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A moment of stillness in Copenhagen

Cruising the Historic Cities of the Baltic Sea - with Smithsonian Journeys

Stockholm - Copenhagen - Example 9 Day Cruise aboard Le Champlain
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From Stockholm, board the Le Champlain for an 9-day cruise that includes three spectacular days in the Tsars' former capital. Your ship arrives in Helsinki first. Finland's lush capital, Helsinki, is ringed by approximately 300 islands and boasts stunning Art Nouveau buildings. Then head to Tallinn, the Hanseatic League's Baltic Sea center. Your next stop is Riga, Latvia's capital. Riga, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, mixes Old Town charm with Art Nouveau buildings. Visby, the Baltic Sea's largest island, is a superbly preserved medieval town. Cruise near Gdansk, a historic city. Your last full day will be spent on the small Danish island of Bornholm, where lush scenery and rich herring fisheries combine with the ruins of a medieval stronghold and four of Denmark's iconic antique round churches.
Explore vibrant CopenhagenBeautiful architecture of Tallinn, EstoniaCity view of Stockholm, SwedenA moment of stillness in Copenhagen
Highlights
  • Marvel on the largest medieval castle ruins in Northern Europe at Hammershus.
  • Visit the vibrant capital of Finland that charms you with its Art Nouveau architecture.
  • Sail on to Tallinn, an important hub for the Hanseatic League in the Baltic Sea.
  • Explore Latvia's capital, Riga, also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Stockholm | Embark

The capital of Sweden occupies an archipelago in the east of the country at the junction of Mälar Lake and the Baltic sea. In Gamla stan, meaning “old town” in Swedish, you can stroll at your leisure in picturesque medieval streets until you reach the majestic Royal Palace. On the green island of Djurgården, you can visit several very different kinds of cultural centers: the Vasa museum is dedicated to a 17th-century three-mast, the ecomuseum of Skansen presents traditional customs, and the ABBA museum is dedicated to the legendary pop group. For a fantastic, all-encompassing view of Stockholm, you can take a ride in SkyView, a glass-encased sphere gondola that takes you to the top of the world’s largest building, the Ericsson Globe, a Stockholm landmark.

Day 2: Helsinki

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Seated in the southern peninsula of Finland, Helsinki offers the buzz of a cosmopolitan city that has opted for both elegance and beauty. Explore its historical center where the soft hues of neoclassical buildings are juxtaposed with spectacular modern constructions. The bustling Kallio district is teeming with boutiques and restaurants where you can taste some local specialties like graavilohi - a sweet, marinated, aromatic salmon dish. Keskuspuisto park, a stone’s throw from the center, is a good place to sit and unwind.

Day 3: Tallin

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Opening onto the Baltic sea, to the far north of Estonia, the town of Tallin will win you over with the picturesque charm of its architecture. You can meander through its little streets in the heart of the medieval center where its gothic town hall has been standing since 1404. The Kiek in de Kök tower, the Orthodox Alexander Nevski cathedral, or Toompea castle give visitors a taste of this town’s rich past. The city was particularly active during the medieval period, as is demonstrated by the very beautiful monuments from this period that are still visible. Don't hesitate to lose yourself in the heart of Tallinn, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 4: Riga

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At the place where East meets West on the edge of the Baltic Sea, Riga, the capital of Latvia, will charm you with its contrasts. Although it is one of the oldest cities in the Baltic states, with a unique atmosphere that is imbued with the memory of its medieval past, Riga is also tangibly dynamic and modern. As you stroll through its old town, you will enjoy its exceptional architecture, its cathedrals, the remains of old walls and the typical narrow streets. Nicknamed “the Paris of the North” in the 1930s, this cosmopolitan city boasts a rich heritage.

Day 5: Visby, Gotland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This old Hanseatic city lies to the west coast of Gotland, a Swedish island in the Baltic sea. Pass through the spectacular Visby fortifications and visit the old town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. You’ll discover the grand Visby homes of rich merchants as well as the lovely low wooden houses in the little cobbled streets. Don’t miss Saint Mary’s cathedral with its octagonal steeples, as well as Powder tower along the fortifications. Make sure you stop over in one of the rose-adorned cafés; indeed roses abound in this town where you can taste one of the island’s specialities, namely saffron pancakes with red fruit.

