14 NIGHT SCANDINAVIA AND RUSSIA CRUISE ADVENTURE STARTS HERE

Southampton , England | Oslo , Norway | Copenhagen , Denmark | Copenhagen , Denmark | Tallinn , Estonia | St. Petersburg , Russia | St. Petersburg , Russia | St. Petersburg , Russia | Helsinki , Finland | Skagen , Denmark | Southampton , England

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INDEPENDENCE OF THE SEAS

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YOUR SHIP

INDEPENDENCE OF THE SEAS

INDEPENDENCE OF THE SEAS

GRAB HOLD OF BOLD

If all new adventures are your jam, you've come to the right ship. Launch yourself into a virtual world on a new bungee trampoline experience— Sky Pad℠. Dive into batter fried goodness at the new poolside Fish & Ships℠. And brush up on your dance moves with shows like Invitation to Dance.

DAY 1 - Departure Day

Southampton, England

DEPARTS:
4:30 PM

MEDEIVAL MYSTERIES

If you're arriving at the Southhampton International Airport, it's located on the outskirts of the city, making it easy to arrive into town. If you're flying into London a few days earlier, grab a train from Waterloo Station. During your time in Southampton, explore its medieval architectural spots like Bargate and the Old Town walls. Or learn more about the day the Titantic set sail from here in 1912.

The Bargate medieval gatehouse in Southampton, England
The exterior of the Tudor House in Southampton, England
A waterfront quayside in Southampton, England

If you're arriving at the Southhampton International Airport, it's located on the outskirts of the city, making it easy to arrive into town. If you're flying into London a few days earlier, grab a train from Waterloo Station. During your time in Southampton, explore its medieval architectural spots like Bargate and the Old Town walls. Or learn more about the day the Titantic set sail from here in 1912.

The Bargate medieval gatehouse in Southampton, England
The exterior of the Tudor House in Southampton, England
A waterfront quayside in Southampton, England
Things To Do

in Southampton

View of Stonehenge in England

Prehistoric Adventure

Located just an hour from Southampton, Stonehenge is one of the most well-known prehistoric sites in all of Europe. Wander around the miraculous stone circle and transport yourself back in time when Neolithic engineers used only simple tools to build the huge monument — it's believed they hauled those massive stones over 240 miles from Wales without the use of machines.

The entrance to the SeaCity Museum in Southampton, England

A Port of Importance

Southampton is home to one of the largest ports in the UK and millions of travelers pass through each year. In 1912, the most famous of those travelers would pass through as they set out to America onboard the Titanic. Southampton's SeaCity museum gives you the opportunity to learn more about the events that happened aboard that famous ship.

Close up view of The Bargate gatehouse in Southampton, England

Play Knights in Armor

Step back into the medieval era and walk the old walls of the city. Built to protect the town from attack by sea, most of the wall is still standing, leaving visitors a spectacular view of Southampton and the sea. Watch as boats enter the port city, and see how it would have been if you were a knight on watch hundreds of years ago.

Traditional fish and chips in England

Local Cuisine

Head to the pub for a refreshing glass of ale to pair with crispy, mouthwatering fish and chips. If fried food isn't your thing, go in for a salad with fresh watercress, the peppery green that the Hampshire region is famous for. You'll also find upscale fare based on England's most-loved flavors: Try chicken with Indian-inspired vegetable pakora and tandoori puree or braised Hampshire beef with ale cream.

Various antiques at a market

Shopping

Shop for big-name brands galore at Westquay Shopping Centre, the premier shopping destination of the South Coast. Head to Bedford Place for independent shops and boutiques — the country's oldest traditional shoemaker is located here. On weekends, wander down the road to Bar Street to check out the local market for antiques, crafts, vintage accessories and jewelry.

DAY 2 - AT SEA

CRUISING

CAN'T MISS FAVORITES

Man Sliding on the side of Mariner on The Perfect Storm
Man Doing Air Trick on Flowrider

Man Sliding on the side of Mariner on The Perfect Storm
Man Doing Air Trick on Flowrider

THINGS TO DO

Girl Sliding and Smiling on The Perfect Storm
The Perfect Storm℠

A TWISTING TURNING ADVENTURE

Grab a buddy and plunge through three stories of twisting, turning thrills to the bottom of the dual racer slides Typhoon℠ and Cyclone℠. The conditions are just right — for The Perfect Storm℠.

Girl Surfing Flowrider at Daytime with a Smile
FlowRider®

NOW BOARDING FOR ADVENTURE

Grab your board and get ready for 30,000 gallons of rushing awesome headed your way. The surf’s always up on the 40-foot-long FlowRider® surf simulator.

