Summary : During this in-depth Baltic tour, sail aboard the 100-passenger Island Sky to eight countries: Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Denmark. As you explore the Old Towns of Gdansk, Riga, and Tallinn, and tour the World Heritage Site of Visby on your Northern Europe expedition, the history and legends of the region come to life. Your Baltic expedition also includes a visit to the charming villages of Bornholm Island, and the impressive ruins of Hammershus Castle, as well as stunning St. Petersburg with its opulent palaces, churches, and theaters, among other highlights.
Activities : Culture, Photography
$999,999,999 to $0
Depart on your independent overnight flight to Stockholm. Transfer to your hotel and gather Wednesday evening for a welcome dinner and briefing.
Built on 14 islands, a tour of Sweden’s capital city takes you to the island of Djugarden, home of the famous warship, Vasa, as well as Skansen, the world’s oldest open-air museum, which displays a collection of historic Swedish buildings. Explore Gamla Stan, one of the best-preserved medieval city centers in the world and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Continue through charming cobble-stoned streets lined with 13th-century buildings to visit the Royal Palace. This evening board the Island Sky.
This morning attend lectures introducing the dynamic countries ringing the Baltic. The capital of Finland since 1812, Helsinki is a cosmopolitan city with a small-town feel. This afternoon’s city tour reveals the beautiful neo-classical architecture of Senate Square and allows you the opportunity to stroll through picturesque Market Square, where numerous vendors offer a variety of Finnish foods and souvenirs. Or choose to tour Suomenlinna Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built by Sweden in 1748 to protect Helsinki’s harbor.
Arrive in splendid St. Petersburg in the early afternoon and enjoy two days of exploration. Visit St. Isaac’s Cathedral and the Winter Palace which houses Catherine the Great’s incomparable Hermitage Museum. Enjoy an advanced entry and special guided tour which includes the Gold Room—a dazzling display of jewelry, as well as the famous Scythian and Greek gold. Drive across the Neva River to the burial place of the tsars, Peter and Paul Cathedral, its 18th-century spire dominates the skyline. Visit the spectacular Church of the Resurrection and drive along Russia’s most famous street, the Nevsky Prospect, lined with magnificent palaces, churches, and theaters. A scenic drive takes you to the magnificent palace and gardens of Peterhof, a grand summertime residence built by Peter the Great.
Today set out for old town Tallinn, a visual feast of soaring spires, towers, and turrets. After a renaissance in restoration and reconstruction, Tallinn proudly proclaims itself the finest preserved city in the Baltic. In the upper Old Town visit Palace Square and the magnificent cupola-crowned Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. In the lower Old Town visit the Town Hall Square, once a medieval marketplace; one of the oldest pharmacies in Europe, founded in 1422; and stroll along St. Catherine’s Passage in the Latin Quarter. You will also visit Kadriorg Palace and Park, built by Peter the Great as a summer residence.
Your day in Latvia showcases the riches of this 800-year-old Hanseatic river port. A walking tour takes you to multiple land-marks, including the Blackheads House, one of the oldest buildings in Riga; St. Peter’s Church, a superb Gothic masterpiece; the 15th-century Three Brothers merchant houses; and St. Jacob and St. John churches. Also visit the 13th-century Dome Cathedral, whose organ concerts are legendary. Continue your exploration by motorcoach, driving past lovely parks along the City Canal lined with the stunning Art Nouveau architecture built in 1899 during the Jugendstil movement. There is free time this afternoon to explore Riga on your own.
Spend a relaxing morning at sea and attend lectures from experts. After lunch arrive at Gotland Island, the largest island in the Baltic. The splendid city of Visby, a World Heritage Site, is famous for its intact medieval architecture, especially the 44 guard towers built as part of the city walls in the 11th and 12th centuries. Drive to Almedalen, a green oasis in the city center, then walk past lovely medieval granaries and the city’s oldest building, the Powder Tower. Visit the Botanical Garden, known for its exotic plant collection and take a ride up to a splendid panoramic viewpoint of the city and its spires. Continue your tour on foot along charming cobblestone streets, to visit the impressive St. Mary’s Cathedral and the Gotland Museum with its excellent medieval collections.
Today you drive to the amber center of Palanga. A stroll through the Botanical Park with its 500 varieties of trees and bushes, takes you to the Amber Museum, housed in a 19th-century neo-Renaissance-style mansion. Afterward drive to the Old Town for a walking tour. From beautiful Theater Square, explore the narrow streets that meander between the charming half-timbered houses and shops.
Enjoy a full day in this city whose history spans nearly 1,000 years. Stop at the Solidarity Monument, in front of the Gdansk shipyard, then view the exhibition, Roads to Freedom, a fascinating audio-visual portrayal of those important, world-changing events. A walking tour through lively Old Town reveals a magnificent collection of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque buildings and monuments. Pass through the Golden Gate and walk down Long Street to the 15th-century Palace of Artus, where Neptune’s Fountain commemorates Gdansk’s Hanseatic past. Also visit medieval St. Mary’s Church, the world’s largest brick church. After lunch onboard there is time at leisure for further exploration.
After breakfast step ashore on serene Bornholm Island, endowed with sugar-white sand beaches, dramatic cliffs, thick forests, and heather-clad hills. Visit the ruins of Hammershus Castle, Scandinavia’s largest medieval fortress; the unique, round 12th-century churches, Osterlars and Nylars; and the charming half-timbered fishing hamlet of Gudhjem. You may also choose to visit art studios renowned for their glass blowing and pottery
This morning enjoy a tour of Denmark’s capital city. Pass by the Tivoli Gardens, the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, and drive through the picturesque canals district past the National Museum, and Christiansborg Palace. Continue on to the old Stock Exchange and across Kongens Nytorv, where you can see the Royal Theater, world famous for its Royal Ballet. Pass the colorful harbor of Nyhavn to Amelienborg Palace followed by a visit to the Rosenborg Palace, which boasts fine collections including the royal crown jewels. After lunch at a local restaurant check in to your hotel with the evening at leisure to pursue your individual interests in this dynamic city. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your independent flight homeward.
Accommodations in hotels and on board the ship as outlined in the itinerary; all onboard meals; all group meals on land; group transfers; services of the expedition staff, including lectures, briefings, slide/film shows; all group activities and excursions; landing and port fees; $50,000 of emergency sickness/accident medical expenses and $75,000 in evacuation insurance; all gratuities.
All air transportation; excess baggage charges; airport arrival and departure taxes; transfers for independent arrivals and departures; passport and/or visa fees; accident/baggage/cancellation insurance; items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar charges, alcoholic beverages, e-mail/Internet/fax/telephone charges.
*Emergency Medical & Evacuation Insurance:
Emergency medical coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $50,000 is included in the cost of this expedition, as well as evacuation coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $75,000. Insurance is underwritten by National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA. The policy will contain reductions, limitations, exclusions and termination provisions. All coverages may not be available in all states. Please note this coverage does not cover you against trip cancellation or for additional days of travel prior to and/or after the expedition trip dates. ExpeditionTrips strongly advises all clients to purchase travel insurance which includes trip cancellation and interruption coverage for the entire duration of your trip.