Jewels of Scandinavia & the Baltics - 2021

Copenhagen • 10-night expedition cruise with Rønne, Gdansk, Visby, Riga, Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki • Stockholm
  • $453
  • 15
  • 23
16 DAYS FROM $7,498
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Copenhagen, Denmark (Pre-Trip)

3 DAYS FROM $999

Stockholm, Sweden (Pre-Trip)

3 DAYS FROM $1,099

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Copenhagen to Stockholm

Pre-Trip Extension

Copenhagen, Denmark (Pre-Trip)

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DAY 1:

Board an overnight flight to Copenhagen

Today you’ll board an overnight flight to Denmark. Or, depart earlier for your pre-extension to Copenhagen.

Please note: If you're taking advantage of the pre-trip extension to Copenhagen, you will follow the pre-trip itinerary until Day 4, when you'll board the Ocean Explorer and join your fellow base travelers for the rest of the expedition. All activities and inclusions will be covered; please see the pre-trip extension itinerary for details.

DAY 2:

Copenhagen arrival

Welcome to Copenhagen, Denmark’s cosmopolitan capital. If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a representative will meet you at the airport and assist with the transfer to your hotel. Enjoy free time at leisure to acclimate before an evening Welcome Briefing. Tonight, enjoy a cocktail and Welcome Dinner with your fellow expeditioners at the hotel. 

Included Meals:


DAY 3:

Panoramic tour of Copenhagen

Get acquainted with this charming city on an included panoramic tour. View the famed Little Mermaid statue on her watery perch, visit the Nyhavn canal district, swing by towered and turreted Rosenborg Castle, and contrast that with the more-dignified Amalienborg Castle where Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II resides today. We've planned your arrival at the royal residence to coincide with the Changing of the Guard, and your tour also includes a scenic canal boat ride so you can take in this lovely cityscape from the water.

Cultural Discovery:  Visit the Torvehallerne food market to taste the freshest local fare and interact with the people who live here and grow produce, flowers, and more. Peruse among the more than 60 stalls for a delicious lunch on your own before enjoying the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Dinner is on your own tonight, and from renowned Noma restaurant to an up-cropping of other Michelin-starred gems, food has become Copenhagen’s main attraction! 

Included Meals:


DAY 4:

Exploring Copenhagen on your own, embark the Ocean Explorer

You have today to uncover the delights of Copenhagen on your own, or you may join our optional tour to the Castles of North Zealand, which brings you to the beautiful countryside north of the city and its castles, including the UNESCO-listed Kronborg Castle, the fabled home of Shakespeare's Hamlet. 

If you stay in Copenhagen, you'll want to explore the Nyhavn district with its character-rich boats endlessly bobbing in the harbor, colorful line of buildings standing at attention, and umbrella-fronted cafés. You may also want to stroll the city’s famed Strøget, one of the longest pedestrian streets in the world. To get around more quickly, perhaps rent a bicycle and join the many locals who use two wheels to get around.

Afterwards, you'll embark the Ocean Explorer. Get settled in your cabin and take a walk through the ship, stop by the Concierge to make spa arrangements, then gather for a port talk to hear about tomorrow’s exciting destination. In the elegant dining room tonight, you'll savor a special Captain’s Welcome Dinner, just a mere preview to the curated gourmet dining you'll experience during your expedition. The ship departs this evening for Bornholm.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner
Optional Tour: Castles of North Zealand

Castles of North Zealand

  • Approximate Cost: $199 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 6 hours
  • Location: North Zealand, Denmark
  • When: Daytime tour, lunch included
Explore the beautiful countryside north of Copenhagen and see three of the most beautiful castles in northern Europe. At Frederiksborg Castle, you’ll see the exterior of Scandinavia’s largest Renaissance castle. We’ll also pause for a photo stop at Fredensborg Palace, the Danish Royal Family’s spring and autumn residence. Cultural Discovery: A highlight will be your tour of Kronborg Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in fabled Elsinore. This exquisite Renaissance castle set directly on the Øresund grew prosperous by levying a tax on all ships that sailed past her. But Kronborg’s real claim to fame is as the inspiration for Elsinore, home of Shakespeare’s doomed hero, Hamlet. During our visit an actor performing as Hamlet’s friend Horatio will lead us through the various chambers, dungeons, and halls where important scenes in Hamlet took place. On our way back to Copenhagen we’ll drive along the scenic Danish Riviera, where some of Copenhagen’s most beautiful soft white sand beaches are. A traditional Danish lunch at a local restaurant will be included.

