First name is required!
Last name is required!
First name is not valid!
Last name is not valid!
This is not an email address!
Email address is required!
This email is already registered!
Please enter valid email address
Password is required!
Enter a valid password!
Please enter 6 or more characters!
Please enter 16 or less characters!
Passwords are not the same!
Terms and Conditions are required!
Email or Password is wrong!
Please select the captcha checkbox!
Please select the valid captcha!
Something went wrong! Try again later!

Highlights
  • Discover and compare the cosmopolitan capital cities of Copenhagen, Tallinn, Helsinki and Stockholm.
  • Explore the palaces of the tsars in Saint Petersburg and examine the treasures of the State Hermitage Museum.
  • Learn about the powerful Hanseatic League of cities and merchant guilds in the German seaport of Rostock.

A sea teeming with cod and herring, on whose shores could be found rich supplies of lumber, iron and salt — it’s no wonder the Baltic was the object of many nations’ economic and political desires. The Vikings built a trade empire around it, the Hanseatic League grew wealthy from it and Denmark and Sweden fought wars for “dominium maris baltici,” control of the Baltic. On this voyage, experience six beautiful and deeply historic cities that reflect and carry on the Baltic’s fascinating story.

Flights & Transport
  • Internal airfare and ground transport
Ship Name
  • M/S Zuiderdam

30
Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
87% Recommend

4.5 out of 5
Excellent 23 Great 3 Average 1 Disappointing 1 Terrible 2
Value
4.5 Guide
4.6 Activities
4.5 Lodging
4.3 Transportation
4.4 Meals
4.3
Seaside Capitals of the Baltic

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Road Scholar .

K

Does Not Recommend

Road Scholar Owes My Mom A Huge Apology and Refund. Highly advise AGAINST using them. May 2018

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
Let me preface this story with some background about myself: I backpacked through most of Europe by myself when I was studying abroad in Ireland. I suffered through horrendous bus rides, getting kicked out of seats on trains, sleeping in questionable hostels, and going weeks without being able to really do laundry. I know how crappy it can be to actually get from one place to another, and how worth it is to suffer through all of that just to lay eyes on something magnificent.

And yet, Road Scholar has, without a doubt, managed to give me the single worst travel experience I've ever had in my entire life, and we didn't even make it off the ground. I would never, ever, EVER recommend them to anyone looking to go anywhere, and as far as I'm concerned, Road Scholar needs to seriously reconsider their travel-making procedures and give my mother a huge apology and refund. (Also, I'm only in my twenties, so I have a lot of years ahead of me to make referrals.)

It all started with Road Scholar not getting us flights. We claimed our spot on a trip to the Lake region in Northern Italy, but no one ever called us back about any travel arrangements. It appeared we were on the trip IN Italy, but no one had bothered to make any arrangements to get us there. My mother called and left messages, emailed people, and the only response we got was that our flight should be booked at some point in early May (when our trip was set to start on May 22). Road Scholar urges people to book their flights through their preferred travel agency, which is who didn't call us back. Road Scholar, to market themselves as educational tourism rather than shallow "I just want to see things" tourism, partners up with different educational institutions, and ours was through Trinity College. The director of the Italian programs called us asking for our travel information, since she didn't have it yet. Interesting news to us. We were then told that we could make travel arrangements of our own (even though we were paying Road Scholar to do it for us) and then inform the program of our travel plans and how we were getting to our hotel. So we started to investigate making our own plans, when someone finally called us back saying that they were taking care of our travel arrangements, and they "didn't know why we hadn't had them made for us already." The director of the program was happy to hear this, because the Lake region of Italy is not as easily accessible as other areas.

We asked for upgraded seats because my mom has had both of her knees replaced, and while that doesn't inhibit her in the slightest from being active, it limits where she can sit on planes. In a cramped regular economy seat with no leg room on an international flight that was going to last 8-10 hours, she wouldn't have been able to walk off the plane because of how her knees would cramp up. But they said they could make the arrangements (which is also advertised on their website) so that was that. We got our itinerary, accommodations, and were all set. We were booked through United and Lufthansa (neither of which either of us will EVER book through again), so I downloaded the United app onto my iPhone so I could check us in and make sure we had mobile copies of our boarding passes in addition to the paper ones my mom printed out. We were all set to fly from Cincinnati to Washington D.C., from D.C. to Frankfurt, and from Frankfurt down to Verona where we would be meeting up with the group -- which, by the way, we never received any information regarding where the group was meeting, the transportation to the lake resort, etc. Nothing. Just "after you get there" stuff.

