Tomb and Skara Brae, the best-preserved Neolithic village in Northern Europe.


Several of our tours take you to a variety of these destinations, such as Ancient Standing Stones And Dramatic Cliffs, Orkney’s Neolithic Heartland and Ancient Tomb Of Maeshowe. Those of you who want to add more activity to your sightseeing adventures will love our Neolithic Cycling Tour, which includes a leisurely 12-mile ride through the beautiful countryside to visit these prehistoric monuments.

Next we’ll dive into our Baltic ports, starting with Helsinki, Finland and Tallin, Estonia. Who’s counting down the days until their Northern European cruise with us this summer?

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Icelandic Adventures in Akureyri with Disney Cruise Line

posted on March 7th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Manager, Port Adventures Research & Development

I’m back to tell you about more Icelandic adventures you can have with Disney Cruise Line this summer! In addition to Reykjavik, we’re calling on Akureyri, a charming fishing village located at the base of the beautiful Eyjafjordur Fjord.


Designed just for Disney cruisers, our signature Port Adventure in Akureyri, Local Food And Gourmet, gives you the chance to savor Icelandic cuisine, including waffles, ice cream and smoked lamb, during visits to two farms and a smoke hut in the countryside. The excursion concludes with a visit to Santa’s House (did I mention Akureyri is only 60 miles from the Arctic Circle?!) where Christmas is celebrated all year long. You’ll have the chance to see Santa, buy holiday items and meet the legendary Grýla, the villainous mother of the thirteen Icelandic Santas.


Akureyri is known as the gateway to the natural wonders of Northern Iceland, including Goðafoss, the “Waterfall of the Gods,” one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland. On our Leisurely Akureyri & Godafoss Port Adventure, a visit to this amazing sight is combined with a stop at the gorgeous Akureyri Botanical Garden, home to every plant species indigenous to Iceland, plus high-latitude and high-altitude plants from around the world. We also offer an adult-only departure of this tour for those exploring Akureyri without kids.


During our Akureyri Highlights tour, you’ll have the chance to explore some of the area’s must-visit locales and landmarks, including museums, art galleries and the iconic Akureyri Church, built in 1940 on a hill overlooking the town and fjord. One of the museums, Laufás Folk Museum, dates back to the 1860’s when it was built as a farmhouse in the traditional Icelandic style of stone and turf. One of the last of its kind in the country, the house now serves as a museum and provides a genuine insight into farm life in Iceland over the past centuries.

Next up, we’ll begin exploring Northern European ports that we’re visiting this summer during our Baltic cruises. Remember, when the ship’s in port, venture ashore!

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Exploring ‘The Land of Fire and Ice’ in Reykjavik, Iceland with Disney Cruise Line

posted on March 4th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Manager, Port Adventures Research & Development

One of our brand-new destinations this summer is Iceland, the awe-inspiring “Land of Fire and Ice,” known for its geothermal waters, majestic waterfalls, volcanic areas and breathtaking canyons. Today I want to give you a look at some of what you can experience in Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital.


Rich in culture, eclectic architecture and natural beauty, Reykjavik is also home to the famed saltwater Blue Lagoon, located in the middle of a lava field and known worldwide for its healing properties. We offer two Port Adventures for you to bathe in these warm waters: a half-day experience focused on rest and relaxation and a full-day adventure with an adrenaline-packed volcanic journey.


On our Let’s Go Volcano And Bathing at the Blue Lagoon, the day begins with an invigorating trek up the steep flanks of a volcano crater in a specially modified super truck, followed by lava-tube caving experience to explore the mysterious depths of the Icelandic underworld. Then, after a visit to bubbling hot springs and the fishing village of Grindavik for a lobster soup lunch, you’ll finish your day with a relaxing afternoon in the therapeutic mineral-filled waters of the Blue Lagoon!


Here are some of the other super cool tours in Reykjavik you’ll want to check out:

The Golden Circle With Family Barbeque – Classic “can’t miss” Icelandic landmarks take center stage on this tour, where you’ll explore a national park, a glittering waterfall, popping hot springs and a high-tech geothermal energy exhibition. Plus, in true Disney fashion, folk stories come to life during a barbeque lunch in the woods hosted by Iceland’s most famous troll wife, Gryla, and her helpers, who tell the legend of troll giant Bergthor of Bláfell.

Lava Family Workshop – An exclusive for Disney cruisers, get your family “fired up” during an exhilarating trip to the edge of a hardened lava field for an up-close look at volcanic craters. Parents and children alike will take part in an art workshop, using real lava to create your very own framed lava art.

