Abercrombie & Kent Develops New Cultural Cruise Exploring the Baltic Sea

Stortorget - Old Town in Stockholm (Stefano Fermi)In response to the growing interest in immersive cultural journeys, Abercrombie & Kent is expanding its 2020 portfolio of Luxury Expedition Cruises with “Cruising the Baltic Sea: Copenhagen to St. Petersburg”, a comprehensive voyage that explores the cultures and complex relationships between Denmark, Poland, Lithuania, Sweden, Estonia, Finland and Russia.

This journey joins A&K’s Cultural Cruises that explore landmark and less-frequented coastal regions of Italy, Greece and Japan for an in-depth look at the traditions of these ancient seafaring cultures.

Every A&K Luxury Expedition Cruise includes an engaging program of expert lectures, special events and curated shore excursions – always under the guidance of A&K’s knowledgeable Expedition Team — who offer incomparable insights into each country’s culture, history and natural treasures.

Each cruise is exclusively chartered aboard a luxurious and innovative small ship: ‘Le Bougainville’ in the Mediterranean, ‘Le Soleal’ in Japan and the brand-new ‘Le Dumont d’Urville’ in the Baltic Sea.

A&K limits capacity to less than 80 percent, which guarantees a private balcony in every stateroom and suite, uncrowded access to public spaces and restaurants, and an intimate personnel-to-guest ratio at a maximum of 1 to 1.3.

“Our approach to expedition cruising is culturally immersive,” explains Bob Simpson, Abercrombie & Kent’s Vice President, Expedition Cruising. “We start with selecting the best ship for the destination, then craft a thoughtfully-planned itinerary that allows ample time in each port – including a stay at a five-star hotel in a notable city – to offer a thorough understanding of the region’s history. On our new Baltic Sea cruise, guests will end their journey with three nights in St. Petersburg filled with insider access opportunities and a wide choice of included excursions, with the Four Seasons Hotel Lions Palace as their home base.”

These voyages combine over 30 years of expertise in small ship cruising with A&K’s tour operating heritage to guarantee an in-depth experience unmatched by cruise-only journeys. Each day offers guests a choice of all-inclusive options for shore excursions, ranging from active, outdoor adventures to discussions of history, art and architecture, as well as hands-on experiences and tastings at local restaurants and vineyards.

On the new Baltic Sea cruise for 2020, guests may choose from a walking tour of Stockholm’s Gamla Stan (Old Town) or an art tour including the former home of landscape painter Prince Eugen; a guided walk above the city on the rooftop of the Old Parliament House or a Nordic food experience sampling Swedish specialties from local purveyors.

Tallinn offers the chance to explore the Old Town or leave the city behind for a bog walk or an Estonian vodka tasting at Palmse Manor in Lahemaa National Park. In Helsinki, guests may explore city sights, relax on a privately guided boat tour, or enjoy a Finnish sauna and nature walk. While in St. Petersburg, guests can choose from art museums, cooking classes and palace visits

“We complement memorable experiences on shore with on board briefings by members of our Expedition Staff – as well as special guest lecturers like Nobel Peace Prize recipient and former president of Poland Lech Walesa – who provides the historical context needed to understand the significance of each place featured on the itinerary,” says Simpson. “Guests describe these cruises as more like a semester at sea than a traditional cruise.”

NEW for 2020: Cruising the Baltic Sea: Copenhagen to St. Petersburg (Jul 16-28, 2020)
Discover seven countries and fascinating cities that include Copenhagen, Gdansk, Klaipeda, Stockholm, Tallinn, Helsinki and St. Petersburg. Join enriching discussions with guest speakers including writer and former interpreter to USSR president Mikhail Gorbachev, Pavel Palazhchenko. Design your days ashore with an array of included excursions, such as a visit to a former Soviet nuclear missile base in Lithuania, moving visits to World War II remembrance sites and world-class museums. Cruise aboard the small ship ‘Le Dumont d’Urville’ (limited to 148 guests), launched in the spring of 2019. Cap off the voyage with a three-night stay at Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg and enjoy early access to Catherine Palace and an after-hours visit to the Hermitage Museum. 13 days from $15,995, double occupancy. Early Booking Discount: $13,995

Italy Cruise: Hidden Treasures from Florence to Venice (Aug 22-Sept 3, 2020)
Explore nearly the entire navigable coast of Italy, beginning with two days in Florence before boarding ‘Le Bougainville’ (limited to 148 guests). Visit Bastia on French Corsica and delight in a private polyphonic choir concert and local delicacies. Cruise through the breathtaking Aeolian Islands with views of volcanic Stromboli Island. Spend two days exploring Sicily, with special excursions that include hilltop beauties like Erice and Taormina. Trek in Puglia’s coastal Parco Nazionale del Gargano, one of the largest national parks in Italy. Spend a full day exploring timelessly romantic Venice. Thirteen days from $13,995 per person, double occupancy. Early Booking Discount: $12,995.
Limited Availability: August 18-30, 2019 – Thirteen days from $11,995. Solo offer: 50% off the single supplement.

Cruising the Greek Isles (Sept 23-Oct 2, 2020)
After selling out the first two years, A&K is bringing back this guest-favorite. Spend two nights exploring Athens from the Hotel Grande Bretagne, followed by a seven-night cruise aboard ‘Le Bougainville’ (limited to 148 guests). through the islands, including rarely-visited Symi, uninhabited Delos and Syros, with a private performance at the Apollo Theater. Discover the Palace of Knossos on Crete, home of the Minotaur, as well as medieval Rhodes and whitewashed Mykonos. Privately visit an organic farm in Crete, where you participate in a cooking demonstration and sample fresh ingredients. Taste fabled Santorini wines with a wine expert. Ten days from $11,495, double occupancy. Early Booking Discount: $10,495.

Wonders of Japan Cruise (June 13-26, 2020)
Approaching Japan from the sea is one of the most rewarding ways to explore the four main islands that make up this fascinating country. Cruise aboard ‘Le Soleal’ (limited to 199 guests) to delve deeper into Japanese culture, arts and architecture, history, and natural wonders. Reflect on Japan’s history and witness its miraculous resurgence at Hiroshima. Enjoy a private geisha performance in Kanazawa’s Higashi Chaia district, as well as a private performance by the world-renowned Kodo taiko drummers. Visit Gyeongju, South Korea, the country’s ancient dynastic capital and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Fourteen days from $19,495, double occupancy. Early Booking Discount: $16,495.

Gourmet Dining Aboard, Local Fare Ashore
Aboard ship, a fresh menu inspired by France’s culinary heritage encompasses everything from fresh and convenient buffet entrees to lavishly coursed meals to carefully selected cheeses and freshly-baked pastries that rival those found in Paris. With two restaurants to choose from, no formal evenings, and 24-hour room service, guests may dine when and where they wish. During days spent exploring on shore, lunches at local restaurants are included, allowing guests to sample local culinary specialties.

All-Inclusive Luxury Exploration, the A&K Way
Travellers appreciate the all-inclusive nature of A&K Luxury Expedition Cruises, from every meal and unlimited house drinks with all included meals to complimentary Wi-Fi, complimentary Traveller’s Valet® laundry service, gratuities, transfers, port charges and shore excursions. Included city visits in St. Petersburg, Florence, Athens and Osaka feature A&K guided tours and luxury stays in the regions’ most remarkable hotels.

(Abercrombie & Kent)