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Board an overnight flight to Portugal
Today you’ll board an overnight flight to Portugal. Or, depart earlier for your pre-trip extension to Madeira.
Welcome to Lisbon! If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a representative will meet you at the airport and assist with the transfer to your hotel. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to acclimate and Welcome Briefing later today. Tonight, enjoy a Welcome Dinner alongside your fellow expeditioners at the hotel.
Lisbon landmarks, tasting renowned Pastéis de Belém
The Age of Discovery launched in Lisbon, so it’s fitting that you begin the morning with a spate of them. On an included panoramic and walking tour of the Portuguese capital, you’ll explore the city’s famed monuments, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Belém Tower and Monastery of Jerónimos, which you’ll peruse and walk through. The latter is inextricably tied to the country’s history of exploration, and it’s said that Vasco da Gama spent his last night here before sailing for the Far East (his tomb is in the monastery). Your tour culminates in a stop at the towering Monument to the Discoveries: a massive white-stone tribute to some of the world’s most intrepid sailors and explorers. While on your tour, sample Pastéis de Belém custard pastries, Portugal’s favorite treat.
Enjoy an afternoon at leisure, with dinner on your own.
Further explore historical Lisbon on your own, embark the Ocean Explorer
Enjoy a day at leisure in Lisbon today. If you’d like an introduction to southwest Portugal’s most iconic destinations, our Vantage Concierge can help secure a full-day tour of the region.
If you remain in Lisbon, perhaps you’ll further your explorations with a taste of the city’s dynamic culinary scene at a gourmet market or by sampling local seafood in one of Lisbon’s celebrated restaurants. Portugal is renowned for bacalhau — dried, salted codfish — as well as its tinned seafood, much of which is sardines, and you’ll find these delicacies almost everywhere.
Active travelers can embark on a hike through Lisbon’s trademark seven hills for must-see views of the city or head over to the Castelo neighborhood for a trek up to São Jorge Castle. This Moorish fortress offers a stunning overlook of the entire city and shopping opportunities for everything from local pottery to Portugal’s famous azulejo tiles.
This afternoon, embark the Ocean Explorer and begin your own journey of discovery. Among the highlights? The curated dining you'll experience tonight during your first dinner on board, and throughout your expedition.
Inside Porto, the “Unvanquished City”
Enjoy breakfast as the ship arrives in Porto. It is known as the “Unvanquished City” because the Romans and Moors never overtook it. According to 15th-century legend, the people of Porto donated all their meat to a military fleet departing for battle — leaving themselves with nothing but offal, known locally as tripas. Considering the sacrifice an ancestral badge of honor, Porto residents still proudly call themselves Tripeiros.
Embark on a panoramic drive through Portugal’s second-largest city, including its UNESCO-listed city center and a visit to a local market.
After returning to the ship for lunch, you’ll have time to explore Porto on your own. Don’t miss a visit to one of the top bookstores in the world, Livraria Lello – the inspiration for J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter library. Peruse the shelves and admire the décor of this one-of-a-kind bibliophiles’ paradise.
Later this afternoon, hear an onboard lecture about local history. Dinner will be savored onboard while sailing overnight to Spain.
Exploring UNESCO-listed Santiago de Compostela
Today, your expedition brings you to Vigo, Spain, and the country's westernmost corners. Here, you’ll experience a full-day exploration of the UNESCO-listed Santiago de Compostela, one of Christian pilgrims’ most sacred places in the world. It’s believed that Saint James was buried here in the first century, but the location was forgotten over the years. In the 9th century, a hermit saw a shining light over a spot in a wooded field, sparking an ensuing investigation that revealed the purportedly lost tomb of Saint James. A church was thereby constructed, quickly becoming one of the most famous pilgrimage destinations of medieval times.
It remains so today, with more than 200,000 people annually walking the nearly 500-mile path, called the Way of Saint James. You’ll see both the church and the route that millions have taken to get there. Vantage will provide euros for you to explore on your own and get some lunch. Local restaurants specialize in a variety of tapas.
Afterward, transfer to La Coruña, stopping along the way for photos at the Tower of Hercules — the world’s oldest working lighthouse and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Embark the Ocean Explorer again in La Coruña for a special performance tonight. Onboard, you’ll enjoy a curated fado show. This traditional, melancholic Portuguese music features two 12-string guitars and is absolutely soul-stirring.