Day 6: Klaipeda

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Klaipeda was founded in the 13th century by Christian crusaders from the German Order of Teutonic Knights. Its strategic location on the edge of the Baltic Sea has made it a source of conflict between Germans, Poles, Lithuanians and even the French since its creation. Today, the legacy of Klaipeda’s rich history is a great multiculturalism. This is the main port of Lithuania and the country’s third largest city. The beautiful landscapes of the surrounding Baltic coast make it a popular tourist destination. The city centre is very pleasant to visit due to its architecture blending German and Scandinavian influences.

Day 7: Gdansk

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This ravishing city on the Baltic sea is nicknamed “the golden door of Poland”, and you’ll understand why when you see its beautiful Hanseatic architecture. You’ll be charmed by the moldings and gables that enhance the colorful façades of the houses. Along the Vistula Quays, you can take a pleasant stroll among the crafts shops. In elegant Mariacka street, the amber jewelers will most certainly tempt you into their boutiques. You can visit the church of Saint-Mary and its astronomic clock. Not far, the majestic Long Market square offers the famous Artus Court and the rich Gdansk History Museum.

Day 8: Ronne

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
To the south-west of the Baltic Sea, the small Danish island of Bornholm is a magnificent and light-filled setting for the charming town of Ronne, its capital. Close to Sweden, Poland and Germany and coveted many times for its strategic position, the island has managed to preserve its identity. Strolling its cobbled streets, fall under the spell of the colorful half-timbered houses and discover Denmark’s oldest theatre. The museum located in a former market hall retraces the traditional life of the island and its history. In the midst of landscapes alternating rocky coastlines and fine sandy beaches, maybe you will come across the medieval fortress of Hammerhus, or one of the remarkable round churches scattered over the island.

Day 9: Copenhagen | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Connected to the far eastern side of Sealand island, a few kilometers away from the Swedish coasts, Copenhagen offers you the high color of Scandinavian capitals. You can discover the city's riches that weaves through the canal networks through the historical districts of Christiansborg and Nyhavn. Many palaces provide an apercu of Danish history. For eating, you can try out the smorrebrod, traditional danish sandwiches made with ham, cheese, or smoked fish.

Disembark after breakfast.

Ship/Hotel

Le Champlain

Le Champlain Pool
Le Champlain Observatory
Ponant Sauna

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$8,090
Cabin
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Deluxe Stateroom
Area: 19 m². 4m² private balcony with French window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower.
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
Area: 19 m². 4m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower.
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
Area: 19 m². 4m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower.
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
Area: 19 m². 4m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower.
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Deluxe Suite
Area: 27 m². 6m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower. Up to 3 passengers per cabin.
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Prestige Suite Deck 5
Area: 38 m². 8m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower.
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Prestige Suite Deck 6
Area: 38 m². 8m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower.
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Privilege Suite
Area: 32 m². 8m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower. Up to 4 passengers per cabin.
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Grand Deluxe Suite
Area: 45 m². 30m² private balcony with sliding bay windows. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower + bathtub.
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Owner's Suite
Area: 45 m². 30m² private balcony with hot tub and sliding bay windows. King-size or twin beds and shower + bathtub.
Included
  • 8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 8 Dinners
  • 8 Nights Accommodations
  • Luggage Handling 
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Port Fees
  • Unlimited Free Wifi
  • Onboard Entertainment 
  • Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and Gala Dinner
  • Gratuities to Onboard Crew
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • 24h Room Service (special selection)
  • English-Speaking Lecturer 
  • Highly experienced and bilingual (French-English) expedition staff
  • Park Entry Fees into Protected Areas
  • Water sports activities (except scuba diving) using the ship’s equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by ship Master according to safety and sea conditions onsite. 
  • Arrival & Departure Transfers
  • A program of onboard enrichment provided by two Smithsonian Journeys Experts
  • Luggage handling from the airport to the ship on the day of embarkation.
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Visa Fees
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned
  • Laundry Services, Hair Salon, and à La Carte Spa Treatments
  • Pre or post cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions 
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned in inclusions

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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney
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