Onion Dome

Tyranny on Two Fronts: The Baltic During World War II

Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, and Denmark
June 6 - 15, 2018

Tour Overview

The National WWII Museum’s Tyranny on Two Fronts land-and-cruise program, featuring noted historian Alexandra Richie, DPhil, explores the tangled web of alliances along the Baltic Sea coast during World War II. This nine-night educational program on board the magnificent Le Soléal takes you to historic ports of call including Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, and Copenhagen to trace the complicated decisions the Baltic nations faced as wartime pressure mounted on them to collaborate with either Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.

Explore the twisted compromises of the Baltic during World War II

The nations bordering the Baltic Sea faced grave circumstances during the outbreak of World War II. Complex negotiations and shifting alliances were the hallmarks of this region pressed between Hitler and Stalin. Nations such as Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Estonia worked to maintain their sovereignty as two brutal dictators fought for supremacy in the region. The years between 1939 and 1945 saw democratic Finland form an alliance with Nazi Germany, a daring evacuation of almost 8,000 Jews from Denmark to Sweden, and the largest and most devastating siege of a city in human history.

In 1939, the Soviet Union, fresh from a joint conquest of Poland with Nazi Germany, sought territory along the Baltic Coast to bolster its defenses for the inevitable conflict with Hitler. Stalin intimidated Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia into hosting Soviet garrisons, which led to their illegal incorporation into the USSR. Finland refused a similar fate and fought back against Stalin, sparking a conflict known as the Winter War. At first, world opinion favored Finland, but after the Finns formed a military alliance with Nazi Germany, the United Kingdom declared war on Finland.

The Finns were pressured to participate in the attack on Leningrad but opted to stay at the border, restricting movement north of Leningrad, but not invading the city itself. Meanwhile, suffering in Leningrad was immense. Cut off from the rest of the Soviet Union, Leningrad’s citizens faced an almost unimaginable crisis. For almost three years, Germans encircled the city, preventing supplies from arriving and citizens from evacuating. Hundreds of thousands perished.

Today, the region has made a remarkable recovery. St. Petersburg, the former Leningrad, is a testament to the reign of the tsars and the Russian enlightenment. In Stockholm, Helsinki, and Tallinn, we will discuss the complicated military leaders and politicians who struck deals in the hopes of survival. The history, beauty, and culture of the Baltic region will amaze you, and the intriguing history will provide insights into an area of the war not often studied.

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Tour Inclusions and Deck Plan

  • Travel with featured historian Dr. Alexandra Richie
  • Full-time logistical tour manager
  • Shore excursions with expert local battlefield guides at each port
  • Roundtrip airport transfers (when arriving and departing on scheduled group tour dates)
  • Two nights at the historic five-star Grand Hôtel Stockholm
  • Seven nights aboard Ponant’s Le Soléal
  • Private, first-class, air-conditioned motor coach transportation
  • Personal listening devices on all included touring
  • Included gratuities to shipboard staff, guides, drivers, porters, and servers
  • All meals onboard and as indicated on land in the program itinerary
  • Free-flow beer, wine, and soft drinks with included lunches and dinner
  • Unlimited beverages while on board including wines, spirits, beer, coffee, water, teas, soft drinks, and juices
  • Welcome and farewell receptions
  • Informative map book including useful maps and archival images to be used throughout your journey
  • Document wallet, personalized luggage tags, and customized name badge
  • Personal journal and pen to document your journey


Onboard Amenities

  • Private balcony
  • Individually-controlled air conditioning
  • King-size bed or two twin beds
  • Minibar
  • Flat-screen satellite TV
  • Video on demand
  • iPod players
  • Desk with stationery
  • Safe
  • Shower
  • French bath products
  • Bath robes and hairdryer
  • Direct line telephone
  • 110V/220V outlets
  • 24-hour room service and specialty coffee and tea
  • Free internet and Wi-Fi access


Deck Plan

2 Gastronomic Restaurant and Marina

Twenty-eight Deluxe staterooms with private balcony, eight Superior staterooms, Main lounge, Shop, Reception and Excursion Desk, and Medical center

Thirty-five Prestige staterooms with private balcony and Theater

Thirty-seven Prestige staterooms with private balcony, Fitness center, SOTHYSTM Beauty Corner incl: Balneo, Hammam, Massage & Hairdresser, Relaxation room, Image and Photo desk

Owner's suite with private balcony, 3 Deluxe suites with private balcony, 20 Prestige staterooms with private balcony, Pool, Grill Restaurant, Internet space, Library, and Panoramic Lounge and Terrace

Sundeck and Open-air Bar

View Full-Size Deck Plan

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Download the Brochure

Download the official Tyranny on Two Fronts: The Baltic During World War II brochure for a full listing of inclusions, accommodations, and other useful information.

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Tyranny on Two Fronts: The Baltic During World War II

Tour Itinerary

Destination Map

 

Full Tour Itinerary

June 6, 2018 - Day 1

Arrivals into Stockholm

Arrive into Stockholm-Arlanda Airport (ARN), where you will be greeted and transferred to the Grand Hôtel Stockholm. Join Alexandra Richie and the rest of the group this evening at a welcome dinner.

