Hamburg has seen many ships in its time. Richly laden Hanseatic cogs, famous 19th-century windjammers and giant vessels have dropped anchor in its port. The beautiful banks of the Elbe form prominent cordons for ships sailing in or out of the port of Hamburg. Moving towards the mouth of the Elbe, they glide by the patrician villas on the Elbchaussee, the Treppenviertel in Blankenese, the Airbus site and the picturesque banks of the Elbe with their green dikes and white beaches. You can catch charming harbor views of the little villages all along the banks of the Elbe.
With its countless canals, lakes and harbor basin, water is an essential part of this city. The Inderhavnen (inner harbor) runs through the royal capital of Denmark like a wide river before flowing into the Sound. Once the boundary between the western and eastern districts, the harbor quays have now become the heart of the city. Streets, alleyways, parks, and squares all remain from the days when kings had them built. Each period of history has left its mark on the magnificent cityscape which includes several castles. In the midst of modern-day life, you can take a ride on a carousel in the Tivoli Gardens, follow the royal bodyguards with their bearskin hats as they march through the streets or visit the city's famous magical landmark, the little mermaid in the harbor.
Together with the chic seaside resort of Sopot and the port of Gdynia, the old Hanseatic city of Gdansk has a young and confident vibe. With its eventful past, the queen of the Polish Baltic cities was already prosperous and respected in the middle ages and was a flourishing trading center for many years. Its reconstructed historic old town is a work of art in its own right with sky-scraping brick Gothic edifices and grand patricians' houses boasting magnificent façades and gables which betray Flemish, Dutch and German influences. Everything is overshadowed by the imposing medieval church of St Mary which is the world's largest brick church. In the golden Hanseatic era, the route formed by the famous Long Market and Long Street between the Golden Gate and the Vistula was the lifeline of this prosperous city, which continues to trade successfully in Baltic amber to this day.
Surrounded by the deep blue sea, the second largest Baltic island is bathed in sunshine during the brief summer months and has the look of a small country in its own right. Lofty crags, strange limestone formations, broad sand and pebble beaches and forests with wind-bent pine trees form a coastal landscape which extends for almost 500 miles. Similarly diverse are the island's astonishing culinary delights and Gotland's rich history which includes prehistoric sites, unique treasures from the Viking era and Visby, the oldest Baltic Hanseatic city which has remained almost unchanged since its heyday in the middle ages. The old town with its imposing 2-mile, 13th-century circular wall was once christened 'regina maris' or 'queen of the sea' and provided a refuge for legendary pirate Klaus Störtebeker. Since 1805 it has been classified as a protected monument and since1995 it has been listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.
On its Baltic side, Stockholm looks out to an archipelago of thousands of craggy islands while to the west lies the vast Lake Mälaren. The city itself spans 14 islands connected by more than 50 bridges. In the middle on the city island are the origins of Sweden's magnificent capital. Yellow-gold townhouses, splendid Renaissance palaces dating back to the city's heyday and the royal palace crowd the old town of Gamla Stan, a heritage site boasting a medieval network of narrow cobbled streets which lead down to the water's edge. With a third of its area occupied by water and another third by green spaces, this cultural city manages to be both modern and traditional. Here you will find Nordic design, fashion, art, modern architecture, boulevards, promenades, royal residences, seats of government and no fewer than three UNESCO world heritage sites.
The Åland archipelago, an autonomous Swedish-speaking province in Finland with its own flag, is situated between Sweden and the Finnish mainland in the north of the Baltic Sea. Mariehamm, the only town in the Åland islands and capital of the archipelago, can be found on the main island of Fast Åland. It was named after Maria Alexandrovna, wife of Tsar Alexander II, who founded the town in 1861 when Finland and Åland were part of the Russian Empire. The second largest port in Finland was home to one of the last large fleets of windjammers. With its wonderful smooth red granite cliffs, the Nordic landscape on the approximately 6,500 unspoiled islands and skerries remains pristine and virtually uninhabited.
Morning sun follows sunset, night falls only briefly and then an entire city is wide awake. The 'white nights' cast a magic light over this magnificent city forged by the will of the Tsar. Built largely on posts in the ground by Peter the Great in 1703, Saint Petersburg - a 'capital from nothing' - offered the Russian Empire access to the Baltic Sea and the west between the 18th and 20th centuries. The extremely impressive entrance to the shining gold city on the Neva River demonstrates the full extent of St. Petersburg's power. Built predominantly in the neo-classical style, the Hermitage complex which includes the Winter Palace where the Tsars once lived, dates back to Catherine the Great. Now one of the world's most important art museums occupies more than 350 rooms. St. Isaac's Cathedral is the largest cathedral in Russia, while the Church of the Saviour is a playful work of art in the Russian Art Nouveau style. The wonders of this former tsarist capital with 2,300 palaces, ornate buildings and castles are all listed as UNESCO world heritage sites.
