By Michael Coleman
A series of spectacular shore adventures in Northern Europe, from kayaking in the Baltic Sea to cycling among former imperial residences in Russia, will mark the maiden sailing season aboard Seabourn Sojourn.
The ship will operate a 14-day inaugural voyage from London to Dover on June 6, visiting Scotland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, the Norwegian Fjords and Amsterdam.Â The maiden season will also include a series of 12- to 14-day voyages in Northern Europe, including Norway, Scotland, the Baltic Sea and Russia.
Like her sister ship, Seabourn Odyssey which debuted last summer, Sojourn will offer 225 suites, 90 percent of which have private verandas. All suites include separate living areas and bedrooms, writing desks with personalized stationery, iPod and MP3 connections and spacious granite bathrooms with separate bath and shower and twin sinks.
The new vessel will, among a host of amenities, offer a spa and four dining venues, including a spacious open-seating restaurant capable of seating all guests. Six bars and lounges will serve a full range of complimentary beverages including fine wines and spirits.
The ship’s shore adventures are equally impressive during her inaugural voyages. Look for over 100 optional excursions during Sojourn’s Northern Europe itineraries. Among the highlights:
Helsinki, Finland – Helsinki Nordic Walking —Â A local guide will lead walkers on a scenic path around the center of Helsinki, passing city parks, museums, and waterfront districts.
Kiel, Germany – Kiel Highlights & Germany Brewing Culture — Guided by a Kieler Brauerei microbrewery team, guests will learn about the different local beer brands, the history of beer-brewing, ingredients, brewing methods, and brewing process; Cutter Sailing Experience — For a taste of living Baltic history, guests can enjoy a sail on the Gefion, a traditional two-masted Shark Cutter.Â They’ll learn how to hoist the sails and steer the ship plus discover the secrets of navigation and traditional seamen’s knots.
St. Petersburg, Russia – Biking Alexandria Park — Guest can traverse through the 285-square-acre park of Alexandria, a magnificent ensemble of palace and park on the coast of the Gulf of Finland, where they will cycle past former imperial residences, hills and tranquil ponds, the ruins of old structures and small bridges.
LÃ¼beck, Germany – A Local Fisherman’s Life — Guests can stroll on small paths among the beautifully preserved thatched fishermen’s houses and gardens of Northern Germany’s fishing villages. Visit a smokehouse and learn the traditional method of smoking fresh pike-perch, pike or eel over beech and alder wood.
Stockholm, Sweden – Millennium Walking Tour — Follow in the footsteps of the characters from “The Millennium Trilogy” series of best-selling detective novels by Swedish author Stieg Larsson; Kayaking in National City Park — Paddle out into Brunnsviken Bay, located in Haga Park, and explore this gulf that is part of the Baltic Sea.Â Enjoy the stunning natural beauty and surrounding cultural history of Brunnsviken, part of the world’s first national urban park.
Seabourn has also pegged Sojourn for its world cruise in 2011. Departing Jan. 5, Sojourn will embark on a 111-day voyage from Los Angeles to London via the South Pacific, New Zealand, around Western Australia, Indonesia and Southeast Asia, India, Arabia and the Mediterranean.Â
Sojourn’s other sister, Seabourn Quest, will debut in 2011.
On the web: www.seabourn.com