Grand Hôtel Stockholm (D)

June 7, 2018 - Day 2

The Royal Palace

Sweden is one of only eight European nations to successfully maintain neutrality during World War II. The years between 1939 and 1945 are full of contradictions. For example, German troops were granted passage through Sweden in order to travel between Norway and Finland. Sweden also sold their iron ore to Germany throughout the war. However, Jews from occupied countries such as Denmark and Norway sought refuge in Sweden where they lived peacefully through the rest of the war. On your visit to the Sveriges Kungahus (The Royal Palace), the official residence of the Swedish monarch and home to five museums dedicated to Swedish history, learn more about the story of Sweden’s efforts to remain neutral.

 Grand Hôtel Stockholm (B, L)

June 8, 2018 - Day 3

"Queen's Island"

This morning, travel to Drottningholm Palace, an UNESCO World Heritage Site located on its own island. The palace is noted by UNESCO as the best example of a royal residence built in the 18th century in Sweden and is representative of all European architecture of that period, heir to the influences exerted by the Château of Versailles on the construction of royal residences in western, central, and northern Europe. Drottningholm lent its name to the S/S Drottningholm, later used as a mercy ship during World War II used for the repatriation of diplomats, civilians, and prisoners of war between Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Returned British soldiers on board, not knowing the meaning of the Swedish name, rendered it as “Trotting Home.”

This afternoon, board the Le Soléal, your home for the next eight nights and set sail towards Finland.

 Le Soléal (B, L, D)

June 9, 2018 - Day 4

Helsinki

Enjoy a morning at leisure aboard Le Soléal. Arrive in Helsinki this afternoon. First, visit the Mannerheim Museum, the home of Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, the leader of Finland’s military during World War II and president of Finland from 1944 to 1946. Mannerheim directed the Winter War against the Soviet Union and the Continuation War in which the Finns fought alongside Germans to expel Soviet forces from Finland. Continue to Hietaniemi Cemetery, where the fallen from World War II are interred. Return to the ship this evening to sail to St. Petersburg.

 Le Soléal (B, L, D)

June 10, 2018 - Day 5

St. Petersburg

Upon disembarkation, visit the Siege Museum on Solyanoy where you will discover photos, letters, and memorabilia from the 900-day siege, many of which were donated from survivors. In the afternoon, the excursion stops at Pushkin for a visit to Catherine Palace and the Amber Room. This stunning room was completely stripped of its treasures by the Nazis and was painstakingly restored over a span of 24 years.

Le Soléal (B,L,D)

June 11, 2018 - Day 6

St. Petersburg

Today’s excursion moves 12 miles outside of St. Petersburg to Pulkovskye Vysoty (Pulkovo Heights), a high point used by the Germans to shell Leningrad during the siege. Today, remnants of the battle remain with bunkers and pillboxes. The area is also home to the Pulkovo Observatory, a site which saw its influence grow under the rule of the tsars, and suffered under the Great Purge from 1936-1938. A visit to the Piskarev Cemetery follows. The cemetery is the final resting place of some half a million Leningraders, buried in 186 mass graves marked only by their year of death.

Le Soléal (B,L,D)

June 12, 2018 - Day 7

St. Petersburg

On your final day in St. Petersburg, see the recreation of the city and the restoration of its history. Start with the Hermitage Museum with a guided tour of the Gold and Diamond Rooms, which contain a collection of gold and silver dating back to the 2nd century B.C. Explore St. Petersburg at your leisure this afternoon before returning to the ship.

Le Soléal (B ,L, D)

June 13, 2018 - Day 8

Tallinn

In Tallinn, you will uncover a land oppressed by two brutal occupations. Estonia, like its fellow Baltic nations of Latvia and Lithuania, found itself between Hitler and Stalin. The first stop, Patarei, the Prison on the Sea, was used by the Nazis for executions and interrogations. The story continues at the Museum of Occupations, which details both the German and Soviet occupations.

 Le Soléal (B, L, D)

June 14, 2018 - Day 9

Sailing the Baltic Sea

As you sail from Tallinn to Copenhagen, Dr. Alexandra Richie will discuss the impact of the Baltic campaigns on the overall war. The complex alliances, negotiations, and futures of each place visited on the tour will be placed into context.

 Le Soléal (B, L, D)

June 15, 2018 - Day 10

Disembark in Copenhagen

Disembark Le Soléal in Copenhagen for your return home or continuation of the post-tour in Denmark.

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Two-Night Post-Cruise Tour

Copenhagen

June 15 – 17, 2018

During your stay in Copenhagen, discover why the city is regularly at the top of the list of the world’s most livable cities. In addition to experiencing the history, architecture, and hospitality, you will continue the story of the rescue of the Danish Jews with a tour of Copenhagen and one of the small fishing ports where boats ferried people to safety. In Copenhagen, visit the hallmarks of Denmark’s Jewish history including the Copenhagen Synagogue, the Danish Jewish Museum, and the Old Jewish Quarter. Continue the day at the fishing village of Dragor, one of the ports from which the Danish Jews escaped. Here you will see the fishing boat Elisabeth. This small vessel made several trips to Sweden, rescuing about 700 Jews.

