Hidden Baltic & Scandinavia (Serenissima)

Hidden Baltic & Scandinavia (Serenissima)

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The long sunny days of a Baltic summer are legendary and the perfect time to witness the spectacle of colour and joy that the sun brings to this northern world which, bordered by diverse kingdoms and republics in a relatively contained area, is ideally suited to exploration by ship. Whether it be the grandeur of St Petersburg and its surrounding country estates, the fascinating Baltic states and their capitals with marvellously untouched Medieval quarters or the sheer delight of small Scandinavian ports with their unique architecture, the Baltic offers a real cornucopia of delights which are all accessible from the comfort of the MS Serenissima.

With over twenty years of experience operating cruises in this region, we believe we have the most perfectly balanced cruise. Whilst not forsaking our old time favourites such as Tallinn and St Petersburg we also visit some smaller ports such as Kragero and Fredericia which the big cruise vessels are unable to access. These well-hidden treasures include the islands of Christianso and Bornholm in Denmark, Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland, a UNESCO World Heritage Site fortified by wellpreserved 13th century walls and Kotka in Finland, a delightful town with a rich maritime heritage. Added to this, joining you on board will be knowledgeable Guest Speakers who, together with the informative local guides, will add much to your experience and knowledge of this fascinating region.

Trip Name
Hidden Baltic & Scandinavia (Serenissima)
Vessel Type: Small Ship Length: 87 metres Passenger Capacity: 95 Built / refurbished: 1960 / 2013 / 2019 MS Serenissima is a charming vessel and one of her best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During a major refit the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a Gustavian style interior. This bright Swedish 18th century influenced, country house style works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels. The vessel is equipped with a fleet of Zodiac landing craft allowing us to visit remote places where normal tender arrangements are not possible. The European Captain, Officers, Expedition Staff, and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming and dedicated to discovery and relaxation. AIR-CONDITIONING The ship is air conditioned throughout. Please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning. DAILY PROGRAMME A Daily Programme, detailing the following day’s arrangements as well as any specific information about the day’s activities is produced onboard and delivered to your cabin each evening during the turn down service. DINING, DRINKING AND DIETARY REQUIREMENTS The Venice Restaurant onboard serves international cuisine and accommodates all guests at a single open seating. Tables seat 4 to 10 diners. In addition, there is an outside dining area for when the weather and itinerary permit. Breakfast and lunch are both buffet style, dinner is waiter service only. Complimentary (red and white) house wine, beer and soft drinks are included with lunch and dinner. Bar drinks and other beverages with meals are not included; these may be purchased onboard and paid for at the end of your cruise. Complimentary tea and coffee are available between 07:00 hours and 23:00 hours at the tea and coffee station located in the Andrea lounge. Please advise of any special dietary requests in advance. DISABLED FACILITIES The ship can accommodate passengers with mobility restrictions and wheelchair dependent passengers in cabin 407, which has a wider door and no step into/out of the bathroom and shower area. There is a lift serving decks 3 to 6, but there is no stair lift. DOCTOR A medical doctor is available on board 24 hours a day. A fee is charged for any consultations and medication prescribed. Please ensure you carry adequate supplies of any regular medications you may require.  ELECTRICITY The electrical outlets in the cabins and public areas are 220V and take a two-round-pin plug (as in continental Europe). There is a 110/220V, 60Hz outlet for electric shavers in the bathroom. We recommend that you bring an international adaptor. GRATUITIES Gratuities to crew and whilst on excursions are included in the cost of your holiday. INTERNET The onboard library has a computer equipped for email/internet access and Wi-Fi access is available in public areas, although you will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone, and charges apply – 100mb for €15 Euros, or 500mb for €25 Euros. Please note that connection is dependent on weather conditions and location. LANGUAGE All members of the crew speak English. MONEY The following payment methods are accepted for settlement of shipboard accounts: Cash (Euros or British Pounds), Credit Card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express), Debit Card (MasterCard and Visa). Please note that personal cheques and Travellers’ Cheques are not accepted. PUBLIC AREAS • Andrea Lounge (on Deck 5). The bar is open from 11.00 until 24.00. • Harald Jarl Lounge (on Deck 5). There is a small library here with books and games. There is also a computer for public use (charges apply for internet access) • Lido area (on Deck 5) with a Jacuzzi and fitness room with two running machines • Observation Deck (access from Deck 5 lido area) • Deck 5 and Deck 6 outside seating areas SNORKELLING Snorkelling equipment is kept onboard. Please note that there is no snorkelling from Zodiacs. All snorkelling stops will operate from a beach.  TELEVISION The ship is equipped with a satellite TV system which receives 15 channels. TV reception depends on the satellite dish and on occasion it may not be possible to receive a signal. There is one central video channel on which it is possible to listen to the lectures delivered in the Andrea Lounge. There is also a channel for the ship’s camera located in front of the ship. ZODIACS Some destinations may require the use of Zodiacs to go ashore. These are usually on expedition cruises though may sometimes be used on destination cruises. 


