Experience the cultural rebirth of the Baltic states on this remarkable six-country, eight-night Baltic Sea cruise. Enjoy enriching presentations by former President of Poland Lech Wałęsa and noted author and scholar Sergei N. Khrushchev, son of Nikita Khrushchev, former Premier of the U.S.S.R. Cruise aboard the exclusively chartered Five-Star M.S. LE BORÉAL from Copenhagen, Denmark, to Stockholm, Sweden, visiting Gdansk, Poland; Tallin, Estonia; Helsinki, Finland; and Visby, Sweden.
Depart the U.S.
Arrive in Copenhagen, Denmark’s vibrant world-class capital of great heritage and seafaring traditions, and embark the Five-Star m.s. Le Boréal. (D)
Gda´nsk, Poland/Lech Wał˛esa
Once a flourishing Hanseatic League port, today Gda´nsk showcases its glorious architectural heritage in the meticulously restored, elegant patrician mansions featuring late Renaissance and Baroque façades in the Stare Miasto (Old Town). Stroll along the pedestrian-only Droga Królewska (the Royal Route) to see the iconic Neptune’s Fountain and visit the 14th-century Artus Court, a Gothic guildhall inspired by the ideals of Britain’s legendary King Arthur, which now houses a fascinating collection of Polish artifacts. In 1980, workers led by Lech Wał˛esa founded the Solidarity movement, the first independent trade union in Eastern Europe and the key factor in winning the Polish struggle against Communism. Visit the historic Lenin Shipyard, where the movement began, and its Monument to the Fallen Shipyard Workers. Enjoy time to explore Gda´nsk’s lovely Old Town at your own pace.
By special arrangement, meet the leader of the Solidarity movement, former President of Poland and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Lech Wał˛esa, on board the ship this evening. Mr. Wał˛esa will discuss his perspective on Solidarity, globalization and progress in the region, with time for questions and answers. (B,L,D)
Experience the cultural rebirth of the Baltic states on this remarkable six-country, eight-night Baltic Sea cruise.
Cruising the Baltic Sea
Spend the day at leisure cruising the Baltic Sea while enjoying a series of enriching lectures. This evening, attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception. (B,L,R,D)
Having largely escaped the ravages of World War II, Tallinn’s UNESCO World Heritage-designated Old Town has remained virtually unchanged for 600 years. During the walking tour, see Toompea Castle—the seat of Estonia’s Parliament—the landmark Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the 13th-century Church of St. Nicholas. Visit the medieval Town Hall, the only intact Gothic-style hall in Northern Europe. Enjoy time on your own to explore Tallinn’s Old Town before returning to the ship. (B,L,D)
St. Petersburg, Russia
Peter the Great founded majestic St. Petersburg in 1703 as his “Window on the West.” After cruising into the heart of the city, enjoy a specially arranged early-entry guided tour of one of the world’s greatest art repositories, the incomparable State Hermitage Museum. Former czarist palace of Catherine the Great and a UNESCO World Heritage site, its spectacular collections are rivaled only by the museum’s lavish interior.
This afternoon’s panoramic tour of the city’s historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site, features legendary landmarks scattered across more than 100 islands and linked by more than three times as many bridges. St. Petersburg’s main thoroughfare, Nevsky Prospekt, showcases exquisite examples of Russian Baroque and neoclassical architecture. See the ornate Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood (Church of the Resurrection of Christ), built on the site of Emperor Alexander II’s assassination, and the 19th-century St. Isaac’s Cathedral, with a striking golden dome that is one of the glories of the city’s skyline. Visit St. Petersburg’s first building, the Peter and Paul Fortress, constructed to secure the country’s access to the sea, and the impressive Baroque Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, containing the tombs of 32 czars, from Peter the Great to Nicholas II, the last of the Romanovs.
The evening is at leisure. An optional opportunity to attend a Russian folklore show performed in the Nikolaevsky Art Centre is offered. (B,L,D)
This morning, visit the imperial compound of Pushkin and Catherine the Great’s elaborate rococo palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site, highlighted by a special visit to the extraordinary Amber Room, which is said to be the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” Then, savor a lunch of traditional Russian specialties.
Enjoy a guided tour of the splendid parklands and extravagant UNESCO World Heritage-designated Grand Palace of Petrodvorets, commissioned by Peter the Great to rival the Palace of Versailles. The elaborately landscaped grounds feature magnificent formal gardens and cascading fountains. Return to St. Petersburg by hydrofoil, skimming over the Gulf of Finland. (B,L,D)
Helsinki was named the World Design Capital in 2012 for its innovative use of design in stimulating an urban environment. Stand on deck as the ship approaches the city for the best view of the 18th-century maritime fortress of Suomenlinna, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
On a panoramic city tour, see the stately Senate Square and the diplomatic quarter of Kaivopuisto. Visit the modernistic Temppeliaukio Church, or “Church of the Rock,” impressively hewn out of natural bedrock. Enjoy free time to explore Helsinki’s lively Market Square before reboarding the ship. (B,L,D)
Visby, Gotland Island, Sweden
Call at the Baltic island of Gotland, rich in Swedish history with abundant ancient sites and more than 100 medieval churches. The marvelous Old Town of Visby, the former Baltic center of the Hanseatic League, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and arguably the best preserved medieval city in Scandinavia. On the walking tour of this “city of roses,” see the 13th-century walls, the original medieval gates, towers and stone warehouses. Tour the iconic Cathedral of St. Mary—the only one of Visby’s Gothic churches not in ruins today—and the Gotlands Historical Museum.
Enjoy time at leisure before returning to the ship. This evening, attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception. (B,L,R,D)
Be on deck as you cruise through the scenic Stockholm archipelago, the gateway to Sweden’s magnificent “Venice of the North.” Disembark and continue on to explore the historic splendor and dramatic beauty of Stockholm on the Post-Cruise Option or depart for the U.S.
All program features are contingent upon final brochure pricing.
R = Reception, B = Breakfast Included, L = Lunch Included, D = Dinner Included