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The Leader in Small Ship and River Cruising Worldwide

Worldwide Discovery at Extraordinary Value Since 1958

2018 Grand Baltic Sea Voyage

Denmark: Copenhagen, Ronne • Poland: Gdansk • Sweden: Visby, Stockholm • Latvia: Riga • Estonia: Tallinn • Russia: St. Petersburg • Finland: Helsinki

CRUISE COMFORTABLY IN SMALL GROUPS OF 25 ABOARD OUR PRIVATELY OWNED 89-PASSENGER M/V CLIO
86% Traveler Excellence Rating Read reviews

14 Days from only $7295 including international airfare

Activity Level:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Easy

Courtesy of Riku Karjalainen
Sense the Silence

Escape to Finland in this film to experience the tranquility of snow-covered landscapes and night sky wonders.

Courtesy BBC.com Travel
My City: Stockholm

Let a local help you uncover the creative spirit and modern allures of Stockholm, Sweden’s history-steeped capital.

Courtesy Ian Sciacaluga
5 Minutes in… Gdansk

Traverse the medieval streets of Gdansk like a local, and witness the rebirth of this Polish locale.

Courtesy Eaglewood Films
Summer in Latvia

Enjoy a Latvian summer’s serenity—from flowers swaying in the breeze to sunrises that paint the sky.

Courtesy of www.skycam.ee
Tallin

Experience the magic of Tallin, Estonia as you glide over red-roofed neighborhoods and sprawling parks.

FROM
$7295
14 DAYS
$522/DAY
including international airfare
13 DAYS FROM $6395 Small Ship Adventure Only
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NEW: Activity Level

Our NEW Activity Level rating system ranks our trips on a scale of 1 (easiest) to 5 (most difficult) to help you determine if a trip is right for you. The information below is a general guide to our rating system, but see our itineraries for much more detailed physical activity information about each trip.

Activity Level 1:

1 2 3 4 5

Easy

Travelers should be able to climb 25 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 1-2 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last at least 1-2 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 2:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Easy

Travelers should be able to climb 40 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 2-3 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for at least 2-3 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 3:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderate

Travelers should be able to climb 60 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 3 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 3 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 5,000 to 7,000 feet.

Activity Level 4:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Strenuous

Travelers should be able to climb 80 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 4 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 7,000 to 9,000 feet.

Activity Level 5:

1 2 3 4 5

Strenuous

Travelers should be able to climb 100 or more stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 8 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 10,000 feet or more.

Itinerary Overview

Set sail on a voyage across the Baltic Sea to explore the coastlines of its briny waters, from Denmark to Poland ... to the Baltic states of Latvia and Estonia to Russia ... and back again to the Nordic lands of Finland and Sweden. Experience the countries of Scandinavia, a region filled with ice-capped waters, wind-blown beaches, bucolic farmlands, and acre upon acre of lush, verdant forestry. Then get a taste of Polish life before uncovering the turrets, spires, and cobbled streets of the Baltic states, which have reemerged as independent countries with open arms after decades of Soviet occupation. Then glide to St. Petersburg, the glorious port city founded by Peter the Great in the early 18th century as a showcase for Russia’s imperial might.

Make It Your Adventure

Personalize your trip to meet your individual needs, from preferred flights and air routing, to “breaking away” to spend more time in a destination.

  • O.A.T’s team of Adventure Specialists makes every effort to provide you with non-stop flights and acceptable connection times to and from your destination. You also have several other options for personalizing your air itinerary, which include:

    • Choose your departure city and airline: We list the most popular gateway cities on our website, but not all of them. If you don’t see yours listed, or there’s one that better suits your needs, let us know. You can also tell us if you have an airline preference and we will try to accommodation your request.
    • Depart from one city and return from another: Just because your flight leaves from one city doesn’t mean you have to return there. Maybe you flew out of Boston and wish to visit friends in Los Angeles after your trip is over. Tell us where you want to go and we’ll do our best to get you there.
    • Fly the way you want to: We’ll gladly arrange a flight upgrade to business or premium economy class if it’s available. And when you fly economy class, we’ll do our best to see that you get your choice of seating preference or even add a special meal request if you have dietary restrictions or needs.
  • You can maximize your time abroad and "break away" anywhere you'd like to do more exploring on your own. Consider arriving early to get a fresh start in Copenhagen, Denmark or stay in Stockholm, Sweden for a day, a week, or even a month to make even more memories before your journey home. Our Travel Counselors can provide you with information on the accommodations we will use at the beginning of your trip so that you can make your own arrangements. That way, you'll know that you will be exactly where you need to be to meet your group.

