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Old Town in Gdansk, Poland

Circumnavigating the Baltic Sea

Example 14 Day Cruise aboard National Geographic Orion
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Explore eight countries united by the Baltic Sea, discover their intertwined histories, and encounter fascinating cultures. Delve deeper through dramatic water approaches, and foray into character-filled villages and island stops for quiet walks. Wander along the medieval walled city of Visby, explore dazzling St. Petersburg over two days, dine on local specialties, and enjoy private musical performances—or have a deck party in the tranquil Swedish Archipelago. Enjoy ample choices and avenues for exploration in each of the cities. Explore from a privileged vantage point—going by ship allows you to sail routes of the old Hanseatic League, in the paths of early traders and nobles, and lets you enter the cities as they were meant to be—by sea.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Copenhagen, Denmark | Embark
Day 2 : Bornholm
Day 3 : Gdańsk, Poland
Day 4 : Klaipėda, Lithuania
Day 5 : Visby, Gotland, Sweden
Days 6-7 : Riga, Latvia
Day 8 : Tallinn, Estonia
Days 9-10 : St. Petersburg, Russia
Day 11 : Exploring Coastal Finland
Day 12 : Stockholm Archipelago, Sweden
Day 13 : Stockholm
Day 14 : Stockholm | Home


  • Venture into the medieval Old Towns of Riga and Tallinn, UNESCO sites
  • Explore the tiny islands along Finland and Sweden by kayak or nature walks
  • View one of the world’s greatest art collections at the Hermitage Museum
  • Experience the fascinating history of eight Baltic countries


National Geographic Orion

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Old Town in Gdansk, Poland Brightly colored houses decorate the pier. Peaceful homes on the shores of the Baltic Sea Cityscape of Tallinn, Estonia View the magnificent gardens at the Peterhof Palance in St. Petersburg

Day 1 Copenhagen, Denmark | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today arrive in Denmark’s capital. The fairytale feel of the city where Hans Christian Andersen wrote is the home of incredible stories and a long history. After lunch, have a water-level view of this old maritime city from a boat sailing on its charming canals, seeing the city’s landmarks, palaces, and of course, The Little Mermaid statue. Back on board enjoy your first taste of Danish pastries as you prepare to set sail.

Day 2 Bornholm

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Stop at the small fishing port of Gudhjem on Bornholm Island. Hike up to the cliff-top ruins of Hammershus fortress or explore the island’s round churches and white sandy beaches.

Day 3 Gdańsk, Poland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Arrive in Poland and take in Gdańsk’s art and architectural highlights including the Gothic-Renaissance Town Hall and the National Museum, featuring the Last Judgment triptych by Hans Memling. Or, learn about the significance of ship building and trade at the Maritime Museum. Zodiacs take you through the shipyards of Gdańsk, an important area for the organized resistance against the communist regime in 1980. Take a guided tour of the European Solidarity Center, commemorating the trade union that made Lech Walesa a household name.

History buffs may opt for a morning visit to the Westerplatte peninsula, where World War II began with the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, and the Polish Post Office Museum, still marked by signs of the attack. In order to maximize your time in Gdańsk, an authentic Polish-style lunch has been arranged in town with open seating so you can arrive at your convenience. 

Day 4 Klaipėda, Lithuania

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Explore the wild barrier peninsula called the Curonian Spit, a UNESCO World Heritage site shared by Lithuania and Russia. Choose one of two options: Take a cultural tour to a seaside resort town to learn of folk tales at the Hill of Witches and see some of Europe’s tallest sand dunes. Or, spend the afternoon at the Ventė Cape Ornithological Station to explore the lighthouse and dunes while learning about migratory bird populations.

Day 5 Visby, Gotland, Sweden

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend the morning exploring Visby, one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Scandinavia. Founded as a Viking settlement, the town became a center of the Hanseatic trade in the 12th to 14th centuries. Stroll the cobblestone streets of the enchanting old town and see its nearly two-mile-long, 13th-century wall. Extremely picturesque, Visby is perfect for a guided photo walk through medieval neighborhoods capped off with a visit to the Gotland Museum.  Alternatively, you may opt for a guided bike excursion that heads north into quiet Gotland island countryside. 