DAY 5:

Cliff-top castles and Danish gastronomy of Bornholm

This morning you'll explore Bornholm Island, where the open fields and granite headlands get more days of sunshine than anywhere else in Denmark, drawing summer tourists to the sandy beaches. On your island tour, you’ll stop for photos at the dramatic cliff-top ruins of Hammershus, a medieval castle. Stop in the quaint fishing village of Svaneke, one of the best-preserved market towns on the island, and visit a fascinating 12th-century round church to admire its circular plan.

During your visit, you'll sample firsthand the island’s burgeoning reputation as a food destination. Not only is its climate ideal for growing a common fig known as the Bornholm Diamond, but the island also embraces the products grown on its many farms. You'll stop for tastings at the Garden, a food and cultural house that showcases Bornholm’s exciting flavors before returning to the ship for lunch. 

Cultural Discovery: Relax this evening with another lecture, then savor dinner and attend a port talk to learn about tomorrow’s explorations.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 6:

The Solidarity Route through historic Gdansk, Poland

The Ocean Explorer arrives to Gdansk this morning. Gdansk was a powerful member of the Hanseatic League, the maritime organization that controlled much of medieval trade in the area. Today, the legacy of its prosperity has been lovingly restored. On a morning tour, set out to explore this great maritime city whose great shipyards served as the incubator for the legendary Solidarity movement of 1980, the first crack in what would ultimately be the crumbling of the entire Soviet Union. You’ll follow the Solidarity Route through this historic seaport, including the charming Old Town and massive St. Mary’s Church, one of the largest brick churches in the world. Unforgettable Moment: A visit to the European Solidarity Centre reveals the Solidarity story in impressive detail; you will follow an English-language audio tour through the captivating exhibits. 

Return to the ship for lunch, then utilize the shuttle service from the ship back to Gdansk's Old Town. Stroll down Long Street, also known as the Royal Route for the kingly processions it once hosted, to witness reconstructions of its beautiful 17th-century buildings.

Cultural Discovery: Learn about “The Liberation of Poland” during a captivating lecture, then enjoy another gourmet dinner and a port talk about your next remarkable city. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 7:

The Hanseatic gem of Visby, Sweden

Enjoy breakfast this morning as the ship arrives in Visby. This charming seaside treasure is located on the large Swedish island of Gotland. Rightfully declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the extraordinary preservation of its medieval port area, Visby was a key link in the powerful Hanseatic League. On your walking tour of the Old Town’s winding streets, you’ll see Almedalen Park, the Powder Tower, Fish Alley, and Visby Cathedral, then return to the ship for lunch. 

Leisure time in the afternoon allows you more time to return to favorite spots on your own; perhaps you will duck into the cathedral to admire its lovely stained glass and ornate altarpiece. Or, enjoy the ship's amenities — maybe you'll reserve a massage, hit the gym, or even pick up some items in the boutique. Cultural Discovery: Before dinner, hear another fascinating lecture, followed by a port talk on tomorrow's adventures.

Savor dinner this evening as you cruise to your next destination, cosmopolitan Riga, the Russian-flavored capital of Latvia. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 8:

Cobbled streets and soaring spires of Riga

When you awake this morning, you’ll be sailing in the Gulf of Riga, headed for the Latvian capital of the same name. Cultural Discovery: This morning, attend a lecture that sheds more light on the region.

After lunch on board, set out into the largest city of the Baltic States for a rewarding tour by coach and by foot. Begin on the eastern bank of the Daugava River, where Vecriga, or Old Riga, is punctuated by the three spires of St. Peter’s, the Dome Cathedral and St. Jacob’s. These streets are dripping with charm and beauty, much of it embodied in graceful art nouveau architecture. Unforgettable Moment: After exploring, pause at St. John’s Church for an included concert on the church’s splendid organ that’s sure to inspire.

Cultural Discoveries: Tonight's dinner is a special one and takes you off the ship. Head to a celebrated local restaurant where you'll get a taste of traditional Latvian foods and watch a festive performance of traditional Rigan folk music and dancing.

