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Discovering Scandinavian Islands & Capitals

This 15-night sailing from Southampton combines magnificent Scandinavian cities with scenic cruising, making for a rewarding adventure.

No Fly Cruise
15 nights

Mid size Ship Holiday
Tallinn, Estonia

Call us now on 01756 706500 to secure your cabin!

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Borealis will weave between rocky islands and forested islets as she cruises two of the world’s largest and most scenic archipelagos in Turku and Stockholm. She will also sail past the Olsen family home in Hvitsten.

There’s so much history to immerse yourself in, particularly in Tallinn’s medieval old town and Visby, with its UNESCO-listed city walls. The canals and royal palaces of Copenhagen await your discovery, while the Finnish capital presents opportunities to kayak within the Helsinki Archipelago or explore the islands and Suomenlinna sea fortress on a boat tour

FR394 Operated by Fred Olsen

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Discovering Scandinavian Islands & Capitals Itinerary

Day 1 - Southampton (UK)

Lying near the head of Southampton Water, a peninsula between the estuaries of the Rivers Test and Itchen, Southampton is Britain’s largest cruise port. It has been one of England’s major ports since the Middle Ages, when it exported wool and hides from the hinterland and imported wine from Bordeaux. The city suffered heavy damage during World War Two and as a result the centre has been extensively rebuilt, but there are still some interesting medieval buildings including the Bargate, one of the finest city gatehouses in England.

Day 4 - Oslofjord - Oslo (Norway)

Oslo is the capital of Norway and is also its largest city, situated at the head of Oslo Fjord and surrounded by hills and forests. Home to some 50 museums and full of galleries, cafés, a sculpture park and the Royal Palace, this vibrant city with its handsome 19th-century buildings and wide streets has much to offer. Its history dates back 1,000 years, and includes a rich seafaring heritage that ranges from the Viking era to Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon Tiki expedition. Discover more about this exciting city on our varied selection of excursions.

Day 6 - Visby (Sweden)

Gotland is Sweden's main holiday island, a place of ancient history, a relaxed summer-party vibe, wide sandy beaches, and wild cliff formations called raukar (the remnants of reefs formed more than 400 million years ago). Measuring 125 km (78 miles) long and 52 km (32 miles) at its widest point, Gotland is where Swedish sheep farming has its home. In its charming glades, 35 varieties of wild orchids thrive, attracting botanists from all over the world.

Day 7-8 - Stockholm - Stockholm Archipelago

Stockholm is a city in the flush of its second youth. Since the mid-1990s, Sweden's capital has emerged from its cold, Nordic shadow to take the stage as a truly international city. What started with entry into the European Union in 1995 gained pace with the extraordinary IT boom of the late 1990s, strengthened with the Skype-led IT second wave of 2003, and solidified with the hedge-fund invasion that is still happening today as Stockholm gains even more global confidence. And despite more recent economic turmoil, Stockholm's 1 million or so inhabitants have, almost as one, realized that their city is one to rival Paris, London, New York, or any other great metropolis.With this realization comes change. Stockholm has become a city of design, fashion, innovation, technology, and world-class food, pairing homegrown talent with an international outlook. The streets are flowing with a young and confident population keen to drink in everything the city has to offer. The glittering feeling of optimism, success, and living in the here and now is rampant in Stockholm.Stockholm also has plenty of history. Positioned where the waters of Lake Mälaren rush into the Baltic, it’s been an important trading site and a wealthy international city for centuries. Built on 14 islands joined by bridges crossing open bays and narrow channels, Stockholm boasts the story of its history in its glorious medieval old town, grand palaces, ancient churches, sturdy edifices, public parks, and 19th-century museums—its history is soaked into the very fabric of its airy boulevards, built as a public display of trading glory.

Day 9 - Tallinn (Estonia)

Estonia's history is sprinkled liberally with long stretches of foreign domination, beginning in 1219 with the Danes, followed without interruption by the Germans, Swedes, and Russians. Only after World War I, with Russia in revolutionary wreckage, was Estonia able to declare its independence. Shortly before World War II, in 1940, that independence was usurped by the Soviets, who—save for a brief three-year occupation by Hitler's Nazis—proceeded to suppress all forms of national Estonian pride for the next 50 years. Estonia finally regained independence in 1991. In the early 1990s, Estonia's own Riigikogu (Parliament), not some other nation's puppet ruler, handed down from the Upper City reforms that forced Estonia to blaze its post-Soviet trail to the European Union. Estonia has been a member of the EU since 2004, and in 2011, the country and its growing economy joined the Eurozone. Tallinn was also named the European City of Culture in 2011, cementing its growing reputation as a cultural hot spot.

