Colorful buildings in Nyhavn along the Waterfront in Copenhagen with several small ships in front
2 travelers walk toward old brick castles atop bright green grass under a blue sky on the Circumnavigating the Baltic Sea Cruise.
Brick castle with round pointy tops beside bright green grass with purple flowers in the foreground on a sunny day in Germany.
Several small houses and boats on various islands surrounding the Stockholm archipelago
Solo kayaker in yellow boat sits in inlet between smooth rock shoreline during the Circumnavigating the Baltic Sea Cruise.
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Europe Northern Europe Cruise

Navigating the Baltic Sea Cruise

Explore four countries that have thrived along the Baltic Sea and discover their intertwined histories filled with fascinating cultures on this Baltic Sea cruise. Sail among the picturesque islands and rugged coastlines of the Baltic Sea aboard 148-guest National Geographic Explorer. Follow in the wake of famous seafarers from the Vikings to the wealthy traders of the Hanseatic League. Explore these storied shores and witness the many cultural layers that have shaped this diverse region. Every day join naturalist or historian-guided hikes; or experiment with camera settings on a leisurely photo-focused walk. The encyclopedic knowledge of the historians adds insight, depth, and clarity to each destination and all the wonders contained while the naturalists describe the geology of these rich coastlines.

Discover beautiful islands of the Baltic Sea, like tiny Christiansø, whose fortress was a base for privateers, and Öland, with its Iron Age ring forts, windmills and dramatic cliffs. Halfway between Sweden and Finland, the intriguing Åland Islands—comprising 6,700 islands—were demilitarized after the Crimean War in the mid-1800s, and their deep connection to the sea is reflected in the friendly capital, Mariehamn. Explore elegant Lübeck, former capital of the Hanseatic League; wander through the medieval walled city of Visby; discover a side of Stockholm and Helsinki that few have experienced; and navigate tranquil bays and inlets teeming with biodiversity by kayak or Zodiac.  

Travel round-trip from Copenhagen visiting all the highlights in between. Explore round churches and charming fishing villages on the Danish islands of Christiansø and Bornholm alongside a National Geographic Photography Expert. Discover several UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the Hanseatic trade centers of Lübeck and Visby and the Swedish island of Öland. Delve into the captivating cities of Stockholm and Helsinki, discovering their timeless Old Towns as well as their flourishing contemporary culture. Navigate the wild Stockholm archipelago by kayak or Zodiac, and discover the unusual culture of Finland’s Åland Islands, an autonomous, Swedish-speaking region. And get immersed in the local cultures through musical performances curated by an onboard ethnomusicologist.

Read on for details about this trip, learn more about AdventureSmith’s Northern Europe cruises and Northern Europe trips.



Itinerary

Navigating the Baltic Sea Itinerary

This 16-day navigation of the Baltic Sea Cruise sails round-trip from Copenhagen, Denmark allowing travelers to visit four different countries throughout the Baltic Sea.

Navigating the Baltic Sea Cruise route map, operating round-trip from Copenhagen Denmark, with visits to Sweden, Finland & Germany.
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Days 1 - 2
Fly to Copenhagen, Denmark & Embark

Fly overnight and arrive in Denmark’s capital on Day 2. Board the ship and cruise the charming canals of this old maritime city.

Accommodations

n/a (day 1); National Geographic Explorer (day 2)

Meals

n/a (day 1); lunch and dinner (day 2)

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Day 3
Lübeck, Germany

Today, dock at World Heritage-listed Lübeck, once the medieval capital of the Hanseatic League. Take a walking tour of the old town for an insider’s perspective on its Hanseatic and Renaissance architecture, including Buddenbrookhaus—once home to Germany’s famed novelist brothers, Heinrich and Thomas Mann. In the afternoon, visit the four-masted steel barque Passat or enjoy a traditional German beer tasting in a centuries-old vaulted cellar.

Accommodations

National Geographic Explorer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
Christiansø & Bornholm, Denmark

Sail to the tiny isle of Christiansø, where Danish fortifications date from 1684. Join the National Geographic Photography Expert for a walk among the colorful buildings of this car-free island, home to less than 100 people and just one species of mammal: the hedgehog. This afternoon, cruise to Bornholm Island. Hike the coast trail to the clifftop ruins of the Hammershus fortress, or visit the island’s round churches and the harbor village of Svaneke, voted Denmark’s most beautiful town in 2013.