Then this morning, I woke up to a notification from United Airlines (and a text message alert that I had set up) saying that our flight to D.C. had been cancelled due to weather. Obviously I'm not blaming Road Scholar for that. What I am holding Road Scholar accountable for is what happened next: my mom called the Emergency Hotline (which is a recording -- and I HIGHLY recommend that they change this, because when I studied abroad, we had two emergency hotlines, both of which were always answered by real human beings, one for anything happening in the United States, and the other for the program, which was a different number for each location and a direct line to one of the program directors on the ground in the country you were actually in). We left a voicemail, someone named Mike called us back, and he was an absolute asshole. When you book your flight through a travel agency/group travel organization, if anything happens to your flight, it is the THEIR responsibility to take care of it. We were told by Road Scholar, and it's available on their website: "When you book your airfare through Road Scholar, we're there to help you in case of any emergencies." When Mike called us back and we told him that our flight to D.C. had been cancelled, he told us that he couldn't look up any other flights (on both United and any other airlines) for us to potentially get on to get to D.C for our transatlantic flight. Instead, he told us to call United ourselves and to go to the airport and talk to the desk agent. I then ended up on the phone (and on hold) the entire drive to the airport, which resulted in nothing because tons of flights had been cancelled due to airline politics and weather. We finally got to the desk agent at the airport, had a hell of a time getting rebooked on another flight, and weren't able to get the upgraded seats that we paid extra money for. When we called Road Scholar and Mike back to ask if during the course of our day when we would be traveling (and unable to make phone calls) he would call Lufthansa to at least make the airline aware of our need for better seating due to my mother's knee replacements, he was unhelpful and rude, at first attempting to refuse calling on our behalf and finally agreeing to, but only after repeatedly telling us "there's no guarantee of those seats" (something we definitely understood because we're not stupid).

Our rebooked flight wasn't set to leave until 7:45 PM tonight, putting us in Verona at 4:05 PM the next day (4 hours after the group transfer to the hotel), so we returned home instead of waiting around the airport for 12 hours. We got on both United and Lufthansa's websites and discovered that not only had our original itineraries not been removed, we had been double booked, one for a flight out of North Carolina to Munich through Delta, and another out of D.C. (the 7:45 PM flight) which had a 23 hour layover in Munich. A call to Road Scholar resulted in us being told that we had to contact the airlines. My mother was on the phone, talking to either United representatives or Lufthansa representatives, from about 9:30 AM to 2:00 PM. We were told we had reservations but no tickets, told we had tickets but couldn't see the numbers, told there were seats available for us to get upgraded to but we would have to try to get the desk agent in D.C. to arrange that for us, told that there was no guarantee we could get those seats, and more. It was incredible the amount of bureaucratic bullshit we had to put up with, especially since each airline wouldn't take any responsibility for us getting the seats we paid for and on a new flight, telling us "we'd have to talk to the other company about that." We finally called Road Scholar to see if there was anything more they could do, who encountered the same mess we already had, and all they did was eventually advise us to go back to the airport (a 45 minute drive) and talk to the desk agent to see IF they could put us in the upgraded seats -- ones we had already paid for and my mom couldn't make the trip without!

Then when asked how they would be getting us to our destination in the Lake region (which is not an easy place to get to, as I looked up the train and bus schedules myself, because - remember - I have tons of experience at this point traveling on the ground across Europe), they wouldn't outright say what our plans would be, which could've been anything from picking us up in the airport in a car, giving us a damn rental to drive ourselves, or simply paying for tickets and expecting us to haul all our luggage from the airport to the shuttle to the train station in Verona, take the 2+ hour train to a town an hour away from our destination, have to catch a bus to the actual town we were supposed to be in, and then walk the rest of the way there. Seeing what all happened, I would bet it would've been the latter, which isn't a problem for someone like me, but is an issue for someone like my mom.