Day 10 - Helsinki (Finland)

A city of the sea, Helsinki was built along a series of oddly shaped peninsulas and islands jutting into the Baltic coast along the Gulf of Finland. Streets and avenues curve around bays, bridges reach to nearby islands, and ferries ply among offshore islands.Having grown dramatically since World War II, Helsinki now absorbs more than one-tenth of the Finnish population. The metro area covers 764 square km (474 square miles) and 315 islands. Most sights, hotels, and restaurants cluster on one peninsula, forming a compact central hub. The greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which includes Espoo and Vantaa, has a total population of more than a million people.Helsinki is a relatively young city compared with other European capitals. In the 16th century, King Gustav Vasa of Sweden decided to woo trade from the Estonian city of Tallinn and thus challenge the Hanseatic League's monopoly on Baltic trade. Accordingly, he commanded the people of four Finnish towns to pack up their belongings and relocate to the rapids on the River Vantaa. The new town, founded on June 12, 1550, was named Helsinki.For three centuries, Helsinki (Helsingfors in Swedish) had its ups and downs as a trading town. Turku, to the west, remained Finland's capital and intellectual center. However, Helsinki's fortunes improved when Finland fell under Russian rule as an autonomous grand duchy. Czar Alexander I wanted Finland's political center closer to Russia and, in 1812, selected Helsinki as the new capital. Shortly afterward, Turku suffered a disastrous fire, forcing the university to move to Helsinki. The town's future was secure.Just before the czar's proclamation, a fire destroyed many of Helsinki's traditional wooden structures, precipitating the construction of new buildings suitable for a nation's capital. The German-born architect Carl Ludvig Engel was commissioned to rebuild the city, and as a result, Helsinki has some of the purest neoclassical architecture in the world. Add to this foundation the influence of Stockholm and St. Petersburg with the local inspiration of 20th-century Finnish design, and the result is a European capital city that is as architecturally eye-catching as it is distinct from other Scandinavian capitals. You are bound to discover endless engaging details—a grimacing gargoyle; a foursome of males supporting a balcony's weight on their shoulders; a building painted in striking colors with contrasting flowers in the windows. The city's 400 or so parks make it particularly inviting in summer.Today, Helsinki is still a meeting point of eastern and western Europe, which is reflected in its cosmopolitan image, the influx of Russians and Estonians, and generally multilingual population. Outdoor summer bars ("terrassit" as the locals call them) and cafés in the city center are perfect for people watching on a summer afternoon.

Day 11 - Turku - Turku Archipelago

Located at the mouth of the Aura River, Turku is Finland’s oldest city and one of Northern Europe’s most uniquely culture-rich and historic destinations. Founded in the 13th century, its architectural highlights include Turku Castle and the intriguing Kakola – a former prison, located on a hill that it is named after. Turku is the gateway to the beautiful Turku Archipelago, a utopia of around 20,000 pristine islands and rocky islets, covered with wild oak forests and offering scenic walking trails.

Day 13 - Copenhagen (Denmark)

By the 11th century, Copenhagen was already an important trading and fishing centre and today you will find an attractive city which, although the largest in Scandinavia, has managed to retain its low-level skyline. Discover some of the famous attractions including Gefion Fountain and Amalienborg Palace, perhaps cruise the city’s waterways, visit Rosenborg Castle or explore the medieval fishing village of Dragoer. Once the home of Hans Christian Andersen, Copenhagen features many reminders of its fairytale heritage and lives up to the reputation immortalised in the famous song ‘Wonderful Copenhagen’.

Day 16 - Southampton (UK)

Price Includes

  • 15-night full-board cruise on 1360-passenger Borealis
  • Coffee and tea making facilities in every cabin
  • Unlimited, self-service tea and coffee available 24hrs
  • A full programme of evening entertainment, including cabaret shows, comedy, dancing and live music
  • Full use of on board leisure facilities, including swimming pools, Jacuzzis and gym
  • A wide choice of engaging on board activities and lectures throughout the day
  • All UK port taxes (where collectable in advance)
  • Luggage porterage between your cabin and the drop-off/pick-up point
  • Formal welcome and/or Captain’s Drinks Party and Gala Buffet

Please contact us for the latest dates and prices

Call us now on 01756 706500

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