Glacier Safari 4×4 & Ice Cave – On this adventure, you’ll jump into an Icelandic super truck and journey over ice and snow to the “Ice Cave” on the flanks of Europe’s second largest glacier, Langjökull. The man-made “Ice Cave” stretches deep inside the glacier with an impressive series of tunnels and caves carved through solid glacier ice. The ice chapel and ice bar are two of the featured attractions!


Check back later this week for my suggestions on adventures in Akureyri, Iceland. Remember, when the ship’s in port, venture ashore!

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Adventures Ashore in Norway Exclusive to Disney Cruise Line

posted on February 27th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Manager, Port Adventures Research & Development

Have you enjoyed learning Norwegian phrases for your Disney cruise as much as I have? I have one more video from this fun series to share with you today. This video features Kenneth, a local you may meet during our Molde Folk Museum & City Tour. Hear what phrases he has to teach you …

Now that I’ve showcased Port Adventures in Molde, Geiranger, Alesund, Stavanger and Bergen, I want to highlight more Disney-exclusive excursions in two of our other Norway ports, Olden and Kristiansand

Visit Iconic Fjord Horses in Olden with Disney Cruise Line Visit Iconic Fjord Horses in Olden with Disney Cruise Line

Iconic Fjord Horses in Olden
From the quaint village of Olden, you’ll travel to a Norwegian Fjord Horse Center to experience one of the world’s oldest breeds and one of the country’s national symbols, the Norwegian Fjord Horse. The adventure includes an up-close look at the stallions, mares and foals in a tour of the stables. Disney cruisers also have an opportunity to interact with the horses and see these magnificent animals in action during a dynamic riding performance before meeting the local students who come here to train and care for their horses.

A Taste of Norway in Kristiansand
For those with a culinary passion, a Port Adventure exclusive to Disney Cruise Line in centuries-old Kristiansand provides the perfect hands-on cooking experience. You’ll don aprons and create Nordic specialties, such as succulent wild game filets and krumkaker, a heavenly waffle cookie typically served around Christmastime. Then, you get to sit back and relax, enjoying your sumptuous meal paired with a glass of wine.

Those of you joining us in Norway this summer, tell me, which of the Port Adventures I’ve shared with you are on your family’s must-do list? Up next, I’ll suggest excursions in Iceland, another one of our brand-new destinations for our summer in Europe!

For more on visiting Norway with Disney Cruise Line, visit the links below:

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Exploring Stavanger and Bergen, Norway with Disney Cruise Line

posted on February 24th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Manager, Port Adventures Research & Development

Selecting which Port Adventures in Norway to tell you about isn’t an easy task because there are so many incredible options for your family! Like in all of our destinations, we’ve developed a variety of shore excursions to meet your interests, whether it’s the great outdoors, tantalizing cuisine, historical locations or rich cultural immersion. Today, I want to take you to Stavanger and Bergen, two of the breathtaking locales on our Norwegian fjord sailings this summer.


Let’s start with Stavanger, home to the amazing Pulpit Rock, one of the most photographed sites in Norway. Our Hike To Pulpit Rock Port Adventure is the perfect way to take in the awe-inspiring views from this steep cliff. Your journey includes a 2-3 hour scenic hike to the top of the mountain, passing ponds, mountains, forest and marsh. The reward? One of the world’s most spectacular views! Don’t think you can face the hike up? Choose the Stavanger Helicopter Sightseeing to see it all from up above or even the relaxing Lysefjord Cruise, where you can see the majestic rock from the waters of the fjord below.


Now on to Bergen, a city nestled between seven magnificent mountains on the western coast of Norway. In addition to its natural beauty, it is also a city rich in art and medieval history. On our Bergen City Highlights tour, you’ll get a glimpse of the area’s heritage with visits to a number of well-preserved historic sites, including the iconic Fantoft Stave Church. You’re sure to be impressed by this beautiful 12th-century church, relocated to this site in 1883 and reconstructed after a fire in 1992. Your day concludes with a walking tour through the charming streets of Bryggen, Norwegian for The Wharf, a major trading center of the medieval Hanseatic League and now home to boutique shops, museums and eateries.

Exploring Bergen, Norway with Disney Cruise Line Exploring Bergen, Norway with Disney Cruise Line

Later this week, I’ll tell you about two exclusive Port Adventures in Olden and Kristiansand, Norway, created just for Disney cruisers. Remember, when the ship’s in port, venture ashore!