Oviedo, Spain’s cosmopolitan northern capital
Discover Oviedo, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s northern coast. Home to impressive churches, it features Catedral de San Salvador — where the original Way of St. James began. Soak in this town’s old-world beauty and its collectively listed UNESCO monuments before returning to the ship for lunch.
Spend the afternoon at leisure in Gijón, situated on the shimmering Bay of Biscay. This city of magnificent beaches and abundant history is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Return to the ship this evening for dinner. We've invited a guest lecturer on board to present another scintillating talk.
Seaside splendor in the resort town of San Sebastián
Wake up in San Sebastián, one of Spain’s most alluring resort towns renowned for its beaches. A morning tour of the city’s historical landmarks includes the Parte Vieja (Old Town), the twin-towered Santa Maria Church, and Good Shepherd Cathedral. Merely strolling the streets of this coastal treasure — or watching the waves break over La Concha beach — is a pleasure all its own.
Enhance your walking tour by using a bicycle and covering more ground. Ask your Concierge or Cruise Director to help you reserve a bike and suggest a few paths.
Before dinner this evening, enjoy a local tuna band. The Ocean Explorer will cruise to France overnight.
Bordeaux, the Port of the Moon
Today the agile Ocean Explorer makes its way from the Gironde Estuary to the Garonne River and into Bordeaux, France — one of the smaller ports most vessels can’t reach! While you drift there this morning, take advantage of the ship’s boutique, soak up the sun by the swimming pool, or simply ponder the view from the deck.
Join your guest lecturer to prepare for your exciting, upcoming explorations. You’ll have two blissful days exploring UNESCO-listed Bordeaux, known as the “Port of the Moon” due to its crescent-shaped, riverside docks. Often overlooked by the glamorous outposts of Paris and Marseille, Bordeaux is arguably the wine capital of the world. It boasts La Cité du Vin wine museum, which you’ll visit during an afternoon city tour. The highlight of your visit will, of course, feature wine tasting.
Enjoy an evening at leisure in Bordeaux, with dinner on the Ocean Explorer. The ship will dock overnight in Bordeaux, so take advantage by heading into town for leisurely stroll or an after-dinner cocktail.
Leisure time to experience Bordeaux as you please
Relish in an entire day of leisure in Bordeaux. Apart from its wine, the city is also renowned for its food, including oysters, lamb, and duck. French chef Joel Robuchon calls Bordeaux’s porcini mushrooms “the best in France.” If you’d like to secure Michelin-starred restaurant reservations, put in a request to your Concierge ahead of time— these book well in advance!
Your Concierge or Cruise Director can also help you enhance your Bordeaux discoveries by reserving a bicycle to discover even more of the city.
Tonight, a guest lecturer will give an informative talk. Savor a delicious dinner as you sail through the night to Belle-Île.
Belle-Île, a sandy and secluded isle off France’s Brittany coastline, is yours to explore today. Most people arrive to the island via ferry from the mainland — or not at all. This is another oft-overlooked outpost that the versatile Ocean Explorer can reach.
On a morning tour, discover the stunning pastel-hued harbor and its homes, as well as the star-shaped citadel in the capital Le Palais. Wander through charming inland villages like the commune of Sauzon — once the inspiration for Monet, who spent several months here during the climax of his career. A favorite among celebrities, this island is beloved for its laid-back charm and artistic proclivity. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant, savoring the regional seafood, before returning to the port of Le Palais.
The best of Brest
Once destroyed by Allied air attacks in World War II, today’s rebuilt Brest is a major French hub. Depart on a city tour today, which will be on foot and via coach. Destinations include the Château de Brest, a strategic military outpost and the oldest functioning castle in the world.
After lunch aboard the ship, enjoy an afternoon at leisure. Perhaps you’ll visit the Musée des Beaux-Arts or the stunning Brest National Botanical Garden, featuring one of the world’s largest collections of endangered plant species.
An enlightening lecture about France Today takes place before dinner on board.
