Region Overviews: Europe Travel Guide: Overview
Encapsulating 50 nations and a dizzying amount of cultural and natural diversity, Europe is a traveler’s playground.
The Baltic Sea is a fascinating region steeped in history. Copenhagen. Tallinn. St. Petersburg. Helsinki. Visby. Stockholm. Colorful modern port cities rich in cultural heritage, overflowing with magnificent architecture and bathed in the ethereal glow of the midnight sun. Navigate the trade routes of ancient seafarers. Then bike alongside locals on urban and rural cycling routes for the perfect blend of exploration on land and sea. Five unique countries, one incredible Backroads voyage.
THIS ITINERARY: 8 days, 7 nights
ACCOMMODATIONS: Premiere Ship
Start Copenhagen, Denmark / End Stockholm, Sweden
Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.
DAYS 1-2 Copenhagen sets the stage for this remarkable journey on the Baltic Sea | Travel the Danish Riviera by bike, passing white‐sand beaches and beautiful summer homes | Serene cycling paths lead to the Frederiksborg Castle, a noble display of Renaissance architecture perched in the middle of a lake | Enjoy plush amenities and Backroads camaraderie as our ship takes to the open sea | Partake in yoga or just sit back and enjoy the ocean breeze.
DAY 3 Our first port of call is UNESCO-designated Tallinn, Estonia—one of Europe's best-preserved medieval cities | A scenic spin along the Baltic coast takes you through lovely woodland and returns you to Tallinn's historic center via the sandy beaches of the Pirita Riviera | It's anchors aweigh this evening as our ship departs for Russia.
DAYS 4-7 Thanks to two centuries as an imperial capital, St. Petersburg is a treasure trove of history, art and cultural relics | Discover the city's grand avenues and intriguing side streets by bike, then stroll world-class museums, palaces and galleries | Pedal through the countryside to Pushkin and marvel at Catherine the Great's magnificent summer palace | Visit the famed Hermitage Museum, the world's second largest museum of art and culture | Explore the city's canals and waterways by kayak | Sail to Helsinki, where tree-lined bike paths lead away from the hustle and bustle of downtown to the Finnish coast.
DAYS 8-9 The Swedish island of Gotland is renowned as a cyclist's paradise—from the port in Visby, a delightful bike route follows coastal roads through quaint villages and farmland | Set sail for cosmopolitan Stockholm, a perfect place to extend your stay.
These luxurious and sleek vessels have an intimate French atmosphere and boast an open-air bar, three lounges and a team of master chefs crafting gourmet dishes. (pool, spa)
The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. View cancellation policy
Please note: Due to the multiple stateroom options available on this trip, reservations can only be made by contacting one of our Trip Consultants on 800-462-2848 or via email.
Click on dates for pricing, itinerary variations and to book your trip. Price is per person, double occupancy.
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next—and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do. LEARN MORE.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
The ships we sail on are like floating luxury hotels, so you can visit a new destination each day without touching your suitcase once you've settled in. Our ships are custom‐designed with a variety of inviting spaces that offer plenty of room for both relaxing and socializing. These ships are vastly smaller than most cruise ships, with up to just 150 passengers on our river trips and up to only 250 on our ocean trips.
We sail with up to 30 Backroads guests per group. Occasionally there may be more than one Backroads group onboard and you may cross paths with the other group on routes or at restaurants. When this occurs, each group will have their own dedicated onboard Backroads leaders.
If you're new to Backroads active cruise trips, there are a few things you need to know. Although our average group size is larger than a typical Backroads tour, our ship-based trips feel smaller and much more intimate than a typical cruise.Additionally, even with an itinerary subject to fixed nautical schedules, we get out and explore far beyond the cruise norm. Although our time ashore may be shorter than an average Backroads Hotel trip, you still have the option to select a route that matches your pace. In larger cities, you can decide to shift gears and opt for less active site-seeing activities. It's important to note, our time ashore can be limited due to changes in the nautical schedule and ship tendering.Being onboard a ship provides the benefit of being able to take advantage of ship amenities: the fitness room, spa, sauna and swimming pool. In addition, there is the opportunity to relax in the inviting common spaces or the privacy of your room, complete with balcony. Your Trip Leaders will have information on the array of options to choose from.If having longer routes or more flexibility to explore is important for you, we recommend choosing one of our River Cruise or Hotel trips. If you love meeting new people and having more time to relax aboard the ship, and enjoy the ease of unpacking once, you'll love our approach to active ocean cruising. Nobody does it like we do.
On our active cruises, we seek out diversity by including regionally authentic and inventive meals for onshore lunches, picnics and the occasional onshore dinner. On-ship meals, though delightful, are meant to appeal to a wide cross section of passengers and may at times feel more conventional and less reflective of the region than on Backroads hotel trips.
In contrast to our Hotel trips, which typically have similar room categories, the Ponant ships offer a wide range of stateroom categories to choose from. The top-tier staterooms often fill fast, so book as early as possible if this is important to you.
Due to government regulations, a local cycling company in St. Petersburg supplies us with bikes and route support for our rides in Russia. Your Trip Leaders will accompany you on the routes but Backroads vans and bikes are not permitted to enter Russia. Rest assured, these quality bikes are ideal for urban maneuverability and you'll find the same high level of support along our routes as you would in other Backroads destinations.