Take in the sweep of history from Scandinavian and Baltic capitals to glorious St. Petersburg aboard your Explorer-Series yacht... walk down the cobblestone streets in ancient Tallinn... gaze at the treasures museums, royal summer retreats and a palatial venue for ballet and opera...
Enjoy a guided visit to The State Hermitage Museum; a choice between a tour of the Peterhof in St. Petersburg or Catherine Palace (the Summer Palace) in Pushkin; walking tours of Helsinki and Tallinn; and guided sightseeing during two-night stays at top hotels in Copenhagen and Stockholm!
Arrive in Stockholm & enjoy a gala at the Vasa Museum
Tour begins: 7:15 PM, Radisson Blu Waterfront or Sheraton Stockholm. Upon arrival of your flight, a transfer is included from the Arlanda Airport to the Radisson Blu Waterfront or Sheraton Stockholm in the heart of Stockholm. Meet your fellow travel companions at tonight's exclusive welcome cocktail reception and dinner at the Vasa Museum, the centerpiece of which is the world’s only preserved 17th-century warship, the Vasa, salvaged in 1961 after more than 300 years on the bottom of Stockholm Harbor!
Discovering Stockholm, Sweden's capital
Sightseeing in Stockholm today includes a look at the city's intriguing islands – Sweden’s capital sits astride 14 of them – on a cruise along its historic canals; and a guided tour of its iconic City Hall, where the annual Nobel Prize award festivities take place – including the Council Chamber, the Gold Room, and the misnamed Blue Room (the architect changed his mind and left its beautiful red-brick walls intact). If you wish, join us for a stop at the city's Royal Palace to watch the changing of the guard, or return to the hotel. The rest of the day is yours to explore more of Stockholm as you please.
More Stockholm sites & embark ship
Your morning begins with a guided visit to Stockholm's historic Royal Swedish Opera House, opened at the turn of the 20th century, and continues on a walking tour along the cobbled streets of Stockholm's medieval Gamla Stan, or Old Town, with your local guide, revealing centuries of Swedish history and culture. This afternoon, enjoy some more Stockholm sightseeing before boarding Le Champlain for the start of your Baltic Sea cruise.
A day exploring Finland's capital city of Helsinki
Following your ship's arrival in seaside Helsinki, Finland, a sightseeing excursion shows you the neo-Classical Senate Square, Helsinki Cathedral, Market Square, and the Sibelius Monument dedicated to the great Finnish composer. Visit the Temppeliaukio Church, or "Church of the Rock," a modern design hewn out of solid granite. Drive by Finlandia Hall, designed by famed Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, en route back to the ship, which sets sail for Russia late this afternoon; join us for a welcome reception followed by the Captain's Gala dinner tonight.
Treasures of St. Petersburg
Awaken in the glorious imperial city of St. Petersburg; you have a choice of sightseeing today. Visit the Fabergé Museum, housed in Shuvalov Palace in the center of St. Petersburg. This privately owned museum features the work of the renowned Russian jeweler Carl Fabergé, and its collection includes the famous group of nine Imperial Easter Eggs created for Russia's last two czars, Alexander III and Nicolas II – along with thousands of other works of Russian decorative and fine arts. After a local lunch with folkloric entertainment, visit the famous Church of the Spilled Blood. Alternatively, visit the imposing Peter and Paul Fortress, built in the 18th century as the core of Peter the Great’s new capital, what the czar called his "window on the west." Inside the fortress, Peter and Paul Cathedral – with its tall golden spire – contains the tombs of all the Russian czars. After lunch, head to St. Isaac Square. Alternatively, you can also choose an excursion to the seaside palace of Peterhof and its gardens. Then it's back to the ship, where an early dinner onboard precedes a memorable night at Yusupov Palace in St. Petersburg, featuring a tour and entertainment.
The State Hermitage Museum & more
Take a privately guided tour of The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg at the best time to visit today, as you view one of the largest collections of art and artifacts in the world. Displays include prehistoric cultures, classical antiquities, Western European art, and golden treasures that reflect the development of art and culture throughout the ages. After lunch and some free time this afternoon at Arts Square, return to the ship for dinner this evening.
Peterhof in St. Petersburg or Catherine Palace
Today, you have a choice of guided tours of sights in and around St. Petersburg. You may choose to explore the seaside palace of Peterhof, with its magnificent gardens and fountains, and have lunch at a local restaurant. Often referred as the "Russian Versailles,” the vast, opulent complex of palaces and gardens that was begun in 1714 by Peter the Great – who referred to it as the Monplaisir ("my pleasure") Palace – was expanded over the next two centuries. Nearly destroyed by German forces during World War II, it has been largely restored since, and along with the St. Petersburg city center is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alternatively, you can travel outside of city limits to Pushkin (Tsarskoye Selo) to explore Catherine Palace (a.k.a. The Summer Palace), the Rococo-style summer residence of the Romanovs, expanded by Empress Catherine the Great. You'll immediately notice the ornate blue-and-white ornamental façade; lavish interiors feature gilded wall carvings and intricate ceiling murals, and opulent touches including silk wallpaper, crystal chandeliers and marble chimneys. During lunch, enjoy traditional folkloric entertainment at a local restaurant.
Explorie ancient Tallinn, capital of Estonia
Your ship arrives this morning in the walled city of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, one of Europe's best-preserved medieval cities. Drive through Tallinn’s suburbs, and join your local guide to stroll through narrow cobblestone streets and the main Market Square of Old Town; admire the 13th-century Toompea Castle, Estonia's traditional seat of power and visit St. Nicholas's Church. After lunch aboard ship, you'll have time to return to town and wander as you wish; Tauck's shuttle is available to take you from the city to the ship. Your Baltic Sea cruise heads to Denmark this evening.
A full day on the Baltic Sea
Your innovative small ship sets a new standard in cruising which you'll enjoy during an entire glorious day at sea en route to Copenhagen, Denmark today. As you cruise, check out all the amenities this sleek, state-of-the-art Explorer Class yacht offers... including fine cuisine in the elegant main dining room or more casual dining in the ship's buffet restaurant... cocktails and music in three stylish lounges... informative lectures and entertainment... a workout in the fitness center, and much more.
Disembark Copenhagen & Rosenborg Palace
Disembark your yacht in Copenhagen, Denmark, as your Baltic Sea cruise draws to a close. On a Copenhagen sightseeing tour, see the Danish Crown Jewels and other treasures at Rosenborg Slot (Palace), built in Dutch Renaissance style; Amalienborg, home to the Danish royal family; the famous statue of The Little Mermaid; and visit the colorful district of Nyhavn. The afternoon and evening are free to explore the city as you please; admission is included to Tivoli Gardens; you may want to stroll along the fashionable pedestrian area of Strøget.
A visit to the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde and a farewell dinner
Journey today to Roskilde – Denmark's religious, cultural, and political center from the Viking times through the Middle Ages – for a visit to the Vikingeskibshallen (Viking Ship Museum), featuring five ships from the 11th century that were discovered in the 1960s, and lunch in a local restaurant. Return to Copenhagen to explore on your own and, later, share memories of this most remarkable Baltic Sea cruise with your fellow guests at this evening's farewell reception and dinner.
Tour ends: Copenhagen. Fly home anytime. A transfer from the Skt Petri or Radisson Collection Royal Hotel Copenhagen to Copenhagen Airport and the Copenhagen Central Station is included. You should allow a minimum of 3 hours for flight check-in at the airport.