DAY 3 - DOCKED

Oslo, Norway

ARRIVES:
10:00 AM
DEPARTS:
6:00 PM
CLASSIC

SCANDINAVIAN COOL

Oslo's award-winning Opera House is perfect for exploring, both inside and out. Take advantage of its unique modern design and climb up to the top of the roof. Close by, you'll find the imposing Royal Palace and the Parliament, both of which offer insightful tours. Then, head to the Old Town to see medieval Oslo as it once was, and get some shopping and eating done.

An aerial view of Oslo, Norway
View of Oslo's city hall from harbor
The parliament building in Oslo, Norway

Oslo's award-winning Opera House is perfect for exploring, both inside and out. Take advantage of its unique modern design and climb up to the top of the roof. Close by, you'll find the imposing Royal Palace and the Parliament, both of which offer insightful tours. Then, head to the Old Town to see medieval Oslo as it once was, and get some shopping and eating done.

An aerial view of Oslo, Norway
View of Oslo's city hall from harbor
The parliament building in Oslo, Norway
Things To Do

in Oslo

The Akershus Fortress in Oslo, Norway

Fortified History

Construction of Akerhus Castle and Fortress began in 1299, and the structure has fended off a number of attacks since then. It's also been a royal residence and a prison, so there's a lot of history to take in. Don't miss the great views over the harbor while you're here.

View of the Holkmenkolen ski jump in Oslo, Norway

Slope Excursion

The observation deck at the top of the Holmenkollen Ski Jump offers 360-degree views of the city. But it's the Ski Museum that really delivers, with thousands of years of skiing history right up to modern times, as well as polar exploration artifacts.

A fountain in Vigeland Sculpture park in Oslo, Norway

Stroll With the Arts

Frogner Park is the largest sculpture park made by a single artist in the world, with over 200 sculptures of varying sizes rendered in iron, bronze and granite. The collection of sculptures in the park's middle section is particularly of note; only wander there if you're strong of heart, and don't bring the kiddos.

A herring fillet sandwich

Local Cuisine

In Oslo, hearty traditional fare is as popular as hip international cuisine. The popular Grunerlokka neighborhood is the perfect place to grab a bite. For a taste of down-home Norway, seek out local cod, hake or herring served with local garnishes like pea puree and pickled red onions. With cruises to Oslo, you can head to an Indian spot for samosas and fried king prawns — the local bounty shows up in the international eats, too.

Various wood carvings

Shopping

When it comes to shopping, Oslo has it all — whether you love big malls and department stores or prefer small boutiques, antique shops and markets. The hip Grunerlokka district offers that well-known Scandinavian cool. Stop here for top international designer outlets and smaller shops offering traditional items like sterling silver jewelry and handmade woodcrafts.

INSIDER TIP

The Munch Museum isn't just for enthusiasts of its namesake painter — it also stages regular exhibitions that highlight some of the world's greatest artists.

DAY 4 - DOCKED

Copenhagen, Denmark

ARRIVES:
11:00 AM

BALTIC BEAUTY

Adventure comes in many forms in Copenhagen, from Baltic beaches to famous fairytales. And each neighborhood offers unexpected discoveries. Explore the city’s seafaring past with a canal cruise, or stroll along Nyhavn’s colorful quay. Browse Kødbyen’s trendy art galleries. Dine on Nordic cuisine in Christiania’s quirky cafes. Or trace Denmark’s royal legacy among the castles and palaces of Frederiksstaden.

Scenic Summer sunset view of Nyhavn pier with color buildings, ships, yachts and other boats in the Old Town of Copenhagen, Denmark
Aerial view of Copenhagen, Denmark
Frederik's Church in Copenhagen, Denmark

Adventure comes in many forms in Copenhagen, from Baltic beaches to famous fairytales. And each neighborhood offers unexpected discoveries. Explore the city’s seafaring past with a canal cruise, or stroll along Nyhavn’s colorful quay. Browse Kødbyen’s trendy art galleries. Dine on Nordic cuisine in Christiania’s quirky cafes. Or trace Denmark’s royal legacy among the castles and palaces of Frederiksstaden.

Scenic Summer sunset view of Nyhavn pier with color buildings, ships, yachts and other boats in the Old Town of Copenhagen, Denmark
Aerial view of Copenhagen, Denmark
Frederik's Church in Copenhagen, Denmark
Things To Do

in Copenhagen

A Moorish Palace in Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark

PUT IT IN PARK

Pump up the adrenaline at Tivoli Gardens, one of the world’s oldest amusement parks. Go upside down on the 62 mph Vertigo, or feel the thrill of riding the famous wooden roller coaster that marked its 100th birthday in 2014. Arcade games, pantomime shows and live music only add to the park’s appeal.

Little Mermaid statue sitting on a rock on the harborfront in the northern Kastellet area in Copenhagen, Denmark

PLOT TWIST

Inspired by the famous Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, The Little Mermaid sculpture remains one of the most visited landmarks in all of Copenhagen. Find her sitting on a rock in the harbor, in all her bronze and granite glory, looking forlorn in search of her prince on land.