  • Many of our travelers choose to take another trip directly after their first one ends. Think about it: If you’re already overseas, why not see more of the region and avoid the expense and length of another international flight? Many of our travelers have taken two or three consecutive trips before returning home. Some of the most common trips combined with Grand Baltic Sea Voyage are Norwegian Coastal Voyage & Lapland and Untamed Iceland. And now you’ll save an additional $250-$350 per person when you reserve two trips right after one another.

  • Many Grand Circle travelers simply don’t want their trips to end. With an array of pre- and post-trip extensions to choose from, you have the chance to experience more of the places you’ve traveled so far to see, including Copenhagen, Denmark and Stockholm, Sweden. Plus, you lower your average per-day costs because you’re taking advantage of your already included international airfare.

Day-to-Day Itinerary

  • 3 nights from only $1245

    Copenhagen and Denmark
    Produced by Small World Productions
    This independent film features destinations you can visit on this trip extension.

    Copenhagen’s native son Hans Christian Andersen rendered Danish life as a fairy tale, but you’ll see plenty of evidence that the real thing is just as memorable in Denmark’s capital city. Revel in a three-night stay that allows you to explore Kobenhavn at your own pace, following your own interests. You’ll benefit from an included Copenhagen Card that allows you access to historical sites and museums, and free transport in the city’s extensive public transportation system.

    View Extension Itinerary
Copenhagen Stockholm Reverse Direction Expand All
  • Depart the U.S. today on your flight to Copenhagen, Denmark. Please refer to your personal air itinerary for exact departure and arrival times.

  • Arriving in Denmark, you'll be met at the airport by a Grand Circle representative and assisted to your hotel, where you'll join travelers who took the Copenhagen, Denmark pre-trip extension. Get acquainted with the area around your hotel by taking an orientation walk with your Trip Leader before an afternoon free to explore the city independently, with lunch on your own.

    This evening, we'll gather at our hotel for a welcome briefing and dinner. 

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    After breakfast, begin your Small Ship Adventure by taking in the sights of Copenhagen during a panoramic tour. First, you'll discover that the dock used by the Clio is adjacent to where Denmark’s royal family docks their private boats. The Danish monarchy is particularly beloved by its people and is also the world’ oldest. In fact, the current queen, Queen Margrethe II, can trace her lineage back to the first Viking kings of Denmark—over 1000 years ago. This does not mean the royal family is without controversies however, some of which your Trip Leader will share with you during an exclusive Discovery Series event. 

    As you continue on, you'll enjoy a glimpses of the city's colorful houses, picturesque canals, charming pedestrian squares, and innovative modern architectural designs. Along the way, visit a handful of iconic landmarks, including The Little Mermaid statue, the Gelfion Fountain, and Christiansborg Palace, seat of the Danish Parliament. Then enjoy free time and lunch on your own before transferring to the pier to embark the M/V Clio.

    This evening, gather for your first onboard Port Talk. Throughout your cruise, your Trip Leader will preview upcoming destinations prior to arrival, to enrich your understandings and help you make the best use of your free time. Following your Port Talk, join your fellow travelers for an included dinner onboard.

    Tonight, set sail for your first destination: Ronne, Denmark.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    After breakfast onboard, explore Ronne during an included tour via motorcoach. Located on the island of Bornholm (considered the “Pearl of the Baltic Sea” because of its breathtaking scenery), Ronne is a town of cobbled streets, half-timbered houses, and brightly painted buildings. The picturesque town and surrounding countryside make Ronne a popular vacation spot for the Danes, but not one that has been discovered by the international tourist set yet. During your tour, you'll visit Store Torv (the town's largest square, where the Danes sell produce, clothing, and granite jewelry during market days) and the octagonal Ronne lighthouse (built in 1880 and operational until it was decommissioned in 1989).

    After your guided tour of the town's center, you'll make your way to Hjorths Fabrik—a ceramic museum showcasing the long history of pottery-making in Ronne—for an exclusive Discovery Series event. Bornholm residents have been digging into the island's rich deposits of clay and creating unusual and whimsical pots, plates, and cups since the early 18th century. The Hjorth ceramic factory opened in 1858 and was operational for more than a century, before it shut down in 1993. Today, the museum (still run by the Hjorth family) truly spans the ages: It houses ceramic artifacts from the early 18th century, pieces made when the factory was operational, and modern-day works done created by contemporary Bornholm potters.

    Return to the ship for lunch onboard. The rest of the afternoon is yours to continue your discoveries. Perhaps you'll choose to visit one of the town's many clockmakers, an occupation dating back to 1744. Bornholm was once known for its unique grandfather clocks, but the craft disappeared after World War II. In recent years, the tradition has revived—today, its hourly chimes can be heard singing throughout the streets.

