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Itinerary Details

Itinerary Name:

Sweden, Russia & Finland, 10 Nights

Region:

Baltic Sea/ Scandinavia

Description:

Sail the Baltic Sea from Sweden to Russia. Visit Estonia, St. Petersburg & Finland, too.

Aboard:

Star Flyer

Stops:


Stockholm, Sweden

Saturday

Stockholm has been the cultural, media, political, and economic center of Sweden since the 13th century.

Stockholm's core, the present Old Town was built on the central island next to Helgeandsholmen between 1300 and 1500. The strategic and economic importance of the city made Stockholm an important factor in relations between the Danish Kings of the Kalmar Union and the national independence movement in the 15th century. During the latter half of the 20th century, Stockholm became a modern, technologically-advanced, and ethnically diverse city.

Stockholm is Sweden's financial centre.

Stockholm offers plenty of museums, amusement parks, theaters and festivals for tourists to enjoy.

 

Visby, Sweden

Sunday

It is arguably the best-preserved medieval city in Scandinavia and has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visby is a popular vacation destination for Scandinavians during the summer.

In the first week of July, Visby is the scene of the Almedalen Week, an important meeting place for everyone involved in Swedish politics. During the week, representatives from the major political parties in Sweden take turns giving speeches in the Almedalen park.

In August the tourist season is at its peak. In week 32 from Sunday to Sunday the annual Medieval Week is held. During this time regularly dressed tourists are outnumbered by people dressed in Medieval costumes. There are a variety of events: music, jesters, theater, a medieval market, jousting tournaments and much more.

 

Monday

 

Tallin, Estonia

Tuesday

In addition to longtime functions as seaport and capital city, Tallinn has seen development of an information technology sector in recent years.

Since independence, improving air and sea transport links with Western Europe and Estonia's accession to the European Union have made Tallinn easily accessible to tourists.

The main attractions are in the two old towns (Lower Town and Toompea) which are both easily explored on foot. In Toompea, the major attractions are the walls and various bastions of Castrum Danorum, the Russian Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the Lutheran Cathedral. In Lower Town, major sights include Raekoja plats, the town walls and towers, and St Olaf church tower.

 

Wednesday

 

St. Petersburg, Russia (overnight)

Thursday

Founded by Tsar Peter I of Russia on 27 May, 1703, it was the capital of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years. Saint Petersburg ceased being the capital in 1918 after the Russian Revolution of 1917.

During the first few years of its existence the city grew spontaneously around Trinity Square on the right bank of the Neva, near the Peter and Paul Fortress.

The Commission of Stone Buildings of Moscow and Saint Petersburg established in 1762 ruled that no structure in the city be higher than the Winter Palace and prohibited spacing between buildings. During the reign of Catherine the Great in the 1760s-1780s the banks of the Neva were lined with granite embankments. However, it wasn't until 1850 that it was allowed to open the first permanent bridge across the Neva, Blagoveshchensky Bridge.

In the 1920s-1930s the poor outskirts were reconstructed into regularly planned boroughs.

After the death of Stalin the perceived ornamental excesses of the Stalinist architecture were abandoned.

On the territory between the Neva and Nevsky Prospekt the Church of the Savior on Blood, Mikhailovsky Palace housing the Russian Museum, Field of Mars, St. Michael's Castle, Summer Garden, Tauride Palace, Smolny Institute and Smolny Convent are located.

Many notable landmarks are situated to the west and south of the Admiralty Building, including the Trinity Cathedral, Mariinsky Palace, Hotel Astoria, famous Mariinsky Theatre, New Holland Island, Saint Isaac's Cathedral, the largest in the city, and Decembrists Square with the Bronze Horseman, 18th century equestrian monument to Peter the Great, which is considered among the city's most recognisable symbols.

Saint Petersburg is home to more than two hundred museums, many of them hosted in historic buildings.

Saint Petersburg is home to numerous parks and gardens, some of the most famous of which are situated in the southern suburbs, including one of the largest English gardens of Europe in Pavlovsk.

Among the city's more than fifty theaters is the world-famous Mariinsky Theater, home to the Mariinsky Ballet company and opera.