Saint-Malo and Mont Saint-Michel
Arrive in Saint-Malo, France, and be transported back into medieval ages. This walled city has a long seafaring history. It was the birthplace of Jacques Cartier, the first European man to discover Canada. Inside its barriers, Saint-Malo’s streets overflow with cafés and restaurants — the modern mixing with the medieval.
Your full-day tour then unveils one of France’s most vital locales — Mont Saint-Michel. Dramatically situated on a hulking granite island, and surrounded by granite walls, this Benedictine abbey is truly unique. Mont Saint-Michel is so iconic that UNESCO deemed it a World Heritage Site. On a guided tour, wander the tangle of lanes while learning about this legendary site’s history.
Afterward, seek out a classic French meal at a nearby brasserie with provided euros. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to explore Saint-Malo and shop for local crafts.
Arrive in Poole, England, for Stonehenge and Bath excursions
Welcome to England! This morning you’ll visit one of the globe’s most enigmatic places: Stonehenge. This ancient site — now a UNESCO World Heritage Site — is part of vast complex of prehistoric burial mounds, earthworks, and avenues. To this day, it attracts modern druids for summer and winter solstice celebrations.
After lunch on your own, head to the town of Bath for a walking tour. You’ll visit the preserved remains of one of the ancient world’s greatest religious spas. The city’s unique thermal springs come to a head at these Roman baths, created circa 79AD. The baths still flow with natural hot water at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The architecture and lush pools are a true feast for the senses. Close your eyes and envision what life was like here thousands of years ago.
You’ll transfer back to the Ocean Explorer for a relaxing dinner on board.
Tour and sample the delights of Honfleur
You might’ve fallen asleep in Britain but today you’ll return to France! Enjoy a delicious breakfast on board this morning, perhaps catching the sunrise from the observation deck, before today's explorations.
Charming Honfleur is the focus today as you set off on a guided walking tour of this picturesque town — birthplace of the early Impressionist painter Eugene Boudin and a favorite of Monet, Courbet, and other artists, who maintained studios near the harbor. One of the beauties of the Normandy region is undoubtedly the seafood, and you’ll get a sampling during a delightful oyster tasting session! Normandy is responsible for 25 percent of all oyster production in France, but the region is also renowned for its cheese and wines, too.
Return to the ship for lunch, then enjoy an afternoon at leisure to wander Honfleur on your own.
Back on the ship, enjoy a lecture on Impressionism and an evening of jazz, courtesy of a local group who will join you on board after dinner.
Taste of Normandy tour, Étretat’s iconic cliffs
Your second day in Honfleur deliciously unravels with an included half-day Taste of Normandy tour. At the Fécamp Benedictine monastery, you’ll see how the famous Benedictine liqueur — with its secret blend of 27 herbs and spices — is produced. Afterward, a scenic drive along Normandy’s limestone sea cliffs brings you to Étretat. This scenic coastal village inspired many incredible artists, from the painter Claude Monet to the novelist/poet Victor Hugo. Absorb the moment, breathing in the sea air and admiring Étretat’s striking cliffs.
Another delectable lunch awaits you back on the Ocean Explorer, followed by an afternoon at leisure on board. Get in a workout at the fitness center, enjoy a good book on the sun deck, or simply relax in your room.
Fall under the spell of Bruges, a storybook city and UNESCO World Heritage Site
Enjoy breakfast this morning as the Ocean Explorer nears Belgium. After docking in Ostend, take a short motor coach ride to picturesque Bruges, one of Europe's best-preserved medieval cities. Experience this UNESCO World Heritage Site on a walking tour — with ancient cobbles under your feet and fairy-tale towers overhead. Step inside the Church of Our Lady to admire Madonna of Bruges — a small, yet remarkable marble sculpture by Michelangelo. This is one of his only works found outside of Italy.
After lunch on board, enjoy an afternoon at leisure to further explore Bruges’ center. Shuttle service is provided.
Later, attend a lecture to contextualize today’s discoveries in Bruges. Enjoy dinner on board tonight while sailing the evening away to Amsterdam.
Explore the highlights of Amsterdam on a walking tour
Set out into the Dutch capital today on a morning sightseeing tour before lunch back on the Ocean Explorer.
