Baltic Sea cruises offer numerous delights, from famous landmarks, world-class museums and galleries to well-manicured parks and cultural experiences. Here is a just a sampling of the wide range of shore excursions available.
Discover Stockholm’s waterways on a cruise: Stockholm, strategically built where the freshwater Lake Maelaren meets the Baltic Sea, shows herself from the most beautiful side when seen from the water. Often referred to as "the Beauty on Water", Stockholm is built upon 14 different islands and the mainland, all linked together by over 50 bridges. While cruising the glittering waters, pass many beautiful old buildings, new, modern residential areas, parklands and beaches. Experience the activity arising when going through a lock from the Baltic Sea into the lake.
Tour castles in Copenhagen: Your first stop will be at Frederiksborg Castle in Hilleroed—a magnificent Renaissance castle now serving as the National Museum of History. The visit also includes a peek into the small chapel with the oldest organ in the world still in use. Afterwards, continue to the charming village of Fredensborg for a short photo stop at the summer residence of the Royal Family -- Fredensborg Palace. Next, you head even further north to the town of Elsinore. The last stop on the tour will be a visit to Kronborg Castle, perhaps better known as Hamlet’s Castle, chosen by William Shakespeare as the setting for his play. This castle houses the largest banquet hall in northern Europe.
Venture away from St. Petersburg to Catherine’s Palace: It is about a 50-minute drive from St. Petersburg to reach Catherine's Palace -- truly an architectural masterpiece and a magnificent museum. Its 978-foot façade is an ornate masterpiece in white, gold and blue. Within the palace is a series of magnificent rooms, including the famous Picture Gallery and the Great Hall. You will also see the amazing Amber Room, stolen by the Nazis during the war, smuggled to Paraguay (legend holds) and lost forever. Now, Russian craftsmen have piece-by-piece reconstructed the dazzling panels of semi-precious stone, amassing a stunning, multi-hued collection designed to leave the observer breathless. Splendid gardens and “small” pavilions enhance the richly ornamented exterior of the palace.
See the best of what Tallinn has to offer: This tour starts visiting The Song Festival Ground, and continues to Pirita, the beach-side location of the yachting complex. A short drive follows to Tallinn's Upper Town. Pass ancient walls and tower gateways and disembark the coach at Tall Hermann Tower. Walk up Toompea Hill to the Palace Square, visit the Russian Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and continue along to visit Gothic St.Mary’s Cathedral. Descend to Town Hall Square. In one of Tallinn's typical Old Town restaurants, lunch will be served. Concert of old music will be enjoyed in one of the medieval buildings. Continue to Catherine's Passage where free time is allotted for a shopping opportunity.
Visit a Finnish countryside home in Helsinki: This tour includes visiting a family home in the Finnish countryside along with some of the main highlights of Helsinki. Head out of Helsinki and travel to the farming community of Sipoo, where you will have a short introduction to the oldest church in the community, St. Sigfrid’s. From here you continue to a close-by private family home and farm, where the lady of the house will welcome you upon arrival. Enjoy your time here as your gracious hosts tell you about life in the countryside. You will be served coffee or tea along with a typical Finnish pastry. Pass the colorful open air market, the Presidential Palace and Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral.
Explore Gdansk and visit St. Mary’s Church: Your guided walk of Gdansk begins near Golden Gate, an ornamental arch that allowed access through the medieval city's walls. Walk along Long Street, passing Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings to the Town Hall, Long Market and Artus Court, a 15th-century merchant's palace. Pause at Neptune's Fountain, a symbol of Gdansk's Hanseatic Past. Walk to a waterfront canal before turning up St. Mary's Street with its terraced buildings and quaint shops. The pride of Gdansk, St. Mary’s Church is the largest brick church in the world and can accommodate some 25,000 worshippers. The interior boasts 30 chapels, an elaborate altarpiece, a stone floor with ancient tombstones, and a 15th-century astronomical clock in the north transept complete with a zodiac and a calendar of saints.