The moral of the story here is that my mom and I shouldn't have had to be on the phone with anyone other than Road Scholar, PERIOD. Seeing as we paid well over $10,000 for this trip, the minute the flight was cancelled, Road Scholar should've called us to let us know that they would be making other arrangements for us to get to our trip in the Lake region of Italy. THEY should've been the ones on the phone, dealing with the airline bureaucrats, working their hardest to get us any combination of flights to get us to Italy in the seats that we paid for. Or, if it really came down to it, they should've made arrangements for us to be on this trip at another point in time, offered us another excursion in its place, or simply given us a refund. Instead, they didn't want to do the jobs that we paid them to do, and we were the ones that had to take time out of our day, which was already scheduled to be a hectic and stressful time because traveling is simply just that, to do Road Scholar's job. They didn't look out for us one single bit and completely and utterly RUINED what was supposed to have been a wonderful trip for me and my mom.

My mother has an adventurous and curious soul and hasn't gotten to go to Europe the way she always wanted to. Since I graduated college, my mother suggested taking a mother-daughter trip. This was supposed to be incredibly special for the both of us, getting to go somewhere new together (I hadn't explored Northern Italy much and that's where we decided to go), learning about the food and the culture, and bonding over all the amazing things we were going to be able to do. I think my mom was even more excited about this trip than I was, voraciously reading all the required/recommended reading, practicing Italian in her room so she could order correctly at restaurants, not giving up when we hit little bumps in the road along the way. Instead, we have been nothing but doubtful at best in the entire planning of this trip, and deeply disappointed and angered at worst. I will never again recommend Road Scholars to anyone looking to go on group trips. Instead, I will steer people away and recommend that they either find a better travel agency, book the trip themselves, or go through Rick Steve's program.

Road Scholar should issue my mother a refund and an apology or risk being sued.
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

S

Does Not Recommend

They take advantage of the elderly May 2018

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
I had high hopes for Road scholar. However, when I was diagnosed with cancer I got no sympathy from Road Scholar. The agents and management kept saying you should have purchased insurance. But the insurance was extremely expensive and would not have covered the cancellation fee either. I ended up attending anyways because I didn't want to lose my money. I felt sick the entire time and could barely complete the activities. The group leader was wonderful. But the program was very strict and I felt that they over charged for everything. They demonstrated shocking behavior for a non profit that is supposed to be all about education and supporting the elderly. Yet they constantly are sending catalogs and pushing expensive programs. I highly recommend taking your money elsewhere. They do not respect their customers and only care about money. They took advantage of a cancer patient and according to the others on my trip this is common.
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

S

Does Not Recommend

A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT August 2017

3.0
  • Value 3.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 3.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 2.0
  • Meals 3.0
I would have enjoyed this trip much more if I felt I was being treated as an adult, the educated, enthusiastic traveler that I am.
Unfortunately, I took a fall and broke my arm near the end of the trip. I was shocked at the very insolent, uncaring attitude of Road Scholar. I received two calls from the insurance program my husband was encouraged to pay for for the trip (we usually use Travel Guard who is great). Both calls were very negative. Neither expressed concern about my condition and both apparently had called to state that ROAD SCHOLAR
WOULD NOT PAY FOR ANYTHING! WOW! A WAKEUP CALL FROM HELL. I WILL BE SHOUTING THIS FROM THE ROOFTOPS SO NO ONE ELSE
HAS THIS EXPERIENCE. DO NOT PURCHASE ROAD SCHOLAR INSURANCE -- IT IS A BOONDOGGLE!
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

LG

Does Not Recommend

Don't go! March 2017

2.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
  • Value 2.0
  • Transportation 2.0
I took a four day bridge class at Jekyll Island Club Hotel. The class was mediocre. And I came home with over 50 BED BUG BITES! Please beware.

Operator Road Scholar

TCtssvawmc

Recommends

Excellent coverage of major cities and Guizhou Province January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Road Scholar (also known as Elderhostel) offers hundreds of tours worldwide, using local tour companies, sometimes universities. I have taken RS tours to Africa, China, and France and look forward to more. This was my first "tour" of China, but my 20th visit, with the rest on business. Our guide, Mei Mei, was one of the finest I've seen on tours. We started with Beijing and continued to Xian and then to Guizhou Province for a week in this fascinating area, which was new to me. We were able to meet the people in the villages, thanks to our guide, and enjoyed the chance to see and photograph such a variety of places in China. Hotels were excellent and appropriate to this type of tour (usually centrally located and very fine). Meals were family style and always good. Road Scholar makes its tours educational and doesn't push shopping as so many commercial ones do. Touring in China is very safe. You do have a lot of walking and RS tells you this in the tour, but it seems that a great deal of the walking is in those huge airports! I recommend Road Scholar and always turn to their catalogs to choose my next trip.
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