Day 1 - Day 1 - Aberdeen, Scotland
Embark the MS Serenissima this afternoon. Transfers will be provided from Aberdeen Airport and Aberdeen Railway Station at a fixed time. Sail this evening.
Day 2 - Day 2 - At Sea.
Relax on board as we sail across the North Sea to Norway. Maybe join a lecture in the lounge or find a spot on deck.
Day 3 - Day 3 - Kragero, Norway.
Surrounded by nearly 500 islands and skerries, Kragero is a charming town in the region of Telemark and a popular summer retreat. This morning we will head inland to the Telemark Canal. When completed in 1892, after five years of construction, it was described as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’. We will join one of the local boats as they transit the 18 locks, lifting the ship 72 metres above sea level and enjoy the changing scenery as we travel from the sea to the mountains. Returning to Kragero for lunch we have the afternoon free to explore the downtown area.
Day 4 - Day 4 - Skagen, Denmark
On our morning excursion we begin with a visit to the biggest attractions of this region, Grenen. Denmark’s northernmost point hosts a unique natural phenomenon. Here two seas, the Kattegat and the Skagerak, meet. Grenen is a spit formation consisting of deposited sand and gravel carried along by the strong currents and over the last 100 years, this barrier has increased in length by one kilometre. As the large beach expanse, Grenen is constantly moving, there are frequent occurrences of lagoons. From here we continue to the Sanded Church. The church, named after Saint Laurence, the seafarer’s and Skagen’s patron saint, was probably built in the 14th century and was at that time the largest church in the region. The sand drift began in the 16th century and reached the church at the end of the 18th century. In the end, the congregation had to dig their way into the church. The struggle against the sand continued until 1795 when the church was closed by royal decree. Today, only the tower of the ancient church is visible. We end our excursion with a drive to the old quarters of Skagen before returning to the vessel and, after lunch on board, the remainder of the afternoon is free to explore independently.
Day 5 - Day 5 - Fredericia, Denmark.
Arrive today in the heart of Denmark as we dock in the historic port of Fredericia. Built in 1650 by King Frederick III, the city still has some of Northern Europe’s best preserved ramparts which today form a park around the city. Fredericia’s central location opens up the regions of Jutland and Odense and this morning we have a choice of excursions. Either choose to drive to the west coast of Jutland where, during World War II, the German forces constructed 5000 kilometres of coastal fortifications and over 200 bunkers to protect from allied invasions. One of the largest bunkers was at Tirpitz and today it has been developed into a museum showcasing the impact of the war on the region but also the local history. Alternatively, visit the fairytale Egeskov Castle. Built in 1554 it is one of the best preserved Renaissance moat castles in Europe and is surrounded by one of Denmark’s finest gardens. Spend the morning exploring the rooms of the castle and see remarkable Titania’s Palace dolls house, made up of over 3000 individual components or wandering through the gardens paths. Return to the ship for lunch and the afternoon is free to explore independently.
Day 6 - Day 6 - Wismar, Germany.
The Medieval town of Wismar was a major trading centre of the Hanseatic League in the 14th and 15th centuries before coming under Swedish rule in the 17th century for approximately 200 years. Today the small, photogenic city is a lovely place to explore the cobbled streets and picturesque old harbour. It is also our base for a visit to one of Germany’s most decorative castles in Schwerin, the capital of Mecklenburg. After a relaxing lake cruise we will visit the grand residence of the former Dukes of Mecklenburg gaining an insight into the ancestors and royalty of Mecklenburg Western Pomerania. While here, enjoy viewing the lovely painted oil canvasses and admire intricate wooden carvings and inlays in this fairy-tale castle museum. We return to the ship for lunch followed by an afternoon at leisure in Wismar.
Day 7 - Day 7 - Bornholm & Christianso, Denmark.
Over breakfast we arrive on Bornholm. Peaceful and scenic, Bornholm Island is a mixture of wheat fields, forest and an attractive coast dotted with fishing villages. On an island drive we will see a 12th century round church and visit the town of Gudhjen where we can sample the smoked herring. Also see Hammerhus Castle offering fantastic views of the island’s rugged coastline. Over lunch we sail to the tiny island of Christianso. Here, we see the old fortress of King Christian V and learn about the island’s past including its history as an island prison.Please note that we will be at anchor today and will use Zodiacs to go ashore should weather conditions permit.
Day 8 - Day 8 - Kalmar, Sweden
