Denmark Cruise Holidays

Denmark regularly ranks among the world’s happiest nations. Part of the magic of Denmark and its capital are the contradictions. Copenhagen is where classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales and the famous Little Mermaid statue meet a vibrant art scene and trendsetting fashion.

Denmark Cruise Holiday Highlights

Denmark offers a wealth of outdoor pursuits plus historic and cultural experiences. Guests can travel to Odense to visit the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen, or to Billund and the original Legoland resort. In Copenhagen , you’ll find tiny, traditional bodegas (pubs where smoking is still allowed), next to new, polished juice bars selling matcha lattes for a princely sum. And for all their sleek and minimalist Scandinavian design, Danes certainly know how to get cosy – or ‘hygge’ themselves, as they say.  The chilly but magical winters make way for beautiful summers when the sun seemingly never sets and the parks and beaches swell. 

Denmark Cruise Ports

Aarhus, Denmark

First inhabited by the Vikings over a thousand years ago, today Aauhus' growing population makes it Denmark's second largest city. Experience the local cuisine from a variety of restaurants where you can sample traditional Danish cuisine, or venture further afield to visit the famous 'Legoland'.

Bornholm, Denmark

Bornholm, a 587 square kilometre island in the Baltic Sea – has long been a popular holiday destination for Danes looking for a laid-back seaside escape. Bornholm recently made Condé Nast Traveller’s list of the best islands in the world. It also boasts a reputation as a gourmet destination,with a penchant for locally grown produce.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen is a fairytale come to life, and at its heart is the enchanting Tivoli Gardens. It’s captivating around the clock, but perhaps never more so than at night, when twinkling lights add to the charm. Soak up the city views on the Ferris wheel, feel the thrills on one of the world’s oldest running wooden roller coasters or simply watch the world waltz by at one of the many cafés or restaurants.

Fredericia, Denmark

Founded by and named after Frederick III in 1650, it was Denmark's first planned city and an important military stronghold. Fredericia is on the Jutland peninsula in Denmark. Fredericia offers a wealth of outdoor pursuits plus historic and cultural experiences.

Skagen, Denmark

Skagen is Denmark’s most northerly town enjoys more daylight hours than any other. Painters flocked here in the 19th century, and today summer tourists do the same, to enjoy its beautiful white sand beaches, bustling harbours and pretty neighbourhoods of distinctive red-roofed yellow houses.

Explore Denmark on a Cruise Holiday

If you want to understand Denmark, you need to understand hygge. The concept can be difficult to explain, but is easy to experience – and once you have it in you, you’ll know why Danes are some of the happiest people in the world. Take a peek into Copenhagen’s local life and find your own happy hygge place. Despite being home to around 1.3 million people, Copenhagen goes by the nickname byen – meaning ‘the village’. As we wander around the canalside district of Nyhavn, sometimes it feels as if we’re encountering a big buzzy city. At other times it really is a small, friendly town.  

Often said to be the land of the world’s happiest people, Denmark captures fairytale charm and has many lusting after its idyllic landscapes and laid-back lifestyle. Like the wistful daydream of a Hans Anderson story, towering castles dot the countryside while the sandy bays remain unspoilt. These timeless views make it easy for visitors to envisage the Viking history that belongs to this nation. This Nordic landscape has many vibrant cities offering a stark contrast from the dreamy countryside. From southern Odense to northern Aalbord, the many quirky cities offer impressive art and a fascinating culture.

The positive and friendly disposition of the Danish people adds to Denmark’s charisma. Content with life and minus any class systems, the Danish people invite visitors into a Scandinavian bubble many don’t want to burst.

Danish Culture

Aarhus is Denmark’s second city and sits on the mainland in the Jutland peninsula, with much to offer art and history lovers. The ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum is a European art favourite while the Moesgård Museum showcases Denmark’s extensive history. Risskov is a pretty bay for beach lovers, but for those with a preference for mainland views, the Brabrand Lake is also picturesque.

Providing a more serene experience, the mini-paradise of Skagen in the north of Denmark holds spectacular beaches. The ever-changing dunes are fun to explore, and the best views of the dazzling bay come from St Laurence’s Church.

City life in Denmark

The country’s capital, Copenhagen, also has a port and is home to some significant landmarks including the Amalienborg Palace, Christiansborg Palace and the Renaissance-style Rosenborg Castle. Copenhagen also offers the best in Nordic dining, while cruises between Zealand and Amager unveil the most stunning Scandinavian views. 

Danish Coasts

Bornholm is one of the most popular Danish ports as it gives visitors an insight into rustic island life. Sitting in the Baltic Sea, it is the country’s most eastern spot and retains a historical charm with its wooden houses and withering lighthouses. The nearby cliffs of Bokul have views that stretch across the little houses right out to Gudhjem harbour and beyond.

Bright blue waters lap against the craggy rocks before the Dueodde shoreline gives way to lush greenery. Further inland the Almindingen forests call out to explorers, while the ancient site of Rispebjerg Has bears the remains of sun temples and remnants from the Iron Age.

As a country of understated beauty, there are many parts of Denmark that open themselves up for quiet exploration. Near to the port of Aarhus, the rolling hills and nature trails of Marselisborg have stunning walkways as the wooded lands meet the beach. 

South of the city lies Moesgård, where a trail known as the ‘prehistoric trackway’ leads walkers through woodland and beach to the Moesgård Museum.

Reasons to visit Denmark on a cruise holiday

Danish Lifestyle

Danes are indeed a chilled-out and friendly bunch, with a penchant for local brews, making their own schnapps and telling you exactly what’s on their mind. Everyone cycles: indeed, it is often the quickest way to get around the city’s cobbled streets, pedestrianised zones and network of harbour inlets and canals. The bike lanes sprawl across Zealand, the island that Copenhagen is on, all the way to Helsingør (Elsinore) and Hamlet’s castle. But try to jaywalk or cross the road on a red man and they will stare at you in horror. In Scandinavia, rules are rules, after all.

Shore Experiences

Here are three fabulous ways to explore Copenhagen. A guided tour brings the stunning Tivoli Gardens to life before you enjoy Danish pastries at Copenhagen Concert Hall. Take in key sights – the Little Mermaid, the Opera House, Amalienborg Palace and the old Stock Exchange to name a few – as you cruise Copenhagen Harbour before disembarking for a street tour of the canalways of Christianshavn. Enjoy a full day taking in the key attractions and points of historic interest, stopping off at the Carlsberg Vistor Centre for lunch and the picturesque village of Dragør on the island of Amager.

Danish Cuisine

The craze for all things ‘Scandi’ or Nordic in the food world began with Danish chef René Redzepi, who established the now world-famous Noma (short for Nordisk mad – Nordic food) in Copenhagen back in 2003. In the same neighbourhood as Noma is Papirøen. This old newspaper warehouse has been transformed into a maze of colourful food trucks and stalls made from old shipping containers. With its good-value, eclectic menus, ranging from Korean BBQ to cheesecakes and duck burgers, this is a popular spot with locals.

View a selection of Denmark cruise shore experiences