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Ponant voyages from the land of the Vikings to the land of the Tsars

October 10, 2014 Cruise No Comments Email Email
Join one of PONANT’s range of luxury expedition 7 to 10 nights Baltic and Northern Europe cruises in June 2015 and discover lands where Viking history contrasts with contemporary centres of design, art and architecture, and where modern history collides with the ancient.

Want for nothing as you explore the highlights of the Baltic and Northern Europe, including coastal Sweden, Finland, Poland, Estonia and Russia, from onboard two of PONANT’s modern fleet of small luxury yachts, Le Soléal and Le Boréal.
For some, crossing the Arctic Circle and pushing further into the polar seascape will be the highlight. For others, Russia’s St Petersburg, city of the Tsars, will be the memorable climax. Regardless, you will be surprised by other unexpectedly delightful destinations uncovered by PONANT’s expert team – depending on the selected voyage – architectural treasures, open-air museums and visits to historic Tallin, Visby and Gdańsk.
Virtually left unscathed during the 1930-50s Stalinist period, St Petersburg is an extravagance of palaces, impressive historical monuments, tree-lined avenues and bridges. To miss a trip to St Petersburg is to miss one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Not yet 300 years old, its deserved reputation for rich cultural traditions has inspired some of the modern world’s greatest literature, music, art and architecture, as epitomised by the opulent UNESCO World Heritage ranked Hermitage Museum and onion shaped domes of Catherine the Great’s Palace. It remains Russia’s cultural capital.
  • Discover the oldest capital of Northern Europe, Tallin, Estonia’s 12th century city by the sea. Meander cobbled streets beneath ramparts of the old city walls crowned with orange-topped watch towers, turn a corner and be amazed by stunning gothic architecture. One of the best preserved mediaeval towns in Northern Europe, Tallin is a further UNESCO World Heritage site. By contrast, also a dynamic city with a thoroughly modern outlook, thriving nightclub scene, stylish bars and restaurants attracting the young and fashionable.
  • Be charmed as you wander the former Viking enclave of Visby on the island of Gotland. Once a Baltic trading force, the 13th century ramparts protect more than 200 warehouses  and wealthy merchants houses, a legacy from the days of trade in Russian furs, timber, wax and tar.
  • Gdańsk, “the Pearl of the North”, has a thousand-year history. Located at the crossroads of important commercial and communication routes, Gdańsk melds many cultures, nationalities and denominations. Its past reflected in extensive bourgeois architecture, beautiful harbour side houses, intimate streets and historic churches. The fortifications rank among the most substantial in Europe. Add interesting harbour architecture to the mix and here is another fascinating PONANT destination.
  • By contrast, Helsinki. Elegant thoroughfares lined with beautiful neo-classical Art Nouveau buildings, elegant cafés, upmarket stores and artisanal producers supplying traditional pickled herrings through to produce for Michelin-starred restaurants. Renowned for its glassware, crockery, furniture and architecture, much of its modern décor is ironic and humorous, achieving style and sophistication with confident ease.
  • Further north, more UNESCO sites. Follow in the footsteps of the ancient Vikings as you explore the coast of Norway with its colourful villages, lakes and glaciers forming natural pockets of paradise. Enter the land of majestic fjords, extraordinary landscapes made of lush green valleys and imposing snow-capped summits, with silver flecked waterfalls tumbling down granite cliffs.
The extensive range of PONANT Baltic and Northern Europe itineraries offers variations that are sure to appeal to anyone seeking immersive and memorable experiences. The itineraries combine old and new, balancing well known Baltic cities with lesser-known yet equally fascinating destinations, each voyage enhanced by specialist lecturers onboard who add perspective to each port of call.

Itinerary examples: (current pricing, per person twin share, inclusive of taxes)

Treasures of St Petersburg: Stockholm to Copenhagen or v.v. on Le Soléal (4 voyages  during June/July 2015 (7 nights) are available from A$3,640. A limited number of 0% single supplements are still available.

Scandinavian Capital Cities:  Stockholm to Bergen on Le Boréal/ June 13 2015 (9 nights) from A$4,720. A limited number of 0% single supplements are still available.

The website provides detail on the fleet, voyages, itineraries, inclusions – and the videos in particular will give an appreciation of the French style that is the PONANT signature.
Additional information and reservations can be made by phoning (in Australia)1300 737 178 or + 61 2 8459 5000, (in New Zealand) 0800 44 32 62, email or  contact your travel agent.

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