Baltic Brilliance - Copenhagen to Oslo
Day 1 - Copenhagen See another side of this lovely city with a cruise along its charming canals. Visit the quaint old harbor at Nyhavn and beautiful Rosenborg Castle and, of course, the famed statue of the Little Mermaid. Or venture into the countryside and enjoy its panoramic vistas, fairy tale castles and the village of Fredensborg.
Day 2 - Visby Enjoy the lovely countryside beyond the towered walls and take in the view of this former Hanseatic League town before exploring its narrow, winding lanes, marvelous ruined medieval churches and impressive St. Mary's Cathedral. Or visit an intriguing Bronze Age burial in the midst of farmland and take in the cliff-top view of the precipitous coastline.
Day 3 - Stockholm Spend a marvelous day discovering this lovely city and its beautiful buildings. Visit the charming Old Town, medieval Gamla Stan, the elegant royal palace, the wonderful parks and the impressive Vasa, the magnificently restored 17th century warship that sank in the harbor on her maiden voyage.
Day 4 - Helsinki Admire the city's stunning modern architecture, visit its lovely parks and bustling open-air market. Take a harbor cruise past forests, beaches, villas and a ruined Suomenlinna fortress that spans five islands. Or visit historic, colorful Porvoo, Finland's second oldest town.
Day 5 - St Petersburg Explore breathtaking St. Petersburg and cruise its canals. Visit the Peter and Paul Fortress, the fabulous onion-domed cathedrals and the palaces - from the immense Winter Palace, now the Hermitage Museum, to the fabled Catherine's Palace and Peterhof outside the city. Enjoy an evening of ballet or traditional Russian song and dance or take a day trip to Moscow.
Day 6 - St Petersburg Explore breathtaking St. Petersburg and cruise its canals. Visit the Peter and Paul Fortress, the fabulous onion-domed cathedrals and the palaces - from the immense Winter Palace, now the Hermitage Museum, to the fabled Catherine's Palace and Peterhof outside the city. Enjoy an evening of ballet or traditional Russian song and dance or take a day trip to Moscow.
Day 7 - Tallinn Step back in time as you walk through this beautifully preserved medieval town and discover its upper and lower levels, the guild houses, the churches and squares, the famous apothecary shop and the exquisite town hall. See delightful parks, Baroque palaces and a ruined 15th century convent. Or visit a lovely recreated rural Estonian village by the sea.
Day 8 - Riga Once called the "Paris of the Baltics," Riga has regained its status as a cosmopolitan capital with dozens of museums and arguably Europe's most exceptional Art Nouveau architecture. Founded in 1201, Riga boasts a magnificent Old Town called "Vecriga." Riga Castle, the residence of Latvia's president, was built on the site of the original settlement next to the Daugava River. St. Mary's Dome Cathedral is renowned for its stained glass windows and massive 19th century organ comprised of more than 6,500 pipes. Outside the city limits, traditional Latvian life is on display in outdoor exhibits at the Open Air Ethnographic Museum.
Day 9 - Cruising the Baltic Sea
Day 10 - Gothenburg One look at the abundance of canals and gabled houses in Gothenburg, and it's clear that the Dutch founded this robust city on the Göta River. That was in 1621, close to the time that mighty Elfsborg Fortress was built at the harbor's mouth. Touring the citadel is fascinating, as are the 17th-century Crown House, Maritiman ship museum, and Gothenburg Art Museum, with masterpieces from Edvard Munch to Picasso. Gothenburg is one of Sweden's greenest cities, compliments of parks such as Slottsskogen. For a vibrant atmosphere, walk along Kungsportavenyn, Gothenburg's main street, which is a hive of cafés, boutiques and plazas.
Day 11 - Oslo Overlooking a gorgeous fjord, Norway's capital and largest city simply radiates with natural beauty and sophistication. Oslo's rich seafaring history is on display at the Viking Ships Museum, rivaled only by the Kon-Tiki Museum, which holds the balsawood raft that Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl used to sail from Peru to Polynesia. History aside, Oslo exudes a love of the outdoors in city parks like Vigeland, which is adorned with over 200 life-size sculptures by artist Gustav Vigeland. Much of Oslo is heavily forested with pines, making it one of Europe's greenest cities.
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