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14 nights
from £5895

Cities & Islands of the Baltic

A voyage from Stockholm to Dover aboard the MS Island Sky

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  • History and Culture
  • Catherine Palace, St Petersburg

Exploring the Baltic by small ship is the most perfect way to visit this endlessly fascinating corner of Northern Europe. The history of the region is intriguing, with countries vying for commercial and political influence for over a thousand years and this complex past will be brought to life by our onboard Guest Speaker, helping us to gain a greater understanding of both old and new Baltic nations.

Our trip is certainly one of the most comprehensive, visiting as it does Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands before ending in the UK. We will visit some relatively new states with their charming Medieval Old Towns, especially striking are those of Tallinn and Riga where the old and new flourish like never before since the departure of their Soviet masters. We also spend time in some charming old Hanseatic ports and on delightful and scenic islands as well as the magnificent city of St Petersburg where we have two full days of exploration.

We have ensured that in addition to the included, guided excursions there is time to relax on board and attend some informative lectures by our Guest Speaker with time at leisure in some of our ports of call to explore independently.

Useful Links & Travel Advice

Please find a selection of useful websites to refer to for information from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, on visa requirements, NHS travel health advice and other useful travel tips.  


Island Sky

Island Sky

The MS Island Sky is one of our three flag ships and sister vessel to the MS Caledonian Sky and MS Hebridean Sky. All three vessels were built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them three of the finest small ships in the world.

View vessel details

Itinerary

Day 1 - London Heathrow to Stockholm, Sweden.

Fly by scheduled flight and transfer to the MS Island Sky on arrival. Moor overnight.

Day 2 - Stockholm.

We spend the morning exploring this handsome city, known as the ‘city on the water’. It is built on 14 small islands among open bays and narrow channels. Enjoy a guided city tour which includes 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 Island Sky we will drive through old Stockholm and past the Parliament Building and Royal Palace. After lunch be on deck as we sail through the many islands of the Swedish Archipelago, this is a great sailing area and the islands are peppered with attractive summer homes.

Day 3 - Helsinki, Finland.

Spend a relaxing morning at sea and arrive during lunch into Helsinki. A guided city tour will take us to the colourful Market Square, the President’s Palace and the impressive architecture of Senate Square including the Lutheran Cathedral of Finland and Uspenski Cathedral. We continue to the Sibelius Monument and the impressive Temppeliaukio, the church in the rock before returning to the MS Island Sky.

Days 4 & 5 - 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. There will be a number of included guided tours for you to choose from during our time here including visits to the Peter and Paul Fortress, the wonderful Peterhof Palace and gardens, Catherine’s Palace at Pushkin and Yussupov’s Palace. There will also be the opportunity to join a private evening tour of the fascinating Hermitage Museum.

Day 6 - Tallinn, Estonia.

After a busy couple of days in St Petersburg we will have a relaxing morning at sea. During lunch we arrive in the historic maritime city of Tallinn with her 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. After dinner on board this evening we will enjoy a private concert ashore.

Day 7 - Saaremaa, Estonia.

After a morning at sea we arrive at Estonia’s largest island which offers a glimpse of a bygone age. Untouched by industry it is a green and very pleasant land dotted with attractive villages in a rolling forested landscape. During an afternoon tour we will visit the lovely capital Kuressaare with its magnificent Medieval castle and stroll through the streets of the enchanting old town. Later, an island drive will take you back in time through a countryside of stone walls, thatched roofs, traditional villages and windmills.

Day 8 - Riga, Latvia.

This morning we will explore Latvia’s capital by foot. Founded in the 13th century it became one of the most successful trading cities of the Baltic. Explore the Old Town with its Medieval streets lined with Hanseatic warehouses and punctuated with Gothic and Baroque churches including St Peter Cathedral, the largest Medieval church in the Baltic. Enjoy an afternoon to explore independently or relax on board before we set sail for Lithuania.

Day 9 - Klaipeda, Lithuania.

Founded in 1252 by the Teutonic Knights of East Prussia, Klaipeda was annexed by Hitler in 1939 and almost destroyed towards the end of World War II. This afternoon there will be a choice of touring options. You may wish to head into the countryside where we will experience village life and visit the Memorial Museum dedicated to Lithuanians sent to Siberia or who fought against the Soviets during the Cold War Years. Alternatively take the scenic drive to the Zemaitija National Park, home to Lake Plateliali and surrounded by dense forest. It was in these forests that, during the Cold War, the Soviets hid their first nuclear missile base directed at all the major European cities. Our tour will visit the Cold War Museum located in the former Soviet Missile Base. We will visit the bunkers, see the control centre and learn more about the weapons held at the site and their evolution.

