Cruising the Baltic Sea

Experience the cultural rebirth of the Baltic States and imperial treasures of St. Petersburg, Russia, with the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA) from June 11 - 19, 2018. 

BalticIn the tradition of ancient Viking mariners and medieval merchants, set forth from the cosmopolitan, royal Swedish capital of Stockholm to Denmark’s sophisticated, innovative and exceptionally “green” capital city of Copenhagen. Tour the well-preserved medieval Old Town of Tallinn, Estonia; and spend two days docked in the heart of regal St. Petersburg, featuring visits to the acclaimed State Hermitage Museum, the Peter and Paul Fortress, and the spectacular czarist palaces at Petrodvorets and Pushkin.

Walk amid the stunning architecture of Helsinki,  Finland, explore Denmark’s idyllic island of Bornholm, and enjoy traditional Danish delicacies in the picturesque harbor town of Gudjhem. Experience the splendors of Stockholm during the pre-cruise option, and on the Wonders of Norway post-cruise option, visit the vibrant city of Bergen, cruise through stunning fjord lands and enjoy one of the world’s most scenic train rides.    

Experience the cultural rebirth of the Baltic States and imperial treasures of St. Petersburg, Russia, while cruising aboard the specially-chartered, Five-Star, all-suite Star Breeze, featuring just 106 ocean-view suites. One of the great cruise itineraries, this unique Baltic Sea voyage features five Baltic countries and six UNESCO World Heritage sites and is scheduled during the best time of year when you can experience the luminous “White Nights” of summer.

This comprehensive travel offering features Five-Star accommodations, a specially arranged shore excursion in each port and all meals. Shared with cosponsoring associations, capacity is limited and this program is sure to fill quickly! Please contact the Travel Study Program office at 866-325-8664 or travelstudy@columbia.edu for more details and to confirm your space today.

Dates and Prices:

Trip Dates: June 11 - 19, 2018

Prices: from $6,495- $13,095 per person based upon double occupancy

Singles are offered in select categories from $13,695 per person. While we can not guarantee roommate matching, we are happy to try and find a share for any single travelers interested in such options. Taxes are an additional $295 per person and are subject to change.

 Itinerary:

U.S. - June 11, 2018
Depart the U.S. on independently arranged overnight flights to Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden - June 12, 2018
Arrive in Sweden's magnificent "Venice fo the North",  and embark the Five-Star STAR BREEZE. Be on deck as you cruise through the scenic Stockholm archipelago.

Tallinn, Estonia -  June 13, 2018
Having largely escaped the ravages of World War II, Tallinn's UNESCO World Heritage-designated Old Town has remained virtually unchanged for 600 years. During the walking tour see Toompea Castle-the seat of  Estonia's Parliament-the landmark Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the 13th -century Church of St. Nicholas. Visit the medieval Town Hall, the only intact Gothic-style hall in Northern Europe. Enjoy time on your own to explore Tallinn's Old Town before returning to the ship.

By special arrangement, enjoy an informative lecture, with time for questions and answers by distinguished author and scholar, Dr. Sergei Kruschev. Enjoy the Captain's Welcome Reception this evening.

St. Petersburg, Russia - June 14, 2018
Peter the Great founded majestic St. Petersburg in 1703 as his "Window on the West."  After cruising into the heart of the city, enjoy a specially arranged, early-entry guided tour of one of the world's greatest art repositories, the incomparable State Hermitage Museum. Former czarist palace of Catherine the Great and a UNESCO World Heritage site, its spectacular collections are rivaled only by the museum's lavish interior.

This afternoon's panoramic tour of the historic city center, a UNESCO World Heritage site, features legendary landmarks scattered across more than 100 islands and linked by more than three times as many bridges. St. Petersburg's main thoroughfare, Nevsky Prospekt, showcases exquisite examples of Russian Baroque and neoclassical architecture. See the ornate Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood (Church of the Resurrection of Christ), built on the site of Emperor Alexander II's assassination, and the 19th -century St. Isaac's Cathedral, with a striking golden dome that is one of the glories of the city's skyline. Visit St. Petersburg's first building, the Peter and Paul Fortress, constructed to secure the country's access to the sea, and the impressive Baroque Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, containing the tombs of 32 czars, from Peter the Great to Nicholas II, the last of the Romanovs.

St. Petersburg - June 15, 2018
This morning, visit the imperial compound of Pushkin and Catherine the Great's elaborate rococo palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site, highlighted by a special visit to the extraordinary Amber Room which is said to be the "Eighth Wonder of the World." Then, savor a lunch of traditional Russian specialties. Enjoy a guided tour of the splendid parklands and extravagant UNESCO World Heritage-designated Grand Palace of Petrodvorets, commissioned by Peter the Great to rival the Palace of Versailles. The elaborately landscaped grounds feature magnificent formal gardens and cascading fountains. Return to St. Petersburg by hydrofoil, skimming over the Gulf of Finland.

Helsinki, Finland - June 16, 2018
Helsinki was named the World Design Capital in 2012 for its innovative use of design in stimulating an urban environment. Stand on deck as the ship approaches the city for the best view of the 18th -century maritime fortress of Suomenlinna, a UNESCO World Heritage site.  On a panoramic city tour, see the stately Senate Square and the diplomatic quarter of Kaivopuisto. Visit the modernistic Temppeliaukio Church, or "Church of the Rock" impressively hewn out of natural bedrock. Enjoy free time to explore Helsinki's lively Market Square before reboarding the ship.

By special arrangement, meet the leader of the Solidarity Movement, former President of Poland and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Lech Walesa, on board the ship this evening. Mr. Walesa will discuss his perspective on Solidarity, globalization and progress in the region, with time for questions and answers.