The National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen

NATIONAL TREASURES

Housed in the old Prince’s Palace, the National Museum’s galleries span the Great Hall and former sleeping quarters of Danish royalty. Here you can admire furniture from the early 18th century, as well as impressive collections of classical and eastern antiquities, handicrafts, coins, medals and children’s toys.

Danish smørrebrød sandwich with salmon fish and egg on wooden board, in Copenhagen, Denmark

Local Cuisine

Copenhagen has the most Michelin-starred restaurants of any Scandinavian city. Noma is consistently named “Best Restaurant in the World” for its New Nordic cuisine. But if you’re hungry for a quick lunch, try a herring smørrebrød sandwich and a dozen Limfjord oysters. Savor Danish cheese, coffee and pastries at Torvehallerne market— or sip on an ice-cold pint of Carlsberg pilsner.

Fun, colorful toy soldier figurines on display at a souvenir shop in Copenhagen, Denmark

Shopping

Hit the famous shopping strip of Strøget, one of the longest pedestrian-friendly streets in Europe, for international brands and kitschy collectibles. Copenhagen is perhaps best-known for its Danish-designed glass and ceramic home goods. Many vendors sell secondhand porcelain and silver pieces in street markets, but be prepared to bargain.

INSIDER TIP

The best way to explore Copenhagen is on bike, although taxis and Uber are widely available.

DAY 5 - DOCKED

Copenhagen, Denmark

DEPARTS:
5:00 PM

BALTIC BEAUTY

Adventure comes in many forms in Copenhagen, from Baltic beaches to famous fairytales. And each neighborhood offers unexpected discoveries. Explore the city’s seafaring past with a canal cruise, or stroll along Nyhavn’s colorful quay. Browse Kødbyen’s trendy art galleries. Dine on Nordic cuisine in Christiania’s quirky cafes. Or trace Denmark’s royal legacy among the castles and palaces of Frederiksstaden.

Scenic Summer sunset view of Nyhavn pier with color buildings, ships, yachts and other boats in the Old Town of Copenhagen, Denmark
Aerial view of Copenhagen, Denmark
Frederik's Church in Copenhagen, Denmark

Adventure comes in many forms in Copenhagen, from Baltic beaches to famous fairytales. And each neighborhood offers unexpected discoveries. Explore the city’s seafaring past with a canal cruise, or stroll along Nyhavn’s colorful quay. Browse Kødbyen’s trendy art galleries. Dine on Nordic cuisine in Christiania’s quirky cafes. Or trace Denmark’s royal legacy among the castles and palaces of Frederiksstaden.

Scenic Summer sunset view of Nyhavn pier with color buildings, ships, yachts and other boats in the Old Town of Copenhagen, Denmark
Aerial view of Copenhagen, Denmark
Frederik's Church in Copenhagen, Denmark
Things To Do

in Copenhagen

A Moorish Palace in Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark

PUT IT IN PARK

Pump up the adrenaline at Tivoli Gardens, one of the world’s oldest amusement parks. Go upside down on the 62 mph Vertigo, or feel the thrill of riding the famous wooden roller coaster that marked its 100th birthday in 2014. Arcade games, pantomime shows and live music only add to the park’s appeal.

Little Mermaid statue sitting on a rock on the harborfront in the northern Kastellet area in Copenhagen, Denmark

PLOT TWIST

Inspired by the famous Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, The Little Mermaid sculpture remains one of the most visited landmarks in all of Copenhagen. Find her sitting on a rock in the harbor, in all her bronze and granite glory, looking forlorn in search of her prince on land.

The National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen

NATIONAL TREASURES

Housed in the old Prince’s Palace, the National Museum’s galleries span the Great Hall and former sleeping quarters of Danish royalty. Here you can admire furniture from the early 18th century, as well as impressive collections of classical and eastern antiquities, handicrafts, coins, medals and children’s toys.

Danish smørrebrød sandwich with salmon fish and egg on wooden board, in Copenhagen, Denmark

Local Cuisine

Copenhagen has the most Michelin-starred restaurants of any Scandinavian city. Noma is consistently named “Best Restaurant in the World” for its New Nordic cuisine. But if you’re hungry for a quick lunch, try a herring smørrebrød sandwich and a dozen Limfjord oysters. Savor Danish cheese, coffee and pastries at Torvehallerne market— or sip on an ice-cold pint of Carlsberg pilsner.

Fun, colorful toy soldier figurines on display at a souvenir shop in Copenhagen, Denmark

Shopping

Hit the famous shopping strip of Strøget, one of the longest pedestrian-friendly streets in Europe, for international brands and kitschy collectibles. Copenhagen is perhaps best-known for its Danish-designed glass and ceramic home goods. Many vendors sell secondhand porcelain and silver pieces in street markets, but be prepared to bargain.