Accommodations

National Geographic Explorer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Kalmar Strait or Oland, Sweden

Enjoy a leisurely sail through the narrow Kalmar Strait, which separates the Swedish mainland from the island of Öland. Visit Kalmar Castle, a seaside Renaissance castle set on the site where the Kalmar Union was signed in 1397, bringing Norway, Sweden and Denmark under a single monarch. Or venture to Öland, a long island of limestone heaths and endless beaches that has long been a vacation destination for Swedish royalty. Its first inhabitants date back some 6,000 years. Learn about the Mesolithic and Neolithic sites on the island and discover its diverse flora and fauna while exploring the coast.

Accommodations

National Geographic Explorer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 6 - 7
Aland Islands, Finland & At Sea

Arrive in Mariehamn, the capital of Finland’s Åland Islands, an autonomous region made up of over 6,700 islands where 90% of the population speaks Swedish. Delve into the rich history of the islands, get a taste for their musical and culinary traditions and learn how the Baltic Sea has connected major empires throughout history. Set off on a hike along its shores before cruising into the Gulf of Finland. As the ship sails away from Mariehamn, relax on board, spending time with fellow travelers, learning photography tips from the photographers, or spotting sea life along the shores of Finland.

Accommodations

National Geographic Explorer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 8
Kotka, Finland

Dock in the port city of Kotka, which played a role in the persistent struggle between Sweden and Russia for supremacy on the sea. Visit the Langinkoski Imperial Fishing Lodge, a getaway for Russian Tsar Alexander III and his family during the late 1800s. Set out by Zodiac to discover shipwreck sites in Kotka harbor, and learn about the pivotal Battle of Svenskund in 1790, when the outnumbered Swedish naval forces defeated the Russian fleet and brought about the end of the Russo-Swedish War.

Accommodations

National Geographic Explorer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 9 - 10
Helsinki, Finland

Awaken in Helsinki, a stylish capital known for its creativity, architecture and vibrant contemporary design scene. Choose from several options here: a traditional Finnish foraging excursion; a visit to the World Heritage-listed Suomenlinna Fortress; or a trip back in time to the home of Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, one of Finland’s most notable statesman. Then explore in and around Finland’s capital: tour a grand estate in Porvoo; visit Seurasaari Open Air Museum, dedicated to preserving the traditions of rural Finland; or venture to Fiskars, a haven for artists where innovative cabinetmakers, glass-blowers and sculptors ply their trades.

Accommodations

National Geographic Explorer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 11
Exploring Coastal Finland

Today, explore Finland’s southern coastline, with its numerous bays, inlets and islands rich with natural history. Navigate the labyrinthine passages of Ekenäs Archipelago National Park by kayak or Zodiac and disembark to explore its rocky and windswept islets.

Accommodations

National Geographic Explorer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 12 - 13
Cruising Stockholm Archipelago, Sweden

Cruise the Stockholm archipelago en route to the Swedish capital. Stay docked in Stockholm overnight so you can enjoy this magical Scandinavian city at your leisure. The next day, marvel at an amazingly preserved 17th-century wooden warship Vasa, housed in Stockholm’s Vasa Museum. Take a walking tour of the Old Town and visit the Royal Armoury to see the sparkling costumes and carriages of Sweden’s monarchs.

Accommodations

National Geographic Explorer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 14
Visby, Gotland, Sweden

Spend the day exploring the World Heritage site of Visby, a former Viking settlement on the island of Gotland and one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Scandinavia. Stroll the old town’s cobbled streets and walk along its 13th-century wall. Then visit the Gotland Museum, where an incomparable collection showcases Swedish history, from eighth-century picture stones to the discovery in 1999 of the Spillings Hoard, a treasure trove of Viking silver. Alternatively, head into the countryside for a visit to a sheep farm, or join a local guide for a bike ride, enjoying amazing views of the medieval town of Visby and the harbor.

Accommodations

National Geographic Explorer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 15
Exploring Southern Sweden

Spend the day cruising through the southern archipelago of Sweden. Using the ship as a base camp, explore some of the archipelago’s many islands and inlets as the naturalists interpret the region’s varied natural history and geology.

