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Overview

An awe-inspiring journey

Some 1,500 years ago Vikings and their long ships dominated the Baltic. In the ensuing centuries, the great cities of the Baltic region have seen the rise and fall of empires, war and revolution; today they are the paragons of peace, prosperity and innovation.

Like the Vikings of yesteryear, we sail from country to country, absorbing the rich cultures and sweeping histories of five of the nations bordering the Baltic Sea. Unlike the Vikings, however, we travel in style and comfort aboard the all-suite Hebridean Sky. At the height of summer when daylight extends long into the evening hours, we’ll explore small villages, wander through gilded palaces, sail among islands of an archipelago and much more. It’s an experience not to be forgotten.

Dates

August 9–19, 2022

Duration

11 days

Price

From $8,590 per person

Trip size

98 participants

Minimum age

18 years

Faculty leader

A different kind of classroom

With renowned Stanford faculty and scholars leading the way, every Travel/Study trip is a one-of-a-kind educational experience.

Steven Pifer

Center for International Security and Cooperation

A retired Foreign Service officer, Ambassador Pifer’s more than 25 years with the State Department focused on U.S. relations with the former Soviet Union and Europe, as well as arms control and security issues. He served as the ambassador to Ukraine from 1998–2000.

Itinerary

History and culture on a cruise through northern Europe

Cruise around the Baltic Sea aboard the all-suite Hebridean Sky, beginning and ending in Sweden with stops in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland.

  • Stockholm, Sweden

    Upon arrival in Stockholm, check in to our centrally located hotel. Take a guided walk in Stockholm’s medieval Old Town, Gamla Stan—a colorful labyrinth of cobbled streets, alleyways, meeting squares and faded mustard- and rust-colored town houses—followed by a private tour and exclusive, Stanford-only welcome reception at the Nobel Prize Museum, which highlights the discoveries and creativity of the prize’s illustrious recipients.

    Accommodations:

    Hotel Diplomat

  • Stockholm, Sweden

    Today visit the Vasa Museum, which showcases a 17th-century warship that sank in Stockholm harbor on its maiden voyage and was salvaged and restored more than 300 years later. Then tour Skansen, the first open-air living history museum and zoo in Sweden, located on the island of Djurgården. Enjoy the afternoon and evening at leisure for independent exploration.

    Accommodations:

    Hotel Diplomat

    Included meal: Breakfast
  • Stockholm, Sweden

    Travel just outside Stockholm to the 17th-century Drottningholm Palace, long-time residence of Sweden’s royal family and the country’s first UNESCO World Heritage site. See the main palace building, the impeccably preserved Court Theatre with its original stage machinery, the sprawling formal gardens, and the impressive Chinese Pavilion, a summer palace whose architecture and design reflect the mid-18th-century European fashion for the “mythical” Orient. Following a lakeside lunch, embark on our ship, home for the next eight nights.

    Accommodations:

    Hebridean Sky

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • At Sea / Visby, Gotland Island, Sweden

    After a morning at sea, arrive at the scenic town of Visby on Gotland Island. Opt to visit one of Gotland’s medieval countryside churches, followed by a stop at a 5th-generation farm to taste locally produced cheeses and a visit to Gnisvärd Skeppssättning, an imposing burial place from the Bronze Age. Alternatively, take a walking tour along the narrow cobblestone lanes of Visby, Gotland’s only city and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit Almedalen, once the city’s medieval-era harbor and explore Fornsalen, Gotland’s museum of cultural history, which houses the world’s largest collection of Viking silver.

    Accommodations:

    Hebridean Sky

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Klaipėda, Lithuania

    This morning arrive in Klaipėda, Lithuania’s oldest city and its only major seaport. Drive along the coast to the town of Palanga, to visit the Palanga Amber Museum. Housed in the 19th-century Tiškevičal Palace, a restored Neo-Renaissance-style mansion located in the Palanga Botanical Garden, this branch of the Lithuanian Art Museum is home to one of the world’s largest assemblages of amber. Return to Klaipėda to explore its picturesque Old Town, where many timbered, German-style houses still stand along the atmospheric, cobblestone lanes that fan out from historic Teatro Square.

    Accommodations:

    Hebridean Sky

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • At Sea / Riga, Latvia

    Enjoy lectures on board this morning, then disembark in Riga for a walking tour of its historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site noted for its art nouveau and 19th-century wooden architecture. Attend a specially arranged folkloric performance that celebrates Latvian mythology and customs in song, dance and traditional dress. In the late afternoon explore Riga independently or opt to tour the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia, which documents the period from 1940–1991 when Latvia was occupied in succession by the U.S.S.R., Nazi Germany and the U.S.S.R. again.

