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Nordic & Baltic Quest-Reykjavik to Paris

9th August 2022 FOR 18 NIGHTS | Insignia

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ITINERARY
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This fly cruise holiday is financially protected by OCEANIA CRUISES under ATOL 10527

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Includes flights | FREE Wi-Fi for all bookings | PLUS choose from: 8 FREE shore excursions* | FREE drinks package* | $800 FREE to spend on-board* | Call to add on transfers and hotel stays

WHY WE RECOMMEND Polar Regions CRUISES

A luxury Baltics cruise offer the chance to appreciate stunning destinations across Estonia, Russia and Latvia – or even further north across the Scandinavian nations of Sweden and Finland.

St Petersburg is by far one of the region’s most famous destinations, and this marvellous city is a true joy to explore. St Petersburg’s distinctive onion-domed architecture is immediately recognisable and a tour of the city will take visitors to some of its most impressive landmarks, including the striking Church of Our Saviour on Spilled Blood and the majestic Hermitage Museum. There’s simply so much to see across this incredible metropolis, you may need an extra day and or two here to truly explore.

The historic city of Tallinn, Estonia’s capital, is also a regularly feature on Baltic cruise itineraries – as is the Latvian capital of Riga. These stunning cities offer a wonderful insight into the region’s rich culture and heritage, brimming with medieval structures alongside contemporary landmarks to create a fascinating atmosphere and marvellous setting for exploration.

Many luxury cruises to the Baltics will also sail a little further north to call upon marvellous Scandinavian cities including Stockholm and Helsinki. Stockholm is a unique metropolis, where the inner city alone comprises of 14 interconnected islands and its cosmopolitan ambience is contrasted by a wealth of historic architecture. The Finnish capital of Helsinki is also a must-see destination, well-known for its beautiful buildings, scenic parks and friendly, welcoming atmosphere.

A cruise to the Baltic States offers a unique and intriguing holiday experience, with a superb blend of intriguing history, vibrant culture and incredible scenery. If you would like to experience the Baltics for yourself, take a look through the full range of itinerary currently available, and once you’ve found your perfect luxury voyage, call your personal Cruise Concierge to book your place on-board. 

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itinerary

1

Reykjavík00:00 - 18:00

Sprawling Reykjavík, the nation's nerve center and government seat, is home to half the island's population. On a bay overlooked by proud Mt. Esja (pronounced eh-shyuh), with its ever-changing hues, Reykjavík presents a colorful sight, its concrete houses painted in light colors and topped by vibrant red, blue, and green roofs. In contrast to the almost treeless countryside, Reykjavík has many tall, native birches, rowans, and willows, as well as imported aspen, pines, and spruces.Reykjavík's name comes from the Icelandic words for smoke, reykur, and bay, vík. In AD 874, Norseman Ingólfur Arnarson saw Iceland rising out of the misty sea and came ashore at a bay eerily shrouded with plumes of steam from nearby hot springs. Today most of the houses in Reykjavík are heated by near-boiling water from the hot springs. Natural heating avoids air pollution; there's no smoke around. You may notice, however, that the hot water brings a slight sulfur smell to the bathroom.Prices are easily on a par with other major European cities. A practical option is to purchase a Reykjavík City Card at the Tourist Information Center or at the Reykjavík Youth Hostel. This card permits unlimited bus usage and admission to any of the city's seven pools, the Family Park and Zoo, and city museums. The cards are valid for one (ISK 3,300), two (ISK 4,400), or three days (ISK 4,900), and they pay for themselves after three or four uses a day. Even lacking the City Card, paying admission (ISK 500, or ISK 250 for seniors and people with disabilities) to one of the city art museums (Hafnarhús, Kjarvalsstaðir, or Ásmundarsafn) gets you free same-day admission to the other two.

09 Aug 2022

2

Isafjørdur08:00 - 18:00

Two colossal terraces of sheer rock stand either side of this extraordinarily located town - which rides a jutting spit onto an immensity of black fjord water. Surprisingly, considering the remoteness of its location and its compact size, Isafjordur is a modern and lively place to visit, offering a great choice of cafes and delicious restaurants – which are well stocked to impress visitors. The town is a perfectly located base for adventures amongst Iceland's fantastic wilderness - with skiing, hiking and water-sports popular pursuits among visitors.

10 Aug 2022

3

Akureyri08:00 - 18:00

Akureyri, called the Capital of the North is the second largest urban area in Iceland, and a lively one at that. Hemmed by the 60-km (37-mile) long Eyjafjörður, Akureyri is sheltered from the ocean winds and embraced by mountains on three sides. Late 19th-century wooden houses impart a sense of history, and the twin spires of a modern Lutheran church rising on a green hill near the waterfront, provide a focal point. To the south of Akureyri is the pyramid-shape rhyolite mountain Súlur. Beyond it is Kerling, the highest peak in Eyjafjörður District.

11 Aug 2022

4

Atlantic Ocean Cruising

12 Aug 2022

5

Tórshavn07:00 - 17:00

Stroll through this picturesque fishing town and admire the views from the headland. Take a drive around this stunning, craggy island of majestic waterfalls, beautiful fjords, farms, villages, enigmatic sea stacks and panoramic views of the neighboring islands. Or visit an ancient Viking settlement in a valley of lakes.

13 Aug 2022

6

Kirkwall, Orkney Islands08:00 - 16:00

In bustling Kirkwall, the main town on Orkney, there's plenty to see in the narrow, winding streets extending from the harbor. The cathedral and some museums are highlights.