    This evening, get better acquainted with your ship's captain and crew during a Welcome Dinner. As they say in Scandinavia, “Smaklig måltid!” (“Enjoy your meal!”)

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    After breakfast, dock in Gdansk, Poland—across from the very spot where World War II began. Begin your discoveries with a visit to the European Solidarity Center—an exclusive Discovery Series event—where you'll learn more about the Solidarity movement of this Eastern European nation, and its tenacious opposition to communism post-World War II.

    Then, head to the Stare Miasto (Old Town) for a morning walking tour. A maritime city that's been around for a millennium, Gdansk has fluctuated between great prosperity and tragic destruction—and still shows both wartime scars and rich architectural beauty. Wander past the town hall and its Neptune Fountain, rumored to have once spouted Gdansk's trademark liqueur, Goldwasser, instead of water. Along the way, witness at the city's many gates—including the Green Gate, Golden Gate, and Upland Gate, You'll also see the Monument to the Fallen Shipyard Workers, three 138-foot-tall steel crosses at the entrance to the city's shipyard. A sudden spike in food costs in 1970 led to mass riots throughout northern Poland that left at least 40 dead and more than 1,000 wounded. This monument was the first to commemorate the victims of a communist regime.

    Enjoy time to further explore the city's Old Town—stopping into of Gdansk's many cafés, bookstores, or shops—before a special Discovery Series event: a Home-Hosted Lunch with a local family. After your meal, cap your discoveries with a panoramic drive around Gdansk.

    This evening, enjoy dinner onboard as your ship sails toward Visby, Sweden.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    On Gotland Island, the city of Visby has existed for more than 1,000 years, with its signature ringmur (ringwall) encircling the town since the 13th century. Reachable only by boat or plane, and beloved as a holiday destination for Swedes, the “City of Ruins and Roses” is rich with historical artifacts, earning it a designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Set off on an included panoramic tour of Visby and see its history unfold around you, its hundreds of warehouses and merchant homes telling the story of its heyday as a major port between Russia and Western Europe for the Hanseatic League. You'll also visit to both Visby's Botanical Gardens and Gotlands Museum. The famed museum delves into the rich history of the region, with amazing displays of pre-Viking picture stones, medieval wooden sculptures, and the world's largest collection of preserved silver treasure. 

    Return to the ship for lunch, and begin cruising toward Riga, Latvia, this afternoon.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    Set close to the mouth of the Daugava River, which travels from the Baltic Sea into Russia, Riga was historically an important trade port. Its prosperity also made it a target for conquest. Before Latvia declared itself an independent nation in 1918, Riga was claimed by Russia, Sweden, Lithuania, and Germany.

    As a diverse, thriving city with a prominent upper class, Riga experienced radical change under occupation by the Soviets and Nazis. Buildings from Riga's most prosperous eras still stand throughout the city. During this morning's tour, explore this Latvian city by motorcoach and on foot. You'll enjoy special focus on the Art Nouveau era as you explore a district rich with facades from the early 20th-century period, during which architecture took a romantic turn, favoring natural and mythological embellishments.

    After lunch onboard, you may enjoy time ashore in Riga. Or, join our optional House of Horror tour to discover the painful history of Soviet occupation in Latvia. You'll visit a KGB facility where Latvians suspected of opposing the Soviet regime were tortured and killed from 1940 to 1991, and meet with a local whose relatives were kept in the prison. Visitors to the abandoned facility report feelings of unease as they walk the deserted halls. 

    This evening, enjoy dinner onboard followed by a festive Discovery Series performance featuring traditional Rigan folk music and dancing.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    After breakfast, learn more about the Baltic states' fight for independence during an insightful discussion given by a local expert on the Singing Revolution, an exclusive Discovery Series event. Learn about the Baltic countries remarkable feat of using non-violent protests to win their independence. 

    Then, join us for our optional Rundale Palace tour. A masterpiece of Baroque and Rococo style, 18th-century Rundale Palace was built on the orders of Ernst Johann Biron, the Duke of Courtland, and the Russian Empress he loved, Anna Ioannovna. The palace boasts opulent chambers, as well as extensive French gardens. You'll tour the palace and the rose garden, before enjoying lunch at a local restaurant.

    Or, traverse the city at your own pace. Perhaps you'll pay a visit to the Nordic wooden dwellings of Kipsala Island, or build upon yesterday's discoveries with a visit to the recently opened Riga Art Nouveau Museum, located in the former apartment of Latvian architect Konstantins Pekšens. You could also explore Riga's massive Central Market, used as Zeppelin hangers during World War I, which now houses endless stalls offering local fare. Return to the ship for lunch.

