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10 nights
from £3995

Hidden Baltic

A voyage from Helsinki to Stockholm aboard the MS Serenissima with Major JGH Corrigan & Imogen Corrigan

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  • History and Culture
  • Sunset over Riga

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.

After sailing from Helsinki we begin our exploration with two days in St Petersburg, perhaps the grandest city in Europe, with its imposing 18th and 19th century architecture. We continue to Tallinn, Stockholm and Riga as well as some lesser known but equally fascinating places. The Estonian Island of Saaremaa is a gem with its Medieval Episcopal Castle and timeless countryside as is Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland, a UNESCO World Heritage site fortified by well-preserved 13th century walls. We will also enjoy two new ports of call for 2018 with visits to Kotka in Finland and Ventspils in Latvia, both well off the beaten path of the many cruise ships that now ply the Baltic region and allowing for something a bit different whilst not forsaking our old time favourites such as Riga and St Petersburg where we are able to moor centrally and have allowed time for both the guided excursions and time at leisure 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.  


Serenissima

Serenissima

The charming MS Serenissima began her career as the Harald Jarl, cruising the Norwegian coastline and fjords. Since 2003, when she was extensively renovated, she has been operating as a classic cruise ship. Previously known as the MS Andrea, she was upgraded again in 2013 and started her new life as the MS Serenissima. With her small size she can navigate into small, remote ports inaccessible to the big cruise ships and appears an impressive sight when moored. With her fleet of Zodiacs, she is capable of both destination and expedition cruising. In December 2018, the vessel will once again undergo a significant refurbishment and after a re-configuration of the deck plan will accommodate a maximum of just 95 guests.

View vessel details

Itinerary

Day 1 - London to Helsinki, Finland.

Fly by scheduled flight. Arrive in Helsinki and transfer to the MS Serenissima. Enjoy Welcome Drinks and Dinner as we sail tonight.

Day 2 - 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 or maybe enjoy some of the many green spaces nearby such as the Sibelius Park or Sapokko Water Garden.

Days 3 & 4 - 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 for you to choose from during our time here including visits to the Peter and Paul Fortress, the wonderful Peterhof Palace and Gardens, the Hermitage Museum, Catherine Palace and Yusupov Palace.

Day 5 - 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. After lunch on board the afternoon is free to explore independently.

Day 6 - Saaremaa.

This morning 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 a morning drive we will visit the lovely capital Kuressaare with its magnificent Medieval castle and stroll through the streets of the enchanting old town. Continue inland on a journey that will take you back in time through a countryside of stone walls, thatched roofs, traditional villages and windmills. Return to the ship for lunch and spend an afternoon at sea.

Day 7 - Parnu.

Established in 1265, the Hanseatic town of New Parnu has been a market town, a fortress, a university town, an industrial and administrative centre as well as a resort town. Today it is the base for our excursion into the Estonian countryside. Our first call is at Viljandi, one of the oldest towns in Estonia, situated on the shores of a beautiful lake which was historically one of the key strongholds in Livonia. We will see the 13th century castle that overlooks the town before exploring the ancient cobbled streets where we find museums and galleries. We continue to Olustvere Manor for lunch. Built in an English romantic style and surrounded by a large garden there will be time to explore the gardens with pathways lined with lime, oak and maple trees. We return to Parnu via the river landscapes of the lowlands and set sail this evening.

Day 8 - Riga, Latvia.

After breakfast we will go ashore in Latvia’s capital of Riga on a walking tour. 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’s Cathedral, the largest Medieval church in the Baltic. Spend an afternoon exploring independently before returning to the ship and sailing this evening.

Day 9 - Ventspils.

Our second day in Latvia sees us back on the Baltic coast at the city of Ventspils. This morning you may wish to head to the nearby town of Irbene and the former secret Soviet military base, known as the “starlet”, which houses a number of radio telescopes including the RT32 which is the largest in Northern Europe. Formerly a base for over 2,000 soldiers and used as a site to intercept radio signals it is now used for scientific research and development. Alternatively, learn more about the fishing industry at the Open Air Museum and enjoy a steam train ride along the track built by the German army during World War I connecting Ventspils to the nearby fishing villages. This afternoon is free to explore the town further, perhaps visit the local brewery, wander the cobbled streets and quaint squares of the old town or visit the Livonian Order Castle, the oldest Medieval castle in Latvia which houses the local museum.

Day 10 - Visby, Sweden.

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 Fornsal Museum and wander the paths of the botanical gardens.

Day 11 - Stockholm to London.

Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.

