Experience the cultural rebirth of the Baltic states, the magnificent imperial riches of St. Petersburg and the “White Nights of Summer” on this remarkable Baltic Sea cruise. By special arrangement, enjoy enriching presentations by former President of Poland Lech Walesa. Cruise aboard the All Suite, six–star Silver Whisper from Stockholm, Sweden, to Copenhagen, Denmark, visiting Tallin, Estonia; Helsinki, Finland; and 3 days in St. Petersburg. Pre– and post–cruise extensions to Norway and Stockholm are also planned.
Complementary alcoholic & nonalcoholic beverages are included throughout the cruise!
Encounter the lands and legacies forged by centuries of Baltic history and hear firsthand from a participant in pivotal 20th-century moments—former President of Poland, Lech Wałesa.
Thursday, July 27
Depart the U.S.
Friday, July 28
Arrive in Stockholm, Sweden’s magnificent “Venice of the North,” and embark the Six-Star M.V. SILVER WHISPER. Be on deck as you cruise through the scenic Stockholm archipelago. (D)
Saturday, July 29
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,R,D)
St. Petersburg, Russia
Sunday to Tuesday, July 30 to August 1
Cruise into the heart of majestic St. Petersburg for three full days to explore the imperial treasures of Russia’s cultural capital, which Peter the Great founded in 1703 as his “Window on the West.” 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. The panoramic tour of the historic city 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. Tour 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.” Skim over the Gulf of Finland by hydrofoil for 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. Your time in St. Petersburg also includes a savory lunch of traditional Russian specialties. During an evening at leisure, an optional opportunity to attend a Russian folklore show performed in the Nikolaevsky Art Center is offered. (3B,3L,3D)
Helsinki, Finland/Lech Wałesa
Wednesday, August 2
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. In 1980, shipyard workers led by Lech Wałesa founded the Solidarity movement, the first independent trade union in Eastern Europe and the key factor in winning the Polish struggle against Communism. By special arrangement, former President of Poland and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Lech Wałesa will meet our group in Helsinki to discuss his perspective on Solidarity, globalization and progress in the region, with time for questions and answers. (B,L,D)
Cruising the Baltic Sea
Thursday, August 3
Spend the day at leisure cruising the Baltic Sea while enjoying a series of enriching lectures. This evening, attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception. (B,L,D)
Friday, August 4
Disembark in Denmark’s vibrant world-class capital of great heritage and seafaring traditions, and continue on the Post-Cruise Option or depart for the U.S. (B,D)