Sailing from Newcastle
Newcastle • Copenhagen, Denmark • Riga, Latvia • St. Petersburg, Russia (overnight) • Cruising Stockholm Archipelago, Sweden • Stockholm, Sweden ⚓ • Visby, Sweden • Oslo, Norway • Newcastle
With its vibrant atmosphere, modern culture and beautiful architecture, Copenhagen is the essence of Scandinavian cool. One of Europe's oldest and most popular cities, Copenhagen is also one of the cleanest and most cosmopolitan. Its narrow streets are always busy with welcoming locals and are lined with colourful cafes, bars, shops and places to eat. Its bridges ring with cycling commuters and the pristine waterways make visiting this city a wonderful experience.
The historic centre of Denmark’s capital, an 18th-century rococo district, is home to the Royal Family’s Amalienborg Palace, Christiansborg Palace and Rosenborg Castle, surrounded by gardens and home to the crown jewels. The Little Mermaid sculpture at Langelinje Pier is a must-visit attraction too.
Nyhavn – Copenhagen’s 17th century waterfront and canal – is home to a number of wooden ships and many brightly coloured 17th and 18th century townhouses that have been converted into bars and restaurants.
Eight hundred years have shaped the unique appearance and rich traditions of Latvia’s capital, Riga. The Gothic spires that dominate its skyline imply a sombre heart, but the rich Art Nouveau spirit of this diverse city, the largest of all three Baltic capitals, is a delight to discover.
Set at the mouth of the River Daugava, the cultural centre of Riga has been an important centre for trade and finance over the centuries, and boasts fine examples of architecture, museums and concert halls. The city’s modern urban structures blend seamlessly with medieval castles, churches and the wooden buildings of its medieval Old Town. The pedestrian-only Old Town – now a UNESCO World Heritage – has many shops and restaurants and is home to the bustling Livu Square.
The jewel in the Baltic crown and Russia's most European city, elegant St Petersburg was the imperial capital for two centuries, and Tsar Peter the Great's 'Window on the West'. The sheer grandeur of the city, and its revolutionary spirit, never fail to impress.
Founded in 1703 by Peter the Great – immortalised by the city's iconic Bronze Horseman statue – St Petersburg remains Russia's cultural centre. The Mariinsky Theatre hosts world-class opera and ballet, and the State Russian Museum showcases a wide collection of superb Russian art.
St Petersburg is utterly captivating, with baroque palaces, wide elegant streets, ornate bridges and broad curving canals – the city is built on 40 islands at the mouth of the River Neva. The main street, Nevsky Prospekt, is 5km long and lined with cafés, bars and restaurants mixed in with upmarket hotels and sumptuous shops.
A cruise through the mesmerising Stockholm Archipelago is always a memorable experience. En route to Stockholm you'll pass by and between some 30,000 beautiful islands and islets, taking in unforgettable views from the decks of your smaller cruise ship. Each rocky isle is unique; some are inhabited and feature ancient villages and colourful wooden houses, others are untouched and boast rugged woodland, craggy cliffs and sandy beaches. This ensures that there's always something new to see, whichever way you look.
Sweden’s beautiful capital owes much of its appeal to its unique location. Spread across 14 islands at the head of a vast archipelago that stretches out into the Baltic, Stockholm’s swathe of parks, gardens and canals are a joy to discover via the city’s large network of bridges.
Founded over 700 years ago, the city’s harbour is the epitome of elegance and Stockholm’s history is writ large across its wide boulevards. Gamla Stan, Stockholm's charming Old Town district, is home to historic, ochre-coloured buildings and monuments. Dating back to the 13th century, the island is surrounded by water and offers beautiful waterfront views. Along its divine cobbled streets, the 13th century Storkyrkan Cathedral, the gorgeous Riddarholm Church and the Nobel Prize Museum can all be found and appreciated.
Located on the Swedish island of Gotland, the UNESCO World Heritage Town of Visby is one of the most remarkable in Scandinavia. Known for its incredible scenic beauty and stunning historic sites, this former Hanseatic City has to be seen to be truly appreciated. The “City of Roses and Ruins” is like a living museum, and is renowned for its well-preserved medieval wall and defensive towers. Uncovering the 12th century Gunpowder Tower, Love Gate and Långa Lisa – the wall’s tallest tower, is highly recommended. Visby’s wonderful Old Town is home to 15 of Visby’s 17 medieval churches, and the Burmeister House – the town’s oldest merchant house – St. Mary’s Cathedral, and a beautiful botanical garden can also be found within its ancient walls. The main square, Stora Torget, has cobblestone streets lined with charming cafés and restaurants.
Oslo, the capital and largest city of Norway, is one of Scandinavia’s most historic, interesting and welcoming destinations. Surrounded by mountains and its own fjord, this compact and cultured city is both easy and fun to explore on foot.
Oslo’s two most famous sons, Edvard Munch and Henrik Ibsen, are celebrated across the city – all part of the contemporary cultural experience. The National Gallery is home to Edvard Munch’s iconic ‘The Scream’, along with works by other European artists from Manet to Picasso, and the Munchmuseet contains over 5,000 works that Munch left to the city of Oslo.
Exploring one of Oslo’s many museums, uncovering its booming art scene at any number of its commercial galleries or simply marvelling at the extraordinary architecture that fills the skyline are all highlights of this fine city. The fabulous Viking Ship Museum has three ships recovered from royal burial mounds in the Oslofjord, while the medieval Akershus Castle that dominates the harbour front is well worth visiting. Vigelandsparken Sculpture Park – one of Oslo’s must-visit attractions, is a Norwegian institution and home to more than 200 bronze, granite and wrought iron sculptures from Gustav Vigeland.
At a glance....
Balmoral is Fred. Olsen's largest and newest cruise ship, named after the Scottish home of the Royal Family. Still smaller than most cruise ships today, there are 710 cabins and suites and generous public space for the 1,300 guests on board.
|Passengers||1350 Standard Occupancy|
|Beam (width)||28.2 m|