Hotel D’Angleterre

Tyranny on Two Fronts: The Baltic During World War II

Featured Guests and Historians

Featured Author and Historian

Alexandra Richie, DPhil

Decorated historian Alexandra Richie, DPhil, leads this expedition through the Baltic. With her expertise on Central Europe and the Baltic, Dr. Richie’s presence will lend valuable insights into the region. Her most recent work, Warsaw 1944, became the #1 best-selling book in Poland and won the Newsweek Teresa Torańska Prize for Best Nonfiction 2014, as well as the Kazimierz Moczarski Prize for Best History Book in Poland 2015. Her first book, Faust’s Metropolis: A History of Berlin, was named one of the top 10 books of the year by Publisher’s Weekly. Richie wrote her doctorate at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, and after graduating she worked for the Boston Consulting Group in London restructuring former communist industries across Central and Eastern Europe. She later returned to Oxford as a Fellow of Wolfson College, where she taught history and international relations. She is currently Professor of History at the Collegium Civitas in Warsaw and is Director of the Department of International Relations specializing in defense and security studies. Richie has contributed to many articles, documentaries, radio, and television programs, and is passionate about educating students on the rich history of the region.

She lives in Warsaw with her husband Władysław Bartoszewski, and their two daughters. Richie is also a Presidential Counselor at The National WWII Museum.

Tyranny on Two Fronts: The Baltic During World War II

Accommodations

Accommodations on Shore

The Grand Hôtel Stockholm

Enjoy the first two nights of your journey in historic Stockholm

Built in 1874, the Grand Hôtel in Stockholm is situated along the waterfront overlooking the Royal Palace and Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s old town. The warm, plush rooms offer a flat-screen smart TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, bathrobes, slippers, Acqua di Parma toiletries, hair dryer, personal in-room safe for valuables, choice of complimentary daily newspaper, and electrical adaptors. The Grand Hôtel is also home to a classic Swedish restaurant, The Veranda, renowned for its traditional smörgåsbord, and the famous Nordic Spa & Fitness club with its hot saunas and cool dipping pools. This luxurious property sets the stage for the decadent yacht experience that awaits you aboard Le Soléal.

Accommodations at Sea

Ponant’s Le Soléal

Experience WWII destinations in a private yacht atmosphere

This all-new cruise program aboard Ponant’s Le Soléal, built in 2013, will sail seven nights from Stockholm, Sweden to Copenhagen, Denmark. The Ponant Le Soléal has been exclusively selected by The National WWII Museum for its valued guests. This rare and innovative yacht embodies the subtle alliance between luxury, intimacy and well-being, which is Ponant’s signature. With her fluid lines and a modern color scheme combining natural wood with shades of grey and white, Le Soléal presents references to a nautical theme. The elegance of her exterior and interior lines and her intimate size (only 132 staterooms and suites) along with a custom-curated program for The National WWII Museum will be sure to create lasting memories.

Post-Cruise Tour Extension Hotel

Hotel D’Angleterre

During your stay in Copenhagen, discover why the city is regularly at the top of the list of the world’s most livable cities. In addition to experiencing the history, architecture, and hospitality, you will continue the story of the rescue of the Danish Jews with a tour of Copenhagen and one of the small fishing ports where boats ferried people to safety. In Copenhagen, visit the hallmarks of Denmark’s Jewish history including the Copenhagen Synagogue, the Danish Jewish Museum, and the Old Jewish Quarter. Continue the day at the fishing village of Dragor, one of the ports from which the Danish Jews escaped. Here you will see the fishing boat Elisabeth. This small vessel made several trips to Sweden, rescuing about 700 Jews.

Tyranny on Two Fronts: The Baltic During World War II

Pricing

Program Pricing

Price per person based on double occupancy


Prestige Suite – Deck 6
$14,495

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Prestige Suite – Deck 5
$13,995

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Prestige Stateroom – Deck 6
$11,995

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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5
$11,495

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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4
$10,995

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Deluxe Stateroom – Deck 3
$10,495

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Post-Cruise Tour Extension Program - Copenhagen - Double Occupancy
$1,899

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*Taxes and fees for the main tour are $329 per person. Post-tour extension taxes and fees are $99 per person. All applicable taxes and fees will be added to your final invoice.


Price per person based on single occupancy


Prestige Suite – Deck 6
$18,843.50

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Prestige Suite – Deck 5
$18,193.50

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Prestige Stateroom – Deck 6
$15,593.50

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Prestige Stateroom – Deck 5
$14,943.50

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Prestige Stateroom – Deck 4
$14,293.50

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Deluxe Stateroom – Deck 3
$13,643.50

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Post-Cruise Tour Extension Program - Copenhagen - Single Occupancy
$2,469

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*Taxes and fees for the main tour are $329 per person. Post-tour extension taxes and fees are $99 per person. All applicable taxes and fees will be added to your final invoice.

Single Occupancy space is extremely limited, and is available in all categories.

Tyranny on Two Fronts: The Baltic During World War II

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