Day 6-7 Riga, Latvia

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Explore the largest city in the Baltics on a walking tour through Riga’s UNESCO-recognized center, passing wooden houses, art nouveau architecture, and funky cafés, and climbing to the top of St. Peter’s Church tower for 360-degree views. Choose to bike across the Daugava River and explore the quiet island of Kipsala and its old fishermen’s houses, or take a boat ride through the canals of Riga with free time before sailing to Lithuania. Explore with all your senses. Taste, see, and smell Latvian food specialties at the airy Central Market on an optional tour with your Orion chef and a local guide.

Day 8 Tallinn, Estonia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cross the Gulf of Finland to Estonia, arriving in Tallinn. Stroll the medieval streets of Town Hall Square on a guided walk through the walled, cobblestoned old town with its Kiek in de Kök, a 15th-century defensive tower. Take in the view from Dome Hill of Tallinn’s picturesque spires and gables, and visit the grand Kadriorg Palace and grounds built in the Baroque style for Catherine I of Russia by Peter the Great. Can music change history? Most people don’t think about music when they think revolution. But song was the weapon of choice when Estonians sought to free themselves from Soviet rule. Visit the singing grounds in person. 

Day 9-10 St. Petersburg, Russia

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Peter the Great established his city in 1703 as Russia’s “window to the west.” With grand palaces and residences and its planned streets, canals, and parks, St. Petersburg is surely one of the most dazzling cities in Europe. Your days are spent exploring St. Petersburg’s imperial luxuries and artistic treasures: the Hermitage with its world-renowned art collections, the grandiose Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Peter the Great’s summer palace at Petrodvorets, known as the Russian Versailles, and the opulent royal palace and parks of Catherine the Great at Pushkin. 

Day 11 Exploring Coastal Finland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Discover Finland's intricate coastline with numerous bays, inlets, and islands rich with natural history and ripe for exploration by kayak and Zodiac. 

Day 12 Stockholm Archipelago, Sweden

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cruise the Stockholm Archipelago on your way from coastal Finland to Sweden's beautiful capital.  Keep your camera handy as you maneuver through the scenic archipelago to arrive in Stockholm, the city built on 14 islands.

Day 13 Stockholm

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The great Scandinavian maritime capital of Stockholm provides some favorite experiences. View the royal Vasa warship which capsized in Stockholm harbor in 1628 and was salvaged and restored 350 years later. Take a walking tour of Old Town Gamla Stan, or learn about Sweden’s living history at the Skansen open-air museum. This afternoon enjoy time on your own or take a tasting tour of Swedish sweets in the Gamla Stan. The ship stays docked overnight so you can enjoy this magical Scandinavian city.  

Take a rooftop walk across the Old Town. Yes, opt to buckle up in your safety harness and step along the narrow rooftop path. Be stunned by the fantastic views and the fascinating stories that your guide narrates. 

Day 14 Stockholm | Home

  • 1 Breakfast
Enjoy breakfast aboard before being transferred to the airport for your flight home.

National Geographic Orion

Per person starting at
National Geographic Orion's Category 1 Cabin.
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Category 1
Main deck with 1 or 2 portholes
National Geographic Orion's Category 1 Cabin.
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Category 1 Single
Main deck with 1 or 2 portholes
National Geographic Orion's Category 2 Cabin.
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Category 2
Main deck with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 3 Cabin.
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Category 3
Main deck with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 3 Cabin.
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Category 3 Single
Main deck with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 4 Cabin.
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Category 4
Upper and veranda decks with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 5 Cabin.
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Category 5
Upper deck with balcony
National Geographic Orion's Category 6 Cabin.
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Category 6
Veranda deck - suite


Single supplement varies by itinerary. A solo traveler matching program may be available but is subject to availability.

Cost Includes:
  • Accommodations
  • Meals indicated
  • Excursions
  • Services of Lindblad Expeditions’ Leader, Naturalist staff and expert guides
  • Use of kayaks, bicycles
  • Entrance fees
  • All port charges and service taxes
  • Bar tab and gratuities to ship’s crew

Not Included:
  • Immigration fees are not included
  • Air transportation
  • Personal items such as emails, laundry, etc. 
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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