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Baltic Sea Cruises

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Cruise the Baltic Sea, a part of Europe seldom seen by even the most storied travelers. From the fascinating archaeological sites to the enchanting cultures that you will encounter along the way, a cruise through the Baltic Sea is a relaxing way to experience northern Europe. Our featured cruises explore a number of countries, so if there are certain destinations on your bucket list, just let our travel planners know and we'll make sure your cruise visits them. Itineraries that cruise the basin might visit Germany, Poland, Belgium, United Kingdom, Estonia, Lithuania, and even Russia. Consider a cruise that plunges into the frigid north, with stops in Denmark, Svalbard, Sweden, Iceland, Greenland, and even a few that traverse the entire Arctic Circle all the way to Newfoundland
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10 Best Cruises of the Baltic Sea for 2024-2025

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8 Baltic Sea Cruise Deals for 2024-2025

Trip NameSaveFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Spitsbergen Explorer: Wildlife Capital of the ArcticCustom Label$989512Jul 30, 2024Prepare for this 12-day Arctic expedition cruise aboard Ocean Adventurer in the exploration of Spitsbergen, the wildlife capital of the Arctic. Grab …
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Introduction to Spitsbergen: Fjords, Glaciers and Wildlife of SvalbardCustom Label$749510Jul 22, 2024The polar expedition ship Ocean Adventurer hosts this 10-day cruise from Helsinki, Finland to Longyearbyen. Optimized for wildlife viewing, explorers …
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Three Arctic Islands: Iceland, Greenland and SpitsbergenCustom Label$1829515Aug 13, 2025Check Iceland, Greenland, and Spitsbergen off your bucket list as you explore these three regions on this 15-day expedition aboard Ocean Explorer. …
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Jewels of the Rhine$73908Oct 8, 2024Discover the Rhine region's architecture, history, and natural beauty on this delightful cruise from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland. Explore the …
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Wild Fjords of South Greenland: Land of the VikingsCustom Label$1009513Jul 19, 2025Embark on a 13-day expedition cruise from Reykjavik to Toronto aboard the Ultramarine. Explore Greenland's southeast coast, visit local communities …
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Rhine Highlights$90908Jul 31, 2024From Amsterdam to Basel, journey along the Rhine in all-inclusive luxury. Explore Amsterdam's famous canals, relax in the spa town of Baden-Baden, …
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Rhine Castles & Moselle Vineyards$1059011Jul 30, 2024Embark on an 11-day Rhine Castles & Moselle Vineyards Cruise from Amsterdam to Zurich on Emerald Sky. Discover landscapes adorned along the Rhine & …
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Four Arctic Islands: Spitsbergen, Jan Mayen, Greenland and IcelandCustom Label$1139518Aug 9, 2024Explore four incredible regions of the Arctic on this 18-day cruise aboard Ocean Adventurer. Discover the world’s largest fjord system, see the …
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Baltic Sea Cruises Travel Guide

Highlights of the Baltic Sea

  • Touring the Centuries-Old Capital Cities: Explore the historic capitals like Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, and St. Petersburg, each with its unique cultural and architectural heritage. Stroll through medieval streets, visit world-renowned museums, and marvel at iconic landmarks such as the Royal Palace in Stockholm and the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.
  • Sailing Through the Land of the Vikings: Experience the rich Nordic culture and history while sailing through regions that were once home to the Vikings, known for their advanced societies. Discover ancient Viking sites, museums, and the scenic fjords of Norway, if your journey extends to the Nordic regions.
  • Biking Across Storybook Landscapes: Enjoy scenic bike rides through picturesque landscapes that look like they are straight out of a fairy tale. From the serene countryside of Denmark to the coastal trails of Estonia and Latvia, the Baltic Sea region offers diverse and beautiful cycling routes.
  • Cruising Through Medieval Stralsund: Visit Stralsund, a Hanseatic German town dating back to the 1100s, known for its well-preserved medieval architecture, including the iconic St. Nicholas Church and the historic Old Market Square. The town’s history as a significant trading center in the Hanseatic League adds to its charm.
  • Visiting Castles and Fortresses: Explore the impressive castles and fortresses that dominate the landscape of Northern Europe. Notable sites include the medieval Turku Castle in Finland, the imposing Malbork Castle in Poland, and the scenic Rundāle Palace in Latvia. These historic structures offer a glimpse into the region’s feudal past and architectural evolution.
  • Discovering UNESCO World Heritage Sites: The Baltic Sea region boasts several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Explore the historic centers of Riga, Tallinn, and Vilnius, known for their beautifully preserved medieval architecture. Don’t miss the Curonian Spit, a unique sand dune peninsula shared by Lithuania and Russia, offering spectacular natural scenery.
  • Sampling Local Cuisine: Indulge in the diverse culinary delights of the Baltic Sea region. Try traditional dishes such as Swedish meatballs, Finnish salmon soup, Danish smørrebrød, Polish pierogi, and Russian blini. Visit local markets and seaside restaurants to taste fresh seafood and regional specialties.

