- Russia, Finland, Estonia, Sweden, Poland, Denmark and Norway
- St Petersburg to Oslo. 13 Days on a romantic cruise under sail in the Baltic on the luxurious Sea Cloud II. We are joined on board by members of the London Festival Opera, as well as historical and botanical lecturers to enhance our journey from St Petersburg to Oslo. Discover the history of this fascinating part of Europe.
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London Festival Opera – we are delighted to be joined by some members of the London Festival Opera on this cruise. One of the world’s leading private opera companies, the London Festival Opera has performed for Presidents, Prime Ministers and senior members of the British and European Royal Families. Engagements have included exclusive performances in the presence of the Royal Family at St James’s Palace, and for the British Prime Minster at Number 10 Downing Street.
Botanical Lecturer – Dr. Toby Musgrave has a passion for horticulture and is an authority on garden history, and shares his knowledge as an author of many garden history books. Historical Lecturer – Peter Warwick is a renowned historian and published author who will share his extensive historical knowledge during your cruise. Peter often lectures at the National Maritime Museum.
Day 1. Arrive St Petersburg and Embark Ship
Be met at the airport and transfer to the Sea Cloud II. Enjoy Welcome Drinks and dinner onboard the luxurious ship.
Twelve Nights: Sea Cloud II (D)
Day 2. St Petersburg Sightseeing
This morning we drive out to Peterhof Palace. A series of terraces bright with gilded animated fountains lead to the palace built by Peter the Great on the edge of the Gulf of Finland. Later, enjoy a cruise along St Petersburg’s canals, and see St Peter, Paul Fortress and the Embankment with wonderful architectural panoramas, bridges and palaces. (BLD)
Day 3. Helsinki, Finland
Spend a relaxing morning at sea cruising in the Gulf of Finland. Arrive in Helsinki during lunch. Very much the water city, we shall moor close to the city centre and explore Helsinki by foot. Visit the colourful Market Square, the President’s Palace, the impressive architecture of Senate Square including the Lutheran Cathedral of Finland and Uspenski Cathedral, the Russian Orthodox Church with its striking onion domes. Take advantage of the long northern evening light with a pre or post dinner walk. Sail in the late evening. (BLD)
Day 4. Tallinn, Estonia
This historic maritime city completed its city walls in the 16th-century and the Old Town within these walls is one of the best-preserved from the Middle Ages. Its numerous churches, guild halls and gabled merchants’ residences date mainly from the 15th-century. Tallinn is dominated by Toompea Castle, once a fortress, and now the seat of the Estonian parliament. It is set high on a steep hillside overlooking the city and the Baltic. Spend the afternoon at sea as we begin our crossing of the Baltic. This evening, enjoy a concert by the London Festival Opera. (BLD)
Day 5. Stockholm, Sweden
This morning we sail through the many islands of the Swedish Archipelago into Stockholm. This is a great sailing area and the islands are peppered with attractive summer homes. Spend the afternoon exploring this handsome city, known as the ‘city on the water’. It is built on 14 small islands among open bays and narrow channels. It is fitting, therefore, that Stockholm has the Vasa Ship, one of the outstanding archaeological discoveries of the 20th Century. Stockholm also has a magnificent ‘Old Town’, splendid Baroque and 19th-century buildings with distinctive green copper roofs and gleaming towers. Moor overnight in Stockholm and from our central mooring we will be able to enjoy the delights of this most sophisticated and lovely city. (BLD)
Day 6. Stockholm Garden Visits
Enjoy a free morning in Stockholm or visit The Linnaeus Garden, originally laid out in 1655 by Olof Rudbeck the elder, professor of medicine at Uppsala University. It is today arranged according to Linnaeus’ own plan from 1745. Approximately 1,300 species of plants are grown here today, all of which are known to have been cultivated by Linnaeus: the garden is a living complement to his writings and drawings. It is also possible to visit the Linnaeus Museum, situated within the gardens, which was Carl Linnaeus’s home for 35 years. We set sail at lunchtime, through the Stockholm archipelago and then in a southerly direction to the Swedish Island of Gotland. (BLD)