Day 10 - Gdansk, Poland.

We have a full day in this charming city. This old, Hanseatic port’s 1000 years of history have left a collection of buildings and monuments designed in Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles. On a morning tour we will walk along the cobbled streets of the Royal Way in the old quarter and view the elaborate architecture before ending at the 15th century merchant’s palace of Artus Court. Also see the pride of Gdansk, Gothic St. Mary’s, which is the world’s largest brick church, accommodating some 25,000 worshippers. Situated in the centre of the Old Town, this Medieval church took 159 years to build, and its deceivingly plain exterior belies a bright, spacious interior with large windows and more than 30 beautifully decorated chapels. This afternoon is free for further independent exploration.

Day 11 - Christianso & Bornholm Island, Denmark.

Over breakfast we arrive at the tiny island of Christianso, the easternmost part of Denmark. This is a very special and peaceful place where eider ducks appear everywhere and on the bird sanctuary of Grasholmen, thousands of herring gulls, razorbill and guillemot breed. We will land using the vessel’s Zodiacs and explore at leisure. Over lunch we sail to neighbouring Bornholm where we will also use the Zodiacs to land. Peaceful and scenic, Bornholm Island is a mixture of wheat fields, forest and an attractive coast dotted with fishing villages. There will be a choice of touring options. You may wish to explore by bicycle or alternatively on an island drive we will see the famous 12th century Osterlars Round Church and visit the town of Gudjem where we can sample the smoked herring. Also see Hammerhaus Castle offering fantastic views of the island’s rugged coastline.

Day 12 - 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. 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 13 - Kiel Canal.

Early this morning we begin our transit of the historic 61-mile-long Kiel Canal and sail from the Baltic to the North Sea . Kaiser Wilhelm I set the first foundation stone in place on June 3, 1887 in Brunsbuttel, and the final stone was laid by Kaiser Wilhelm II on June 21, 1895, in Holtenau. Today, the Kiel Canal is one of the busiest manmade waterways in the world. We will spend a relaxing afternoon at sea sailing to the Netherlands.

Day 14 - Harlingen, Netherlands.

Harlingen lies on the shores of the Wadden Sea and is one of the eleven cities that make the beautiful and quaint Dutch province of Friesland. It is often referred to as the undiscovered jewel of northern Europe with its charming canals, listed houses and scenic harbours. Our morning walking tour will include the city hall, the Great Church housing the majestic Hinsz organ and the historic city centre. Return to the MS Island Sky for lunch and set sail for Dover.

Day 15 - Dover, England.

Disembark after breakfast and transfer to London Heathrow or Victoria Coach Station at a fixed time.

Dates and Prices

Prices per person based on double occupancy
10 to 24 September 2018
Category Brochure Price Special Offer Price
Magellan Deck Standard Forward Suites £6295 £5895
Magellan Deck Standard Suites £6495 £6095
Columbus Deck Superior Suites £6895 £6495
Marco Polo Deck Premium Suites £7395 £6995
Marco Polo Deck Corner Suites £7795 £7395
Erikson Deck Deluxe Balcony Suites £8295 £7895
Explorer Deck Owner's Balcony Suite £8695 £8295
Magellan Deck Standard for sole occupancy £10495 £10095
Columbus Deck Superior for sole occupancy £10695 £10295

Tour Reference Code: SCISK100918

Price Includes: Economy class scheduled air travel, 14 nights aboard the MS Island Sky on a full board basis, wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, shore excursions, transfers, gratuities, onboard team including Guest Speaker, Russian group visa, port taxes.

Not Included: Travel insurance.

  • All Decks

  • Explorer Deck

  • Erikson Deck

  • Marco Polo Deck

  • Columbus Deck

  • Magellan Deck

Island Sky

The MS Island Sky is one of our three flag ships and sister vessel to the MS Caledonian Sky and MS Hebridean Sky. All three vessels were built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them three of the finest small ships in the world.