You will overnight on board in Riga. Take some time to attend this evening’s port talk to learn how you may further explore this charming city tomorrow.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 9:

Riga at leisure

Today is free for you to explore as you please, or join one of two optional tours we've curated for you. The first is a three-hour tour that reveals Riga's Jewish heritage, or head to Jurmala Resort and discover the favorite holiday destination of high-level Communist Party officials during the Soviet Occupation. 

Alternately, take advantage of complimentary shuttle service between the ship and Riga’s Old Town for your convenience. You may also check with our Concierge to plan a unique and exciting excursion: perhaps you’d like to visit one of the beautiful beaches on the Gulf of Riga or explore the atmospheric Vecriga on two wheels using our shipboard bicycles. After, our port talk previews our next exciting destination before another delicious dinner on board as the ship begins its overnight sail to Estonia. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner
Optional Tour: Tour of Riga Jewish District,

Tour of Riga Jewish District

  • Approximate Cost: $55 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 3 hours
  • Location: Riga, Latvia
  • When: Morning

Riga was home to a thriving Jewish population, from which many Americans of Jewish descent trace their ancestry. Join our optional tour to learn the history of Jewish Riga, and their fate under the Nazi occupation. Includes a visit to the Ghetto & Holocaust Museum, Riga Synagogue, and the Janis Lipke Memorial.  

Jurmala Resort

Jurmala Resort

  • Approximate Cost: $55 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 4 hours
  • Location: Riga, Latvia
  • When: Morning
A popular seaside resort for Latvians as well as the favorite holiday-resort of high-level Communist Party officials during the Soviet Occupation. Combined coach and walking tour of Jurmala highlighting Jomas Street, Jurmala Open Air Museum, Kemeri Hotel (Sanatorium), Kemeri National Park, the romantic wooden houses in the art nouveau style. Includes visit to Museum of Resort History. Free time in Jurmala before returning to Riga.

DAY 10:

Medieval splendors in Tallinn

Tallinn, one of the Hanseatic League’s trading centers, has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its remarkable preservation. Cultural Discovery: After breakfast, attend a lecture that will offer some insight into your explorations of Tallinn today. 

After an early lunch on board, embark on a panoramic tour of the city. The two-level Tallinn has an enchantment all its own, which you’ll discover from the winding streets of the Lower Town to the fortified Upper Town on Toompea Hill, where you can take in the amazing view from the Patkuli viewing platform. You’ll also see the Dome Church and the Opera House before heading to the Song Festival Grounds to see the spot where locals raised their singing voices in protest to eject the Soviets in a “Singing Revolution.” 

Tallinn boasts a thriving high-tech economy, too, which has earned it a reputation as Europe’s Silicon Valley. The young, entrepreneurial population supports a lively cultural and dining scene. 

Back on board this evening, enjoy another Cultural Discovery: a lecture on modern-day Russia. Dinner is on board tonight. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 11:

Glittering St. Petersburg and Peterhof

Enjoy breakfast this morning as the ship arrives to St. Petersburg. Peter the Great broke ground for his gilded capital city in 1703, intending to emulate and surpass the best of Western Europe. He came close to succeeding, because no matter how often you’ve been, you simply cannot get enough of this magnificent city. 

Today’s full day of exploring takes you first on a panoramic tour to see the palaces, canals, and churches in the heart of the city. Then, following lunch in a local restaurant, you'll travel to Peterhof, the spectacular “Russian Versailles” that Peter designed and built on the shores of the Gulf of Finland. The gardens and Grand Cascade of fountains are a marvel in themselves.

Cultural Discovery: After tonight's sumptuous dinner on the ship, Russian entertainers join you on board for a lively performance that showcases a rich and colorful tradition of music and dance. You'll overnight in St. Petersburg, hearing about tomorrow’s discoveries during a port talk.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 12:

The magnificent art of the Hermitage

This morning, enjoy an early “pre-rush” visit to what is widely considered the world’s most comprehensive collection of Western European art. The amazing Hermitage Museum was started by Catherine the Great, expanded under subsequent tsars, then grew exponentially as the Soviets seized scores of private collections. You’ll arrive early so you can immerse yourself in the masterpieces in a more relaxed setting. Admire the cream of the collection as you wind through the spectacular exhibition halls of the gilded Winter Palace.

After a lunch of local specialties at a nearby restaurant, tour the magnificent St. Isaac’s Cathedral. Completed in 1858 as a Russian Orthodox church, today the cathedral operates as a fascinating museum. 