    Dinner is onboard this evening as you cruise toward Tallinn, Estonia.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    This morning, your ship arrives in Tallinn, Estonia, a wonderfully preserved city of the old Hanseatic League. This ancient walled port on the Baltic is a UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with remarkable fortresses, castles, and cathedrals. Medieval Tallinn had six gates, all bastion-forts complete with moats and drawbridges.

    You'll gain insight into Estonia's premier city during this morning's guided tour. Tallinn's Old Town is still encircled by city walls, punctuated with many stone towers rising above red-tiled roofs. Within the city walls, the streets remain much as they were when Danish rulers built them in the 13th century. The historic city center is divided into the Lower Town and the Upper Town. In the Lower Town, the 600-year-old Town Hall—the best-preserved of its kind in northern Europe—presides dramatically over Town Hall Square (Raejoka plats). The Upper Town is on Toompea Hill, where two 13th-century landmarks still stand: Toompea Castle (now the meeting place for the Estonian Parliament) and the Dome Church (Estonia's largest Lutheran sanctuary). Many of the city's historic buildings reflect the prosperity it enjoyed between the 14th and 16th centuries. Under German control, Tallinn flourished during these years as a trade port in the Hanseatic League. Later periods of Swedish and Russian rule also left their marks on Tallinn, whose rich layers of history you'll delve into during your tour.

    After an onboard lunch, you can set out independently to explore more of the city at your own pace. You may want to visit Kiek-in-de-Kok (Look-into-the-Kitchen), a bastion built in 1470. At the time, it was the tallest building in Estonia and earned its name because it was said that watchmen could peer into the kitchens of the houses below.

    This evening, join your travel companions for an included dinner aboard ship.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    St. Petersburg, founded as the new capital of the Russian Empire more than 300 years ago, was the vision and creation of Tsar Peter I, who named it after his patron saint. This beautiful showcase of a city, covering 150 square miles, is a synthesis of both European and Russian styles, with elements of East and West. Pushkin called this city “Peter the Great's Window to the West.” With more than 40 picturesque islands, 60-plus canals, and hundreds of lovely bridges, St. Petersburg is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

    After breakfast, embark on a panoramic city tour, including a visit to St. Isaac's Cathedral. The largest church in the city, it was originally built to serve as the main church of the Russian Empire. The dome of the cathedral, which dominates the city's skyline, is gilded with more than 200 pounds of gold, and the interior is elaborately decorated with exquisite mosaics, icons, malachite, and lapis lazuli. This grand church can seat 14,000 worshippers. Although the church was closed after the 1917 Revolution, it reopened as a museum in 1931, and services for worshippers resumed in 1990.

    This afternoon, after a light lunch at a local restaurant, continue exploring St. Petersburg, with an included visit to the Hermitage Museum. Formerly known as the Winter Palace and home of the tsars, today this is one of the most splendid museums in the world. Built by the Empress Elizabeth, daughter of Peter I, the palace became part of the Hermitage, originated in 1764 when Catherine the Great began her private art collection. Today, more than 1,000 lavishly adorned rooms house nearly three million exhibits and displays representing some of the world's greatest art from ancient Egypt to early 20th-century Europe. After your visit to the Hermitage, return to your ship in the afternoon.

    Tonight, enjoy dinner onboard your ship. You might elect to join our optional excursion to a folk show at Nikolayevsky Palace, enjoying live music, dancing, and games in a 19th-century setting.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    This morning, enjoy an included excursion to the magnificent summer residence of the Russian royalty at Peterhof, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1714, Peter the Great asked for a “Versailles by the Sea.” The site evolved into a stunning palace atop the hill surrounded by a park. Visit the Grand Palace, as well as witness the remarkable Grand Cascade, an extraordinary fountain ensemble made up of three waterfalls, nearly 150 fountains shooting more than 2,000 jets of water, and a myriad of statues and sculptures.

    Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant, followed by time to discover the city as you wish—with the Clio docked close to the city center, you can simply step off the ship and into the heart of everything. Browse some shops, visit monuments, and learn more about Russia's rich culture, or sip coffee at a café and watch the life of St. Petersburg unfold around you.

    Enjoy dinner onboard this evening.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    This morning, we dock in Helsinki, Finland's capital city. After breakfast onboard, enjoy a tour of Helsinki with a local guide. During your half-day tour of the city, known as the “Daughter of the Baltic,” you'll visit the Sibelius Monument, a collection of 600 steel pipes arranged into a wave-like sculpture as a tribute to the composer, as well as the Temppeliaukio Kirkko, a church beautifully hewn out of solid granite.

