Cruising Historic Olympic Sites
While the Olympics and cruising may seem completely opposite at first glance, a closer look reveals the two are quite similar. Both the Olympics and cruising celebrate the world and its many people and cultures. The Olympics celebrate the world by bringing people across the globe together to showcase the skill of highly trained athletes. Cruising celebrates the world by taking a group of people and introducing them to different nations and cultures across the globe.
With this in mind, it is easy to see how the two completely different events share the commonality of celebrating the world. And what’s more is that it is easy to combine the two into one incredible vacation! While you may not actually cruise during an ongoing Olympics, you can visit many of the cities that hosted previous Olympics and even visit the birthplace of the Olympics themselves.
The region from where the Olympics originated has continued the tradition that started in Athens so long ago. Athens was host to not only the original Olympics but also to the 1896 and 2004 Summer Games. A discus’s throw across the Adriatic Sea and you come to Rome, which hosted the Summer Games of 1960. And last, but not least, across the Mediterranean Sea from the original Olympic site is the host city of the 1992 Summer Games, Barcelona, located on the eastern shore of Spain. You can hit one or all three of these previous Olympic sites during a Mediterranean cruise.
The Americas have played host to numerous Olympic Games, including the 1932, 1984 and 1996 Summer Games, the 1932 and 1980 Winter Games and the current 2010 Winter Games. Host cities include Los Angeles, Atlanta, Lake Placid and Vancouver. While not all of these cities are accessible by sea, many Mexican Riviera cruises start in Los Angeles and Vancouver is a popular gateway port for Alaska cruises.
Not ignoring the sister region of the Mediterranean, Northern Europe has quite a few Olympic hosts. Paris hosted the 1900 and 1924 Summer Games, London, the current host also served as host to the 1908, 1948 Summer Games, Amsterdam the 1928 Summer Games, and Oslo the 1952 Winter Games. Other host cities include Munich, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Grenoble and Innsbruck. Discover a variety of these host cities with a Northern Europe cruise in the early spring and summer months.
Asia hosted the Olympics in 1988 and 2008 as well as many years in between. A few of the host cities include Seoul (1988 Summer Games), Beijing (2008 Summer Games), Tokyo (1964 Summer Games), Sapporo (1972 Winter Games), and Nagano (1998 Winter Games). Cruises through the Far East frequently visit Hong Kong, Tokyo and Shanghai, offering a wide variety of options for travelers interested in visiting historic Olympic sites.
Australian cities that hosted the Olympics include Sydney (2000 Summer Games) and Melbourne (1956 Summer Games). Sydney is the main gateway for any Australian cruise plus many Australian itineraries also feature calls in neighboring New Zealand, New Caledonia, and Tasmania.