Dates and Prices

SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE £200 PER PERSON FOR A LIMITED TIME
Prices per person based on double occupancy
12 to 22 August 2018
Category Brochure Price Special Offer Price
1 Inside Twin/Double £4195 £3995
2 Standard Stateroom £4695 £4495
3 Standard Stateroom Plus £4895 £4695
4 Superior Stateroom £5095 £4895
5 Deluxe Stateroom £5395 £5195
6 Junior Suite £5695 £5495
7 Executive Suite £5795 £5595
8 Owner’s Suite £5795 £5595
9 Inside Single £4195 £3995
10 Standard Single £4695 £4495
2 Standard Stateroom for sole use £6295 £6095
3 Standard Stateroom Plus for sole use £6595 £6395

Tour Reference Code: SCSE120818

Price Includes: Economy class scheduled air travel, 10 nights aboard the MS Serenissima on a full board basis, house wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner on board, Noble Caledonia onboard team including Guest Speaker, shore excursions, gratuities, transfers, port taxes, group Russian visa.

Not Included: Travel insurance. 

  • 2018 Deckplan

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  • 2019 Deckplan

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Serenissima

The charming MS Serenissima began her career as the Harald Jarl, cruising the Norwegian coastline and fjords. Since 2003, when she was extensively renovated, she has been operating as a classic cruise ship. Previously known as the MS Andrea, she was upgraded again in 2013 and started her new life as the MS Serenissima. With her small size she can navigate into small, remote ports inaccessible to the big cruise ships and appears an impressive sight when moored. With her fleet of Zodiacs, she is capable of both destination and expedition cruising. In December 2018, the vessel will once again undergo a significant refurbishment and after a re-configuration of the deck plan will accommodate a maximum of just 95 guests.

 
  • Restaurant
    Restaurant
  • Restaurant
    Restaurant
  • On Deck
    On Deck
  • Harald Jarl Lounge
    Harald Jarl Lounge
  • Jacuzzi area
    Jacuzzi area
  • Owners Suite
    Owners Suite
  • Executive Suite
    Executive Suite
  • Executive suite
    Executive suite
  • Junior Suite
    Junior Suite
  • Superior Stateroom
    Superior Stateroom
  • De Luxe Stateroom
    De Luxe Stateroom
  • Standard Plus
    Standard Plus
  • Standard inside
    Standard inside
  • Serenissima
    Serenissima
  • Your Cabin/Suite

    Accommodating no more than 95 passengers, the cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily. From January 2019, there will be eight different grades of cabin arranged over five decks, and all feature either windows or portholes. Because of the very nature of the ship, the cabins do vary in shape and size, adding to the vessel’s overall charm.

  • Your Space

    The facilities on board include two lounges – the larger Andrea Lounge is comfortable and spacious and the smaller Harald Lounge is more intimate. There is also a small library with a computer for internet access and Wi-Fi is available at an extra cost throughout the vessel. The outside areas really are something special. A spacious observation deck allows 360 degree views of the passing scenery. From here, step down to the lido area with Jacuzzi and outside bar. The covered seating area at the back of deck 6 is ideal for relaxing with a drink in hand. Perhaps, one of the best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During the major refit in Sweden 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.

  • Your Dining

    The free seating Venice Restaurant accommodates all guests in one sitting. Being on Deck 5, it has great views from all tables. The picture windows mean the restaurant is light and airy. Breakfast is served buffet-style with cooked dishes available and eggs to order by the ship’s accomplished chef. Lunch is also served buffet-style with hot and cold dishes available. Dinner is served a la carte and is four courses, except for at the Captain’s Dinner, which is a six course affair. Where possible, local produce is sourced for an authentic dining experience. A choice of red or white wine, beer, soft drinks, and water are included at lunch and dinner. In good weather there are al fresco dining facilities available and tea and coffee is available around the clock in the Andrea Lounge.

  • Life Onboard

    The MS Serenissima is more akin to a countryhotel than one of the large ships trawling the seas today. The European Captain, Officers and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere onboard is warm and welcoming, and the emphasis is not on around the clock entertainment and dining, but instead on well-thought out itineraries, relaxation, time spent with like-minded passengers and discovery. 

  • For your comfort

    There are so few ships of this generation still cruising and MS Serenissima is a great testament to her present and previous owners that they have seen fit to invest considerable sums over the years to keep her in top form and complying with the stringent health and safety requirements. There is a doctor onboard and during your voyage you will have the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the bridge.

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

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  • Drone Footage

    Please click below for some great drone footage of Serenissima.

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  • Videos

    Please find a selection of videos of Serenissima.

    Click on any image to play video.

     

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  • Deck plans
    • 2018 Deckplan

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    • 2019 Deckplan

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Onboard Team

  • Imogen Corrigan

    Imogen Corrigan

    Imogen Corrigan served for twenty years in the British Army, retiring in the rank of Major. In 2004 she graduated from the University of Kent with a 1st Class Honours degree in Anglo-Saxon and Medieval History and has recently submitted for an MPhil at Birmingham University. She runs study tours and has lectured extensively on Anglo-Saxon and Medieval subjects in Britain and Europe. She is a NADFAS lecturer as well as being a speaker for the Kent Federation of History, the National Trust and U3A amongst other lecturing agencies and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

    Imogen Corrigan will be on the following tour dates: 12 to 22 August 2018
  • JGH Corrigan

    Major JGH Corrigan MBE

    Commissioned from The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1962, Gordon Corrigan was an officer of the Royal Gurkha Rifles before retiring from the Army in 1998. He served mainly in the Far East but also in Berlin, Cyprus, Belize and Northern Ireland. He is now a military historian.