 
  • MS Island Sky
  • Standard Suite (Magellan Deck)
    Standard Suite (Magellan Deck)
  • Superior Suite (Columbus Deck)
  • Premium Suite (Marco Polo Deck)
  • Corner Suite (Marco Polo Deck)
  • Premium Balcony Suite (Erikson Deck)
  • Owner's Balcony Suites (Explorer Deck)
  • Lido Deck
  • Lido Deck
  • Restaurant
  • The Lounge
  • Library
  • Restaurant
  • Your Suite

    On board there are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites. All feature a sitting room area and some have private balconies. The feeling of luxury is enhanced by the wood panelling and brass, which predominates throughout the vessel conveying the atmosphere of a private yacht.

    The passenger accommodation is arranged over five decks and all suites have outside views. Each affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring marble-topped vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower, a large wardrobe, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a mini-fridge, flat screen television with inbuilt DVD/CD player and a telephone in each suite. Bottled water, dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Other facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted Molton Brown toiletries, air-conditioning and heating. The suites on each deck have their own colour theme. Soft hues and blended tones enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be.

  • Your Space

    The spacious and finely decorated public rooms include a large lounge on the Columbus Deck featuring a selection of seating options from individual armchairs and sofas to side cushioned benches. Daily briefings given by the Cruise Director and talks from Guest Speakers and expedition staff take place in The Lounge which is fitted with the highest standard of presentation equipment including multiple screens. For your convenience, it is also possible to follow the onboard lectures from the comfort of your suite.

    In addition to the main Lounge on the Columbus Deck, there is also The Club, located on the Marco Polo Deck which features the main bar where the onboard pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The Club also features a 24-hour tea and coffee station. Towards the aft of the ship on the Marco Polo Deck is The Library. Well stocked with reference books pertaining to the destinations the vessel is visiting and a selection of essential reads, you will not find yourself short of excellent literature on board. A selection of games and two computers complete with internet access can also be found in The Library. Daily newspapers and magazines are also placed in the library depending on local availability.

    The main dining room which can seat all guests at one sitting is located on the Magellan Deck and outside there is a rear Lido Deck located on the Erikson Deck, complete with deck tables and chairs where meals are served in warm weather under shade. Further to this on the top Explorer Deck the observation area complete with sun loungers is ideal for sun bathing, relaxing with a book or catching up with fellow travellers. There is also a small hairdressers on board with appointments made on request. For your comfort, there is also a clinic with Doctor and a lift which serves all decks.

    As is the joy of small ship cruising, we hope to offer the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the Bridge to check the progress of the vessel (subject to weather or security conditions).

  • Dining

    It is quite a task to create a dining experience as that found on board our vessels when you are cruising in far-flung corners of the globe, indeed it takes a team of highly talented chefs to deliver fresh, varied dishes no matter where you are at sea. Fortunately, our catering teams are well adapted to the world of small ship cruising where no two days are the same and the menus are often scheduled and tailored around the days’ excursions.

    With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the cuisine on board all three vessels is of a consistent superior quality that befits such vessels. Where possible and when it meets their high standards, our accomplished chefs will obtain local produce in markets. Such purchases enhance the well stocked larders and enable the chefs on board to exhibit their culinary skills and bring a local touch to the varied menus, emphasising the international expertise of the chefs on board. Afternoon tea and pre-dinner canapes take place every day in either the comfort of the Lounge or out on the Lido deck when the weather is favourable. Tea and coffee are also available 24 hours a day. Special diets can be catered for with sufficient notice.

    In keeping with the informal atmosphere on board, when dining you are able to choose your seating arrangements at your leisure. Whether that be joining a table of four to six other passengers outside on the Lido Deck in the evening’s sunshine or whether you prefer to enjoy meals in the à la carte restaurant. For those travelling alone, our onboard friendly restaurant staff will take care to ensure you are seated with other like minded travellers. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order on request. Lunch and dinner are à la carte with an excellent choice of dishes, with the menu reflecting the daily catch or local delicacies. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with both meals and there is also a comprehensive wine list with a wide selection of new and old world wines from which to choose.

    The onboard catering and restaurant staff are experienced at sea and enthuse a passion for superb service. Whether it be ensuring you have an outdoor blanket as you enjoy the crisp sea breeze on the Lido Deck or sharing their knowledge of the characteristics of the days’ wine selections, you will experience a service on board like no other. You may also enjoy sumptuous barbeques on deck whilst at times, the chef will make your dish to order at special pasta or stir fry stations.