We've given you the afternoon at leisure to pursue your own interests in Amsterdam, with shuttle service from the ship into the city center. Ask the Concierge to reserve advance tickets if you wish to see the Anne Frank House or the Van Gogh Museum. With more than 1,200 bridges, 1,500 bars and cafés, 165 canals, and limitless charm, there’s plenty to discover in the city – no matter your whim!
Hear a lecture on the Dutch Royals tonight. After dinner, delight in local entertainment on board.
Cruise Amsterdam's UNESCO canal ring and visit the Rijksmuseum
Embark on a lovely canal cruise today along the city’s 17th-century canal ring. This UNESCO-designated site brings the perfect opportunity to photograph Amsterdam's charming houses and unique waterways. After your cruise, visit the renovated Rijksmuseum. Home to Amsterdam’s premier art collection, it features works by Dutch masters like Rembrandt and Vermeer.
You'll have a late lunch back on board, then enjoy panoramic sailing out of Amsterdam en route to Delfzijl. A scintillating lecture will add dimension to your Dutch encounters. Enjoy dinner on board with another presentation by our talented culinary team.
Arrive in Delfzijl, the Netherlands, and see how an ocean liner is built in nearby Papenburg, Germany
Breakfast on board precedes an insightful lecture, preparing you for the unique experiences that await you today.
On a morning tour to Papenburg, Germany, you'll visit the shipyard of Meyer Werft to see firsthand how massive ocean liners are built. Learn about the organization’s history, from the company’s humble beginnings in 1795 to today. You’ll see how they transitioned from much simpler ships to the gigantic vessels that currently voyage the oceans.
Return to the ship, noticing how distinct our intimate vessel is from those you saw at Meyer Weft. Enjoy a late lunch on board and take advantage of your leisure time to explore Delfzijl, Netherlands.
Attend an on board lecture this evening before dinner.
Enjoy Hamburg's UNESCO highlights and more
Enjoy breakfast and lunch on board as the ship arrives in the “Gateway to the World.” After the destruction of WWII, the city of Hamburg propelled the country's economic livelihood forward, as its port made it an indispensable trading hub. It's also central for modern-day Germany's media, publishing, and advertising. Your tour includes the Elbphilharmonie, Town Hall, as well as the UNESCO-listed Speicherstadt and Kontorhous districts. Take advantage of leisure time to shop and explore in Hamburg.
Dinner will be served on board, with the rest of your evening at leisure. Ask your Concierge for suggestions as to how to best explore Hamburg. Nightlife seekers will find St. Pauli ideal, with its myriad nightclubs and cocktail bars. The Reeperbahn district is another neighborhood famous for its nightlife, where you'll find more bars and clubs that once hosted the Beatles in their younger years. As John Lennon once said, "I might have been born in Liverpool, but I grew up in Hamburg." You'll see exactly what he meant tonight.
A scenic Kiel Canal crossing, with live commentary
Enjoy a morning at leisure before we set sail today. A scenic daylight cruise awaits you; cross through the Kiel Canal, a historic waterway connecting the North and Baltic seas. Completed in the late 19th-century, this 59-mile-long feat is currently the busiest artificial waterway in the world.
In the evening, gain more insight into this waterway’s history during a lecture recounting your canal crossing.
Spiritual touchstones of Denmark
This morning, the Ocean Explorer will approach the Danish port of Kolding via its long fjord. Often overlooked by tourists, Kolding is home to the 13th-century Koldinghus Castle as well as the celebrated Trapholt Art Museum. The latter is dedicated to the modernist furniture for which Denmark is renowned.
Afterward, set out to explore two of southern Denmark’s most remarkable religious landmarks – both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. First, view the 10th-century Jelling Monuments, Viking-era runestones with etchings depicting the Danes’ conversion to Christianity. Then, visit Christiansfeld’s planned Moravian Church Settlement, dating to 1773. A walking tour reveals its fascinating rise and fall. Get to know more of Kolding and its Old Town this afternoon by exploring on your own. If you prefer time to unwind, take advantage of the Ocean Explorer's countless amenities.
Tonight's onboard lecture delves into local culture before dinner, which heralds your arrival into Scandinavia.
Discover wonderful Copenhagen
According to the UN’s World Happiness Report, Danes consistently rank among the “the happiest people in the world.” Your panoramic tour of charming, friendly Copenhagen will give you a glimpse as to why.
