During our in-depth Baltic tour, we sail aboard the 110-passenger Clipper Odyssey to nine countries: Scotland, Germany, Denmark, Poland, Lithuania, Sweden, Latvia, Estonia, and Russia. As we explore the Old Towns of Gdansk, Riga, and Tallinn, and tour the World Heritage Site of Visby on our Northern Europe expedition, the history and legends of the region come to life. Our Baltic expedition also includes visits to windswept Sylt Island, the charming villages of Bornholm Island, and stunning St. Petersburg with its opulent palaces, churches, and theaters, among other highlights.
Baltic Expedition highlights include:
- Spend two days in magnificent St. Petersburg—the Venice of the North—where we enjoy a guided tour of the incomparable Hermitage Museum, Peterhof, and other important sites, a must-see on any Northern Europe expedition.
- Step ashore in beautiful Visby, a World Heritage Site, this city of ‘roses and ruins’ was once the trading center of the Hanseatic League.
- Tour the historic districts of Gdansk, Riga, and Tallinn, which feature a treasure-trove of architectural styles, over the course of our Baltic tour.
- Discover the scenic beauty of Bornholm Island, graced with rolling countryside, charming villages, unique round churches, and the impressive ruins of Hammershus Castle.
- Enjoy a daylight transit of the 61-mile Kiel Canal, a fascinating example of 19th-century engineering.
- Tour the architectural masterpieces of Edinburgh—Holyrood Palace, St. Giles Cathedral, and Edinburgh Castle.
Zegrahm Expeditions, virtually everything is included in the cost of your Baltic expedition:
- All gratuities, from porters and ship’s crew to tour guides
- All accommodations, including pre-voyage hotel night
- Welcome dinner and orientation briefing to get to know one another and get a good sense of what’s to come
- Daily activity options, from botanical garden tours to museum visits
- World-class lecture and expedition team
- All meals onboard and with the group ashore
- All entrance fees, taxes, and landing and port charges
- All transfers on the group arrival and departure days
- Gift certificates for recommended expedition gear and reading materials
- Comprehensive pre-departure packet to prepare you for your Baltic adventure travels, with everything from currency information and weather to shipboard amenities and a packing list
- Medical and emergency evacuation insurance
- Dedicated Zegrahm program manager and air coordinator to answer all your questions
- Photographic journal upon returning home to relive your Northern Europe tour
USA / Edinburgh, Scotland
Depart on your independent overnight flight to Edinburgh. Transfer to our hotel and gather this evening for a welcome dinner and briefing.
Edinburgh / Leith / Embark Clipper Odyssey
After breakfast a city tour highlights sights along Edinburgh’s most famous avenue, the Royal Mile, including Holyrood Palace, stunning St. Giles Cathedral, and Edinburgh Castle. After lunch we transfer to the port of Leith to embark the Clipper Odyssey.
As we transit the North Sea our team of lecturers prepares us for the exciting cultural and historical encounters ahead.
Sylt Island, Germany
The beautiful, windswept island of Sylt is the northernmost point of Germany. The inviting sandy beaches are known for their “wandering dunes,” and the vast tidal flats that are feeding and resting grounds for migratory birds. After lunch on shore go for an optional bicycle tour from the village of Kampen, or enjoy free time to explore Westerland, the charming capital of Sylt.
Kiel Canal Transit
Early this morning we begin our transit of the historic 61-mile-long Kiel Canal and sail from the North Sea into the Baltic. Kaiser Wilhelm I set the first foundation stone in place on June 3, 1887, in Brunsbuttel and the final stone was laid by Kaiser Wilhelm II on June 21, 1895, in Holtenau. Today the Kiel Canal is one of the busiest man-made waterways in the world.
Ronne, Bornholm Island, Denmark
After breakfast we step ashore on serene Bornholm Island, endowed with sugar-white sand beaches, dramatic cliffs, thick forests, and heather-clad hills. Visit the ruins of Hammershus Castle, Scandinavia’s largest medieval fortress; the unique, round 12th-century churches, Osterlars and Nylars; and the charming half-timbered fishing hamlet of Gudhjem. We also visit art studios renowned for their glass blowing and pottery.
Today we enjoy a full-day tour of this city whose history spans nearly 1,000 years. We stop at the Solidarity Monument, in front of the Gdansk shipyard, then view the exhibition, Roads to Freedom, a fascinating audio-visual portrayal of those important, world-changing events. We enjoy a walking tour through lively Old Town with its magnificent collection of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque buildings and monuments. We pass through the Golden Gate and walk down Long Street to the 15th-century Palace of Artus, where Neptune’s Fountain commemorates Gdansk’s Hanseatic past. We also visit medieval St. Mary’s Church, the world’s largest brick church. After lunch there is time at leisure for further exploration.
