Explore lively Helsinki during an overnight stay before embarking Sea Cloud II to sail under midsummer skies. Call at Tallinn, Estonia to visit a 13th-century church, then navigate the picturesque Stockholm archipelago for an overnight call in the Swedish capital, and step ashore at tiny Visby, one of Scandinavia’s best preserved medieval cities. Admire the Art Nouveau district of Riga, Latvia, the largest city in the Baltics, and enjoy an organ concert in its stunning cathedral. Explore less-visited Lithuania, with its mix of old and new, where highlights include an optional excursion to Vilnius, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Call at the historic port of Gdansk, Poland, before disembarking in delightful Copenhagen.
Traveling with us will be Pierre Terjanian, curator from The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Michael McCormick, Professor of Medieval History at Harvard; and Yale Professor Paul Bracken, a specialist in global business and international relations.
FRIDAY, JUNE 29: US DEPARTURE
Depart on an overnight flight from the U.S. to Helsinki, Finland.
SATURDAY, JUNE 30: HELSINKI, FINLAND
Arrive Helsinki, Finland’s vibrant capital by the sea and check in at the Hotel Kämp. Gather in the late afternoon for a welcome reception.
SUNDAY, JULY 1: HELSINKI/EMBARK SEA CLOUD II
Following breakfast, explore the bustling market, Eliel Saarinen’s striking train station, the unique Rock Church, and the great cathedral on Neoclassical Senate Square. See Finland’s finest collection of national and foreign art during a tour of the Ateneum. Enjoy lunch and time at leisure before embarking Sea Cloud II in the afternoon. Set sail for Tallinn in the early evening. B,L,D
MONDAY, JULY 2: TALLINN, ESTONIA
Arrive early in Tallinn, Estonia’s enchanting capital, whose spires and turreted medieval walls have survived since the days of the Hanseatic League. Drive to Castle Hill for a visit to the 13th-century Toom Church and then continue to the picturesque Lower Town whose narrow cobbled streets are lined with galleries and shops. Following a private concert at St. Nicholas Church, return to the ship for lunch as we sail to Sweden. Tonight the captain hosts a welcome reception and dinner. B,L,R,D
TUESDAY, JULY 3: STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN
Enjoy the view from the deck this afternoon when Sea Cloud II navigates the vast Swedish archipelago on approach to Stockholm. This evening you may wish to dine ashore as Sea Cloud II remains docked in Stockholm overnight. B,L,D
WEDNESDAY, JULY 4: STOCKHOLM
A morning walking tour through the Old Town (Gamla Stan) is followed by a visit to City Hall, where the annual Nobel Prize banquet is held. Continue to the Royal Armory, the oldest museum in Sweden, containing many artifacts of Swedish military history and royalty, including splendid costumes and glittering carriages. After lunch on board visit the Vasa, a 17th-century warship, recovered from the bottom of Stockholm’s harbor. Sea Cloud II sets sail in the evening, cruising past colorful summer homes. B,L,D
THURSDAY, JULY 5: VISBY, SWEDEN
This afternoon arrive in Visby, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Towers, gabled mansions, the Visborg Castle, and ruins of medieval churches recall this walled town’s fascinating history. See the Cathedral of Santa Maria, walk in the Botanical Garden, and visit the Gotlands Fornsal Museum before sailing in the evening. B,L,D
FRIDAY, JULY 6: AT SEA
Today is devoted to sailing aboard the magnificent Sea Cloud II as she crosses the Baltic to Latvia. Observe the ship’s crew as they practice the ancient art of trimming the sails by hand and attend lectures in preparation for upcoming visits. B,L,D
SATURDAY, JULY 7: RIGA, LATVIA/VILNIUS, LITHUANIA
