Set sail on this North Sea voyage from the south of England to Denmark and explore the extravagant legacy of Hanseatic League, a medieval confederation of merchant guilds that fueled unprecedented wealth along Europe's northern coasts and laid the groundwork for the Renaissance. Experience these riches in the great public buildings, private houses, and above all, the museums that these fortunes built and furnished. Transfer from London to Portsmouth, where you will embark the recently christened Ocean Albatros and sail to French Normandy. Call in Belgium for an excursion to charming medieval Bruges, or visit Ghent, where you will admire the sublime Van Eyck altarpiece. In Holland, choose between special museum openings exclusively for us at Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum or The Hague's Mauritshuis. Arrive in Germany for a day in Hamburg, with its massive UNESCO-listed district of brick warehouses, or delve into Hanseatic history at the European Hansemuseum in elegant Lübeck. Then navigate the picturesque, 61-mile-long Kiel Canal connecting the North Sea to the Baltic. You may step ashore for an expert-led inside look at Berlin's incredible landmarks and its restored Neues Museum or visit romantic, little-known Schwerin, Germany, for a private tour of a medieval island castle and art museum set in a pristine lake. Conclude with a day in Copenhagen where the ship is overnight in port.