Best Baltic Sea Small Ship Cruise Lines for 2024-2025

  • Ponant has ships that enable them to maintain maximum levels of passenger privacy and offer a 5-star personalized service onboard. Discover the most precious treasures of the Baltic Sea from London to Stockholm aboard the 184-guest Le Champlain
  • Silversea Cruises is a luxury cruise line with an iconic European lifestyle and a global network. In contrast to other businesses, they keep their cruise ships small. So your luxury Baltic sea cruise with Silver Moon can visit little, off-the-beaten-track locations that larger vessels cannot. 
  • Hurtigruten cruises are designed to showcase unique destinations' spectacular scenery and local culture. There are no Broadway-style shows or casinos, but Hurtigruten voyages enrich onboard activities, demonstrations, and presentations. Immerses guests in history and culture as it cruises to some of the most captivating destinations in the Baltic, from bustling Copenhagen and Helsinki aboard MS Maud

 

Exploring Northern Europe Beyond the Baltic Sea

While not directly bordering the Baltic Sea, the following Northern European countries complement and enhance Baltic Sea tours, offering a broader exploration of the continent and ensuring memorable journeys enriched with history, culture, and natural beauty. 
  • Poland: Offers a blend of medieval architecture in cities like Gdańsk and Kraków, alongside poignant reminders of World War II in Warsaw and Auschwitz, providing a deep insight into the country's tumultuous past.
  • Belgium: Charms visitors with its medieval towns such as Bruges and Ghent, renowned for their picturesque canals, cobblestone streets, and world-famous Belgian chocolates, making it a delight for history and gastronomy enthusiasts alike.
  • The Netherlands: Vibrant cities like Amsterdam captivate with their artistic heritage, iconic canals, and museums housing masterpieces by Dutch painters like Rembrandt and Vermeer, offering a blend of culture, history, and contemporary charm.
  • Germany: Boasts a rich cultural tapestry from Berlin's vibrant arts scene and historic landmarks to the fairy-tale landscapes of the Black Forest and the romantic Rhine Valley dotted with castles, providing diverse experiences for every traveler.

Baltic Sea Cruises FAQs

What countries border the Baltic Sea?

The Baltic Sea is bordered by nine countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Sweden. Each of these countries offers unique attractions and cultural experiences, making the Baltic Sea region a diverse and intriguing travel destination.

What is the best time to visit the Baltic Sea region?

The best time to visit the Baltic Sea region is from late spring to early autumn (May to September). During this period, the weather is mild and pleasant, ideal for sightseeing, outdoor activities, and exploring coastal areas. The summer months (June to August) are particularly popular due to the long daylight hours and numerous cultural festivals.

Do I need a visa to travel to the Baltic Sea countries?

Visa requirements vary depending on your nationality and the specific countries you plan to visit. EU/EEA citizens do not need a visa to travel within the Schengen Area, which includes most Baltic Sea countries. Non-EU/EEA citizens, such as those from the US, Canada, and Australia, can typically visit Schengen countries for up to 90 days without a visa. For Russia, a visa is required for most travelers. Always check the specific visa requirements for each country in your itinerary before traveling.

What currency is used in the Baltic Sea region?

The currencies used in the Baltic Sea region vary by country. Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania use the Euro (EUR). Sweden uses the Swedish Krona (SEK), Denmark uses the Danish Krone (DKK), Poland uses the Polish Zloty (PLN), and Russia uses the Russian Ruble (RUB). Credit and debit cards are widely accepted throughout the region, but it’s advisable to carry some local currency for smaller establishments and markets.

How can I travel between Baltic Sea countries?

Traveling between Baltic Sea countries is convenient due to well-developed transportation networks. Options include flights, trains, buses, and ferries. Major cities like Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Tallinn are well-connected by air and sea routes. Ferries are a popular choice for short trips across the sea, providing scenic and comfortable travel. For travel to Russia, flights and ferries are common, but it's essential to check visa requirements and border regulations. Baltic Sea cruises are also common and a comfortable way to visit multiple countries and remote visitor sites, without having to worry about further logistics.

What are some must-see attractions around the Baltic Sea?

The Baltic Sea region boasts numerous must-see attractions. In Sweden, visit the historic Vasa Museum and the scenic Stockholm Archipelago. Denmark offers the charming Nyhavn in Copenhagen and the ancient Kronborg Castle. Estonia’s capital, Tallinn, is known for its well-preserved medieval Old Town. In Finland, explore Helsinki’s modern architecture and the picturesque Suomenlinna Fortress. Poland’s Gdańsk features the beautiful Old Town and the impressive Malbork Castle. In Russia, St. Petersburg is a highlight with its stunning Hermitage Museum and the opulent Peterhof Palace. Each country offers a unique blend of cultural and natural attractions.

Is English widely spoken in the Baltic Sea region?

English is widely spoken in the Baltic Sea region, especially in tourist areas, major cities, and among younger generations. In countries like Denmark, Sweden, and Finland, English proficiency is generally high. While you may encounter fewer English speakers in rural areas and parts of Russia, basic communication is usually manageable, and many signs and menus are available in English.

What should I pack for a trip to the Baltic Sea?

Packing for a trip to the Baltic Sea depends on the season. In summer, bring light clothing, a jacket for cooler evenings, comfortable walking shoes, swimwear, and sunscreen. For spring and autumn, pack layers, a waterproof jacket, and warmer clothing. If visiting in winter, bring thermal clothing, a heavy coat, gloves, a hat, and sturdy boots. Regardless of the season, a travel adapter for electrical outlets and any necessary medications are essential.

Are there any health precautions I need to take when traveling to the Baltic Sea region?

The Baltic Sea region has high healthcare standards, and no special vaccinations are required for travelers. It’s recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses. EU/EEA citizens should carry their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or the newer European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for access to public healthcare services. Non-EU/EEA citizens should check with their insurance provider for coverage details. When traveling to Russia, it is advisable to ensure your insurance covers any medical treatment there.

What cultural etiquette should I be aware of in the Baltic Sea region?

Cultural etiquette in the Baltic Sea region is generally similar to that in other European countries. Punctuality is valued, especially in business and formal settings. It’s polite to greet people with a handshake and to use titles and last names unless invited to use first names. Tipping is appreciated but not obligatory; rounding up the bill or leaving a small tip for good service is common. Respect for personal space and privacy is important, and it’s customary to remove your shoes when entering someone’s home in many Baltic Sea countries. In Russia, it’s also polite to bring a small gift if invited to someone’s home.

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