    Your tour showcases Market Square, a perennial outdoor market; Hakaniemi Market Hall, an indoor market with roughly 70 shops split between two floors; and Senate Square, undoubtedly the pride of the city. Senate Square is ringed by a treasury of Neo-classical buildings, including the 19th-century Lutheran Cathedral, whose central tower dominates the skyline. As you wend your way through Helsinki, notice how the sea is such an integral part of the city. Helsinki is built over peninsulas, curving around bays and spilling out across islands that are linked by bridges, causeways, and boats of all descriptions.

    After lunch onboard, enjoy time to explore Helsinki on your own. The Clio is docked by a bustling fish market; you could take a stroll through to peruse the daily catch and get a glimpse of authentic daily life. 

    This evening, as we set sail for Stockholm, Sweden, enjoy a Captain's Farewell Drink and Farewell Dinner.

  • Bid farewell to the Clio this morning, as you disembark in Stockholm, Sweden's capital city—as well as the seventh country of the trip. An archipelago within an archipelago, the city occupies a cluster of 14 islands floating among 24,000 that make up a 60-mile chain. Today, you'll see the charms that lure one in five Swedes to live in the capital city, as you enjoy an included sightseeing tour here. You'll visit the Stadshuset, the romantic City Hall building famous for hosting the annual Nobel Prize banquet. Designed in 1923, City Hall was constructed using eight million red bricks and 19 million chips of gilt mosaic. The Stadshuset is not just the city's seat of government, but is also a national symbol, as the building's 300-foot tower, topped with three golden crowns that represent Sweden's coat of arms, will attest.

    After lunch of traditional Swedish meatballs at a local restaurant, check into your hotel. You'll enjoy a walk around the vicinity of your hotel to introduce you to the area in which you'll be staying.

    This evening, join your fellow travelers over an included dinner at your hotel, toasting your journey with a Farewell Drink. As they say in Sweden, “Skål!” (“Cheers!”).

    • Meals included:

    After breakfast, you’ll be transferred to the airport for your flight home, or continue on our Stockholm, Sweden post-trip extension.

  • POST-TRIP EXTENSION:
    Stockholm, Sweden

    3 nights from only $1195

    My City: Stockholm
    This film was first published on BBC.com Travel. Produced by BBC and Jonathan Wells.
    This independent film features destinations you can visit on this trip extension.

    Old World beauty, cutting-edge design, and an island-hopping layout—Stockholm is one of the world’s most singular cities. Both the modern and the antique blend harmoniously together in Sweden’s capital—a city built atop an archipelago bound together by a string of stunning bridges. Discover Stockholm and experience a vibrant cosmopolitan culture thriving in a landscape once home to the Vikings and now rich with regal palaces, modern art, and verdant parks for which the city is renowned.

    View Extension Itinerary
  • 3 nights from only $1195

    My City: Stockholm
    This film was first published on BBC.com Travel. Produced by BBC and Jonathan Wells.
    This independent film features destinations you can visit on this trip extension.

    Old World beauty, cutting-edge design, and an island-hopping layout—Stockholm is one of the world’s most singular cities. Both the modern and the antique blend harmoniously together in Sweden’s capital—a city built atop an archipelago bound together by a string of stunning bridges. Discover Stockholm and experience a vibrant cosmopolitan culture thriving in a landscape once home to the Vikings and now rich with regal palaces, modern art, and verdant parks for which the city is renowned.

    View Extension Itinerary
Stockholm Copenhagen Reverse Direction Expand All
  • Depart the U.S. today on your flight to Stockholm, Sweden. Please refer to your personal air itinerary for exact departure and arrival times.

  • Arriving in Sweden, you'll be met at the airport by a Grand Circle representative and assisted to your hotel. Grow acquainted with the area around your hotel before an afternoon free to explore Stockholm independently, with lunch on your own.

    This evening, we'll gather for a welcome briefing and dinner. 

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    After breakfast this morning, you'll begin your European Small Ship Adventure by taking in the sights of Stockholm, Sweden's capital city. An archipelago within an archipelago, the city occupies a cluster of 14 islands floating among 24,000 that make up a 60-mile chain. Today, you'll see the charms that lure one in five Swedes to live in the capital city, as you enjoy an included sightseeing tour here. You'll visit the Stadshuset, the romantic City Hall building famous for hosting the annual Nobel Prize banquet. Designed in 1923, City Hall was constructed using eight million red bricks and 19 million chips of gilt mosaic. The Stadshuset is not just the city's seat of government, but is also a national symbol, as the building's 300-foot tower, topped with three golden crowns that represent Sweden's coat of arms, will attest.

