Best of the Baltic: Jul 04—18, 2019
Aboard the Serenissima
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Plenty of culture, with some birding, are themes of our first-ever Baltic Sea voyage. Visit seven countries and spend time amid some of northern Europe’s most beautiful cities and landscapes.
Our debut Baltic Sea voyage will visit seven of the eight countries that border this eminent body of water: Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Denmark. Each of these lands is a repository of history, culture, and landscapes; together they offer a treasure-trove of centuries-old cathedrals, public squares, marketplaces, museums, and botanical gardens.
Traveling aboard the newly renovated Serenissima, we’ll trace a clockwise route to some of the continent’s most remarkable cities, from Stockholm and Helsinki to St. Petersburg, Gdansk, and Copenhagen. We’ll cruise along Riga’s canals to discover stunning architecture that spans the centuries; we’ll savor the Neoclassical elegance of Helsinki’s Senate Square; we’ll spend two days in St. Petersburg, in the shadow of Czarist Russia, with visits to St. Isaac’s Cathedral and the Winter Palace of Catherine the Great; and we’ll amble through the walled city of Visby on Sweden’s beautiful Gotland Island.
While the trip’s focus is largely cultural, birding options will be available at many stops, including an excursion to visit the famous bird-banding station at Vente Cape, Lithuania. During the course of the voyage, an intriguing array of bird species is possible including Tufted Duck, Little Gull, Rook, Blue Tit, Eurasian Treecreeper, Mistle Thrush, Yellowhammer, and others.
This departure is one in a series of collaborative endeavors with esteemed travel partner Zegrahm Expeditions. Rick Wright, who designed our Birds & Art program of tours, will lead this trip for VENT.
All nights aboard ship; very good accommodations and cuisine; primarily a cultural experience, but with opportunities for birding in select locations; cruising time mixed with many shore excursions; weather conditions range from sunny and beautiful to overcast, cool, and rainy.