Jewels of the Baltic Sea

Exploring Six Countries of Northern Europe Aboard Le Dumont-d'Urville

Overview

Your journey begins in the former capital of the tsars, Saint Petersburg, with its architectural gems in the Baroque style, churches with domes so elaborate they seem otherworldly, palaces, gardens, canals, and the famous "perspectives" that criss-cross the city.

You will visit Tallinn and Visby, emblematic cities of the Hanseatic League, the large trading network that dominated the Baltic Sea for several centuries. Listed as UNESCO Heritage Sites, these once opulent cities still have remarkably well-preserved ramparts, public buildings, merchant houses and warehouses.

You will also discover Riga, capital of Latvia. A unique blend of different architectural styles, the old town will open itself up to you like the pages of a history book.

Further south, Klaipeda, formerly known as Memel, the main port town in Lithuania, is separated only by a narrow channel from the Curonian Spit, a UNESCO Heritage Site, while Kaliningrad, the former capital of East Prussia, will enchant you with the many traces of its glorious past.

Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.

Itinerary

Days 1-3, Jul 25-27, 2020
Saint Petersburg

Founded in 1703 by Tzar Peter the Great, Saint Petersburg has kept its original aura and is still one of the world’s most beautiful cities. It is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. Bathed by the waters of the Neva, the “Venice of the North” boasts an impressive wealth of historic and artistic features. From the emblematic Nevsky Propect, the city’s main thoroughfare, exploring the city by foot is a pleasure. With its baroque cathedrals, imperial palaces, suspended bridges, theatres and museums, Saint Petersburg is a jewel of a city. To make the experience even quainter, take a boat ride along the canals though the ancient capital of the Czars.

Day 4, Jul 28, 2020
Tallinn

Opening onto the Baltic sea, to the far north of Estonia, the town of Tallin will win you over with the picturesque charm of its architecture. You can meander through its little streets in the heart of the medieval centre where its gothic town hall has been standing since 1404. To get a taste of this town’s rich past, you can also visit the Kiek in de Kök tower, the Orthodox Alexander Nevski cathedral, or Toompea castle. Try some of the local dishes, such as the smoked herring, roast elk and salmon with wild berries.

Day 5, Jul 29, 2020
At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Days 6-8, Jul 30-Aug 1, 2020
Riga, Latvia / Klaipeda, Lithuania / Kaliningrad, Russia

Over the next few days, you'll explore Riga, the capital of Latvia; Klaipeda, the wonderful port city of Lithuania; and Kaliningrad.

Day 9, Aug 2, 2020
Gdansk, Poland

This ravishing city on the Baltic sea is nicknamed “the golden door of Poland”, and you’ll understand why when you see its beautiful Hanseatic architecture. You’ll be charmed by the mouldings and gables that enhance the colourful façades of the houses. Along the Vistula Quays, you can take a pleasant stroll among the crafts shops. In elegant Mariacka street, the amber jewelers will most certainly tempt you into their boutiques. You can visit the church of Saint-Mary and its astronomic clock. Not far, the majestic Long Market square offers the famous Artus Court and the rich Gdansk History Museum.

Day 10, Aug 3, 2020
Visby, Gotland, Sweden

This old Hanseatic city lies to the west coast of Gotland, a Swedish island in the Baltic sea. Pass through the spectacular Visby fortifications at Dalmans gate and visit the old town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. You’ll discover the grand Visby homes of rich merchants as well as the lovely low wooden houses in the little cobbled streets. Don’t miss Saint Mary’s cathedral with its octagonal steeples, as well as Powder tower along the fortifications. Make sure you stop over in one of the rose-adorned cafés; indeed roses abound in this town where you can taste one of the island’s specialities, namely saffron pancakes with red fruit.

Days 11-12, Aug 4- 5, 2020
Stockholm

The capital of Sweden occupies an archipelago in the east of the country at the junction of Mälar Lake and the Baltic sea. In Gamla stan, meaning “old town” in Swedish, you can stroll at your leisure in picturesque medieval streets until you reach the majestic Royal Palace. On the green island of Djurgården, you can visit several very different kinds of cultural centres: the Vasa museum is dedicated to a 17th century three-mast, the ecomuseum of Skansen presents traditional customs, and the ABBA museum is dedicated to the legendary pop group. For a fantastic, all-encompassing view of Stockholm, you can take a ride in SkyView, a glass-encased sphere gondola that takes you to the top of the world’s largest building, the Ericsson Globe, a Stockholm landmark. Depart on Day 12.

Highlights

Highlights

Magnificent imperial monuments of St. Petersburg, one of the loveliest cities in Europe
Historic Old Towns of Tallinn and Riga
Stockholm’s charming medieval core, the Gamla Stan

Details

Length: 12 days
Cost From: $9700  
Arrive: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Depart: Stockholm, Sweden
Lodging: 11 nights aboard expedition vessel
Meals: All meals included (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Walking, Small Ship Cruising
Trip Level:

Cultural exploration and walking tours
Cruise collection 2020 brochure

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