Cliffs of Moher in Ireland
Posted May 31, 2012
On July 27, millions of eyes will be fixed on London as the Summer Olympics commence, pitting the world's greatest athletes against each other during the largest sports event on the planet. Numerous cities and countries have hosted the Olympics in its millennia-old history, from the most recent London to 2008's Beijing, and Princess Cruises takes its passengers to coastal destinations where athletes broke records, shed tears and won honor for their nations.
Cruise through the UK's Olympic-sized natural wonders
Already journeying throughout the United Kingdom, the Olympic torch is being carried by inspirational people that each have a unique story, whether overcoming obstacles or formerly internationally known athletes. While running, paddling and walking through the natural wonders of the nation, spectators can enjoy the Olympic-sized scenic wonders situated throughout the nation.
During a European cruise to the Ring of Kerry in Ireland, passengers will get to see the Cliffs of Moher, which were famously used in the film "The Princess Bride" as the Cliffs of Insanity, and more recently as the backdrop for several Harry Potter films. The cliffs have been designated as a UNESCO Geological Park and towers more than 214 meters over the Atlantic Ocean. On a clear day, visitors can see as far as the Aran Islands and the Maum Turk Mountains, as well as the Twelve Pins, which is Ireland's most stunning mountain range.
Visit Beijing's "Bird's Nest" arena on an Asian Cruise
Thousands of Chinese nationals participated in the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, and millions of viewers were dazzled as the Bird's Nest arena came alive with illuminated drums. That year's Olympics brought the Forbidden city and much of China's ancient culture back into the limelight as a pivotal sign that China had opened its doors and entered the modern age with flying colors.
After passing the massive Bird's Nest stadium, Asian shore excursion tours will enter the 720,000-square-mile complex of the Forbidden City, which has attracted visitors for centuries. Filled with intricately designed pavilions, gardens and courtyards, the city was once home to nearly 25 emperors from 1420 to 1923.
The focal point of the 2008 Olympics was the Great Wall of China, which dates back to 453 B.C. and is the largest wall in the world. Visible from space, the Great Wall stretches from the Bo Hai Sea all the way to the Gobi desert.
Eat like a champ in Barcelona
Barcelona, Spain, was the host of the 1992 Summer Olympics, and passengers on a European cruisetour won't want to miss the chance to eat like a true champion in what has quickly become a culinary hotspot.
One of the best ways to get to know a nation's culture is to eat. As the hub of Catalonia, Barcelona's culinary cuisine focuses on the rich flavors of the land, resulting in an unpretentious and classy representation of the city's traditions. From simple bites like pan con tomate (bread soaked in tomato, olive oil and garlic) - a perfect snack during a shore excursion - to more contemporary fare like chef Ferran Adria's foamy flavors, Barcelona's eats are fit for any aspiring athlete or Olympics lover.
After grabbing a quick meal at one of the many restaurants situated throughout the metropolitan city, Princess passengers can go to the Montjuic Olympic Stadium, which hosted the track events during the 1992 Games. Situated on Mount Montjuic, this arena is an architectural wonder that treats visitors with panoramic views of the city below.