Itinerary

Day 1: In Transit to Program

In Flight

Day 2: Arrive Copenhagen, Check-in, Orientation

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: Copenhagen Strand Hotel

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: If you arrive before rooms are available, you may leave your luggage with the concierge and go out for a walk or relax in the hotel. After checking in to the hotel and getting your room, take some time to freshen up and relax before our Orientation session at 5:00 PM in the breakfast meeting room of the hotel. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. This program is staffed with a Study Leader who will lecture and lead field trips and who will also serve as Group Leader dealing with logistics. Ground transportation will be via private motorcoach unless noted otherwise. In addition to lectures and field trips exclusively for our Road Scholar group, you are invited to take advantage of the many activities and events aboard ship that are separate from the Road Scholar program. “Free Time” and “At Leisure” indicate when you can choose to do what you like and make your experience as personally meaningful, rewarding, and memorable as possible. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: After orientation, enjoy a three-course welcome dinner at a local restaurant with water, tea, or coffee and a glass of wine.

Evening: At leisure. Continuing getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

Day 3: Copenhagen Field Trip, Free Time

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Copenhagen Strand Hotel

Activity note: Walking about 1 mile; some cobblestone surfaces, one short, steep, slope to ascend/descend.

 

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Founded circa 1160, Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark — the seat of the Royal Residence, the National Parliament and Supreme Court — and the largest city in Scandinavia. It is also a capital of culture and the arts, its rich heritage visible in historic structures from many different periods. And it has the distinction of the oldest and longest pedestrian street in the world. We’ll depart the hotel via motorcoach with a local expert on a field trip to see some of the city’s highlights. We’ll see City Hall, Tivoli Gardens, the old Stock Exchange, Nyhavn harbor, fairy-tale Rosenborg Castle where the Danish crown jewels are kept, Christiansborg Palace, and the Danish Parliament Building. Our local expert will provide commentary as we drive. We’ll stop at Amalienborg, winter home of the royal family, with its four identical palaces in rococo style that form an octagon rather than a square — one of the most beautiful palace complexes in Europe. We’ll also explore the lovely area around Kastellet, the old Citadel, built in 1626. The surrounding area is now a popular public park with the Gefion Fountain, the Museum of Danish Resistance (1940-1945), St. Alban’s Anglican Church, and the iconic symbol of Copenhagen, the bronze figure of the Little Mermaid, inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: We'll enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check out and transfer tomorrow with embarkation on the MS Zuiderdam in the afternoon.

Day 4: Helsingør, Louisiana Museum, Embark MS Zuiderdam

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Zuiderdam

Activity note: Walking 700 yards from motorcoach to park; uneven, cobblestone surfaces. In the castle, several steep, spiral stairs to ascend/descend; no elevators.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll travel with our local expert to Helsingør (Elsinore) for a view of the exterior of Kronborg Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the setting for Shakespeare's “Hamlet.” The UNESCO inscription states, “Located on a strategically important site commanding the Sund, the stretch of water between Denmark and Sweden, the Royal castle of Kronborg at Helsingør (Elsinore) is of immense symbolic value to the Danish people and played a key role in the history of northern Europe in the 16th-18th centuries.” Next, we’ll ride to Humlebaek and explore the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art with an expert. The building was constructed as a nobleman’s house in 1855 and opened as a museum in 1958. The collection of more than 3,500 works covers the period from 1945 to the present with an emphasis on painting and sculpture as well as architecture, design, photography, and film, as well as cultural and ethnographic exhibitions. Why is it called Louisiana? The aristocratic builder was married three times, to women all named Louise.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We’ll transfer to the port in Copenhagen and embark on the MS Zuiderdam. Upon completion of check-in, you will receive a ship identification card. It will serve as your identification for security procedures when embarking and disembarking the ship, and for making purchases on board. It is also your access card to your cabin. Take some time to freshen up and relax. Then, along with everyone else on board, we will participate in the mandatory ship’s safety drill when announced.