We arrive in Sweden at one of the country’s oldest cities and ports of Kalmar where we will berth close to the well preserved historical centre. A morning tour will include the Kalmar Castle, one of the best preserved Renaissance castles in Scandinavia and a stronghold of royal power. Originating from the 12th century, the current building represents the rule of the Vasa Kings who rebuilt it in the style of a Renaissance palace. Alternatively, join a visit to the UNESCO island of Oland. Visit Stora Alvaret, a giant limestone plateau containing ancient remains, unique flora and fauna as well as the royal palace of Solliden. Built by Queen Victoria of Sweden in 1903, it is still used as a summer retreat by the Swedish Royal Family and we will have time to explore the extensive gardens and pavilion. The afternoon is free to wander the cobbled streets of the old town.
Day 9 - Day 9 - Visby.
Today we visit this once important Hanseatic port. Best explored on foot, the beautifully preserved Medieval town snuggles inside 13th century walls, housing 44 watchtowers. In Viking times and several centuries after, the Swedish island of Gotland and especially the city of Visby, became a centre of trade in the Baltic Sea and is a World Heritage Site. Walk its streets from the Middle Ages and see its gardens ablaze with flowers, earning the city its nickname ‘the city of ruins and roses’. Later, visit the Viking exhibits at the Gotland Museum and wander the paths of the botanical gardens. Return to the ship for lunch and maybe join a lecture this afternoon as we cruise the Baltic Sea.
Day 10 - Day 10 - Tallinn, Estonia.
This morning we arrive in the historic maritime city of Tallinn with its awe-inspiring city walls and fortifications, narrow Medieval streets and the gateways which remain remarkably well preserved. In the Upper Town we will enjoy the views from Dome Hill with the extraordinary vista of domes, spires and gables and see Toompea Castle, once a fortress, and now the seat of the Estonian parliament. Walking to the Lower Old Town we will visit the main square where we will find the oldest pharmacy in Europe, the Gothic Cathedral and the 15th century Town Hall. Either return to the ship for lunch or remain in the city and enjoy some free time before we sail in the late afternoon.
Day 11 - Days 11 & 12 - St Petersburg, Russia.
We have two days to explore this most endlessly captivating of Russian cities. Founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, St Petersburg is a fascinating mix of classic and Baroque architecture on a network of canals. We will be offering a number of tours during our time here including visits to the wonderful Peterhof Palace, Catherine Palace and the Peter and Paul Fortress. One of the many highlights will be an exclusive evening tour and concert at the Hermitage Museum.
Day 12 - Day 13 - Kotka, Finland.
Built on the site where the River Kymijoki meets the Baltic Sea, picturesque Kotka has a long seafaring tradition. This morning we will explore the history of the region and visit the Langinkoski Imperial Fishing Lodge which was built in 1889 for Alexander III, the future Emperor of Russia who used it as a summer home. It is now a living museum situated in a stunning nature reserve on the river. Continue to the Maritime Centre Vellamo where local guides will enlighten us about the maritime and cultural heritage of the region. The afternoon is free to explore the old city from our central berth.
Day 13 - Day 14 - Mariehamn
This morning we cruise through some of the 6700 islands of the Aland archipelago arriving over lunch into the attractive town of Mariehamn. Choose to join an afternoon drive where we will head into the beautiful countryside along scenic roads, stopping at Badhausberget with panoramic views over the archipelago. Alternatively, explore the town at leisure.
Day 14 - Day 15 - Stockholm, Sweden
Be on deck this morning as we sail through the many islands of the Swedish archipelago into Stockholm. This is a great sailing area and the islands are peppered with attractive summer homes. On arrival, a guided city tour will include the Vasa Museum, built around the 17th century warship which sank in Stockholm’s inner harbour on her maiden voyage in 1628; its discovery in 1956 and subsequent salvage in 1961 is one of the most important events in marine archaeology. In addition to the well-preserved, elaborately decorated hull, thousands of items from the ship, including hundreds of sculptures, have been recovered. On our return to the MS Serenissima we will drive through old Stockholm and past the Parliament Building and Royal Palace which overlooks the inner harbour. Return to the ship for lunch and a free afternoon to explore from our central berth.
Day 15 - Day 16 - Stockholm
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to airport on continue with your onward plans.
Day 16 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type


    • Discover Kragero
    • a charming town in the region of Telemark and a popular summer retreat
    • Visit the Medieval town of Wismar, it was a major trading centre of the Hanseatic League in the 14th and 15th centuries before coming under Swedish rule in the 17th century for approximately 200 years
    • Arrive on Bornholm. Peaceful and scenic, Bornholm Island is a mixture of wheat fields, forest and an attractive coast dotted with fishing villages
    • Arrive in the historic maritime city of Tallinn with its awe-inspiring city walls and fortifications, narrow Medieval streets and the gateways which remain remarkably well preserved
    • Have two days to explore the most endlessly captivating of Russian cities
    • St Petersburg