    After lunch of traditional Swedish meatballs at a local restaurant, you'll transfer to the pier to embark the Clio.

    During your Baltic cruise, you'll receive a Port Talk about the pier area and town prior to arrival, so you can make the best use of your free time. This evening, you'll gather for your first Port Talk. Then get better acquainted with your ship's Captain and crew during a Welcome Dinner. As they say in Scandinavia, “Smaklig måltid!” (“Enjoy your meal!”).

    Tonight, set sail for your first destination: Helsinki, Finland.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    After breakfast and lunch onboard, your ship docks in Helsinki. During your half-day tour of the city, known as “The Daughter of the Baltic,” you'll visit the Sibelius Monument, a collection of 600 steel pipes arranged into a wave-like sculpture as a tribute to the composer, as well as the Temppeliaukio Kirkko, a church beautifully hewn out of solid granite.

    Your tour showcases Market Square, a perennial outdoor market; Hakaniemi Market Hall, an indoor market with roughly 70 shops split between two floors; and Senate Square, undoubtedly the pride of the city. Senate Square is ringed by a treasury of Neo-classical buildings, including the 19th-century Lutheran Cathedral, whose central tower dominates the skyline. As you wend your way through Helsinki, notice how the sea is such an integral part of the city. Helsinki is built over peninsulas, curving around bays and spilling out across islands that are linked by bridges, causeways, and boats of all descriptions.

    After your guided tour, enjoy time to explore Helsinki on your own. The Clio is docked by a bustling fish market; you could perhaps take a stroll through to peruse the daily catch and get a glimpse of authentic daily life. 

    This evening, join your traveling companions for an included dinner aboard ship.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    St. Petersburg, founded as the new capital of the Russian Empire more than 300 years ago, was the vision and creation of Tsar Peter I, who named it after his patron saint. This beautiful showcase of a city, covering 150 square miles, is a synthesis of both European and Russian styles, with elements of East and West. Pushkin called this city “Peter the Great's Window to the West.” With more than 40 picturesque islands, 60-plus canals, and hundreds of lovely bridges, St. Petersburg is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

    After breakfast, embark on a panoramic city tour, including a visit to St. Isaac's Cathedral. The the largest church in the city, it was originally built to serve as the main church of the Russian Empire. The dome of the cathedral, which dominates the city's skyline, is gilded with more than 200 pounds of gold, and the interior is elaborately decorated with exquisite mosaics, icons, malachite, and lapis lazuli. This grand church can seat 14,000 worshippers. Although the church was closed after the 1917 Revolution, it reopened as a museum in 1931, and services for worshippers resumed in 1990.

    This afternoon, after a light lunch at a local restaurant, continue exploring St. Petersburg, with an included visit to the Hermitage Museum. Formerly known as the Winter Palace and home of the tsars, today this is one of the most splendid museums in the world. Built by the Empress Elizabeth, daughter of Peter I, the palace became part of the Hermitage, originated in 1764 when Catherine the Great began her private art collection. Today, more than 1,000 lavishly adorned rooms house nearly three million exhibits and displays representing some of the world's greatest art from ancient Egypt to early 20th-century Europe. After your visit to the Hermitage, return to your ship in the afternoon. After your visit to the Hermitage, return to your ship in the afternoon.

    Tonight, enjoy dinner onboard your ship. You might elect to join our optional excursion to a folk show at Nikolayevsky Palace, enjoying live music, dancing, and games in a 19th-century setting.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    This morning, enjoy an included excursion to the magnificent summer residence of the Russian royalty at Peterhof, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1714, Peter the Great asked for a “Versailles by the Sea.” The site evolved into a stunning palace atop the hill surrounded by a park. Visit the Grand Palace, as well as witness the remarkable Grand Cascade, an extraordinary fountain ensemble made up of three waterfalls, nearly 150 fountains shooting more than 2,000 jets of water, and a myriad of statues and sculptures.

    Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant, followed by time to discover the city as you wish—with the Clio docked close to the city center, you can simply step off the ship and into the heart of everything. Browse some shops, visit monuments, and learn more about Russia's rich culture, or sip coffee at a café and watch the life of St. Petersburg unfold around you.

    Enjoy dinner onboard this evening.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    This morning, your ship arrives in Tallinn, Estonia, a wonderfully preserved city of the old Hanseatic League. This ancient walled port on the Baltic is a UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with remarkable fortresses, castles, and cathedrals. Medieval Tallinn had six gates, all bastion-forts complete with moats and drawbridges.