At once cozy and elegant, tidy and colorful, hip and historic, Copenhagen is a multi-faceted city. Keep your camera handy on today’s tour, as you’ll see the famous Little Mermaid statue on her watery perch. Then, visit the Nyhavn canal district, where you will take a scenic boat ride, learning how Copenhagen’s residents make use of these historic channels. Pass by the towered and turreted Rosenborg Castle, juxtaposed by the dignified Amalienborg Castle. Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II resides at the latter, where you might catch the Changing of the Guards. You’ll also see Christiansborg Palace, home to the Danish Parliament; the popular pedestrian shopping street of Strøget; and Tivoli’s amusement park area.
From the renowned Noma restaurant to a bevy of Michelin-starred locales, food has quickly become Copenhagen’s main attraction. You’ll visit the Torvehallerne Food Market to see provisioners who keep local fare fresh and on trend. See what the Danes are cooking up, while savoring the freshest cuisine and interacting with the people who make the city’s gastronomy possible. With provided money for lunch, you can sample from among more than 60 stalls – selling everything from Danish smørrebrød sandwiches and sushi to cappuccino and quesadillas.
Cliff-top castles and Danish gastronomy of Bornholm
Explore Bornholm Island this morning, where the open fields and granite headlands get more days of sunshine than anywhere else in Denmark. Summer tourists are drawn in by more than the sandy beaches. On your island tour, 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, round 12th-century church to admire its architecture.
Taste the island’s burgeoning reputation as a food destination firsthand. Not only is its climate ideal for growing a common fig, known as the Bornholm Diamond, but the island also showcases the products grown on its own farms. You'll sample dishes at the Garden, a food and cultural house that reveals Bornholm’s exciting flavors.
After lunch onboard, relax in the evening with a fascinating lecture. Enjoy dinner and attend a port talk to learn about tomorrow’s explorations.
The Solidarity Route through historic Gdansk, Poland
This morning, the Ocean Explorer arrives in Gdansk. A powerful member of the Hanseatic League – the maritime organization that controlled much of medieval trade in the area –
the city’s prosperous legacy has been lovingly restored. On a morning tour, set out to explore the naval magic of Gdansk, whose shipyards served as the incubator in 1980 for the legendary Solidarity movement. This was the first crack in what would ultimately be the crumbling of the entire Soviet Union. Follow the Solidarity Route through this historic seaport, including Old Town and the massive St. Mary’s Church, one of the largest brick churches in the world. A visit to the European Solidarity Centre reveals this history in impressive detail. Enjoy 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.
Learn about “The Liberation of Poland” during a captivating lecture. Savor a gourmet dinner on board, as well as a port talk about your next destination.
The Hanseatic gem of Visby, Sweden
Enjoy breakfast as the ship drifts into Visby, a charming seaside town located on the large Swedish island of Gotland. Rightfully declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the extraordinarily preserved medieval, Visby was a key part of the powerful Hanseatic League. On your walking tour of the Old Town’s winding streets, wander through Almedalen Park, the Powder Tower, Fish Alley, and Visby Cathedral.
After lunch back on board, enjoy leisure time to return to favorite spots on your own. Perhaps you’ll admire the cathedral’s lovely stained glass and ornate altarpiece. If you wish, stay on the ship to use its amenities —reserve a massage, hit the gym, or shop in the boutique.
Listen to 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.
Enjoy the cobbled streets of Riga with an included organ concert and a special inaugural dinner
When you awake this morning, you’ll be sailing in the Gulf of Riga, headed for the Latvian capital of the same name. 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. After exploring, pause at St. John’s Church for an included concert on the church’s splendid organ that’s sure to inspire.
Tonight's dinner is a special one and takes you off the ship. Head to a celebrated local restaurant for a special inaugural dinner where you'll get a taste of traditional Latvian foods and watch a festive performance of traditional Rigan organ 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.
Riga at leisure
Today is free for you to explore as you please, and you can 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. Or, perhaps your Concierge can arrange a spa treatment or special dining experience onboard. After, participate in an insightful lecture on the Singing Revolution of the Baltic states. Our port talk previews our next exciting destination before another delicious dinner on board as the ship begins its overnight sail to Estonia.