    He is the author of Sepoys in the Trenches, The Indian Corps on the Western Front 1914 – 1915 (1999); Wellington, A Military Life (2001); Mud, Blood and Poppycock: Britain and the First World War (2003); Loos 1915, The Unwanted Battle (2006); Blood, Sweat and Arrogance – And The Myths of Churchill’s War (2006); The Second World War – A Military History (2010) and Waterloo: Wellington, Napoleon, and the Battle that Saved Europe (2014)..  

    His next book, on the Hundred Years War, is to be published by Atlantic Books shortly. His television appearances include The Gurkhas, Napoleon’s Waterloo and Battlefield Detectives, and so far he has presented five series on various aspects of military history. He has conducted military history study tours in France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Holland, Spain, Portugal, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.

     

    Major JGH Corrigan MBE will be on the following tour dates: 12 to 22 August 2018

Tour Extensions

    • 9th – 12th August 2018

      For those who would like to spend some time in Finland before embarking the MS Serenissima we are offering a three night tour exploring the beauty of the Finnish Lakes.

      Finnish Lakes Finnish Lakes

      Day 1 London to Helsinki. Fly by scheduled flight. Arrive in the afternoon and transfer to the hotel for an overnight stay. Enjoy some time at leisure before we meet for dinner tonight.

      HämeenlinnaDay 2 Helsinki & Hämeenlinna. After breakfast in the hotel we will enjoy a tour of Helsinki including Senate Aquare, the rock church and Sibelius monument before continuing out of the city to Hämeenlinna and Häme Castle where we enjoy lunch. Häme Castle is one of Finland’s Medieval royal castles and is believed to have been built at the end of the 13th century, following the crusade by Swedish Earl Birger to Häme region. During the Middle Ages the original fortified camp was built into a residential castle for its commandant before being used as a prison from 1837 to 1972. After our tour we will transfer to our hotel situated on a lake in the Aulanko Nature Park. Relax and enjoy the views before meeting for dinner this evening.

      VisavuoriDay 3 Aulanko & Tampere. Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before our full day cruise through the beautiful scenery of the lake district. Enjoy the scenery of Lake Pyhäjärvi and Lake Vanajavesi before lunch onboard. In the early afternoon we will make a stop at Visavuori, the House and studio of sculptor Emil Wikström who designed the buildings himself and is one of the finest examples of Karelian architecture in existence. Wikström’s home is typical of Nordic artists’ homes of the time and in the studio almost 100 of Wikström’s works are displayed. Re-boarding our ship we will continue through the lake country to Tampere where we stay overnight by Lake Pyynikki.

      Day 4 Tampere & Helsinki. After breakfast in the hotel we enjoy a scenic drive around Tampere finishing at the Nässinneula restaurant, renowned for its wonderful panoramic views over Tampere and the view beyond. After lunch continue on to Iittala Glass Centre, where the Aalto Vase is produced along with other signature glass pieces. The history of iittala glass is on display including works of such great artists as Tapio Wirkkala and Timo Sarpaneva. We will also have the opportunity to see how these glass pieces were made before we transfer to the MS Serenissima moored in Helsinki.

    • Prices per person based on double occupancy
      CategoryPrice
      Twin £1195
      Single £1395

      Price Includes: Overnight accommodation in Helsinki, Hameenlinna and Tampere at fourstar hotels on a bed and breakfast basis, lunch and dinner daily, excursions, Tour Manager, gratuities to guides and drivers, transfers.

      Not Included: Travel Insurance.

    • 22nd to 24th August 2018

      If you wish to explore Stockholm in more depth after disembarking the MS Serenissima, we are offering a two night extension which includes an orientation tour a well as time at leisure to explore this fascinating city.

      Day 1 Stockholm. Disembark this morning and enjoy a tour of this handsome city, known as the ‘city on the water’. See 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. We will drive through old Stockholm and past the Parliament Building and Royal Palace which overlooks the inner harbour before arriving at our hotel for our two night stay. The remainder of the afternoon and evening are free for independent exploration.

      Day 2 Stockholm. Enjoy a full day to explore Stockholm at your own pace.

      Day 3 Stockholm to London. After breakfast in the hotel we will transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.

    • Prices per person based on double occupancy
      CategoryPrice
      Twin £545
      Single £625

      Price Includes: Two nights hotel accommodation in Stockholm in a central four-star hotel on a bed and breakfast basis, half day city tour, Tour Manager, gratuities to guides and drivers, transfers from the vessel to the hotel and from the hotel to the airport.

      Not Included: Travel insurance. 

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SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE £200 PER PERSON FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY
Serenissima
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Cities & Islands of the Baltic

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Island Sky
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