Ambassador Ambition – Our Cruise

On our cruise on board Ambition, we ventured from Tilbury Port (in Essex) for a long weekend in Antwerp. This is a great example of the size of this ship, as many cannot visit Antwerp despite it being such an amazing destination to go to in Europe. What’s also very unique for a cruise line is that Ambition has a number of regional homeports across the UK, giving a level of convenience not matched with other UK lines, with a variety of itineraries and sailings.  

We fortunately had an overnight in Antwerp which enabled us to really explore this beautiful city (even though the weather on the first day was very much against us!). So much regeneration and work is being undertaken here so every time I visit it changes so much, particularly along the waterfront where a lot of investment is taking place.

So, on our first day we walked around enjoying the famous Christmas market, taking in sights such as the Cathedral of our Lady, and perhaps my favourite part of Antwerp – MAS – Museum aan de Stroom. This imposing building is located on some of the old docks of the city and is focussed on the connection to the World. Its collection ranges from maritime objects documenting international trade and shipping, to the history, art and culture of the port city of Antwerp and to art and culture from Europe, Africa, America, Asia and Oceania. If you visit definitely make your way to the roof where you can enjoy the best views of Antwerp. And of course, since you’re in Belgium you must enjoy some beer and frites! I love visiting Antwerp time and time again, and its a nice alternative if you want something different than visiting Bruges in Belgium. 

 

On our second day we took a gifted excursion from Ambassador to visit Ghent. I’d never visited this city before so I was excited to see and explore. Ghent is one of the top places to visit when in Belgium, and you can see why when you arrive – from the stunning architecture, its history, the canals and people/culture. And let’s talk about the architecture, because it truly is stunning. Much of the city’s medieval architecture remains intact. This includes buildings such as St. Bavo’s Cathedral, the belfry, Gravensteen Castle and the postcard Old Graslei harbour.  

 

In visiting the harbour, we couldn’t miss out on taking a Canal Ride (as part of our excursion). While the tour doesn’t take a long time, it’s great to see all the sights of the city by water, including the Ghent Library, Gravensteen (a 10th Century moated castle) as well as some of the iconic buildings the city has to offer. For me, what was fun you get to experience a bit more of the quirky side of Ghent, with interesting houses and other sights.  

 

We visited in mid-December which was perfect for visiting Ghent’s Christmas Market. I love mooching around a Christmas market, and in Ghent it is focussed around the centre of the city, around the Belfry of Ghent and the beautiful Market Hall. What I also loved about this Christmas Market in particular was the sheer amount and range of food on offer (yum!). It really was a feast for the senses and was great to grab a drink and take in the music and Christmas spirit.  And don’t forget to pick up some chocolates whenever visiting Belgium!

 

As this was a short cruise, we left Antwerp early evening to an incredible (and might I say eclectic) band send off and made our way back to Tilbury for an early start the next day. I can’t recommend Antwerp and Ghent more when visiting northern Europe.  

Overall, I really enjoyed this weekend cruise. Ambassador really have nailed a good all round weekend getaway and thoroughly recommend it to anyone wanting to get away for a few days, or indeed, wanting to visit Christmas markets.  

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