Dinner: Each evening aboard ship, Road Scholar participants are invited to have dinner together with the Study Leader at the early seating in the main dining room, where we will have reserved tables. There are tasty choices for each of the five (5) a la carte courses to order from the menu. Included beverages are coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. For other meals, you can choose the Lido Restaurant or one of the several specialty restaurants. The specialty restaurants include an upscale option at extra cost. Free round-the-clock room service is also available. There are bars in several different locations.

Evening: At leisure. Each evening you will be free to enjoy what you like onboard. A copy of the next day’s shipboard schedule — listing activities and events outside the Road Scholar program — will be placed in cabins each evening of the voyage.

Day 5: Kiel-Germany, Hamburg, Free Time

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Zuiderdam

Activity note: Walking approximately 2 miles on cobblestones; some uneven ground.

Breakfast: The Lido Restaurant is cafeteria style for breakfast and offers dishes such as cooked-to-order omelettes, pancakes, fresh fruits, cereals, yogurts, fresh-squeezed orange juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: At leisure. We are scheduled to arrive in Kiel at 11:00 am.

Lunch: Have an early lunch on board before we disembark for our day in Kiel.

Afternoon: We’ll set out with a local expert on a field trip to explore the vibrant city of Hamburg, the second largest in Germany with the country’s second largest port, though it lies 65 miles inland from the North Sea. We’ll explore by motorcoach and on foot to see some of its many waterways and canals, and learn why Hamburg has been called the "Venice of the North." It actually has more bridges over its rivers than Venice and Amsterdam combined. Afterwards, take some time to see and do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. All aboard is 8:00 p.m.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 6: At Sea, Road Scholar Exclusive Lectures

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Zuiderdam

Activity note: N/A

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We’ll meet with our Study Leader for an onboard presentation on topics related to the program theme.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: We’ll gather again with our Study Leader for another fascinating presentation providing insights and perspectives on our voyage. Afterwards, enjoy a gathering with your group of Road Scholars for an exclusive cocktail party before dinner.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 7: Tallinn-Estonia

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Zuiderdam

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking about 2 miles; uneven, cobblestone surfaces; steep hills, long flights of steps.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: From the UNESCO World Heritage Site inscription: “The origins of Tallinn date back to the 13th century, when a castle was built there by the crusading knights of the Teutonic Order. It developed as a major centre of the Hanseatic League, and its wealth is demonstrated by the opulence of the public buildings (the churches in particular) and the domestic architecture of the merchants' houses, which have survived to a remarkable degree despite the ravages of fire and war in the intervening centuries.” We’ll depart the ship and take a motorcoach to begin a walking field trip led by a local expert that will feature some of the city’s most historically and culturally significant sites. Among the highlights we’ll see in the Upper Town are Toompea Castle, imposing Pikk Hermann tower (c. 1360); the Parliament building; and the Russian Orthodox Alexander Nevski Cathedral. We’ll also walk to a vantage point with a beautiful view over the Lower Old Town. Tallinn was once Europe's greatest fortified city. Today, we can still see some of these treasures of history and medieval architecture. The Old Town is characterized by narrow, winding streets and many structures that have survived from the Middle Ages. We’ll see the Church of the Holy Spirit; the Great Guild Hall building, headquarters of Hanseatic League merchants; and Town Hall Square. The Town Hall has remained virtually unchanged since it was built in 1404. Local tradition says the world’s first Christmas tree made its public appearance here in 1441.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration in Tallinn. You are welcome to stay aboard ship and enjoy its activities and amenities or just relax.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 8: St. Petersburg-Russia, Catherine Palace, Hermiage

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Zuiderdam

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. At the Hermitage, walking about 1/2 mile indoors, about 1.5 miles outdoors; flights of stairs, crowded conditions. At the Hermitage, walking through 5 buildings, approximately 2.5 hours.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We’ll begin our full day field trip with a drive outside St. Petersburg to the town of Pushkin, formerly Tsarskoe Selo — the Tsar’s Village. It was renamed to honor one of Russia’s most celebrated poets, Alexander Pushkin. Led by an expert, we’ll explore the vast Catherine Palace, named for Catherine I, wife of Peter the Great. The original structure was demolished and replaced by their daughter, the Empress Elizabeth I, and used as her summer residence. The façade is 1,066 feet (325 meters) long, painted in turquoise blue and white with gilding that took more than 220 pounds (100 kilograms) of gold. The interiors were the most elaborate in Europe, eclipsing even Versailles. We’ll walk through a series of magnificent rooms including the famous Great Hall and the Amber Room. The original Amber Room consisted of nearly 1,000 pounds (450 kilograms) of amber decorated with gold, gems, art works, and mirrors. It was looted by the Nazis and disappeared from history. What we see today is a meticulous reconstruction that took 24 years to complete, reopened in 2003.