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Learn Helpful Norwegian Phrases for Your Adventures in Molde, Norway with Disney Cruise Line

posted on February 20th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Manager, Port Adventures Research & Development

Are you having fun learning Norwegian phrases before sailing to the land of “Frozen” with us this summer? Get ready for more! In our next video, Synnøve, a little girl you may meet on your adventures in Molde, Norway, teaches you a few important phrases to know, one that friends of Anna and Elsa probably find themselves saying often these days. Take a look …

Just outside of Molde is one of the largest folk museums in Norway, established in 1912. The Romsdal Open Air Museum, set amid beautiful mountain pastures, features more than 50 historic buildings and a recreated city street that captures the essence of Molde prior to World War II. You’ll travel back in history during our Molde Folk Museum & City Tour Port Adventure to explore the century-old property, including lush gardens, farmhouses, smokehouses and a chapel. A highlight of this adventure is a spirited performance of Norwegian folk dancing featuring local children in traditional regional outfits. Be on the lookout for sweet Synnøve! Here’s a glance at what you’ll experience …

Coming up next week is the final video in our series. I’ll be sharing it along with more of my recommendations for Port Adventures in the breathtaking country of Norway!

For more helpful Norwegian phrases for you Disney Cruise, visit the posts below:

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‘Frozen’ Friends Join Disney Cruise Line Port Adventures in Norway

posted on February 18th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Manager, Port Adventures Research & Development

For the first time in forever, Anna, Elsa and Kristoff are joining us ashore for a one-of-a-kind family Port Adventure! When we call on Ålesund, Norway during our Norwegian fjord sailings this summer, you’ll have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit with these Disney friends from the neighboring kingdom of Arendelle.


Your adventure begins at a charming countryside village, recreated with buildings dating back to the 1800s. Here, at the outdoor Sunnmøre Museum, only Disney cruisers are invited to a Norwegian summer celebration where the festivities culminate with the arrival of the beloved royal sisters and their ice-loving companion.


At this outdoor celebration, you’re invited to dance to folkloric tunes from local musicians, play old-fashioned games and explore the beautiful grounds and historic homes. You’ll also get to sample tasty Norwegian specialties, including svele, a traditional sweet pancake from the region. The photo opportunities will be plenty, when visiting with the many locals wearing traditional Norwegian outfits and the village’s beautiful Fjord horse, and of course, during your personal meet-and-greets with our special “Frozen” friends.

This Disney-exclusive Port Adventure marks Anna, Elsa and Kristoff’s very first visit to the land that inspired their story. Who’s ready to bring back summer so we can get this party started?

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Adventures in Geiranger, Norway and More Helpful Norwegian Phrases for Your Disney Cruise

posted on February 12th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Manager, Port Adventures Research & Development

It’s time to learn more helpful Norwegian phrases for your Disney cruise! I hope you enjoyed the first video I shared last week. Today I want you to meet Maja, a young woman in Geiranger, Norway, where goats may actually sleep on top of houses! Watch her video and then read on to find out more about the Port Adventure you can join to visit this picturesque mountain farm.

If you would like to taste some brown cheese, this Port Adventure is for you! Our journey to the charming Herdalsetra Mountain Farm is a unique cultural experience for the entire family where you’ll celebrate agricultural traditions dating back to the Viking age. Not only will you learn about the process of making rich cheese from goat’s milk, you’ll have the opportunity to taste some of the delicious food produced on the farm, including Norway’s famous brown cheese, similar to sweet fudge. Take a look at these photos for a glimpse at some of the fun your family will have at this quaint farm set amid the breathtaking Norwegian mountains!

Be sure to check back next week for another Norway video and Port Adventure feature!

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New Video Series: Helpful Norwegian Phrases for Your Disney Cruise

posted on February 6th, 2015 by Arnaldo Zanonato, Manager, Port Adventures Research & Development

We’re just a few months away from our first-ever cruises in Norway! Our team has been busy developing some pretty awesome shore excursions so that you can have the adventure of a lifetime on your trip to the land of “Frozen.” I’ll be telling you all about our Port Adventures in Norway, starting today, but first I want to share with you a video from a really fun series we created, “Helpful Norwegian Phrases for Your Disney Cruise.”

While we were exploring all there is to see and do in the ports we’re visiting in Norway, we spoke with some of the locals about what phrases will be helpful for Disney cruisers to learn. In this first video, we caught up with Arne during our Viking Village Experience from the port of Alesund, Norway. Check out his video, and then keep reading for details about this Port Adventure.

This video was filmed on the island of Giske, an area known for its rich Viking history. One of our Port Adventures, designed exclusively for our guests, includes a quest there to a Viking village where you’ll meet the chieftan and his family. On this unique and interactive adventure, you’ll head back in time to experience the Viking world and be a part of their daily life, mingling with members of the Norse families and experiencing first-hand the traditions, authentic food and games that come with being a Viking. Check out this photo gallery of some of the fun your entire family will have while being immersed in this intriguing culture!

Next week, stay tuned for another Norway video and Port Adventure sneak peek. Farvell!

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