Join us aboard the Ocean Odyssey for this culture-rich voyage into the beguiling Baltic. Embark Vantage Travel's 5-star luxury vessel and call on captivating ports in six nations, from beloved cultural capitals such as Helsinki to smaller ports that only small ships like ours can reach — like the medieval port of Visby and charming Rønne, gateway to the seldom-visited “Gourmet Island” of Bornholm. Your Northern European sojourn is bookended by land stays in Stockholm and Copenhagen, two of Scandinavia’s most celebrated cities.
Along the way, our Cultural Discoveries pull back the curtains on centuries of history that span the ages. View the Viking ship Vasa at Stockholm’s renowned museum. During intriguing onboard lectures, learn about the powerful Hanseatic League that once ruled the seas, the liberation of Poland, and the region’s inspiring “Singing Revolution.” Experience — and taste! — the food cultures of Bornholm Island and Copenhagen firsthand during exclusive market visits.
In all, 24 included features and Cultural Discoveries bring you into the heart of Northern Europe. Join our dedicated onboard Cruise Director and Concierge during revealing tours along the Solidarity Route of Gdańsk, among the art nouveau treasures of Riga, and into the remarkably-preserved Old Town of Tallinn.
When you’re not exploring the beauty of the Baltics, indulge in the numerous amenities of the Ocean Odyssey. Treat yourself to a massage or a soak at the onboard spa, get energized in the gym, or sip a cocktail on the panoramic sundeck. Our small passenger-to-crew ratio ensures optimum service and its small size (just 77 cabins including a landmark 15 solo cabins) allows you to berth in many ports and walk right off the ship into the heart of your destination (please note: tendering is required in some port cities). If you want to explore more on your own, our complimentary onboard Concierge can help you customize your Baltic adventure.
If you're interested in this itinerary and want to revel in even more Cultural Discoveries and immersive experiences, check out our combination cruises Wonders of the World Cruise 2023: A 150-day Voyage from Australia to Sweden and Treasures of the Atlantic: England, France, Scandinavia & the Baltics. Explore more and save.
You'll already be in Europe, so why not add two extra nights in charming Copenhagen, a delightful city with so much to offer? Whether you’re sipping a steaming brew as part of the city’s intrinsic coffee culture, wandering the Norrebro neighborhood on your way toward the Nyhavn canal’s colorful row houses, or taking a dip in the outdoor canal pools at Islands Brygge, there’s plenty to do during ample free time. Plus, you’ll gain insight into local culture during an excursion to a charming fishing village. There is no better way to see more of Denmark at the best value.
Please note: The day-to-day itinerary for this extension blends in some features that would otherwise occur during the Copenhagen land portion of your main cruisetour program. This is done merely to ensure the most logical, relaxed, and efficient pacing. By the time you embark ship on the main cruise tour itinerary, you will have experienced all the main tour inclusions as well as your two extra extension days.
From its start around 1000 AD as a Viking trading hub and its heyday as a Northern Renaissance maritime power to its current position as Sweden’s cultural and political capital, beautiful Stockholm is the place to go for anyone wishing to understand Scandinavia. It’s also a clean, safe, modern, and delightful haven that is easy to explore, thanks to its design-forward infrastructure, cosmopolitan cuisine, and friendly people. Your centrally located hotel is the perfect base from which to explore this beautiful capital built on 14 small islands filled with parks, medieval squares, picturesque footbridges, and more. An included Swedish cultural tour and a food tour give you a jump-start on getting oriented in the Nordic world. Then, you’ll have ample time to explore on your own. This is the perfect way to enhance your Baltic experience at a tremendous value, in a region known to be costly to visit.
Disclaimer: The day-to-day itinerary for this extension blends in some features that would otherwise occur during the Stockholm land portion of your main cruisetour program. This is done merely to ensure the most logical, relaxed, and efficient pacing. By the time you embark ship on the main cruise tour itinerary, you will have experienced all the main tour inclusions as well as your two extra extension days.
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 Odyssey and join your fellow base travelers for the rest of the journey. All activities and inclusions will be covered; please see the pre-trip extension itinerary for details.
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 welcome drink and Welcome Dinner with your fellow travelers at the hotel.
Panoramic city 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.
Next, 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!
Exploring Copenhagen on your own, embark the Ocean Odyssey
You have the morning to uncover the delights of Copenhagen on your own. Perhaps you’ll explore the Nyhavn district with its character-rich boats endlessly bobbing in the harbor, colorful lines 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 as their primary mode of transportation. This afternoon, enjoy a private and exclusive canal boat ride and take in this lovely cityscape from the water. Don't forget your camera — this is an experience not to be missed!
Later, embark the Ocean Odyssey. Get settled in your cabin, then explore the ship's many amenities, observation lounge, and fitness center. Perhaps you'll visit the Concierge to plan a spa appointment. After, gather for a port talk to learn about our next thrilling Scandinavian capital. In the elegant dining room, savor a special Captain’s Welcome Dinner, the first of many sumptuous meals we've curated for this journey.