INSIDER TIP

The best way to explore Copenhagen is on bike, although taxis and Uber are widely available.

DAY 6 - AT SEA

CRUISING

FOR FOODIES

Two plates with sushi at Izumi on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship
Sugar Beach on Independence of the Seas

Two plates with sushi at Izumi on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship
Sugar Beach on Independence of the Seas

THINGS TO DO

Assorted Sushi Rolls Platter served at Izumi, Japanese Restaurant. One of the best fine dining cuisine on a cruise.
Izumi

A FAR EAST FEAST

Say “Konnichiwa” to a reimagined favorite. Sushi, sashimi and more, all made-to-order with intense flavors, the best ingredients and impeccable presentation. Now that’s fresh.

Assortment of Candy from Sugar Beach
Sugar Beach℠

TREAT YOURSELF

Treat your sweet tooth to every candy under the sun — plus a few sugarcoated surprises. Sugar Beach℠ is stocked to max candy capacity with all your favorite confections.

DAY 7 - DOCKED

Tallinn, Estonia

ARRIVES:
11:00 AM
DEPARTS:
7:00 PM

TALLINN A DAY'S WORK

Get to know the fairy-tale castles and cobbled streets of Tallinn's medieval Old Town. Or take a rejuvenating escape to one of the idyllic Baltic Sea beaches just outside the city center. Visit the Kunstimuuseum — Kumu, for short — the largest art museum in the Baltics, with Estonian art dating from the 18th century through the Soviet era. Check out Tallinn's two great churches: the ornate St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and St. Mary the Virgin, with its 14th-century medieval foundations and 18th-century Baroque tower.

Tallinn, Estonia, Old Town
The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Tallinn, Estonia
The twin towers of the Viru Gate in Tallinn, Estonia

Get to know the fairy-tale castles and cobbled streets of Tallinn's medieval Old Town. Or take a rejuvenating escape to one of the idyllic Baltic Sea beaches just outside the city center. Visit the Kunstimuuseum — Kumu, for short — the largest art museum in the Baltics, with Estonian art dating from the 18th century through the Soviet era. Check out Tallinn's two great churches: the ornate St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and St. Mary the Virgin, with its 14th-century medieval foundations and 18th-century Baroque tower.

Tallinn, Estonia, Old Town
The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Tallinn, Estonia
The twin towers of the Viru Gate in Tallinn, Estonia
Things To Do

in Tallinn

Close up view of buildings in Tallinn. Estonia

Medieval Roots

From the red-roofted towers of its Town Walls, to the Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the smoky pink Riigikogu parliament house, Tallinn's medieval Old Town looks straight out of a fairy tale. Make sure to stop in central Raejoka Plats, a charming square filled with cafes and restaurants.

Aerial view of the business district in Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn's New-School Side

Estonia was the birthplace of tech giant Skype, after all, and Tallinn's modern central business district reflects this futurism. Meanwhile, the Rotterdam District hearkens back to the pre-Russian Art Nouveau period of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

A man and a woman walking on a beach in Tallinn, Estonia

Baltic Beaches

Tallinn's beaches are the perfect opportunity to escape the not-so-hectic city center. Pirita Beach in particular is a big draw, with its broad expanse of sand and unique architecture, which dates back to when the USSR hosted the Olympics in 1991.

A herring sandwich on a white plate

Local Cuisine

Estonian food mixes Baltic and Russian influences — pickled herring is a common sight on Estonian tables, as is hearty black rye bread. Check out one of the cool cellar restaurants, which are situated on the garden level of warehouse buildings. Try buckwheat blinis with whitefish roe, red onion and sour cream, or pea soup with smoked pork hock. Wash it down with a pint of the local favorite Pohjala beer.

A variety of wooden souvenir viking dolls for sale in Estonia

Shopping

If you want to shop a range of souvenirs, local items and just about anything else you can think of, wander through the outdoor market stalls just outside Viru Gate, in the Old Town. Tallinn's most famous souvenirs include wooden crafts made with Estonian Junpier trees and local chocolates and spirits by brands like Kalev and Vana Tallinn.

INSIDER TIP

Tallinn's Old Town is compact and easily explored by foot, but if you do take a taxi, make sure to negotiate a rate before you start moving.

DAY 8 - DOCKED

St. Petersburg, Russia

ARRIVES:
7:00 AM
BAROQUE BEAUTY

ON THE BALTIC

Discover the countless sites of St. Petersburg's UNESCO World Heritage city center, from former royal residences to opulent Orthodox cathedrals. Take an excursion to the picturesque palace of Peter the Great. Or hop a quick ferry ride out to Kronstadt, a small island in the Gulf of Finland, where you can explore the ornate Naval Cathedral and walk along the fortress walls.