Medieval splendors in Tallinn
Tallinn, one of the Hanseatic League’s trading centers, has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After breakfast, attend a lecture that will offer some insight into your day’s exploration.
After an early lunch on board, set off on a panoramic tour of the city. Two-levelled Tallinn has an enchantment all its own. Discover its charm from the winding streets of the Lower Town to the fortified Upper Town on Toompea Hill, with sweeping vistas from the Patkuli viewing platform. Visit the Dome Church and Opera House before heading to the Song Festival Grounds. Here, you’ll see where locals once raised their voices, singing in protest to banish the Soviets during the “Singing Revolution.”
Tallinn also boasts a thriving high-tech economy, earning it the reputation as Europe’s Silicon Valley. The young, entrepreneurial population supports a lively cultural and dining scene.
Enjoy dinner back onboard this evening.
Glittering St. Petersburg and Peterhof
Enjoy breakfast this morning as the ship arrives in 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 was quite successful; no matter how often you’ve been, you simply cannot get enough of this magnificent city.
Today’s full day of travel first takes you on a panoramic tour. See the palaces, canals, and churches in the heart of the city, followed by lunch in a local restaurant. Later, head to Peterhof, the spectacular “Russian Versailles.” Peter designed and built this place on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, with emphasis on its lush gardens and the Grand Cascade of fountains.
After tonight's sumptuous dinner, Russian entertainers will join you on board for a lively performance. Enjoy the region’s prolific, colorful tradition of music and dance as you’re docked for the night in St. Petersburg. Learn about tomorrow’s discoveries during a port talk.
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 lavish Hermitage Museum was founded by Catherine the Great, expanded under subsequent tsars, then grew exponentially as the Soviets seized scores of private collections. Immerse yourself in the masterpieces in a relaxed setting. Admire the vast 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. Hear another lecture in the lounge; then, a port talk will detail all that awaits in Finland.
Helsinki’s grand squares and sacred cathedral
Arrive in Helsinki while enjoying breakfast. Today you will take both walking and panoramic tours of the city. Whether you’re viewing Helsinki’s 1852 cathedral, crossing one of its many parks or squares, or pondering your reflection in the glass of a modern building, you'll find that there’s an appealing orderliness and grace to this northern capital. The panoramic city tour includes the bustling waterside Market Square, locally known 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 tower over you. This neoclassical wonder — completed in 1852 as a tribute to Tsar 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 rooftop statues of the Twelve Apostles and high perch remind Helsinki’s pious citizens of their ever-present devotion.
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 sails for Stockholm.
Disembark the Ocean Explorer and enjoy a panoramic city tour of Stockholm, including the Vasa Museum
Arrive this morning in Stockholm, Sweden’s sophisticated capital. After breakfast, you will disembark the ship. We hope you enjoyed your time on the Ocean Explorer, Vantage's first small ship ocean-cruising expedition vessel!
Get acquainted with Stockholm, which is spread across 14 islands knit together by some 57 bridges. Let its irresistible charms and remarkable history sweep you away on this cultural tour. Known as “Venice of the North,” you’ll walk through the Stockholm’s narrow streets of the delightful Gamla Stan, or Old Town. Admire Stockholm City Hall before strolling through the city’s attractive modern districts.
On an included tour, visit the Vasa Museum, where you’ll see the amazing “ghost ship.” This is the world’s only fully intact warship from the 17th-century. 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 on your own.
Explore Stockholm on your own
You'll have the entire day to take in the sophisticated pleasures of Stockholm. Perhaps you'll savor a lussekatt (a saffron bun) for breakfast, then stroll the striking archipelago’s endless waterways. Return to the cobbled lanes of the Gamla Stan, the Old Town, or visit the renowned Skansen Museum, an open-air recreation of historical Swedish homes.
Celebrate your journey this evening with a Farewell Drink and Dinner alongside your fellow expeditioners.
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.
Please note: Ocean cruising is not the same experience as river cruising; as such, you may experience fluctuating tides and weather patterns that may involve some rocking of your vessel. Itineraries will include all activities as planned except in extreme cases that can’t be controlled by your shipboard crew.
Important: Day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Cruise Director or regional expert.