As the MS Fram traverses the waters of Northern Europe, its comfortable size allows for easy off/on access, many times in the center of cities, and a more personalized approach to educating guests on the local histories, cultures and things to do along the way.
Highlights include Stockholm, often referred to as the “Venice of the North”; Tallinn, comprised of medieval streets and picturesque houses; and Saint Petersburg, whose Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments comprise a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A range of optional excursions allow guests aboard the explorer ship to personalize their journey. Guests booking by Dec. 31 receive fares of $3,061 to $5,461 per person, double - a 10% savings off brochure fares for the May 5th voyage (normally $3,401 to $6,068) that include accommodations; all meals onboard; a wind & water-resistant jacket; landings in Polarcirkel boats; and all aspects of the onboard program, including lectures by the expedition team.
The MS Fram begins its journey in Oslo - home to the Fram Museum, where the original Fram, the only wooden vessel to sail to both poles, is located - and sails to Copenhagen, an eclectic mix of old and new that is known as much for its historic sites and museums as for its vibrant cafes and excellent shopping. Continuing on to Helsinki, guests get a taste of the city’s fusion of architectural styles - from Art Nouveau structures and neoclassical cathedrals to 19th century railway stations - before arriving in St. Petersburg, hailed for its incredible beauty as well as its rich historical centers, including The Hermitage, the largest art museum in the world. In Tallinn - named European Capital of Cultural for 2011 along with Turku, Finland - guests can return to the past in the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or take in the modern marvels that have placed the Estonian capital on the list of the top 10 digital cities in the world. The voyage concludes with two days in Sweden’s capital city of Stockholm, whose natural beauty, architecture and abundance of parks adds to its global importance.
“The fantastic thing is that our ship can usually dock directly in the city harbors,” enthuses Anja Erdmann, expedition leader on MS Fram. “Guests can walk straight into town from the quayside, or simply hop on the shuttle bus for the short ride. But the expedition feel is an important feature of our European voyages too - on board we’ve got the Polarcirkel boats that we can use for landings, so we can also head for exceptional places.”
Optional excursions enable guests to customize their voyage with a range of culturally rich activities in each port. Past offerings include a harbor cruise and tour of Christiansborg Castle in Copenhagen; a city tour of Helsinki with a classical musical performance in a cathedral designed by Carl Ludvig Engel; the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, including a visit to the recently opened Gold Room; and bicycle tours in Gudhjem and Bornholm, which allow guests to tour the city in a unique way. Voyage excursion options and pricing for 2012 will be available in early January.
Hurtigruten is a world leader in expedition cruising, sailing to the most remote of destinations including Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic’s Spitsbergen as well as year round along Norway’s coast and Europe in the spring and fall. The company’s fleet of 13 intimate ships, with 151 to 646 berths, allows guests to enjoy unique destinations in a relaxed atmosphere.
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