    You'll gain insight into Estonia's premier city during this morning's guided tour. Tallinn's Old Town is still encircled by city walls, punctuated with many stone towers rising above red-tiled roofs. Within the city walls, the streets remain much as they were when Danish rulers built them in the 13th century. The historic city center is divided into the Lower Town and the Upper Town. In the Lower Town, the 600-year-old Town Hall—the best-preserved of its kind in northern Europe—presides dramatically over Town Hall Square (Raejoka plats). The Upper Town is on Toompea Hill, where two 13th-century landmarks still stand: Toompea Castle (now the meeting place for the Estonian Parliament) and the Dome Church (Estonia's largest Lutheran sanctuary). Many of the city's historic buildings reflect the prosperity it enjoyed between the 14th and 16th centuries. Under German control, Tallinn flourished during these years as a trade port in the Hanseatic League. Later periods of Swedish and Russian rule also left their marks on Tallinn, whose rich layers of history you'll delve into during your tour.

    After an onaboard lunch, you can set out independently to explore more of the city at your own pace. You may want to visit Kiek-in-de-Kok (Look-into-the-Kitchen), a bastion built in 1470. At the time, it was the tallest building in Estonia and earned its name because it was said that watchmen could peer into the kitchens of the houses below.

    This evening, join your travel companions for an included dinner aboard ship.

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    Set close to the mouth of the Daugava River, which travels from the Baltic Sea into Russia, Riga was historically an important trade port. Its prosperity also made it a target for conquest. Before Latvia declared itself an independent nation in 1918, Riga was claimed by Russia, Sweden, Lithuania, and Germany.

    As a diverse, thriving city with a prominent upper class, Riga experienced radical change under occupation by the Soviets and Nazis. Buildings from Riga's most prosperous eras still stand throughout the city. During this morning's tour, explore this Latvian city by motorcoach and on foot. You'll enjoy special focus on the Art Nouveau era as you explore a district rich with facades from the early 20th-century period, during which architecture took a romantic turn, favoring natural and mythological embellishments.

    After lunch onboard, you may enjoy time ashore in Riga. Or, join our optional House of Horror tour to discover the painful history of Soviet occupation in Latvia. You'll visit a KGB facility where Latvians suspected of opposing the Soviet regime were tortured and killed from 1940 to 1991, and meet with a local whose relatives were kept in the prison. Visitors to the abandoned facility report feelings of unease as they walk the deserted halls. 

    This evening, enjoy dinner onboard followed by a festive performance featuring traditional Rigan folk music and dancing, an exclusive Discovery Series event.

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    After breakfast, learn more about the Baltic states' fight for independence during an insightful discussion given by a local expert on the Singing Revolution, an exclusive Discovery Series event. Learn about the Baltic countries remarkable feat of using non-violent protests to win their independence. 

    Then, join us for our optional Rundale Palace tour. A masterpiece of Baroque and Rococo style, 18th-century Rundale Palace was built on the orders of Ernst Johann Biron, the Duke of Courtland, and the Russian Empress he loved, Anna Ioannovna. The palace boasts opulent chambers, as well as extensive French gardens. You'll tour the palace and the rose garden, before enjoying lunch at a local restaurant.

    Or, explore the city at your own pace. Perhaps you'll pay a visit to the Nordic wooden dwellings of Kipsala Island, or build upon yesterday's discoveries with a visit to the recently opened Riga Art Nouveau Museum, located in the former apartment of Latvian architect Konstantins Pekšens. Return to the ship for lunch.

    This evening, dinner is onboard as you cruise toward Visby, Sweden.

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    On Gotland Island, the city of Visby has existed for more than 1,000 years, with its signature ringmur (“ringwall”) encircling the town since the 13th century. Reachable only by boat or plane, and beloved as a holiday destination for Swedes, the “City of Ruins and Roses” is rich with historical artifacts, earning it a designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy an included panoramic tour of Visby as its history unfolds around you, its hundreds of warehouses and merchant homes telling the story of its heyday as a major port between Russia and Western Europe for the Hanseatic League. Your tour includes visits to both Visby's Botanical Garden and the Gotlands Museum. The famed museum delves into the rich history of the region, with amazing displays of pre-Viking picture stones, medieval wooden sculptures, and the world's largest collection of preserved silver treasure. 

    Return to the ship for lunch, then go ashore in Visby once more to make discoveries on your own, or stroll with your Trip Leader on a leisurely walk along the cobblestone streets.

    Enjoy dinner onboard as we cruise toward Gdansk, Poland.

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    After breakfast, dock in Gdansk, Poland—across from the very spot where World War II began. Begin your discoveries with a visit to the European Solidarity Center—an exclusive Discovery Series event—where you'll learn more about the Solidarity movement of this Eastern European nation, and its tenacious opposition to communism post-World War II.