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.
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.
Relax this evening with a lecture on the region, then savor dinner and attend a port talk to learn about tomorrow’s explorations.
The Solidarity Route through historic Gdańsk, Poland
The Ocean Odyssey arrives to Gdańsk this morning. Gdańsk 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. 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 Gdańsk'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, then enjoy another gourmet dinner and a port talk about your next remarkable city.
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. Enjoy a "Hidden Visby" walking tour, including introductions to Almedalen, Powder Tower, Fish Alley, and Visby Cathedral. Plus, visit the Gotland Museum, which has keys to some of the most thrilling (and locked) historical buildings and ruins in Visby. Join our knowledgeable guides who will unlock the doors to exciting worlds where time has stood still. 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. 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.
Enjoy the cobbled streets of Riga with an included organ concert and a special 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 Vecrīga, 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 you.
Head to a celebrated local restaurant for a special dinner where you'll get a taste of traditional Latvian food 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 Vecrīga on two wheels using our shipboard bicycles. 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 for its remarkable preservation. 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 sumptuous dinner as we sail toward Scandinavia.
Helsinki’s grand squares and sacred Cathedral
Enjoy breakfast on board this morning, followed by an informative lecture, as you sail into beautiful Helsinki, Finland. You’ll have lunch on board before heading out on a panoramic afternoon tour of this magnificent city. 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 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. Dinner this evening will be on the ship, following by onboard entertainment.
Another day of Finnish discoveries in Helsinki
Relax with a morning of leisure and a delicious lunch on your ship before heading out for another day of exploration in Helsinki. You’ll have the opportunity to choose your preferred tour: the charming town of Porvoo or UNESCO-listed Suomenlinna Fortress.
Located just 45 minutes east of Helsinki, you’ll find the idyllic town of Porvoo. This is a haven of art, design, history, and architecture, surrounded by soothing nature. This is the second oldest city in Finland, best known for its cobblestone streets, charming cafés and boutiques, and vermilion-hued riverside warehouses — one of the most photographed landscapes in Finland. You’ll admire the colorful wooden houses, stroll along winding streets, and pop into a local café for refreshments. Following your guided tour, you’ll have free time to explore the many antique shops and handicraft vendors on your own before returning to the ship for lunch.
Your other tour option, Suomenlinna Fortress, is a cultural treasure. Located on a group of islands off the coast of Helsinki, you’ll board a local ferry for a short ride to the 18th-century structure, one of Finland’s most impressive UNESCO World Heritage sites. A guided walking tour will provide you with the history of this maritime fortress, originally constructed in 1748 by the Swedish Parliament when it was deemed necessary to reinforce Finland’s defences. Your tour includes admission to both the Suomenlinna Museum and the Ehrenvärds Museum, as well as cake and coffee or tea at one of the local cafés.
Following your tour, you’ll return to the ship for lunch on board and an afternoon lecture as you sail towards your next destination.
Welcome to Mariehamn, the heart of the Baltic Sea
Situated halfway between Finland and Sweden is the welcoming port of Mariehamn, the capital of Åland. Small in stature — but big in beauty — this tiny port town has a population of only 11,000 inhabitants, and is characterized by a hospitable islander lifestyle and a strong maritime culture. You’ll have a choice of two tours today: a panoramic tour of picturesque Mariehamn and its countryside, or a tour of the historically-rich municipality of Sund.
If you select the Mariehamn tour, you’ll drive by many of its major sights, such as the Åland Maritime Museum, the early 1900s-era sailing ship, Pommern; and the Sjökvarteret Maritime Museum. You’ll gain insight into the history and daily life of the residents that call the Åland Islands home, while heading south to the municipality of Lemland. Known for its 13th-century church — one of the oldest ever built — this minute town has a population of just over 2,100 residents. Get a glimpse of the golden era of Åland during a guided tour of the Skeppargården Pellas homestead, dating back to 1884. You will also enjoy a local treat when you visit Amalia Lemonade Factory for a tour and tasting.
Or, step back in time on an excursion to the island of Sund and learn about the history of the Åland Islands. You’ll start with a visit to Kastelholm Castle, a medieval fortification constructed in the 1300s when Åland and Finland were part of the Swedish Empire. Following your castle visit, you’ll head further east to the ruins of Bomarsund Fortress. Constructed in the mid-to-late 19th century, the fortress once functioned as both a defensive structure and a townlike settlement inhabited by military and civilian residents alike. You’ll conclude the tour with a visit to a local distillery before heading back to the ship.
Disembark the Ocean Odyssey and take a panoramic city tour of Stockholm, with the Vasa Museum
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 Odyssey, Vantage's second small ship ocean cruising 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. 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.
Explore Stockholm on your own
You'll have the entire day to take in the sophisticated pleasures of Stockholm today. Maybe you’ll 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 travelers.
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. 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.