14 Aug 2022

7

Stavanger11:00 - 20:00

Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Stavanger flourished in the 19th century as a fishing port. While other towns in Norway have suffered with the decline of this industry, Stavanger has kept its economy booming by diversifying, first into shipbuilding and now into oil. These two contrasting industries have created a city of two halves – a modern area of high-rise buildings and a historic centre with cobbled streets and old wooden houses. The city centre was the birthplace of Alexander Kielland, one of the great 19th-century Norwegian novelists. Stavanger Cathedral, dating from 1125, is an impressive building and the only medieval cathedral in Norway that has not been substantially altered since it was first built. From Stavanger you can explore the attractive blue waters of Lysefjord, surrounded by cliffs and striking rock formations, and also visit Hafrsfjord where the Viking King Harald won an important battle that started the Unification of Norway. Those preferring to explore on their own may wish to visit the interesting Petroleum Museum.

15 Aug 2022

8

Kristiansand08:00 - 18:00

Nicknamed "Sommerbyen" ("Summer City"), Norway's fifth-largest city has 78,000 inhabitants. Norwegians come here for its sun-soaked beaches and beautiful harbor. Kristiansand has also become known internationally for the outdoor Quart Festival, which hosts local and international rock bands every July. According to legend, in 1641 King Christian IV marked the four corners of Kristiansand with his walking stick, and within that framework the grid of wide streets was laid down. The center of town, called the Kvadraturen, still retains the grid, even after numerous fires. In the northeast corner is Posebyen, one of northern Europe's largest collections of low, connected wooden house settlements, and there's a market here every Saturday in summer. Kristiansand's Fisketorvet (fish market) is near the south corner of the town's grid, right on the sea.

16 Aug 2022

9

Copenhagen10:00 - 23:00

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’.

17 Aug 2022

10

Baltic Sea Cruising

18 Aug 2022

11

Stockholm08:00 - 17:00

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.

19 Aug 2022

12

Helsinki10:00 - 19:00

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.

20 Aug 2022

13
14

Saint Petersburg (ex Leningrad)undefined - 18:00

Commissioned by Tsar Peter the Great (1672–1725) as "a window looking into Europe," St. Petersburg is a planned city whose elegance is reminiscent of Europe's most alluring capitals. Little wonder it's the darling of fashion photographers and travel essayists today: built on more than a hundred islands in the Neva Delta linked by canals and arched bridges, it was called the "Venice of the North" by Goethe, and its stately embankments are reminiscent of those in Paris. A city of golden spires and gilded domes, of pastel palaces and candlelit cathedrals, this city conceived by a visionary emperor is filled with pleasures and tantalizing treasures. With its strict geometric lines and perfectly planned architecture, so unlike the Russian cities that came before it, St. Petersburg is almost too European to be Russian. And yet it's too Russian to be European. The city is a powerful combination of both East and West, springing from the will and passion of its founder to guide a resistant Russia into the greater fold of Europe, and consequently into the mainstream of history. That he accomplished, and more. With a population of nearly 5 million, St. Petersburg is the fourth largest city in Europe after Paris, Moscow, and London. Without as many of the fashionably modern buildings that a business center like Moscow acquires, the city has managed to preserve much more of its history. Here, you can imagine yourself back in the time of the tsars and Dostoyevsky. Although it's a close race, it's safe to say that most visitors prefer St. Petersburg's culture, history, and beauty to Moscow's glamour and power. That said, St. Petersburg has begun to play a more active role in politics in recent years, as if it were the country's northern capital. It may be because of the affection the city holds in the heart of the country's political elite, many of whom are natives of the city. New high-speed trains now travel between Moscow and St. Petersburg, a new international airport and metro stations have just opened, and some crumbling parts of the city are undergoing reconstruction. St. Petersburg revels in its historic beauty but also embraces the new.

21 Aug 2022 - 22 Aug 2022

15

Tallinn08:00 - 15:00

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.

23 Aug 2022

16

Baltic Sea Cruising

24 Aug 2022

17

Kiel (Germany)

Enjoy a picturesque 10-hour passage from the North Sea to the Baltic Sea, between the city of Kiel and the mouth of the Elbe River. This great engineering achievement, completed in 1895, carves through the charming North German landscapes of Schleswig-Holstein.

25 Aug 2022

18

Zeebrugge07:00 - 16:00

In 1895 work began to construct a new seaport and harbour next to the tiny village of Zeebrugge, situated on the North Sea coast. Today the fast-expanding port of Zeebrugge is one of the busiest in Europe and its marina is Belgium’s most important fishing port. Many attempts were made to destroy this important port during both World Wars. Zeebrugge is ideally located for discovering the historic city of Bruges, and delightful seaside resorts with long sandy beaches can be visited by using the trams that run the whole length of the Belgian coast. Please note that no food may be taken ashore in Belgium. We shall not be offering shuttle buses to Bruges, but you may visit the city on an optional excursion: those visiting Bruges should note that there may be quite a long walk from the coach to the town centre.

26 Aug 2022

19

Le Havre

Le Havre, founded by King Francis I of France in 1517, is located inUpper Normandy on the north bank of the mouth of the River Seine, which isconsidered the most frequented waterway in the world. Its port is ranked thesecond largest in France. The city was originally built on marshland andmudflats that were drained in the 1500’s. During WWII most of Le Havre wasdestroyed by Allied bombing raids. Post war rebuilding of the city followed thedevelopment plans of the well-known Belgian architect Auguste Perre. Thereconstruction was so unique that the entire city was listed as a UNESCO WorldHeritage Site in 2005. 

27 Aug 2022

(This holiday is generally suitable for persons with reduced mobility. For customers with reduced mobility or any medical condition that may require special assistance or arrangements to be made, please notify your Cruise Concierge at the time of your enquiry, so that we can provide specific information as to the suitability of the holiday, as well as make suitable arrangements with the Holiday Provider on your behalf).

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