View of the famous Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, Russia
View of the Peterhof Palace and fountains in St. Petersburg, Russia
The Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia

Discover the countless sites of St. Petersburg's UNESCO World Heritage city center, from former royal residences to opulent Orthodox cathedrals. Take an excursion to the picturesque palace of Peter the Great. Or hop a quick ferry ride out to Kronstadt, a small island in the Gulf of Finland, where you can explore the ornate Naval Cathedral and walk along the fortress walls.

View of the famous Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, Russia
View of the Peterhof Palace and fountains in St. Petersburg, Russia
The Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia
Things To Do

in St. Petersburg

Front of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia

Czars and Saviors

Located near the waterfront and housed in the former Romanov Winter Palace, the Hermitage Museum sits due north along Nevsky Prospekt from the Church of the Savior on Blood, St. Petersburg's other most iconic attraction.

View of Saint Isaac's square in St. Petersburg, Russia

Discover the Unusual

St. Petersburg's city center is overflowing with history — why not choose museums that offer something a little different? Visit the quirky Faberge Museum, dedicated to the work of Russian jeweler Carl Faberge. Or enjoy an interactive experience at the Museum of Emotions.

Close up of the fountains at the front of the Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia

Imperial Excursion

Take a drive to some imperial palaces outside the city center. Under an hour away by car lies exquisite Peterhof, whose fountains alone are worth the price of admission. Cruise to St. Petersburg and go by train to the Baroque-style Catherine Palace — can you guess which Russian ruler often stayed here?

A bowl of boiled vareniki with cherry stuffing

Local Cuisine

Russians flock to St. Petersburg because of its cosmopolitan vibe, but use your stop here to discover local cuisine. Head to the restaurant-rich Nevsky Prospect to sample borscht beet root soup (the cold version in summer), dumplings of meat (plmeni) and sour cherries (vareniki) or hearty beef stroganoff — yes, that's a Russian dish!

Wooden dolls in St. Petersburg, Russia

Shopping

St. Petersburg's shopping options are as grand as its architecture. The luxurious Gostiny Dvor mall is an essential stop with your St. Petersburg cruise. If you're looking for a more down-to-earth experience, try your luck (and your Russian language skills) at Udelnaya Flea Market and bargain for one-of-a-kind antique samovars or imperial porcelain.

INSIDER TIP

Keep your cruise documents with you. Being on a cruise (and stopping for 72 hours or less) is all that exempts you from needing a visa, so you'll want to have your papers in case authorities ask for them.

DAY 9 - DOCKED

St. Petersburg, Russia

BAROQUE BEAUTY

ON THE BALTIC

Discover the countless sites of St. Petersburg's UNESCO World Heritage city center, from former royal residences to opulent Orthodox cathedrals. Take an excursion to the picturesque palace of Peter the Great. Or hop a quick ferry ride out to Kronstadt, a small island in the Gulf of Finland, where you can explore the ornate Naval Cathedral and walk along the fortress walls.

View of the famous Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, Russia
View of the Peterhof Palace and fountains in St. Petersburg, Russia
The Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia

Discover the countless sites of St. Petersburg's UNESCO World Heritage city center, from former royal residences to opulent Orthodox cathedrals. Take an excursion to the picturesque palace of Peter the Great. Or hop a quick ferry ride out to Kronstadt, a small island in the Gulf of Finland, where you can explore the ornate Naval Cathedral and walk along the fortress walls.

View of the famous Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, Russia
View of the Peterhof Palace and fountains in St. Petersburg, Russia
The Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia
Things To Do

in St. Petersburg

Front of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia

Czars and Saviors

Located near the waterfront and housed in the former Romanov Winter Palace, the Hermitage Museum sits due north along Nevsky Prospekt from the Church of the Savior on Blood, St. Petersburg's other most iconic attraction.

View of Saint Isaac's square in St. Petersburg, Russia

Discover the Unusual

St. Petersburg's city center is overflowing with history — why not choose museums that offer something a little different? Visit the quirky Faberge Museum, dedicated to the work of Russian jeweler Carl Faberge. Or enjoy an interactive experience at the Museum of Emotions.

Close up of the fountains at the front of the Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia

Imperial Excursion

Take a drive to some imperial palaces outside the city center. Under an hour away by car lies exquisite Peterhof, whose fountains alone are worth the price of admission. Cruise to St. Petersburg and go by train to the Baroque-style Catherine Palace — can you guess which Russian ruler often stayed here?

A bowl of boiled vareniki with cherry stuffing

Local Cuisine

Russians flock to St. Petersburg because of its cosmopolitan vibe, but use your stop here to discover local cuisine. Head to the restaurant-rich Nevsky Prospect to sample borscht beet root soup (the cold version in summer), dumplings of meat (plmeni) and sour cherries (vareniki) or hearty beef stroganoff — yes, that's a Russian dish!

