With their captivating mix of medieval and modern, the port cities of Scandinavia and the Baltics are eternally elegant. Please join us in July for a ten-night voyage from St. Petersburg to Copenhagen aboard the three-masted sailing yacht, Sea Cloud II. Cruise past Gothic spires and gabled houses illuminated by the summer sun, stepping ashore to explore historic buildings and museum treasures.
A trio of distinguished lecturers accompanies this stylish journey: Pierre Terjanian, Curator in Charge of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Department of Arms and Armor; Marijeta Bozovic, Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Yale; and Timothy J. Colton, Professor of Government and Russian Studies at Harvard.
Friday, July 1
Depart on an overnight flight to St. Petersburg, via a connecting city.
Saturday, July 2
Arrive this afternoon in St. Petersburg, a remarkable city of islands, canals, bridges, and pastel-colored palaces in the neoclassical and Russian baroque styles. Transfer to the awaiting Sea Cloud II. Enjoy a bon voyage toast on deck as we cruise the Neva River to the Baltic Sea.
Sunday, July 3
Relax on board as we sail to Helsinki, Finland’s vibrant capital on the sea. Step ashore in the afternoon to explore the bustling market, 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. Join the captain this evening for a festive welcome reception and dinner.
Monday, July 4
Arrive early in Tallinn, Estonia’s enchanting capital city, whose spires and turreted medieval walls have survived since the days of the Hanseatic League. Drive to Castle Hill for a tour of the 13th-century Toom Church and then continue to the picturesque Lower Town with its narrow cobbled streets lined with galleries and shops. Following a private concert at St. Nicholas Church, return to the ship for lunch as we sail to Sweden.
Tuesday, July 5
Be on deck as Sea Cloud II navigates the vast Swedish archipelago on her approach to Stockholm. After lunch on board, drive to the Royal Castle of Drottningholm, modeled after Versailles. See the Chinese Pavilion and take a guided tour of the magnificent 18th-century Drottningholm Court Theater, specially opened for us. You may wish to dine ashore this evening as Sea Cloud II remains docked in Stockholm overnight.
Wednesday, July 6
Depart on a morning walking tour of Gamla Stan, or Old Town, then view the Royal Armory’s collection of coaches, costumes, and armor before public hours. Explore the Millesgården Sculpture Park built on terraces carved into cliffs overlooking the harbor. Visit the Vasa, a magnificent 17th-century warship, recovered from the bottom of Stockholm’s harbor. Sea Cloud II sets sail in the early evening, cruising past colorful summer homes and watercraft.
Thursday, July 7
Arrive in Visby, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Towers, gabled mansions, 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 early evening.
Friday, July 8
Today is devoted to sailing aboard the magnificent Sea Cloud II as she crosses the Baltic Sea to Latvia. Observe the ship’s crew as they practice the art of trimming the sails by hand. Gather in the lounge for lectures, preparing us for upcoming visits.
Saturday, July 9
This morning admire Riga’s superb art nouveau architecture and historic Old Town, dotted with handsome medieval spires and ancient churches, including St. John’s and St. Peter’s. At the city’s 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 the over-land excursion to Vilnius, Lithuania, spending one night at the Radisson Blu Royal Astorija Hotel.
Sunday, July 10
Passengers on the optional land excursion to Vilnius will spend a morning exploring its medieval Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. See the Radziwiłł Palace, the former Jewish ghetto, and St. Anne’s Church. 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.
Monday, July 11
During a relaxing day at sea attend lectures, enjoy the company of congenial fellow travelers, or relax on deck in the Baltic summer sunlight. In the evening, celebrate our voyage at the captain’s farewell reception and dinner.
Tuesday, July 12
Disembark Sea Cloud II this morning in Copenhagen and transfer to the airport for flights home, or remain in the city for the optional postlude program. n
OPTIONAL ST. PETERSBURG PRELUDE JUNE 28 TO JULY 2, 2016
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 before public hours to view the exquisitely restored Amber Room and stroll in the formal gardens. Continue to Pavlovsk Palace, whose beautiful appointments include furniture, china, and sculpture. Other highlights are the State Russian Museum, a White Nights Festival performance, and the Fabergé Museum in Shuvalov Palace. Accommodations are at the luxurious Grand Hotel Europe.
$2,795 per person. Single supplement $630. Includes three nights at Grand Hotel Europe; breakfast daily, three lunches, and one dinner; sightseeing as noted
OPTIONAL COPENHAGEN POSTLUDE JULY 12 TO 14, 2016
Disembark Disembark Sea Cloud II in charming Copenhagen, where we begin with a visit and private breakfast at the stunning new opera house by architect Henning Larsen. Explore the fascinating Glyptotek, a museum in the city center, as well as Louisiana, a modern art museum on the coast north of the city. In the town of Helsinør, see Kronborg Castle, the setting for Hamlet. There will also be free time to explore the city’s many delights on your own. Abundant street life, shopping along the Strøget, and strolling through Tivoli Gardens are just the beginning! Accommodations are at the luxurious Hotel D’Angleterre for two nights. $1,895 per person. Single supplement $750. Includes two nights at Hotel D’Angleterre; breakfast daily, two lunches, and one reception; sightseeing as noted.