D1 Hamburg, Gateway to the Baltic Sea
Arrive in the Hamburg area. Germany’s second biggest city (after Berlin) is also the country’s largest port. The city itself is wonderfully cosmopolitan, and is home to a fantastic variety of architectural styles and history. Dinner. Board.
D2 From Hamburg to Copenhagen (340 km)
Guided tour of Hamburg. Explore the old town with its 17th and 18th century houses – once home to merchants and traders, today many of them have been turned into pubs. Red brick is a common feature throughout the city, encapsulated by the Gothic church of St Catherine. Continue on to Lübeck. Free time for lunch. Set off for Denmark. Ferry crossing from Puttgarden to Rodby. Dinner. Board in Copenhagen.
D3 Copenhagen, a Capital of Peaceful Charm (340 km)
Guided walking tour of the Danish capital, with the town hall, the Little Mermaid statue, Tivoli Park and Rosenborg Palace. Free time for lunch. Set off for Malmö, crossing one of Europe’s grandest bridges, spanning almost 8km to link Denmark and Sweden. Continue on to Stockholm. Dinner. Board in the Jönköping area.
D4 The Real Sweden (360 km)
Depart for Stockholm. Free time in which to explore Gränna, a charming little village with cobbled streets and brightly painted wooden houses. Gränna is famed for its “polkagrisar”, a striped, mint flavoured barley sugar sweet. If you like, you’ll have the option of visiting a little factory where this delicacy is made. Continue to Vadstena, a pretty medieval town. Optional tour of the abbey, founded in 1360 by St Bridget, Sweden’s patron saint. Free time for lunch on the road. Dinner. Board in Stockholm.
D5 Stockholm – the Venice of Scandinavia (40 km)
Guided tour of the Swedish capital, built across fourteen islands and nestled between two vast stretches of water – Lake Malär to the West, and the Baltic Sea to the East. Explore the old town and its picturesque streets, the cathedral, the Royal Palace. Free time for lunch. Come mid-afternoon, board a ferry to Helsinki. Dinner and accommodation on board.
D6 Helsinki, Daughter of the Baltic Sea (40 km)
Breakfast on board. Mid-morning arrival in Helsinki. Guided sight-seeing tour of the delightful Finnish capital, the Senate Square, the Lutheran and Catholic cathedrals, the ice breaking fleet, and the Temppeliaukio ‘Rock’ Church… Free time in the afternoon to wander and have lunch. Dinner. Board in Helsinki.
D7 Saint Petersburg, Pearl of the Baltic Sea (380 km)
Depart for Saint Petersburg. Free time for lunch on the road. Cross the Russian border. Explore the old capital of the Tsars of Russia. Built in the delta of the River Neva that gushes towards the Gulf of Finland, miles and miles of canals and tributaries criss-cross over the city, lending it a wonderfully romantic atmosphere. Dinner. Board in Saint Petersburg.
D8 Saint Petersburg (40 km)
Day devoted to a guided tour of Saint Petersburg. Discover the Nevsky Perspective, the Admiralty, Saint Isaac Cathedral, Smolny convent, and the Hermitage Museum, home to an impressive art collection. Free time for lunch during the tour. Dinner. Board.
D9 From Saint Petersburg to Tallinn (390 km)
Boat ride along the canals of Saint Petersburg. Depart for Tallinn, a charming town with a maze of medieval streets that are home to corporate headquarters and Hanseatic houses. Free time for lunch on the road. Dinner. Board in Tallinn.
D10 Medieval Tallinn (320 km)
Following the city’s great walls, the vestiges of the medieval fortifications that once were, enjoy a guided tour of Tallinn leading you through the heart of the old town. Discover Toompea Castle, the Alexander Nevski Orthodox cathedral, the Dome Church, and the medieval town hall. Free time for lunch. Set off for Riga. Dinner. Board.
D11 The Paris of the Baltic Countries – Riga, the Hill of Crosses and Kaunas (320 km)
Guided tour of Riga : River Daugava and its bridges, the Art Nouveau district, the Monument of Freedom. Guided walking tour of the old town : St Peter’s Church, the Lutheran dome of St Mary, St James’s Catholic cathedral, the ‘three brothers’ buildings and the House of the Blackheads. Free time for lunch. Depart for Lithuania. Stop off at the Hill of Crosses near Šiauliu, an atmospheric site of great importance to Christian pilgrims, where thousands of crosses stretch as far as the eye can see. Arrival in Lithuania’s second biggest city, medieval and unique Kaunas. Dinner. Board.
D12 Lithuania : Medieval and Contemporary Capital (105 km)
Depart for Trakaï. Capital and residence of the great dukes in the 14th century. Visit the island castle that lies in the heart of Europe’s only national historical park. Free time for lunch. Continue on to Vilnius. The Lithuanian capital has retained all of its cultural heritage. Guided tour of Vilinius : St Peter and St Paul church, the Cathedral Square, the presidential palace and the site of the university, founded in 1570. Dinner. Board in Vilnius.
Breakfast. Free time in the morning and for lunch.