Cruising the Baltic Sea - June 17 - 2018
Spend the day at leisure cruising the Baltic Sea while enjoying a series of enriching lectures.

Gudhjem, Bornholm Island, Denmark- June 18, 2018
Dramatic coastal cliffs and white sandy beaches front idyllic Bornhold, Denmark's jewel of the Baltic, where quaint seaside villages dot a scenic landscape of verdant forests and rolling countryside. 

Explore the impressive ruins of 13th-century Hammershus Slot - the largest medieval castle in Scandanavia, and visit one of the island's iconic, round, whitewashed roundkirke (round churches), an astounding contribution to Nordic medieval architecture, which also once served as a fortress. Enjoy a tasting of traditional smoked herring in Gudhjem ("God's Home"), a picturesque harbor town of colorful, red-roofed, half-timbered houses and sloping cobblestone streets. Enjoy time at leisure before returning to the ship.

This evening, attend the Captain's Farewell Reception.

Copenhagen/U.S. - June 19, 2018
Arrive in Copenhagen, Denmark's vibrant, world-class capital of great heritage and seafaring traditions. Disembark and continue on to  Wonders of Norway the post-cruise option or depart for the U.S.


Acclaimed Guest Speakers

President Lech Walesa

By exclusive arrangement, Lech Walesa, former president of Poland (1990 to 1995), Polish hero and international icon in the pursuit of freedom and democracy, will meet with our group on board the Star Breeze. From his position as a marine electrician in Gdansk's Lenin Shipyard, Mr. Walesa emerged as a world-renowned figure in the struggle against Communism during the 1980 shipyard workers' strike and the establishment of the Polish Solidarity labor movement. Despite winning the right to form an independent union, Mr. Walesa and Solidarity continued to confront the Soviet-backed regime of General Wojciech Jaruzelski, which jailed Mr. Walesa and imposed martial law in Poland in December 1981. Mr. Walesa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, a watershed moment widely considered to have been the first crack in the Soviet Union's Iron Curtain, which crumbled with the Berlin Wall in 1989. Mr. Walesa became the first foreign non-head of state to address a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress in 1989.

Sergei Khrushchev

A distinguished author and scholar, Dr. Sergei Khrushchev is the son of former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev (1957 - 1964) and a former visiting professor of Slavic Studies at Brown University, where he also served as a Senior Fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies. Dr. Khrushchev research has focused on the history of the Cold War, and the turning points in relations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union in the Khrushchev, Eisenhower and Kennedy eras; the history of Soviet missiles and space development, in which he played an active role; and the Soviet Union's transformation from centralized to decentralized government and market economy. He co-authored his father's memoirs, The Time, The People, The Power (1999), and translated them into english (2005 - 2007). Dr. Khrushchev is a popular commentator for the American media and the author of more than 350 books and articles, including Khrushchev on Khrushchev (1990), Nikita Khrushchev: Crisis and Missiles (1994), and Nikita Khrushchev and the Creation of a Super Power (2000)

Scheduled guest speakers may be altered due to circumstances beyond our control. See Release of Liability, Assumption of Risk: and Binding Arbitration Agreement in the program brochure for more details.

INCLUDED FEATURES

  • Seven-Night cruise from Stockholm, Sweden to Copenhagen, Denmark, featuring port calls at Tallinn, Estonia: St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland; and Gudhjem, Bornholm Island, Denmark.
  • Spacious, Five-Star, Ocean-view, all-Suite accommodations, each with a private bathroom and individual climate control.
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions.
  • Complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages are available throughout the cruise.
  • All meals, featuring fine international and regional cuisine, served at single, unassigned seatings.
  • Complementary wine is served with lunch and dinner.
  • Walking tour of Tallinn's historic and medieval quarters, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • City tour of St. Petersburg. a UNESCO World Heritage site, featuring a visit to the impressive Peter and Paul Fortress.
  • Specially arranged, extend hours entry to St. Petersburg’s world-renowned State: Hermitage Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Excursion to two UNESCO World Heritage sites-Peter the Great's Petrodvorets and Catherine the Great's palace in Pushkin, featuring the acclaimed Amber Room-including a lunch of traditional Russian specialties.
  • City tour of Helsinki featuring a visit to Temppeliaukio Church and a view of the old fortifications of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Suomenlinna.
  • Tour of picturesque Bornholm Island, featuring visits to one of the islands's iconinc round churches, and to the ruins of Scandanavia's largest medieval castle.
  • Transfers and luggage handling abroad for participants whose arrival(s)/departure(s) coincide with the scheduled group transfer(s).
  • All excursions and visits, as outlined in the itinerary, led by experienced, English-speaking local guides.
  • Gratuities to local guides and drivers on included excursions.
  • The services of an experienced team of professional travel directors throughout the program.
  • Hospitality desk aboard the ship.

Not included:
Airfare; Taxes; passport fees; visas and fees for obtaining visas; personal expenses such as laundry and telephone calls; accident/sickness, trip cancellation, and baggage insurance; gratuities to ship and hotel personnel; optional sightseeing excursions; excess baggage charges on aircraft; local departure air taxes; airfare and associated local taxes*, airport facility taxes and federal inspection fees not listed int he "included features" section of the program brochure; transfers and baggage handling to/from airport/hotel on day(s) of arrival and/or departure if you are arriving earlier or later and/or departing earlier or later that scheduled group transfer(s); meals and and alcoholic beverages not listed in the "Included Features" section of the program brochure; and all other services not specifically mentioned in the "Included Features" section of the program brochure.


Please call us toll-free at (866) 325-8664 or email us at travelstudy@columbia.edu for more details.