Step ashore in Riga to admire superb Art Nouveau architecture and the historic Old Town, dotted with handsome medieval spires and ancient churches. At the impressive Dome Cathedral, attend a private performance on one of Europe’s finest pipe organs. Following lunch, Sea Cloud II departs for Klaipeda. Alternatively, you may wish to join an optional overland excursion to Vilnius, Lithuania, with an overnight stay at the Radisson Blu Royal Astorija Hotel. B,L,D
SUNDAY, JULY 8: VILNIUS/KLAIPEDA, LITHUANIA
Passengers on the optional land excursion to Vilnius will spend a morning exploring its medieval Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the Radziwill Palace, Gediminas Castle, St. Anne’s Church, the synagogue, and the former Jewish ghetto. After lunch, drive to the port city of Klaipeda, whose medieval fortifications reflect 700 years of German rule, to join the awaiting Sea Cloud II. B,L,D
MONDAY, JULY 9: GDANSK, POLAND
This morning call at Gdansk, one of Poland’s oldest cities. Walk through the Highland Gate, the official start of the “Royal Route.” Explore St. Mary’s Street, one of the city’s most enchanting streets, which leads from St. Mary’s Church to the Long Embankment, passing richly ornamented houses once owned by prosperous merchants. B,L,D
TUESDAY, JULY 10: AT SEA
Spend a leisurely day at sea as as we cruise to Denmark. Enjoy the company of fellow guests or simply relax in the Baltic summer sunlight. This evening, celebrate our voyage at the captain’s farewell reception and dinner. B,L,R,D
WEDNESDAY, JULY 11: COPENHAGEN, DENMARK/U.S. RETURN
Following morning disembarkation, transfer to the airport for flights home, or remain in Copenhagen for the optional postlude program. B
OPTIONAL PRELUDE IN HELSINKI JUNE 27–30, 2018
Experience exquisite architecture and art of Helsinki; discover the city’s cultural highlights, including the superb collections of the Ateneum; and enjoy walking tours of this lively capital. Spend a full day in medieval Turku, on Finland’s southwest coast. Visit Hvitträsk, once the home of architects Eliel Saarinen and Armas Lindgren, before embarking Sea Cloud II. Accommodations are at the historic Hotel Kämp.
PRELUDE RATE: $1,599, SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: $399. Includes two nights in Helsinki at the Hotel Kämp (then join the main group on June 30 for the included one-night stay), breakfast daily, one lunch and one reception. Sightseeing as noted.
OPTIONAL PRELUDE IN ST. PETERSBURG JUNE 26–30, 2018
Spend three nights in this vibrant city, founded by decree of Peter the Great in 1703. Before it is open to the public, tour the incomparable Hermitage, where 400 rooms in five adjacent palaces contain nearly all schools of Western art. Enter Catherine Palace after public hours to view the exquisitely recreated Amber Room and stroll in the formal gardens. Explore Pavlovsk Palace or choose to visit Peterhof Palace. Visit the Fabergé Museum and the State Russian Museum, and attend a White Nights Festival performance. Travel by high-speed train to join fellow participants in Helsinki for the included one-night stay before embarking the ship on July 1.
PRELUDE RATE: $2,899, SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: $1,199. Includes three nights at Kempinski Hotel Moika 22, breakfast daily, three lunches, and one dinner. Sightseeing as noted.
OPTIONAL POSTLUDE IN COPENHAGEN JULY 11–13, 2018
Disembark Sea Cloud II in the charming city of Copenhagen, where we begin with a visit of the stunning new opera house by architect Henning Larsen. Explore the Glyptotek, a fascinating museum in the city center, as well as Louisiana, a modern art museum on the coast north of the city. Visit the impressive Opera House and Rosenborg Castle, featuring centuries of royal treasures and regalia. Abundant street life, shopping along the Strøget, and strolling along the quay of Nyhavn are just the beginning.
POSTLUDE RATE: $2,199, SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: $799. Includes two nights at Hotel D’Angleterre, breakfast daily, two lunches, and one reception. Sightseeing as noted.