National Geographic photographer Sisse Brimberg, who grew up in Denmark, has produced more than 25 stories for National Geographic magazine over the last 28 years. Many of her assignments have brought her back to her native Baltic region, including stories about the Hanseatic League, Catherine the Great, and a cover story tracing the Vikings path through the Baltics. Sisse’s love for her native region will make this a very special voyage.
Ludmila Mekertycheva, expert on Treasures of Russia’s Waterways will join the group in St. Petersburg.
Cruise the Baltic’s historic waterways and discover magnificent capital cities and the summertime traditions of Russia, Scandinavia, and the Baltic nations. Spend four days in St. Petersburg, Peter the Great’s “window to the West;” embark the National Geographic Endeavour to explore ancient Viking settlements; and visit the cities of Tallinn, Stockholm, Gdan’sk, and Copenhagen.
ITINERARY: 17 DAYS
June 9 and 10 Newark/St. Petersburg, Russia
Depart on an overnight flight. Arrive in St. Petersburg, the stunning city planned by Peter the Great as his “window to the West.” This evening, gather for a welcome dinner.
Grand Hotel Europe (D)
June 11 and 12 St. Petersburg
Admire the Hermitage’s impressive collection spanning from the Stone Age to the 20th century. A panoramic tour of St. Petersburg includes St. Isaac’s Cathedral and the Peter and Paul Fortress, burial place of modern tsars, including Nicholas and Alexander. Ludmila Mekertycheva, National Geographic magazine’s local Russian expert, will travel with the group in St. Petersburg and share her unique perspective on life in Russia. The next day, visit the town of Pushkin, a favorite residence of many tsars and home to the baroque Catherine’s Palace.
B, L on June 11; B, L, D on June 12
June 13 St. Petersburg
Explore Petrodvorets, the imperial family’s summer palace, known for its whimsical fountains. Return to St. Petersburg by hydrofoil and board the National Geographic Endeavour to begin your cruise on the Baltic Sea.
June 14 Tallinn, Estonia
Our walking tour of Estonia’s capital includes the scenic Old Town (a UNESCO World Heritage site) and Town Hall Square. Then enjoy free time in this Hanseatic city.
June 15 Helsinki, Finland
Explore this architecturally fascinating capital and see its magnificent Lutheran cathedral, Tuomiokirkko; the Finnish National Museum; and Finlandia Hall.
June 16 Stockholm, Sweden
After a dramatic entrance to Stockholm Harbor by Zodiac, enjoy a walking tour through the narrow streets of the old town, Gamla Stan. Visit the Royal Palace and the Stockholm Cathedral. See the fully restored 17th-century battleship Vasa at the famed Vasa Museum.
June 17 The Swedish Archipelago
Cruise along Sweden’s east coast, a string of some 24,000 islands, skerries, and islets home to sea birds, seals, and a few hardy fishermen. Explore some of the islands by Zodiac or kayak.
June 18 Visby, Gotland, Sweden
Discover the walled city of Visby on foot and visit the Fornsal Museum, the botanical gardens, the Church of St. Maria, and the beautiful 18th-century Klinten building.
June 19 Riga, Latvia
Spend the afternoon exploring Riga’s eclectic architecture—medieval, national romantic, art nouveau, neo-Gothic, neo-baroque, and ultramodern. Visit the Dome Cathedral, renovated in 2001 for Riga’s 800th anniversary.
June 20 At sea
Enjoy a talk by our expert and relax on deck as we cruise the Baltic Sea to Gdañsk.
June 21 Gdan’sk, Poland
Visit the birthplace of Poland’s Solidarity movement and meet with former President of Poland Lech Walesa when he joins us on board for a specially arranged visit and reception. Stroll through the restored Old Town, highlighted by the “long street” to the Church of St. Mary’s and Neptune’s Fountain. Stop in the 15th-century Artus Court, seat of municipal guilds, and the Maritime Museum.
June 22 Christiansø and Bornholm Islands, Denmark
Explore an artists’ village that now occupies the site of an 18th-century castle. Visit the picturesque fishing port of Gudhjem and the ruins of an ancient castle.
June 23 Lübeck, Germany
Ride through the connecting canals of Lübeck’s Trave River and tour the magnificent halls and churches of this island-like city.
June 24 Copenhagen, Denmark
Explore City Hall Square; Amalienborg Palace; the old Stock Exchange; and Rosenborg Castle, home to Denmark’s crown jewels. Glimpse the famous Little Mermaid statue. Visit either the Carlsberg Glyptotek museum or the National Museum. Enjoy an evening visit to the world-famous, historic Tivoli Amusement Park, dating from the 1840s.
June 25 Copenhagen/Newark
Disembark and transfer to the airport for your flight home.