Day 7. Visby, Gotland
Today we visit this once important Hanseatic port. Best explored on foot, the beautifully preserved medieval town snuggles inside 13th-century walls, housing 44 watchtowers. In Viking times and several centuries after, the Swedish island of Gotland and especially the city of Visby, became a centre of trade in the Baltic Sea and is a World Heritage-listed site. Walk its streets from the Middle Ages and see its gardens ablaze with flowers, earning the city its nickname ‘the city of ruins and roses.’ Later, visit the Viking exhibits at the Fornsal Museum and wander the paths of the botanical gardens. Sail during lunch. This evening, enjoy a superb performance by the London Festival Opera. (BLD)
Day 8. Gdansk, Poland
We have the day to explore Gdansk, formerly known as Danzig, a leading member of the Hanseatic League. This great port has been sympathetically restored after extensive war damage and is again, one of Europe’s most splendid cities. Our visit includes the church of St Mary, an enormous Gothic hall church with crystal vaulting, Arthur’s Hall and the Knight’s Great Watermill. Gdansk is also famous as the city of ‘Solidarity’, where the dockers united to overthrow the Polish Communist regime. We visit the monument commemorating this struggle. (BLD)
Day 9. Bornholm, Denmark
We visit the beautiful Bornholm Island with its woodland and attractive rocky coastline dotted with fishing villages. We moor in Gudhjem and visit Nykirke, one of the 12th-century round churches on the island. Although of simple style, the church has a beautiful altarpiece, thought to have been made in a Lübeck workshop around 1510. This evening, enjoy an unforgettable performance by the London Festival Opera. (BLD)
Day 10. Copenhagen, Freedom Of Choice Touring
We have a full day in the charming Danish capital, which will include the Palace of Amailienborg exterior only. The four identical Rococo buildings have been the Royal Residence since 1784. Also see Christiansborg Castle, the Royal Theatre and Nyhavn. In the afternoon, explore independently or join the excursion to Helsingor to see the Kronborg Castle, one of Europe’s most important Renaissance castles and known the world over from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Later, see St Olai’s Church and the carefully restored medieval merchants and ferrymen’s houses, or visit some exclusive private gardens with Toby Musgrave. Sail in the late evening. (BLD)
Day 11. At Sea
Enjoy the opportunity to spend a relaxing day at sea under sail as we cross to Norway. (BLD)
Day 12. Lillesand, Norway
Arrive into the southern coast of Norway. Lillesand is one of Norway’s best kept secrets, a charming summer resort. Small islands and skerries dot the coastline making the approach to the town by sea a memorable sight. On a morning ashore, we can soak up the unique atmosphere of a Norwegian summer resort in the old town with its enchanting white clapboard houses. (BLD)
Day 13. Disembark Ship and Depart Oslo, Norway
Welcome to the capital of Norway, Oslo. This morning disembark the ship and be transferred to the airport. (B)
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Services of a Cruise Director and Botanical Guide
Transfers on first and last day, tipping, port taxes and porterage
Trip Code: BTBAL13
Departure: 24 July 2015
Twin Share: $16,995 per person
Solo Traveller: $25,495
Prices shown are based on Category E (Cabin Deck). See deck plans for more information.
To upgrade, add per person:
Category Deck Twin Share Solo Trav.
D Cabin $1,195 $1,795
C Promenade $1,595 $2,395
B Promenade $2,395 $3,595
A Owner’s Lido $5,995 $11,990
F Single Cabin - $2,395
Twelve nights on the Sea Cloud II
Freedom of Choice Touring options in Copenhagen
Wine, beer and soft drink included with lunch and dinner on board the ship
Includes 35 meals - 12 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches and 12 Dinners