Wooden dolls in St. Petersburg, Russia

Shopping

St. Petersburg's shopping options are as grand as its architecture. The luxurious Gostiny Dvor mall is an essential stop with your St. Petersburg cruise. If you're looking for a more down-to-earth experience, try your luck (and your Russian language skills) at Udelnaya Flea Market and bargain for one-of-a-kind antique samovars or imperial porcelain.

INSIDER TIP

Keep your cruise documents with you. Being on a cruise (and stopping for 72 hours or less) is all that exempts you from needing a visa, so you'll want to have your papers in case authorities ask for them.

DAY 10 - DOCKED

St. Petersburg, Russia

DEPARTS:
6:00 PM
BAROQUE BEAUTY

ON THE BALTIC

Discover the countless sites of St. Petersburg's UNESCO World Heritage city center, from former royal residences to opulent Orthodox cathedrals. Take an excursion to the picturesque palace of Peter the Great. Or hop a quick ferry ride out to Kronstadt, a small island in the Gulf of Finland, where you can explore the ornate Naval Cathedral and walk along the fortress walls.

View of the famous Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, Russia
View of the Peterhof Palace and fountains in St. Petersburg, Russia
The Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia

Discover the countless sites of St. Petersburg's UNESCO World Heritage city center, from former royal residences to opulent Orthodox cathedrals. Take an excursion to the picturesque palace of Peter the Great. Or hop a quick ferry ride out to Kronstadt, a small island in the Gulf of Finland, where you can explore the ornate Naval Cathedral and walk along the fortress walls.

View of the famous Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, Russia
View of the Peterhof Palace and fountains in St. Petersburg, Russia
The Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia
Things To Do

in St. Petersburg

Front of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia

Czars and Saviors

Located near the waterfront and housed in the former Romanov Winter Palace, the Hermitage Museum sits due north along Nevsky Prospekt from the Church of the Savior on Blood, St. Petersburg's other most iconic attraction.

View of Saint Isaac's square in St. Petersburg, Russia

Discover the Unusual

St. Petersburg's city center is overflowing with history — why not choose museums that offer something a little different? Visit the quirky Faberge Museum, dedicated to the work of Russian jeweler Carl Faberge. Or enjoy an interactive experience at the Museum of Emotions.

Close up of the fountains at the front of the Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia

Imperial Excursion

Take a drive to some imperial palaces outside the city center. Under an hour away by car lies exquisite Peterhof, whose fountains alone are worth the price of admission. Cruise to St. Petersburg and go by train to the Baroque-style Catherine Palace — can you guess which Russian ruler often stayed here?

A bowl of boiled vareniki with cherry stuffing

Local Cuisine

Russians flock to St. Petersburg because of its cosmopolitan vibe, but use your stop here to discover local cuisine. Head to the restaurant-rich Nevsky Prospect to sample borscht beet root soup (the cold version in summer), dumplings of meat (plmeni) and sour cherries (vareniki) or hearty beef stroganoff — yes, that's a Russian dish!

Wooden dolls in St. Petersburg, Russia

Shopping

St. Petersburg's shopping options are as grand as its architecture. The luxurious Gostiny Dvor mall is an essential stop with your St. Petersburg cruise. If you're looking for a more down-to-earth experience, try your luck (and your Russian language skills) at Udelnaya Flea Market and bargain for one-of-a-kind antique samovars or imperial porcelain.

INSIDER TIP

Keep your cruise documents with you. Being on a cruise (and stopping for 72 hours or less) is all that exempts you from needing a visa, so you'll want to have your papers in case authorities ask for them.

DAY 11 - DOCKED

Helsinki, Finland

ARRIVES:
8:00 AM
DEPARTS:
5:00 PM

SCANDINAVIA IN STYLE

There's no shortage of things to do and see in this stylish historical capital. After you've explored Helsinki's center, head to Punavuori, with its Design District, the superb Design Museum and many attractive shops and galleries. Join the Finns for a sauna, or relax in a trendy cafe in the Kallio district, which has recently undergone a facelift.

Coastal city view of Helsinki, Finland
View of the Helsinki, Finland from the harbor where a vintage ship is docked
Exterior of the Upsenski Cathedral in Helsinki, Finland

There's no shortage of things to do and see in this stylish historical capital. After you've explored Helsinki's center, head to Punavuori, with its Design District, the superb Design Museum and many attractive shops and galleries. Join the Finns for a sauna, or relax in a trendy cafe in the Kallio district, which has recently undergone a facelift.

Coastal city view of Helsinki, Finland
View of the Helsinki, Finland from the harbor where a vintage ship is docked
Exterior of the Upsenski Cathedral in Helsinki, Finland
Things To Do

in Helsinki

A grass covered building in Suomenlinna Fortress in Helsinki, Finland

Back in Time

Take the ferry 15 minutes to the fortress of Suomenlinna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Finland's most popular sights. Visit the museums, bunkers and fortress walls, built by the Swedes in the 18th century. Then, enjoy a picnic and hike along the cluster of car-free islands that are all connected by walking bridges.