Lunch: At a local dining venue.

Afternoon: Our next field trip stop is the fabulous Hermitage Museum, the largest art museum in Russia and one of the most prestigious in the world. It originated in 1764 with the Empress Catherine the Great. Situated in the historic center of St. Petersburg, the main museum complex comprises the Winter Palace, the Small Hermitage, the Old Hermitage, the New Hermitage, and the Hermitage Theatre. A local expert will lead our exploration. We’ll then return to the ship.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 9: Peterhof, Peter & Paul Fortress & Cathedral, St Petersburg

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Zuiderdam

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. The drive to Peterhof is about 12.5 miles (20.5 kilometers), approximately 1 hour. Walking at Peterhof about 1.5 miles; flights of stairs up/down, few places to sit. At Peter and Paul Fortress, uneven, cobblestone surfaces.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We’ll begin another full day with a transfer to Peterhof (Petrodvorets) on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland for an expert led field trip. This royal estate of palaces, fountains, and parks was created by Peter the Great to rival Versailles. Left incomplete at the time of his death, it was finished in even grander style by his daughter, the Empress Elizabeth I. The Grand Palace is the most brilliant of all the summer residences of the Russian Tsars. The layout of the 300-acre park and spectacular fountains were designed by Peter himself. The Grand Cascade consists of three waterfalls, an avenue of 64 fountains, and 37 gilded statues. The lavish interiors were almost completely reconstructed after being destroyed by the Nazis in World War II.

Lunch: Returning to St. Petersburg, we’ll have lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll visit the Vasilievsky Island, originally intended by Peter the Great as the center of his new city, for its impressive views. We’ll then ride to the Peter and Paul Fortress for an expert led exploration. Another of Peter the Great’s creations, it served as a defensive bastion. The first building constructed within the walls of the fortress was the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, the oldest church in the city. Until the erection of the television tower, it was also the tallest thanks to its slender steeple that is one of the city’s landmarks. All but two of Russia’s monarchs since Peter the Great and members of their families are buried here. The interior is extravagantly decorated with carvings and paintings, frescoes, chandeliers, and an elaborate iconostasis. En route back to the ship, we’ll drive along the Neva embankment and Nevsky Prospect.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 10: Helsinki-Finland

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Zuiderdam

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; walking a few hundred yards.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We’ll have another full day field trip beginning with an expert led exploration of Helsinki, founded in 1550. Over the centuries, as ownership changed from Sweden to Russia to Finland, it grew into a cosmopolitan city. Helsinki hosted the 1952 Summer Olympics, was named a European Capital of Culture in 2000, and the World Design Capital for 2012. Among the highlights we’ll see are the historic center, Finlandia Hall, and the Opera House. We’ll also see some of the icebreaker fleet, Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, Parliament Building, and Market Square.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a light lunch.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll travel by motorcoach outside of the city to the scenic shores of Lake Tuusula. We’ll visit Villa Kokkonen the home and atelier (studio) of renowned architect Alvar Aalto, who integrated his love of architecture, design, nature, visual arts, and music into this home. We’ll explore the villa with the resident hosts who are accomplished musicians, then enjoy a performance of music by Jean Sibelius (1865-1957), regarded as Finland’s greatest composer. Returning to the ship, we’ll have time to freshen up and relax before dinner.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 11: Stockholm-Sweden, Fjällgatan, Free Time

