The undisputed charm of the Scottish capital
Eight miles north-west of Edinburgh city centre is the small town of South Queensferry, located at the southern end of the two mighty Forth Bridges.
When you are cruising the North Sea with MSC Cruises, South Queensferry will be your port of call. It’s an attractive old settlement, with a narrow, cobbled High Street lined with tightly packed buildings, most of which date from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Moreover, a shore excursion on your MSC Northern Europe cruise can be the opportunity to discover the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, a far more handsome city than London; it’s famous for its magnificent setting, majestic castle and ancient royal quarter of Holyrood, not to mention an acclaimed international arts festival and some excellent museums. Edinburgh’s Old Town, although only about a mile long and 400 yards wide, represented the total extent of the twin burghs of Edinburgh and Canongate for the first 650 years of their existence, and its general appearance and character remain indubitably medieval.
Containing the majority of the city’s most famous tourist sights, the Old Town is compact enough to explore in a single day, though a thorough visit requires a bit longer. The history of Edinburgh, and indeed of Scotland, is indissolubly bound up with its castle, which dominates the city from its lofty seat atop an extinct volcanic rock. The disparate styles of the fortifications reflect the change in its role from defensive citadel to national monument, and today, as well as attracting more visitors than anywhere else in the country, the castle is still a military barracks and home to Scotland’s Crown Jewels.
The oldest surviving part of the complex is from the twelfth century, while the most recent additions date back to the 1920s.