Our day begins with a drive to the amber center of Palanga. A stroll through the Botanical Park with its 500 varieties of trees and bushes, takes us to the Amber Museum, housed in a 19th-century neo-Renaissance-style mansion. Afterward we drive to the Old Town for a walking tour. From beautiful Theater Square we explore the narrow streets that meander between the charming half-timbered houses and shops.
Visby, Gotland Island, Sweden
This morning we arrive at Gotland Island, the largest island in the Baltic. Its splendid city of Visby, a World Heritage Site, is famous for its intact medieval architecture, especially the 44 guard towers built as part of the city walls in the 11th and 12th centuries. We drive to Almedalen, a green oasis in the city center, then walk past lovely medieval granaries and the city’s oldest building, the Powder Tower. We visit the Botanical Garden, known for its exotic plant collection and take a ride up to a splendid panoramic viewpoint of the city and its spires. We continue our tour on foot along charming cobblestone streets, to visit the impressive St. Mary’s Cathedral and the Gotland Museum with its excellent medieval collections.
Our day in Latvia showcases the riches of this 800-year-old Hanseatic river port. Our walking tour takes us to multiple landmarks, including the Blackheads House, one of the oldest buildings in Riga; St. Peter’s Church, a superb Gothic masterpiece; the 15th-century Three Brothers merchant houses; and St. Jacob and St. John churches. We also visit the 13th-century Dome Cathedral, whose organ concerts are legendary. We continue our exploration by motorcoach, driving past lovely parks along the City Canal lined with the stunning Art Nouveau architecture built in 1899 during the Jugendstil movement. There is free time this afternoon to explore Riga on your own.
Today we set out for old town Tallinn, a visual feast of soaring spires, towers, and turrets. After a renaissance in restoration and reconstruction; Tallinn proudly proclaims itself the finest preserved city in the Baltic. In the upper Old Town we visit Palace Square and the magnificent cupola-crowned Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. In the lower Old Town we visit the Town Hall Square, once a medieval marketplace; one of the oldest pharmacies in Europe, founded in 1422; and stroll along St. Catherine’s Passage in the Latin Quarter. We also visit Kadriorg Palace and Park, built by Peter the Great as a summer residence.
St. Petersburg, Russia
We arrive in splendid St. Petersburg in the early afternoon and enjoy two days of exploration. Highlights of our visit include St. Isaac’s Cathedral and the Winter Palace which houses Catherine the Great’s incomparable Hermitage Museum. Enjoy an advanced entry and special
guided tour which includes the Gold Room—a dazzling display of jewelry, as well as the famous Scythian and Greek gold. Drive across the Neva River to the burial place of the tsars, Peter and Paul Cathedral, its 18th-century spire dominates the skyline. We visit the spectacular Church of Resurrection, and drive along Russia’s most famous street, the Nevsky Prospect, lined with magnificent palaces, churches, and theaters. A scenic drive takes us to the magnificent palace and gardens of Peterhof, a grand summertime residence built by Peter the Great.
Disembark Clipper Odyssey/ USA
After breakfast disembark and transfer to the airport for your independent flight homeward.
One of the finest adventure ships afloat, the Clipper Odyssey is a 110-passenger luxury expedition vessel, ideally suited for cruising in off-the-beaten-path locales. On all Clipper Odyssey expeditions, guests have access to a fleet of Zodiacs, which allows remote landings anywhere nature or curiosity dictates. All cabins on a Clipper Odyssey cruise have an ocean view, safe, minibar, individually controlled heat/air conditioner, in-room music system, and sitting area with sofa. Beds can be configured for twin or queen-size sleeping arrangements, and all cabins have an en suite bathroom complete with shower and small bathtub. In the comfort of their cabin, passengers can track the progress of their expedition on the Global Positioning System broadcast—a highlight of a Clipper Odyssey voyage for adventure-minded guests. Additional facilities include a gourmet kitchen featuring American and international cuisine, dining room, lounge, small library and gym, outdoor pool, and gift shop. An elevator services all passenger cabin decks. Ship registry: Bahamas.
All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.
Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.
Options and Extras
Flights are not included in the cost of expeditions; however, Zegrahm Expeditions has a fully-staffed air department that can assist you with flight arrangements. Since many of our expeditions embark and disembark from remote destinations, the airports that serve these areas often have limited carriers and/or daily flights. As such, our air team is well-versed in planning complex routings for our travelers.