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Zuiderdam

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking about 2 miles at Gamla Stan; steep hills, cobblestone streets; those who wish may remain on the motorcoach.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We'll depart the pier for Fjällgatan. From there, you will have a splendid panoramic view over the capital of Sweden – Stockholm was built on 14 islands beginning more than a thousand years ago. Gamla Stan, where the first Stockholmers settled, is situated between the Baltic Sea on the east and Lake Mälaren on the west. We'll cross Lake Mälaren on Västerbron, one of the major bridges in Stockholm. We'll leave the island of Södermalm and enter the island of Kungsholmen. Our next stop will be the historic island of Riddarholmen, where you'll have a stunning view over Lake Mälaren and the City Hall. We'll continue our exploration with a narrated walking tour of Gamla Stan, strolling the narrow, cobbled streets. You will witness buildings from medieval times and hear of the people who long ago lived in this part of Stockholm, which today is considered a very modern place. Now, the Vasa Museum awaits us. It was specifically built to house the oldest fully preserved ship in the world. The warship Vasa was the pride of the ancient Sweden’s navy, but was too thin and too tall and sailed for less than 30 minutes on her maiden trip on August 10th, 1628. The wind caught her sails and toppled the ship, which sank almost immediately and settled in the mud of the Stockholm harbor for 333 years before being raised in 1961. After a guided tour of the museum, we'll have time to explore the museum’s other exhibits and displays of historic items. Over 12,000 artifacts were recovered together with the ship.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity to explore Stockholm independently. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure to relax aboard the ship or explore Stockholm. The ship docks in Stockholm overnight.

Day 12: Stockholm, Sweden

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Zuiderdam

Activity note: N/A

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We'll begin our second day in Stockholm with a discovery of Drottningholm Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage list. It is the most well-preserved royal castle built in the 1600s in Sweden and is representative of all European architecture for the period. The combination of the exotic Chinese Pavilion pleasure palace, the palace theatre and the magnificent palace gardens make a visit to Drottningholm a unique experience. Influenced by French prototype, the palace was built by architect Nicodemus Tessin the Elder by commission of Queen Hedvig Eleonora. A number of royal personages have since then left their mark on the palace. The Palace is Their Majesties the King and Queens permanent home residence. The rooms in the southern wing of the palace are reserved for this purpose. The rest of the palace and grounds are open to the public year round. After the palace we'll stop by Stockholm's City Hall, one of Sweden’s most famous buildings, famous for its grand ceremonial halls and unique art pieces and the venue of the Nobel Prize banquet held on the 10th of December each year. It also houses the offices for 200 people including the Municipal Council.

Lunch: Aboard ship or independently if you choose to stay on in Stockholm.

Afternoon: Free Time. See and do what interests you most. You may also remain aboard ship and take advantage of the various activities and amenities or just relax. All aboard is 3:00 p.m.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 13: At Sea

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Zuiderdam

Activity note: N/A

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We’ll meet with our Study Leader for an informative presentation.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: We’ll have another expert presentation by our Study Leader.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 14: Rostock-Germany, Free Time, Warnemuende

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Zuiderdam

Activity note: Walking about 2 miles, mostly even paved surfaces; short section with uneven, cobblestone surfaces and a few steps.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We’ll begin our field trip with a narrated drive to Rostock, Germany’s gateway to Scandinavia, where we’ll explore via motorcoach and on foot. This was one of the most important cities in the Hanseatic League — an historic confederation of trading cities and towns that dominated commerce for two centuries — when Rostock grew wealthy. We’ll see the architectural legacy of this era in a number of medieval structures among churches, mansions, and monuments from later eras including one of the four remaining out of 22 original city gates. We’ll also see the University of Rostock, founded in 1419, and Kroepeliner Strasse, lined with many gabled houses from the 17th and 19th centuries, now a popular pedestrian boulevard. The “Joy of Life” fountain from 1980, once considered controversial, provides a cheerful contrast with its ensemble of bronze sculptures.

Lunch: Aboard ship or independently if you choose to stay on in Rostock.

Afternoon: Free Time. See and do what interests you most, whether aboard ship or ashore. The ship will be docked near the seaside resort of Warnemünde, a walk of from 500-700 yards away. There is an underpass, with two flights of steps, under a railway. The beach is about 1/4 mile from the town center. All aboard is 7:00 p.m.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 15: Copenhagen-Denmark, Road Scholar Lecture, Free Time

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Zuiderdam

Activity note: N/A

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We’ll meet with our Study Leader to gain more in depth insights into the history and culture of Copenhagen. The ship is scheduled to arrive in Copenhagen at 11:00 AM.

