9 Day Tour: August 5-14, 2022
- Base Pricing is always calculated for double occupancy.
- $999 supplemental for Solo Travelers.
Places to see
before you die
Of Europe’s Prettiest Capitals
- Old Rauma
- Wasa Museum
- Drottningholm Palace
- Round trip airfare from Chicago
- First Class Hotel Accommodations
- All Breakfasts
- 5 Dinners
- Deluxe Motorcoach Transportation
- Admissions to all listed Attractions
- Round trip airport transfers in the Chicago land area
- Guided by Bill Ball
- Baggage Handling
- All Gratuities
Day One Fly to Helsinki, one of the incredible capital cities of Scandinavia.
Day Two Today we explore the beautiful city of Helsinki. We will visit the unique Rock Church that is literally built out of and into rocks with an amazing copper coil roof. The Sibelius Monument is one of the most memorable and breathtaking sculptures in the world. We will also see the famous Olympic Stadium, the architectural distinct Finlandia Hall and the classical Orthodox Church.
Day Three We venture out of the city proper to one of the renowned islands of Helsinki. By boat, we will
explore Suomenlinna Island—a UNESCO World Heritage Site and site of the enormous 18th century fortress turned museum. This was main protectorate for Helsinki and Finland. You have a half day free to explore this beautiful city by the sea.
Day Four We leave Helsinki today and head to two unique and historic UNESCO World Heritage sites. The first is Sammallaholenmaki—that’s a mouthful! It is one of the largest and most diverse cemeteries in Scandinavia dating back to the Bronze Age. There are 36 preserved mounds here. Next we venture into Old Rauma known for its ornate wooden houses, idyllic street views and Nordic charm. This is not just a medieval history museum, it is a living, vibrant village that preserves the culture and ambiance of old Finland.
Day Five We take a short jumper flight to Stockholm this morning. Upon landing we tour Stockholm including the City Hall where the Nobel Prize banquet is held. We will tour Gamla Stan area or the Old Town filled with Royal palaces, the Great Cathedral, the Parliament and some of the most delicious bakeries. This afternoon we will visit one of the most interesting museums—The Wasa Museum. In 1628, the warship Wasa was launched. It was the biggest of its era and within minutes, it sank. This museum holds the resurrected ship—fully restored. It is the oldest fully preserved warship in the world.
Day Six We venture out of Stockholm to visit Drottningholm Palace. This 17th century palace was built as a miniature Versailles for a summer residence but now is the permanent home of the royals. We will tour the palace to see how the other 1% live. We will also tour the adjacent theater which is the oldest theater in the world using its original stage machinery. This is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. This afternoon is free to shop, visit museums or just wander the lovely streets.
Day Seven We will visit a UNESCO World Heritage sites today just outside the city, but it isn’t easy to get to because it resides on an island. So we get to take a boat cruise along the coast in the inland calm waters and then reach one of the chief Viking sites in all of Scandinavia—Birka. The ancient ruins, a museum and a recreated village with “real” Vikings await our arrival. Today we live history.
Day Eight We head north today to visit two incredible cities of Sweden. First stop is Sigtura, one of the oldest towns in Sweden. In fact, it boasts the oldest street that still functions as a merchant street. If you spend money
here, it will at least be in cute buildings. We will visit Skoklostn Castle. This 17th century castle has an amazing
collection of fixtures, art, tapestries that attest to Sweden’s glory day. Our final stop is in the university city of
Uppsula. It was here that Carolus Linnaeus created the classification system we use for living things. We’ll see
his house as well as the ancient cathedral and university.
Day Nine We head home today full of memories of the glorious and turbulent history of these two ancient yet
very modern countries.