  • Life Onboard

    If large resort-style vessels accommodating many thousands of passengers are your ideal, then our ships are not for you as you will not find endless entertainment, round the clock buffets and the people management which is so much a part of today’s big ship on board style. However, if like us you prefer a more peaceful life at sea you will find our flagships the perfect vessels.

    When choosing your next voyage the choice of vessels is astounding. You can select a ship carrying in excess of 4000 passengers with impersonal service or join us aboard the MS Caledonian Sky, MS Island Sky or MS Hebridean Sky where peace, high quality service and attention to detail are the order of the day. We promise there will be no organised entertainment, fancy dress, deck games or any of the usual big ship experiences. Instead, the atmosphere is warm and convivial and more akin to a private yacht or country hotel in which you can learn more about the wonders of nature, culture and ancient civilisations in the company of like-minded people. A little music in the lounge or bar after dinner, Guest Speakers and informative port briefings from our Expedition Leader or Cruise Director and of course good food with wine included at lunch and dinner, all contribute to make any voyage aboard these wonderful vessels a memorable and joyful experience. After a day ashore you will return to the comfort and peace of an exceedingly comfortable ship.

    The daily programme on board is in the capable hands of our Cruise Director or Expedition Leader and staff who coordinate with the Captain and Officers to make the most of each day. Briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage together with a ‘Daily Programme’ that is distributed every evening to your suite outlining the next day’s activities. Dress on board is casual and relaxed and there will be no ‘black tie’ evenings.

  • For your comfort

    The MS Island Sky is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilizers to minimize the ship’s motion. During your voyage we hope to offer the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the Bridge to check the vessels progress by charts and learn more about your journey. There is also a dedicated channel on your television in your suite showing the routing of the vessel along with technical information and estimated times of arrival and departure from port. On board you will also find a clinic and Doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to a specific area on deck.

  • Inclusions

    Unlike many other cruise vessels, onboard the MS Island Sky you do not need to worry about tipping staff as we have included this in your holiday price. In addition we tip all our guides and drivers along the way, thereby taking away the hassle of always having to remember to have some small change with you. We also include excursions and drinks with meals onboard.

  • 360's

    Island Sky Balcony 

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    Island Sky Bathroom

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    Island Sky Bridge

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    Island Sky Cafe

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    Island Sky Club

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    Island Sky Magellan Deck Cabin 

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    Island Sky Restaurant

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    Island Sky Lounge

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    Island Sky Library

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  • Cabin Plans

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  • Ship Directory
    The booklet below contains some further details pertaining to the vessel.
    Please click on the booklet to view. 

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  • Deck plans
    • All Decks

    • Explorer Deck

    • Erikson Deck

    • Marco Polo Deck

    • Columbus Deck

    • Magellan Deck

Onboard Experts

  • Peter Warwick

    Peter Warwick

    Peter Warwick is an economist, historian, author, acknowledged authority on Horatio Nelson and organiser of major commemorative events, who chairs three organisations: The 1805 Club, which conserves the graves, monuments and memorials of the sailing navy of the Georgian era; The New Waterloo Dispatch, which arranged the ceremonial interpretation in June 2015 of the news of Waterloo and is now developing the legacy of Waterloo based on the celebration of the idea that is Europe; and Thames Alive, which staged the Magna Carta 800 River Relay at Runnymede, and which in 2012 organised the manpowered squadron of The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant and on the Thames, Day 70 of the London 2012 Thames Olympic Torch Relay.

    In 2005 Peter was vice-chairman of the Official Nelson Commemorations Committee, which organised the Trafalgar bicentenary commemorations.

    He is a trustee of The Queen’s Row Barge Gloriana and an accredited NADFAS lecturer. 

    Peter Warwick will be on the following tour dates: 10 to 24 September 2018

Tour Highlights

• A comprehensive exploration of the Baltic States including a mixture of cities and islands.
• Visit 10 countries in 14 nights from the comfort of the all-suite MS Island Sky
• Transit of the historic Kiel Canal
• Exclusive, private tour of the Hermitage Museum
• Private concert in Tallinn

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Book with Confidence

Speak to one of our advisors on 020 7752 0000