    Accommodations:

    Hebridean Sky

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • At Sea / Saaremaa, Estonia

    Our lecture series continues this morning as we cruise to Estonia’s largest island, Saaremaa. Visit the lovely island capital of Kuressaare, with its magnificently preserved medieval castle and moat, then stroll through the streets of its enchanting Old Town. Drive inland to see a traditional windmill park, through countryside dotted with thatched-roof cottages, traditional villages and fields hemmed in by stone walls.

    Accommodations:

    Hebridean Sky

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • At Sea / Tallinn, Estonia

    Today we drop anchor in the capital of Estonia, Tallinn, which was the site of mass demonstrations and protests known as the Singing Revolution during its Soviet era; the movement resulted in Estonia declaring its independence from the U.S.S.R in 1991. Our tour of Tallinn’s Old Town, one of the most perfectly preserved medieval city centers in Northern Europe, includes the Russian Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the 13th-century Toompea Castle, now home to the Estonian parliament. After lunch at a local restaurant featuring regional specialties, attend a private concert of medieval music in a historic guild house and engage in a conversation about current events in Estonia with a local journalist.

    Accommodations:

    Hebridean Sky

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Helsinki, Finland

    Enjoy a full day exploring the compact city center of Helsinki, starting with a visit to the National Museum of Finland to tour its rich collections of archaeological and ethnological artifacts, which trace the development of Finnish life from prehistoric times to the present. Step inside the remarkable Temppeliaukio Church, also known as the Rock Church, carved out of solid granite with interior walls left in their rugged form, for a private concert of music by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. Enjoy a free afternoon to further explore Helsinki, perhaps venturing to Market Square, a bustling indoor-outdoor market in operation for hundreds of years, with stalls overflowing with fresh produce, meats, cheeses and local handicrafts. This evening we weigh anchor and head for the Åland archipelago, 6,700 islands situated midway between Finland and Sweden in the Gulf of Bothnia.

    Accommodations:

    Hebridean Sky

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Fasta Åland, Finland / At Sea

    This morning disembark in Mariehamn on Fasta Åland, the largest of Finland’s Åland Islands, where we’ll have three options for the day. Tour Mariehamn village, with its charming shops selling local arts and crafts, tree-lined avenues and unique gingerbread-style wooden buildings. Or take a panoramic drive beyond the city to the Jan Karlsgården open-air museum, featuring 20 buildings relocated from different parts of the island that give a sense of farm life in the late 1800s. Or enjoy a bicycle tour on the islands’ flat roads, riding leisurely past green meadows and across scenic bridges. This evening toast the end of our journey at a farewell reception aboard ship as we cruise toward Stockholm.

    Accommodations:

    Hebridean Sky

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Stockholm, Sweden / Home

    Disembark in Stockholm and transfer to the airport for flights home.

    Included meal: Breakfast

Trip details

Start preparing for the trip of a lifetime

From top to bottom, we’ve taken care of all the details, so you can enjoy a no-stress, worry-free travel experience.

Pricing

Secure your spot today

The price of your trip covers a comprehensive educational program in addition to meals, accommodations, tours and excursions. Continue reading for a full list of what’s included.

view of ship sailing with island in background
Category A

Forward cabin on Amundsen Deck with portholes and queen or twin beds.

Average square feet: 238

Cabins: 250, 252

Double: $8,590 per person

Category B

Standard cabin on Amundsen Deck with portholes and queen or twin beds.

Average square feet: 238

Cabins: 254-262

Double: $9,590 per person

Single: $13,750

Category C

Superior cabin on Byrd Deck with picture window and queen or twin beds.

Average square feet: 241

Cabins: 329-336, 338-348

Double: $10,990 per person

Single: $16,750

Category D

Premium cabin on Mawson Deck with picture window and queen or twin beds.

Average square feet: 221

Cabins: 416-428

Double: $11,990 per person

Category E

Corner cabin on Mawson Deck with forward and side-facing picture windows and queen or twin beds.

Average square feet: 224

Cabins: 414, 415

Double: $12,990 per person

Category F

Deluxe balcony suite on Scott Deck with queen or twin beds and a 40-sq.-ft. balcony.

Average square feet: 221

Cabins: 505-512

Double: $13,990 per person

Category G

Owner’s balcony suite on Shackleton Deck with queen or twin beds and a 83-sq.-ft. balcony.

Average square feet: 245

Cabins: 601, 603, 604, 605, 606

Double: $14,990 per person

Hebridean Suite

Hebridean Suite on Shackleton Deck with queen bed and a 101-sq.-ft. balcony.

Average square feet: 349

Cabins: 602

Double: $15,990 per person

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