Lunch: Aboard ship or independently if you go into Copenhagen.

Afternoon: Free Time: Explore Copenhagen on your own to see and do what interests you most. The Study Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: Aboard ship. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for disembarkation and departure in the morning.

Day 16: Disembark, Program Concludes

In Flight  B

Activity note: Disembarkation will begin at 8:00 a.m. This usually takes approximately an hour, followed by airport transfers for those on Road Scholar group flights. If you are an independent traveler (POP status), see “Ground Transportation from Last Location.”

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We will disembark and proceed with onward travel plans. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 5,395

Price Per Day:

$ 337 per day
 
  • Select Custom Arrangements to get to and from Road Scholar-provided airfare for your program
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Details
Ship Name

M/S Zuiderdam

Ship Stats
  • Ship's Registry:  The Netherlands
  • Passenger capacity:  1,964
  • Crew members:  817
  • Gross Tonnage:  82,305 grt.
  • Length:  936 feet
  • Beam:  105.8 feet
  • Maximum speed:  24 knots
  • Dedicated:  December 2002, by journalist Joan Lunden
Ship Description

BB King's Blues Club on ms Zuiderdam

BB King's Blues ClubDirect from Beale Street, our B.B. King All-Star band brings the best of Memphis music to sea. From funky and fast to soulful and smooth, the band does it all while you enjoy a signature drink or dance the blues away. B.B. King Blues Club — it’s good for your soul.

The first ship in our Vista-class series, Zuiderdam began her inaugural season in 2002, and was renovated in 2015 to include new staterooms and dining venues. She embraces the latest industry and environmental technologies such as her use of a diesel-electric power plant for optimal energy efficiency and an Azipod propulsion system.

Recently refurbished Zuiderdam now has 25 new staterooms and a popular new dining venue, offering more cruise opportunities and options. The Dive-In at the Terrace Grill features an outdoor bistro-style grill by the Lido pool, offering signature burgers, hot dogs and fries. Other Zuiderdam enhancements include an updated dining room, Neptune Lounge, Greenhouse Spa and Canaletto restaurant.

At the heart of Zuiderdam, suspended in a three-story atrium, a Waterford Crystal Seahorse sets the mood for exquisite pieces of art to be seen throughout this elegant ship. Other notable pieces include a painting of Queen Beatrix by pop culture artist and icon, Andy Warhol, medallions by Frank Lloyd Wright, cast aluminum elevator doors inspired by the art deco work of the New York Chrysler Building, and a massive floral painting by Charles Ben. You will also discover a large collection of antiques and centuries-old paintings throughout the ship.

Step aboard Zuiderdam as she sails the Panama Canal, the Caribbean, and the beautiful Pacific Coast.

Trip Includes
  • 14 nights of accommodations
  • 5 expert-led lectures
  • 12 expert-led field trips
  • An experienced Group Leader
  • Customary gratuities throughout the program
  • The Road Scholar Travel Protection Plan, 24-hour-a-day emergency assistance coverage
  • Taxes
Meals Included:

14 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches and 14 Dinners

Flights & Transport
Internal airfare and ground transport
Group Size:
Standard Group
Accomodations

Copenhagen Strand Hotel: 2 nights  Copenhagen

Copenhagen Strand Hotel is a three star hotel located in one of the original warehouses on the Copenhagen harbor front. The historic buildings have been restored and the hotel’s interior design offers a rustic style with a maritime touch, some bedrooms have view of the harbor and the promenade.

Start City
Copenhagen
End City
Copenhagen
Guides

Mirela Slonjšek

Mirela is a licensed group leader with over 15 years of experience. She holds a degree in Art History and Philosophy from Zagreb University. Born and raised in Croatia, Mirela enjoys sharing all aspects of Croatian culture with others. She has also led groups around Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and North America. She is fluent in English and Italian, has a great interest in Art and Architecture and was previously on the board of the Croatian Sommelier Association.

Trip ID#: SeacCapRoa

×
Great Choice!

You can access members-only savings of up to $700 on over 6,000 Stride Select trips.

Sign in to see trip eligibility

or
or
Provide email and password

With your FREE membership you get to:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
Already a member?

We respect your privacy and take great care to protect your information. By joining you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Tours & Operators on Stride Awarded and Featured by:

  • National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure
  • Outside, The New York Times