 

St. Petersburg, Russia

Friday

Founded by Tsar Peter I of Russia on 27 May, 1703, it was the capital of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years. Saint Petersburg ceased being the capital in 1918 after the Russian Revolution of 1917.

During the first few years of its existence the city grew spontaneously around Trinity Square on the right bank of the Neva, near the Peter and Paul Fortress.

The Commission of Stone Buildings of Moscow and Saint Petersburg established in 1762 ruled that no structure in the city be higher than the Winter Palace and prohibited spacing between buildings. During the reign of Catherine the Great in the 1760s-1780s the banks of the Neva were lined with granite embankments. However, it wasn't until 1850 that it was allowed to open the first permanent bridge across the Neva, Blagoveshchensky Bridge.

In the 1920s-1930s the poor outskirts were reconstructed into regularly planned boroughs.

After the death of Stalin the perceived ornamental excesses of the Stalinist architecture were abandoned.

On the territory between the Neva and Nevsky Prospekt the Church of the Savior on Blood, Mikhailovsky Palace housing the Russian Museum, Field of Mars, St. Michael's Castle, Summer Garden, Tauride Palace, Smolny Institute and Smolny Convent are located.

Many notable landmarks are situated to the west and south of the Admiralty Building, including the Trinity Cathedral, Mariinsky Palace, Hotel Astoria, famous Mariinsky Theatre, New Holland Island, Saint Isaac's Cathedral, the largest in the city, and Decembrists Square with the Bronze Horseman, 18th century equestrian monument to Peter the Great, which is considered among the city's most recognisable symbols.

Saint Petersburg is home to more than two hundred museums, many of them hosted in historic buildings.

Saint Petersburg is home to numerous parks and gardens, some of the most famous of which are situated in the southern suburbs, including one of the largest English gardens of Europe in Pavlovsk.

Among the city's more than fifty theaters is the world-famous Mariinsky Theater, home to the Mariinsky Ballet company and opera.

 

Helsinki, Finland

Saturday

Helsinki is Finland's capital for business, education, research, culture, and government.

The biggest historical museum in Helsinki is the National Museum of Finland, which displays a vast historical collection from prehistoric times to the 21st century. The museum building itself, a national romantic style neo-medieval castle, is a tourist attraction.

The Finnish National Gallery consists on three museums: Ateneum Art Museum for classical Finnish art, Sinebrychoff Art Museum for classical European art, and Kiasma Art Museum for modern art.

Helsinki has three major theatres.

 

Hanko, Finland

Sunday

Hanko has a long and colorful history. Petroglyphs dating from the 15th century are carved into the rock near the port. The Battle of Gangut between the Swedish and Russian navies was fought near here in 1714. Fortification works on the Hanko Peninsula had already been started by the end of the 18th century, with the Swedish building 3 separate forts on outlying islands. The forts were seized by Russia in 1809, and were later bombarded by the Royal Navy in the Crimean War. The city was founded in 1874, following construction of a railway in 1872. Hanko was a major port for emigrants leaving Finland for North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the late 19th century, while Finland was still controlled by Russia, Hanko was a popular spa resort for the Russian nobility. Some of the buildings from that period survive, notably the Hanko Casino, a banquet hall of the spa. The Bengtskär lighthouse, not far from Hanko, at 171 feet is the highest in the Nordic countries, and is now a lighthouse museum. In the Moscow Peace Treaty that ended the Winter War on March 13, 1940, Hanko was leased to the Soviet Union as a military base. Soviet troops were forced to evacuate Hanko in December 1941. The Soviet Union gave up the lease in the Paris peace treaty of 1947.

 

Mariehamn, Finland

Monday

Mariehamn is the capital of Aaland, an autonomous region of Finland, consisting of 6,757 islands situated midway between Sweden and Finland. A youthful town, Mariehamn was founded in 1861 while Åland and Finland formed part of the Russian Empire. Maria, consort of Tsar Alexander II of Russia gave the town her name.

Mariehamn grew up round the farming village of Övernäs, situated on a peninsula. The harbor's built-in sheltered bays came to be of great importance. The streets of Mariehamn are wide and straight. A distinctive feature is the Esplanade, an avenue of lime trees stretching from west to east, from harbor to harbor.