The ship departs for Helsinki later this afternoon. Cultural Discovery: Hear another talk in the lounge; then, another port talk will fill you in on all that awaits in Finland. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 13:

Helsinki’s grand squares and sacred Cathedral

This morning the ship arrives to Helsinki as you're enjoying a breakfast that will power you up for walking and panoramic tours of the city today. Whether you’re viewing Helsinki’s 1852 cathedral, crossing one of its many parks or squares, or seeing yourself reflected in the glass of a brand-new building, you'll find that there’s an appealing orderliness and grace to this northern capital. Your panoramic city tour includes the bustling waterside Market Square (known locally as the Kauppatori) and Old Market Hall.

As you admire the stately government buildings of Senate Square, the impressive green domes of the Helsinki Cathedral watch over your progress. This neoclassical wonder — completed in 1852 as a tribute to Czar Nicholas I of Russia, the Grand Duke of Finland at the time — crowns the cityscape like a jewel. Today, it is the worship house for the city’s Evangelical Lutherans. Its high perch and its rooftop statues of the Twelve Apostles remind the devout of Helsinki that their God is ever-present.

You'll also pass the Sibelius Monument, sculpted in tribute to the famed Finnish composer, and the remarkable Temppeliaukio Church, built into solid rock. Return for lunch on board; later, the ship sets off for Stockholm.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 14:

Panoramic Stockholm, disembarking the Ocean Explorer

Arrive this morning in Stockholm, Sweden’s sophisticated capital, and say goodbye to the ship after breakfast. We hope you enjoyed your time on the Ocean Explorer, Vantage's first small ship ocean cruising expedition vessel!

Get acquainted with Stockholm's irresistible charms and remarkable history, spread across 14 islands knit together by some 57 bridges. On your cultural tour of this “Venice of the North,” you’ll walk through the narrow streets of the delightful Gamla Stan, or Old Town, and enjoy views of Stockholm City Hall and the city’s equally attractive newer sections. Cultural Discovery: On an included tour, visit the Vasa Museum, where you’ll see the amazing “ghost ship” of the same name — the world’s only fully intact 17th-century warship. The massive vessel sank just offshore on its maiden voyage in 1628. It lay preserved in the mud for three centuries, before being recovered and displayed in its full glory.

Later, check into your Stockholm hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Lunch and dinner are both on your own. 

Included Meals:


DAY 15:

Explore Stockholm on your own

You'll have the entire day to take in the sophisticated pleasures of Stockholm today, or you may join an optional tour to Drottningholm Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Versailles of the North," set on its own tree-covered island in Lake Mälaren.

If you stay in Stockholm, start your day with a lussekatt (a saffron bun), then set out to stroll the endless waterways of the archipelago on which the strikingly beautiful and compact city is built. Return to the cobbled lanes of the Gamla Stan, the Old Town, or visit the renowned Skansen Museum, an open-air recreation of history’s traditional Swedish houses. 

Celebrate your Baltic journey this evening with a Farewell Drink and Dinner alongside your fellow expeditioners. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner
Optional Tour: Drottningholm Palace

Drottningholm Palace

  • Approximate Cost: $179 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 4 hours
  • Location: Stockholm, Sweden
  • When: Morning tour
Discover the elegant UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been called the “Versailles of the North,” Drottningholm Palace. Set on its own tree-covered island in Lake Mälaren, it is an historic royal residence that is still used by Sweden’s King Carl Gustav XVI and Queen Silvia today. Built in 1622 for Sweden’s Queen Eleonora, its broad, symmetrical expanse and manicured gardens invite comparison to Versailles, which was built around the same time. With your local guide you will explore the Chinese Pavilion, Court Theater, and many other chambers and reception halls filled with opulent art and furniture, gilt ceilings, and magnificent chandeliers. Your tour includes coach and boat transportation to and from the palace.

DAY 16:

Return home

After breakfast, transfer to the Stockholm airport for your return flight home, or stay in Stockholm for your post-trip extension. 

Please note: Arrive to your destination rested and refreshed! Convenient gateway city stopover options mean you can break up longer flights easily — just ask our Flight Experts for assistance.

Included Meals:


Post-Trip Extension

Stockholm, Sweden (Post-Trip)

FROM: $1099 PER PERSON | 3 DAYS | $366 PER DAY

Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Cruise Director or regional expert.

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Jewels of Scandinavia & the Baltics - 2021

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