The Estonian capital of Tallinn lies on the Gulf of Finland some 50 miles south of Helsinki. Known as Reval during the Hanseatic era, it was the most important trading port on the Baltic Sea in the 15th century. Those walking through the old town will find themselves transported back to the world of wealthy medieval townsfolk. Russian onion domes and medieval gabled houses restored to their former glory mark the border between east and west. The city's rich historic heritage, still guarded by lofty town walls, is under UNESCO protection. Today, Tallinn is a lively Scandinavian city with a very Hanseatic look, where the middle ages meet modern life.
Day 15: Helsinki, Finland | Disembark
The Finnish capital sits on the seafront overlooking countless islands and skerries off the coast. The center is compact and charming. The protestant cathedral styled on St. Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg overlooks Senate Square with its magnificent neo-classical façades and reflects the splendor of a capital which once served the Tsars. Later, the middle classes showcased their national confidence in Finnish Art Nouveau, its curved lines oozing functionalism and modernism. Indeed in 2012, the trend towards simple, accomplished Finnish style earned Helsinki the title of world design capital. Above all else though, Helsinki is an ever-changing city shaped by the sea - a lively hub in constant flux.
Apologies for the inconvenience. Prices for not yet published. Below per person rate based on previous season. Contact us to confirm upcoming season pricing.
Prices for are estimated based on inflation. Contact us to confirm pricing and availability for your desired departure date.
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Superior Single Cabins (approx. 13 and 14.5 m²/139 and 156 sq ft) are equipped with a single bed, a small sitting corner with a table and a chair, a dressing table and a wardrobe. The bathroom is equipped with a sink, shower and WC. These cabins have portholes and are located on the Cabin Deck.
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Superior Cabins (approx. 16.5 to 19 m²/177 to 204 sq ft) are equipped with a double bed (two single beds), a small comfortable sitting corner with a chair or couch and a table as well as a dressing table, wardrobe and bureau. The spacious bathroom is equipped with a sink, shower and WC. These cabins have portholes and are located on the Cabin Deck.
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Deluxe Cabins (approx. 20 m²/215 sq ft) are equipped with a double bed (two single beds), a small comfortable sitting corner with a chair or couch and a table as well as a dressing table, bureau and wardrobe. The spacious bathroom is equipped with a sink, shower and WC. These cabins have portholes and are located on the Cabin Deck.
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Deluxe Lido Cabins (approx. 16.5 to 20 m²/177 to 215 sq ft) are equipped with a double bed (two single beds), a small comfortable sitting corner with a chair or couch and a table as well as a dressing table, bureau and wardrobe. The spacious bathroom is equipped with a sink, shower and WC. These cabins have portholes and are located on the Cabin Deck.
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Junior Suites (approx. 26 to 30 m² /280 to 323 sq ft including balcony) are located on the Panorama Deck and offer a private balcony and panoramic windows. The cabins include a sitting corner with a couch and a table, two single beds (of 90 cm x 200 cm each), which can be placed separately or as a double bed, and a walk-in closet. The bathroom is equipped with a sink, WC and bathtub.
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Owner's Suites are located on the Panorama Deck, and have a sitting area and panoramic windows as well as a private balcony. Each of the suites (approx. 36 to 39 m²/388 to 420 sq ft including balcony) is equipped with two single beds (of 95 cm x 200 cm each) that can be placed separately or as a large double bed, and a walk-in closet. The bathroom features sink and bathtub; the WC is separate.
Please note: Shore excursions are NOT included in this cruise-only rate. Contact us for details.
Beautifully appointed cabin in selected category
Welcoming bottle of champagne in your cabin
All meals (six per day) from early-bird breakfast to the exquisite 4-course dinner menu with choice of main course
5-course gala dinner during the cruise
Welcome and farewell cocktail with champagne
Selected wines and beers thoughtfully chosen to complement lunch and dinner
All soft drinks and juices throughout the cruise
All alcohol-free coffee and tea specialties
Bottled water on the excursions
Fresh fruit basket in your cabin, replenished daily
E-mails can be sent free of charge from the on-board laptop
English-speaking tour guide
Travel documents with detailed destination information
All port fees
Use of snorkeling and waterskiing equipment is free of charge (weather permitting)
Free laundry services for cabin categories A & B
Flights, domestic or international
Excess luggage (allowance is up to 40 kg per passenger)
Additional meals and beverages (so far as not expressly included)
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.