Discover the Baltic Sea

Bergen to Riga. The Land of Fairytales, the Baltics may be small, but culturally, it is as diverse as it is beautiful.

A Photographer's Dream.

Each of the alluring Baltic cities offers its own unique charm, from the marvelously medieval Tallinn to the nouveau-chic Riga. Think cobbled streets lined with Cappucino-sipping cafe-dwellers, stately palaces, and courteous locals. A cruise to this part of the world offers both cultures that dates back centuries and untamed beauty as far as the eye can see.



Bergen is Norway’s most majestic city and it is the gateway to the country’s grandest fjords. An endless rainbow of painted wooden houses greets guests at this UNESCO-protected port. Hardy visitors may join locals for a bracing dip above the 60° degree parallel. A soak in the Jacuzzi offers a post-swim treat. Due north sits Sognefjord. At 205km long and nearly a mile deep, its navy blue expanse is trimmed by tumbling green meadows. Better still, it abuts little Nærøyfjord, rated by National Geographic as the world's most awesome natural site.



Norway claims to be: “Powered by Nature”. Nowhere is this truer than around Kristiansand, in the nation’s beautiful south. This age-old port offers white water rafting, horseback safari, reindeer burgers and dégustations of fermented fish. With average summer highs of 20°c, it’s also Norway’s sunniest spot.
But Kristiansand hides its greatest assets under the waves. Sail out past sandy beaches and lonely islands to Europe's wildest scuba spots: the sea life-rich kelp fields of Feriesenter and Trysnes. Locals use these seas as a mobile larder for cod, salmon, lobster and king crab. We’ll join the club – although perhaps adding a splash of mirin, wasabi or olive oil to our daily catch.



With a thriving artistic scene, bustling café culture and colourful nightlife, Oslo is a flash of city life among endless fjords and watery scenescapes. The nightlife here offers famed jazz clubs and excellent restaurants. It’s also easy to combine with outdoor pursuits from hiking and biking to skiing. The iconic modern waterfront opera house is set to put the region on the map as a centre of music.



Sweden’s second city is a premier affair. For Gothenburg is laced with architectural flair. The Romantic and Neoclassical blend with the Functional and Postmodern. The dozen parks in the cosmopolitan city centre lie waiting to be trodden. Morning jogs will never be this good again. Gothenburg boasts five Michelin stars, 15 museums and over 500 cafés. But the city’s car-free Southern Archipelago does its best to tempt sailors away. Brännö Island was the inspiration for Beowolf. Vargö Island is a rustic Nature Reserve. Sweden still not floating your boat? Fear not. The Danish coast is but a 20-minute sail away.



Copenhagen’s 13 Michelin stars pull in epicureans from across the globe. Noma is feted for its creativity and flair. Elsewhere try fermented fish, or reindeer tartare if you dare. The Danish capital owes its skyline to the influence of the baroque, the Renaissance, and even Sir Norman Foster. The canals and bars of Nyhavn render it a Venice of the north. Kayaking past gives the city its true worth. From Can onwards, guests can sail with a stiff breeze and endless sun. The island of Samsø is cool, while Langeland is wild, and Läsö has seldom-welcomed a luxury yacht. A lazy week-long circumnavigation of Själand surely tops the lot.



Bornholm is where Denmark’s beautiful people come to play. Along with the ateliers of artists who make the island their home, Bornholm’s strongest attraction is its Nantucket-style natural beauty. The island’s towering cliffs, capped by an impressive medieval castle, are best viewed from a superyacht deck. Inland, crew can lead a cycle safari through flower-filled meadows. Back onboard, ask your chef to prepare a Bornholm signature dinner of smoked fish, caraway cheese and wild fruits, washed down with a fiery shot of akvavit. A little liquor can improve one’s language skills: Bornholm lies at a linguistic crossroads, geographically far closer to Sweden and Poland than the Danish mainland.



Scattered over 14 islands, Stockholm is an extraordinary collection of neighbourhoods, each with a unique personality. Quirky design, innovative restaurants, warming cafes and stylish shops make it the ideal city for wandering without agenda. The old town, Gamla Stan, is a colourful step back in time.



In Finnish waters, the 6,500 islands of the Aland archipelago offer remoteness and privacy in spades. Paddleboarding along a deserted Baltic coastline makes for an afternoon of exploration. Birdwatching from the crow’s nest is a more relaxed – if equally solitary – option.
For a change of pace, head for the lively regional capital, Mariehamn, in late August. It’s here that the Paf Open beach volleyball tournament attracts the world’s leading players. On one of the island’s pale strips of sand, staff can arrange a friendly crew versus guests volleyball contest. Back on board, your chef can prepare a Finnish feast of tiny scarlet crayfish and buckwheat bread, followed by a lingonberry dessert.



Helsinki is a sea-town par excellence and an exciting, dynamic place. Half the city seems to be water, and the tortured geography of the coastline includes any number of bays, inlets and a speckling of islands. The capital of Finland is also the country’s cultural, financial and economic centre. On the one hand, the city exudes an atmosphere that is tranquil, reserved and nostalgic. The streets are clean and safe and trams weave across cobblestoned avenues where musicians play bach. On the other hand, Helsinki is sleek, efficient and modern. Finnish design has been leading the way for decades; and the capital’s stylish new bars and cutting-edge restaurants make it an increasingly popular destination.



Red roofed Tallinn promises a true fairytale escape. A turreted wall, dating to medieval times, encircles its captivating Old Town – visitors can still climb to the top of the towers. Afterwards, sample local foods at a traditional restaurant here - Estonian ingredients from wild boar to elk and chefs are ever-more inventive. Great musical performances light up the city at night.



The largest of all the capitals in the Baltics, Riga’s gothic-spired sklyline is backed by sea dunes, blueberry forests and even white sandy beaches. Try the city’s innovative restaurants and vibrant cafes, or wander the lively Central Market, selling regional food from Latvian farms including pig snouts and hemp butter, as well as local crafts.