Accommodations

National Geographic Explorer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 16
Disembark Copenhagen, Denmark

Disembark the ship this morning and transfer to your flight.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations; meals indicated; excursions; services of expedition leader, naturalist staff and expert guides; use of kayaks and bicycles; entrance fees; all port charges and service taxes.

Exclusions

Immigration fees; air transportation; extensions; personal items such as emails, laundry, voyage DVD, etc.; and insurance of any kind. Gratuities and alcoholic beverages excluded, except for all departures of National Geographic Explorer, Orion, Endurance, Resolution, Sea Cloud, Jahan and Lord of the Glens.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $2,500 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 120 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
180 or more days – $750 of deposit retained (may be applied to future trip by trip operator)
179 to 120 days – 100% of deposit
119 to 90 days – 25% of total trip cost
89 to 60 days – 50% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Vaccination Requirement
To join this trip, all guests 5 years and older must provide proof of being fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after your final COVID-19 vaccine shot). There may also be COVID-19 testing or other requirements to participate; your Adventure Specialist will provide details of current policies upon booking.

Arrival & Departure

The main Circumnavigating the Baltic Sea cruise begins and ends in Copenhagen, Denmark (CPH). Group flights are recommended for this cruise and your AdventureSmith Specialist can assist with group flight details. General recommendations are to arrive to Copenhagen anytime on day 2 of the itinerary. Disembarkation is after breakfast on day 16 of the itinerary. Plan to depart Copenhagen on the final day of the cruise no earlier than 10:25am. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the ship’s crew can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include walking, hiking, kayaking, inflatable boat/skiff excursions and photography.

Room Configuration

In addition to listed Solo cabin rates, select double-occupancy cabins may be available for single occupancy with a single supplement fee. If you would like to share accommodations with another guest of the same gender, we will be happy to try to accommodate you in select cabin categories. This program allows you to pay the per person double-occupancy rate whether or not a roommate is found. Contact AdventureSmith for further details and availability.

Families & Children

Children under the age of 18 are eligible for $500 off the double occupancy rate. Skilled staff members trained with National Geographic Education organize activities that inspire curiosity in young people of all ages. Programming for kids may include activities like photo workshops, journaling, scavenger hunts, Zodiac-driving lessons, hands-on nature and science programming and kid-friendly menu options.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

Rates are variable per remaining availability and are subject to change. Please contact AdventureSmith for the most up-to-date pricing.

May 09 - May 24, 2023
National Geographic Explorer • 16 days
From $19090USD
Per Person
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May 23 - Jun 07, 2023
National Geographic Explorer • 16 days
From $19090USD
Per Person
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Accommodation

Learn About the Small Ship on Your Itinerary

Expedition Ship
National Geographic Explorer

The National Geographic Explorer is a state-of-the-art expedition ship accommodating 148 guests in 81 outside cabins. She is fully stabilized, enabling her to navigate polar passages while providing comfort.

Deal

Current Deals on This Trip

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Offer expires January 31st, 2023
Groups Save 5% On National Geographic Expeditions

Save 5% when traveling as a group of 8 or more on National Geographic expeditions in this special deal.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

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Additional Travel Options Before or After Your Cruise

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10 - 17 Day Cruise
Norway's Fjords & Arctic Svalbard

Join National Geographic expert leaders aboard a selection of Nat Geo expedition ships to see the Arctic's unparalleled beauty, exploring where polar bears prowl and walruses haul out on rocky shores, or focusing closer to the Arctic Circle along Iceland and south to Scotland.

Special Offer
From $12000USD
May Jun Jul
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10 - 16 Day Cruise
Ancient Isles: England, Ireland & Scotland

Meander through English gardens, steep in Irish folklore and visit sacred islands, ancient abbeys and UNESCO World Heritage sites during this comprehensive England, Ireland and Scotland cruise aboard 148-guest National Geographic Explorer.

Special Offer
From $10050USD
Apr May Jun
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9 Day Cruise
Scotland's Highlands & Islands

This 9-day cruise highlights seldom-seen Scottish landscapes and top historical sights throughout the interior and along the coast. On the purpose-built Lord of the Glens ship, navigate through the canals that lead through the heart of the Scottish countryside.

Special Offer
From $9250USD
May Jun Jul Aug Sep
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Navigating the Baltic Sea Cruise

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