Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore the lands and legacies forged by centuries of Baltic history and hear firsthand from historic world leader, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former President of Poland, Lech Wałesa, and noted author and award-winning scholar Sergei Khrushchev, son of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. One of the great cruise itineraries of the world, this unique Baltic Sea voyage features six Baltic countries and seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is scheduled during the best time of year when you can experience the luminous “White Nights” of the summer solstice.
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, and Sergei Khrushchev, the son of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.
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- Trip Type
- Group Travel Tour, International Ocean & Sea Voyages
- Departure Dates
- Jul 29, 2019 - Aug 7, 2019
Gail Cornell is an architectural historian and graduate of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. She has been a frequent speaker on international study tours for 20 years. Her research and lectures on the history of Western architecture have taken her to Italy, Turkey, Greece, France, Spain, Portugal and North Africa numerous times. She is an Adjunct Faculty member of New York University and Hunter College and a Lecturer at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Gail also volunteers her time as an architectural historian at New York City’s historic City Hall and Tweed Courthouse. She is a member of the American Institute of Architects and the Society of Architectural Historians.
- day 1
July 29 Depart the US
- day 2
Stockholm, Sweden Tuesday, July 30
From Sweden’s “Venice of the North,” embark the Five-Star
Dumont d’Urville and cruise through the scenic Stockholm archipelago.
- day 3
Helsinki, Finland Wednesday, July 31
By special arrangement, attend an engaging lecture with distinguished author and scholar Dr. Sergei Khrushchev. Named the World Design Capital in 2012, Helsinki merges the influence of Classicism and the Finnish National Romantic Movement with Functionalism, establishing design as a permanent and significant component of the city. Approach this “Daughter of the Baltic Sea,” while cruising past the 18th-century maritime fortress of Suomenlinna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On a panoramic city tour, see the stately Senate Square, University of Helsinki, Helsinki Cathedral, Kaivopuisto Park, Parliament Building and Finlandia Hall by the South Harbor and visit the sprawling, modernistic Temppeliaukio Church, or “Church of the Rock,” impressively hewn into solid natural bedrock. After exploring the lively Market Square at leisure, reboard the ship and attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception.
- day 4
St. Petersburg, Russia Thursday, August 1
Founded in 1703 as his “Window on the West,” St. Petersburg is Peter the Great’s extraordinary vision. Cruise into the heart of the city for a panoramic tour of its UNESCO World Heritage-designated historic center, where landmarks are scattered across more than 40 islands linked by more than 300 bridges. See exquisite examples of Russian Baroque and neoclassical architecture along the main thoroughfare, Nevsky Prospekt; the ornate Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood
(Church of the Resurrection of Christ), built on Emperor Alexander II’s assassination site; and the 19th-century St. Isaac’s Cathedral, whose striking golden dome crowns 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 Baroque Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, where 32 czars, from Peter the Great to Nicholas II, the last of the Romanovs, are interred. Tour the UNESCO World Heritage-designated Grand Palace of Petrodvorets, commissioned by Peter the Great to rival the Palace of Versailles, and
its elaborately landscaped grounds, encompassing two centuries of imperial style, executed to perfection. Return to the ship by hydrofoil.
This evening, choose to attend an optional Russian folklore show performed in the Nikolaevsky Art Center, former residence of the Grand Duke.
- day 5
St. Petersburg Friday, August 2
Enjoy a specially arranged, early-entry guided tour of the incomparable State Hermitage Museum. One of the world’s
greatest art repositories, the UNESCO World Heritage-designated museum was the former palace of Catherine the Great. Its prestigious
collections are rivaled only by the museum’s lavish interior. Savor a lunch of local Russian specialties and vodka while enjoying a traditional Cossack dance performance. Visit the imperial compound of Pushkin and the elaborate rococo Catherine Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, highlighted by the jewel-encrusted Amber Room, said to be the
“Eighth Wonder of the World.”
- day 6
Tallinn, Estonia Saturday, August 3
Discover Tallinn’s UNESCO World Heritage-designated Old Town, which largely escaped the ravages of World War II, remaining virtually unchanged for 600 years. During the walking tour, see the landmark
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the 13th-century Church of St. Nicholas and Toompea Castle, the seat of Estonia’s Parliament. Visit the medieval Town Hall, the only intact Gothic-style hall in Northern Europe. During leisure time, wander Tallinn’s incredibly preserved Old Town before returning to the ship.
- day 7
Visby, Gotland Island, Sweden Sunday, August 4
Call at the Baltic island of Gotland, rich with Swedish history and abundant Viking and medieval sites. The UNESCO World Heritage-designated Old Town of Visby, the former Baltic center of the Hanseatic League, is arguably the best preserved medieval city in Scandinavia. On the walking tour through the cobbled streets of this “city of roses,” see 13th-century walls and original medieval architecture, tour the Gotlands Historical Museum and view the interior of the Cathedral of St. Mary;
then enjoy leisure time in the Market Square.
- day 8
Gdańsk, Poland Monday, August 5
A former flourishing Hanseatic League port, today Gdańsk showcases its restored, late Renaissance and Baroque patrician mansions in the Stare Miasto (Old Town). Stroll along the pedestrian-only Droga Królewska (the Royal Route) and the Long Wharf to see the magnificent Neptune’s Fountain and the 14th-century Artus Court, a Gothic guildhall inspired by Britain’s legendary King Arthur. In 1980, shipyard workers led by Lech Wałęsa founded the Solidarity movement, the first independent trade union in Eastern Europe and key to winning Poland’s struggle against Communism. Visit the historic Lenin Shipyard, where the movement began, see its Monument to the Fallen Shipyard Workers and meet the leader
of the Solidarity movement, former President of Poland and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Lech Wałęsa on board the ship this evening,
where he will present his perspective on Solidarity, globalization and progress in the region.
- day 9
Cruising the Baltic Sea Tuesday, August 6
Spend the day at leisure cruising the Baltic Sea while enjoying a series of enriching lectures. Attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception this evening
- day 10
Copenhagen, Denmark/U.S. Wednesday, August 7
Arrive in colorful Copenhagen, Denmark’s world-class capital. Disembark and continue on the Wonders of Norway Post-Cruise Option or depart for the U.S
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