    Then, head to the Stare Miasto (Old Town) for a morning walking tour. A maritime city that's been around for a millennium, Gdansk has fluctuated between great prosperity and tragic destruction—and still shows both wartime scars and rich architectural beauty. Wander past the town hall and its Neptune Fountain, rumored to have once spouted Gdansk's trademark liqueur, Goldwasser, instead of water. Along the way, witness at the city's many gates—including the Green Gate, Golden Gate, and Upland Gate. You'll also see the Monument to the Fallen Shipyard Workers, three 138-foot-tall steel crosses at the entrance to the city's shipyard. A sudden spike in food costs in 1970 led to mass riots throughout northern Poland that left at least 40 dead and more than 1,000 wounded. This monument was the first to commemorate the victims of a communist regime.

    Enjoy time to further explore the city's Old Town—stopping into of Gdansk's many cafés, bookstores, or shops—before a special exclusive Discovery Series event: a Home-Hosted Lunch with a local family. After your meal, cap your discoveries with a panoramic drive around Gdansk.

    This evening, enjoy dinner onboard as your ship sails toward Visby, Sweden.

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    After breakfast onboard, explore Ronne during an included tour via motorcoach. Located on the island of Bornholm (considered the “Pearl of the Baltic Sea” because of its breathtaking scenery), Ronne is a town of cobbled streets, half-timbered houses, and brightly painted buildings. The picturesque town and surrounding countryside make Ronne a popular vacation spot for the Danes, but not one that has been discovered by the international tourist set yet. During your tour, you'll visit Store Torv (the town's largest square, where the Danes sell produce, clothing, and granite jewelry during market days) and the octagonal Ronne lighthouse (built in 1880 and operational until it was decommissioned in 1989).

    After your guided tour of the town's center, you'll make your way to Hjorths Fabrik—a ceramic museum showcasing the long history of pottery-making in Ronne—for an exclusive Discovery Series event. Bornholm residents have been digging into the island's rich deposits of clay and creating unusual and whimsical pots, plates, and cups since the early 18th century. The Hjorth ceramic factory opened in 1858 and was operational for more than a century, before it shut down in 1993. Today, the museum (still run by the Hjorth family) truly spans the ages: It houses ceramic artifacts from the early 18th century, pieces made when the factory was operational, and modern-day works created by contemporary Bornholm potters.

    Return to the ship for lunch onboard. The rest of the afternoon is yours to continue your discoveries. Perhaps you'll choose to visit one of the town's many clockmakers, a tradition dating back to 1744. The island was once known for its unique grandfather clocks, but the craft disappeared after World War II. In recent years, the tradition has revived—today, its hourly chimes can be heard singing throughout the streets.

    This evening, enjoy a Captain's Farewell Drink and Farewell Dinner.

  • Bid farewell to the Clio this morning, and take in the sights of Copenhagen. First, you'll discover that the dock used by the Clio is adjacent to where Denmark’s royal family docks their private boats. The Danish monarchy is particularly beloved by its people and is also the world’ oldest. In fact, the current queen, Queen Margrethe II, can trace her lineage back to the first Viking kings of Denmark—over 1000 years ago. This does not mean the royal family is without controversies however, some of which your Trip Leader will share with you during an exclusive Discovery Series event. 

    Next, during a panoramic tour, you'll get a glimpse of the city's colorful houses, picturesque canals, charming pedestrian squares, and innovative modern architectural designs. You'll visit a handful of iconic landmarks, including The Little Mermaid statue, the Gelfion Fountain, and Christiansborg Palace, seat of the Danish Parliament.

    After lunch on your own, check into your hotel. You'll enjoy a walk around the vicinity of your hotel to introduce you to the area in which you'll be staying.

    This evening, join your fellow travelers over an included dinner at your hotel, toasting your journey with a Farewell Drink.

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    After breakfast, you’ll be transferred to the airport for your flight home, or continue on our Copenhagen, Denmark post-trip extension.

  • POST-TRIP EXTENSION:
    Copenhagen, Denmark

    3 nights from only $1245

    Copenhagen and Denmark
    Produced by Small World Productions
    This independent film features destinations you can visit on this trip extension.

    Copenhagen’s native son Hans Christian Andersen rendered Danish life as a fairy tale, but you’ll see plenty of evidence that the real thing is just as memorable in Denmark’s capital city. Revel in a three-night stay that allows you to explore Kobenhavn at your own pace, following your own interests. You’ll benefit from an included Copenhagen Card that allows you access to historical sites and museums, and free transport in the city’s extensive public transportation system.

    View Extension Itinerary

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