View of the front of the Finish Design Museum in Helsinki, Finland

Innovative Designs

The Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in the city center, with its quirky metallic design by Steven Holl, is a symbol of Helsinki's modernization. Inside is an eclectic collection of Finnish and international contemporary art. There are excellent facilities for kids and a popular glass-sided cafe and terrace. Check out more of Helsinki's aesthetic history at the Finnish Design Museum.

The interior of a wooden sauna

Sweat It Out

Saunas are immensely popular in Finland — the nation claims to have about 3.5 million of them. In Helsinki, you can go to Kotiharjun, the city's only original public wood-fired sauna, dating from 1928. Cruise to Finland and try Loyly Sauna, a traditional smoke sauna set in a charming art deco complex.

A fish sandwich paired with a glass on wine in Finland

Local Cuisine

Helsinki has a wide choice of restaurants, from chic Michelin-starred spots to creative bistros and even food trucks. Fresh, seasonal and locally sourced ingredients are the norm here. Famous Finnish dishes you should try during your Finland cruise include salmon stew, forest mushrooms, and reindeer. Smorgasbord is a popular buffet, with hot and cold dishes featuring plenty of seafood. Enjoy a piece of lingonberry pie or some cloudberries for dessert.

An outdoor market in Helsinki, Finland

Shopping

Helsinki is a design mecca. Head to the Stockmann department store in the art nouveau building at Esplanade Park, and stop by Finnish designers like Markimekko, Iittala and Artek. Head to the Helsinki Design District or Toriquarters for unique pieces of clothing, design objects, art, antiques, books and homeware.

INSIDER TIP

Many sights are within walking distance here, but in case of snow or rain, a DIY tram tour is a great alternative.

DAY 12 - AT SEA

CRUISING

SUN DRENCHED DAYS

Kids Splashing Mom at Splashaway Bay Water Park
Relaxing Day at the Solarium

Kids Splashing Mom at Splashaway Bay Water Park
Relaxing Day at the Solarium

THINGS TO DO

Girl Getting Splashed on Harmony of the Seas
Splashaway Bay℠

FUN BY THE GALLON

The fun comes in gallons. This bigger, better kids aqua park features slides, water cannons, waterfalls and more. And when the drench bucket gets full, everyone gets wet.

Beautiful Night on the Pool Deck
Whirlpools

ENJOY SOME BUBBLY

It’s easy to let every thought melt away while relaxing in a whirlpool, especially when you’re soaking up ocean views, too.

DAY 13 - DOCKED

Skagen, Denmark

ARRIVES:
8:00 AM
DEPARTS:
5:00 PM
GET SWEPT AWAY

IN SKAGEN

Drive three kilometers from Skagen to Grenen, the geographical top of Denmark, where the Baltic Sea meets the North Sea — here, you can get up close and personal with seals. Take the four-kilometer bike ride west is Old Skagen, a former fishing hamlet picturesque yellow houses. Or stay in town and check out the Skagen Lighthouse, then head to a seaside restaurant for Dublin Bay prawns — they're so big you might think they're lobsters at first.

A historic windmill in Skagen, Denmark
The Lighthouse of Skagen on the coast in Denmark
The Sand-Covered Church in Skagen, Denmark

Drive three kilometers from Skagen to Grenen, the geographical top of Denmark, where the Baltic Sea meets the North Sea — here, you can get up close and personal with seals. Take the four-kilometer bike ride west is Old Skagen, a former fishing hamlet picturesque yellow houses. Or stay in town and check out the Skagen Lighthouse, then head to a seaside restaurant for Dublin Bay prawns — they're so big you might think they're lobsters at first.

A historic windmill in Skagen, Denmark
The Lighthouse of Skagen on the coast in Denmark
The Sand-Covered Church in Skagen, Denmark
Things To Do

in Skagen

A World War 2 bunker at a beach in Skagen, Denmark

Bunker Down

Skagen's coastline is home to a number of bunkers dating back to World War II, some half-submerged in water or sand. Check out the Skagen Bunker Museum, located in an old German bunker. It features a number of artifacts from the time, including weapons and uniforms, along with a film room and an operations room that take you back in time.

A close-up view of The Sand-Covered Church in Skagen, Denmark

Sandy Worship

Built in the 14th century and dedicated to Saint Lawrence of Rome, the Sand-Covered Church was overcome by rising levels of sand that buried the structure faster than it could be dug out. At one point, the door had to be dug out before every service, which led to the locals abandoning the church. Today, just the main tower remains, still at the mercy of the shifting sands and winds.

The Skagen lighthouse in Skagen, Denmark

Northern Lighthouse

Make time for a visit to the Skagen Grey Lighthouse. Not only is this a distinctive sight of north Jutland, with sweeping views of Kattegat Bay, it's also home to a migratory bird sanctuary — head here to spot species of Arctic birds on their way from Scandinavia to warmer environments.

