[N]orthern Europe's cultural currency is at an all-time high.
On top of this, cities such as Copenhagen are perennial contenders in those ‘best cities in the world' type lists.
We can't all move to the Nordic countries to test these theories, but we can certainly visit them – and with MSC Cruises you get to see everything that these island nations have to offer, as well as plenty more. Including the fjords, aurora borealis and beautiful winter wildlife.
Back to the cities, though. If you browse through the various Southampton cruise deals, you'll find plenty of choice. But here are our favorite destinations for Baltic and fjord cruises around Northern Europe.
In 2013, Copenhagen was selected as the world's most ‘livable' city by Monocle Magazine, based on a range of criteria, and it's easy to see why.
Offering a middle ground between continental Europe and Scandinavia, this cosmopolitan city is famed around the world for its creative output, something that extends beyond the arts to the very civic landscape – with a number of attractive green spaces highlighting the excellent use of space within the Danish capital.
If you're visiting on a cruise, remember to visit one of the city's exquisite pavement cafes and enjoy a peaceful walk among the many parks that are dotted around.
You'll also find some great shopping opportunities here if you're looking to pick up a memento of your Northern Europe sojourn.
As Monocle puts it: “World-conquering urban quality of life requires the trickiest of balancing acts between progress and preservation, stimulation and security, global and local. Perfection is unobtainable but Copenhagen is striking one of the best deals right now.”
Goteburg may not be Sweden's first city, but it is arguably its most exciting.
Ranked by Forbes Magazine as one of the most inventive cities in the world, it has many fantastic sights to behold, including the exquisite harbor and the Gotaplatsen public square.
Casting its gaze over Goteburg, the Svenska Massan – its exhibition and conference centre – is an iconic point in the cityscape, while Gamla Ullevi, the home stadium of Sweden's biggest football club IFK Goteburg, is also well worth a visit, especially if you can catch a game.
When cruising around the fjords, you really should take the time to visit Oslo.
The Norwegian capital, which is in the running to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, is a modernist's dream, with a cool city skyline reflected along the edge of the River Akerselva and the stylish Oslo Opera House making a statement every bit as impressive as some of its more famous brethren.
Visiting by cruise ship, you cut out the more industrial part of the city that serves as a cold welcome to those who enter by plane.
Instead, you get to witness the city of Edvard Munch – painter of ‘the Scream' – in all of its glory. You can visit the very spot depicted in that picture, while Frogner Park is also worthy of your time, boasting as it does an array of 150 impressive sculptures.
This post was brought to you by MSC Cruises.