Two filets of smoked mackerel

Local Cuisine

Seafood is the name of the game in Skagen. Try pan-fried fish cakes or smoked salmon with dill and herbs. Cruise to Skagen to indulge in local delicacies like smoked salmon or freshly caught lobster served alongside local potatoes, wild garlic and beach peas. For a distinctive dessert, head to Ruth's Gourmet for the famous oak bark ice cream.

A souevnir shop in Denmark selling an assortment of souvenirs

Shopping

You'll find charming boutiques and shops along the streets of Skagen. Butik Skagen carries local handicrafts, such as sweaters, blankets and ceramics, as well as number of well-known Danish brands, including Mogens Alex Petersen. Den Bla Appelsin is another notable shop, carrying quality women's fashion and wonderful handicrafts and textiles.

INSIDER TIP

Danes love to bike everywhere, so make like a local and rent a bike to explore the beautiful coastline.

DAY 14 - AT SEA

CRUISING

SHOW STOPPERS

Performers on stage with a big book behind them during the Freedom of the Once Upon a Time Cruise Show,
Performers singing and dancing on stage to the Grease Broadway show on Harmony.

Performers on stage with a big book behind them during the Freedom of the Once Upon a Time Cruise Show,
Performers singing and dancing on stage to the Grease Broadway show on Harmony.

Performer dress in green on fantasy like stage during the Freedom of the Once Upon a Time Cruise Show
Once Upon A Time

A STORYBOOK SPECTACULAR

Settle in for the rarely told side of your favorite fairy tales in a colorful spectacle for all those who never want to grow up.

Couples dancing on stage to Grease Broadway show on Harmony.
Grease

THE THRILLS ARE MULTIPLYIN'

Slick back your hair and pack your poodle skirts. Summer lovin' is in the air with an all new larger than life take on Broadway's hit musical, Grease.

DAY 15 - Arrival Day

Southampton, England

ARRIVES:
5:30 AM
PRIME ENGLISH

COUNTRYSIDE

Your adventure doesn't have to end once you've gotten back to Southampton. Before you go, spend a few days exploring the quaint English towns of the Hampshire region like Winchester, the ancient capital, or the pretty market town of Romsey. This village is also home to the Romsey Abbey, one of the most magnificent churches in Southern England thanks to its round Norman arches and lofty nave.

Yachts docked at the Ocean Village Marina in Southampton, England
The Netley Abbey ruins in Southampton, England
The historic Calshot Castle at the entrance of Southampton, England

Your adventure doesn't have to end once you've gotten back to Southampton. Before you go, spend a few days exploring the quaint English towns of the Hampshire region like Winchester, the ancient capital, or the pretty market town of Romsey. This village is also home to the Romsey Abbey, one of the most magnificent churches in Southern England thanks to its round Norman arches and lofty nave.

Yachts docked at the Ocean Village Marina in Southampton, England
The Netley Abbey ruins in Southampton, England
The historic Calshot Castle at the entrance of Southampton, England
Things To Do

in Southampton

View of Stonehenge in England

Prehistoric Adventure

Located just an hour from Southampton, Stonehenge is one of the most well-known prehistoric sites in all of Europe. Wander around the miraculous stone circle and transport yourself back in time when Neolithic engineers used only simple tools to build the huge monument — it's believed they hauled those massive stones over 240 miles from Wales without the use of machines.

The entrance to the SeaCity Museum in Southampton, England

A Port of Importance

Southampton is home to one of the largest ports in the UK and millions of travelers pass through each year. In 1912, the most famous of those travelers would pass through as they set out to America onboard the Titanic. Southampton's SeaCity museum gives you the opportunity to learn more about the events that happened aboard that famous ship.

Close up view of The Bargate gatehouse in Southampton, England

Play Knights in Armor

Step back into the medieval era and walk the old walls of the city. Built to protect the town from attack by sea, most of the wall is still standing, leaving visitors a spectacular view of Southampton and the sea. Watch as boats enter the port city, and see how it would have been if you were a knight on watch hundreds of years ago.

Traditional fish and chips in England

Local Cuisine

Head to the pub for a refreshing glass of ale to pair with crispy, mouthwatering fish and chips. If fried food isn't your thing, go in for a salad with fresh watercress, the peppery green that the Hampshire region is famous for. You'll also find upscale fare based on England's most-loved flavors: Try chicken with Indian-inspired vegetable pakora and tandoori puree or braised Hampshire beef with ale cream.

Various antiques at a market

Shopping

Shop for big-name brands galore at Westquay Shopping Centre, the premier shopping destination of the South Coast. Head to Bedford Place for independent shops and boutiques — the country's oldest traditional shoemaker is located here. On weekends, wander down the road to Bar Street to check out the local market for antiques, crafts, vintage accessories and jewelry.

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