Our guide to cruises in the Baltics.

Cunard's guide to cruising the countries of the Baltic Sea.

Savour Northern European cuisine, unlock hidden history and visit the many unique treasures and sights that the Baltics have to offer as you explore countries such as Denmark, Russia, Estonia, Sweden, and Finland.   

From the imperial palaces of St Petersburg and the gothic architecture of Riga to Tallin’s UNESCO-protected old town and Copenhagen’s Michelin Star gastronomy, there are extraordinary contrasts to be found in every port as you sail the Baltic Sea.

Read on to find out more about this beautiful Northern region, or click the shortcuts to go straight to the sections that interest you the most.

Why choose the Baltics for your cruise?

Spanning Scandinavia and Russia, the Baltic Sea surrounds some of Northern Europe’s most historic capitals, making this cruise perfect for immersing yourself in a rich and vibrant spectrum of art, architecture, and culture.

Whether you spend your days exploring magical old towns, discovering the fascinating history of the Cold War, or enjoying a spot of Scandinavian island hopping, you’re sure to leave with fond memories.

Baltic cruise routes.

We offer several different Baltic cruise routes, so there’s sure to be one that encompasses the destinations you most want to visit.

Baltic explorer voyages.

These longer voyages take you all the way across the Baltic Sea and back again. Visit northern gems such as Helsinki, Visby, Tallinn, and St Petersburg for a true taster of the Baltic experience.

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Roundtrip Baltic voyages.

Remove baggage limitations and flight planning by sailing roundtrip from Southampton. Take a shorter cruise to western Baltic waters, or travel all the way to St Petersburg before returning to England in style.

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Short breaks to the Baltics.

Break away from the day-to-day rhythm with a short cruise to the edge of the Baltic Sea. These mini cruises typically last 3 nights and take you around the coast of Denmark to the German city of Kiel.

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Baltic cruise ports.

Stockholm, Sweden.

With its collection of palaces, fairytale buildings, inviting cafes and restaurants, galleries and museums, Stockholm is the perfect celebration of old and new.

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Copenhagen, Denmark.

Known for its many Michelin star restaurants, picturesque canals, sprawling streets, and colourful harbour, Copenhagen is a popular stop-off point for many Baltic cruise routes.

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Tallinn, Estonia.

A city of contrasts, Tallinn’s modern dining and cultural scene is as vibrant as the city’s UNESCO-protected old town, offering stunning medieval architecture and a thriving culinary movement.

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Helsinki, Finland.

Boasting stunning, neo-classical architecture, lively markets and must-visit islands, Helsinki’s world-class culture is just waiting to be explored.

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Riga, Latvia.

Riga, the ancient Latvian capital, is renowned for its UNESCO World Heritage-listed old town, 3000-stall market, vibrant café and bar scene, as well as the beach resort of Jurmala.

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St. Petersburg, Russia.

With iconic its imperial palaces and 342 canal bridges, St. Petersburg provides a fascinating insight into the revolutionary history of Russia.

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Baltic cruise highlights.

Old City, Riga, Latvia.
With its narrow cobblestone streets and medieval buildings, Riga’s Old City boasts an array of iconic sights, including the statue of Roland, patron saint of Riga, and the House of Blackheads building. You’ll also encounter plenty of atmospheric spots to enjoy delicious Latvian food and drink including rye bread and liquid bread, as well as beet soup.

Curonian Spit National Park, Klaipeda, Lithuania.
With a stretch of sand dating back to prehistoric times, an inviting lagoon and pine forests, you’ll find plenty to explore in Klaipeda’s Curonian Spit National Park. The Hill of Witches, an open-air park dotted with wooden sculptures depicting Lithuanian legends, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site attracting thousands of cruise travellers each year. It’s definitely worth a visit.

Rock Church, Helsinki, Finland.
Carved into the solid rock of the Helsinki peninsula, the iconic Temppeliaukio Church is an architectural masterpiece and popular concert hall. Seurasaari Open-Air Museum is also close by. Here you’ll be able to see rural Finland in miniature and discover how Finns used to live centuries ago.

The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia.
The Hermitage is universally recognised as one of the greatest treasuries of art and antiques in the world. As you explore the main collection in the Winter Palace, you’ll discover centuries of European fine art, a rich collection of Greek and Roman antiques, and the opulent staterooms of Russia’s imperial royal family.

Dlugi Targ, Gdansk, Poland.
Once the main market square, today Dlugi Targ is one of Gdansk’s most notable attractions. Alongside the colourful, period architecture, you’ll find the 1618 Golden House, designed by Johan and the legendary Neptune Fountain, which once flowed with the city’s Goldwasser liqueur.

Rosenborg Castle, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Located in one of Copenhagen’s oldest royal parks, this fairytale castle was built as a summer residence for Christian IV. As you explore the lavish rooms, you’ll see the Danish crown jewels and a priceless wine collection.

Baltic cruises throughout the year.

The most popular Baltic cruise season sails between July and August, when temperatures are warm and pleasant, sitting at an average of 18 °C/64 °F. However, weather conditions are also pleasant in April, May, June, and September. 

That’s not to say that you can’t enjoy sunny days and pleasant weather conditions when you embark on a Baltics cruise during the winter months. Just like the Mediterranean, the Baltics have a changeable climate, with higher temperatures during the peak summer months and colder weather during winter, when temperatures fall to an average of -5 °C/23 °F.

Baltic cruise weather in winter - December, January, February.

If you embark on a Baltics cruise during winter, it’s advisable to bring warm layers such as a hat, scarf and thermals. With winter temperatures averaging at -5 °C/23 °F, you’ll need to wrap up warm as you explore.

Baltic cruise weather in spring – March, April, May.

If you book a Baltic cruise during the springtime, you'll enjoy mild temperatures, lush landscapes, flowers in bloom and sunshine-filled days.

Spring temperatures usually range from -4 to 7 °C or 25 to 44 °F, however, you should be aware that this does vary depending on the country you are visiting.

Baltic cruise weather in summer – June, July, August.

Embarking on a Baltic cruise during the summer months is undoubtedly one of the best times to travel as you will be able to enjoy hot days, warm evenings and more appealing sea temperatures.

In June, July and August, temperatures frequently reach 24 °C /75 °F and higher – so make sure you pack your suncream, sunglasses and lighter clothing.

Baltic cruise weather in autumn – September, October, November.

If you’re thinking of booking a Baltic cruise during the autumn months, you can expect cooler and fresher days, with a maximum temperature of around 13 °C/55 °F, however, this does vary depending on where in the Baltics you visit.

What to pack for a Baltics cruise.

Whatever time of year you travel to the Baltics, we recommend including the following on your packing list:
  • Your passport
  • Travel documentation/visas
  • Weather-appropriate clothing for days on board and on shore
  • Outfits for formal evenings
  • Travel adapters
  • Any prescribed medications you take
  • Local currency for the ports on your itinerary

Comfortable shoes are a must on a Baltics cruise, for long walks around your ship’s deck and exploring each port of call. Opt for shoes that offer good grip and support, and don’t forget to pack a warm coat if you plan on looking at the stars from the deck at night. Temperatures during winter are extremely cold in the Baltics so it’s important that you wrap up well.

In spring and summer, daytime temperatures can reach a pleasant 24 degrees Celsius in some parts of the Baltics. If you’re sailing at this time of year, light sundresses, shorts, T-shirts, sunglasses and a sun hat, should keep you comfortable while out exploring. Cotton and linen are ideal materials to pack.

When it comes to evenings on board, you’re free to dress as formally or informally as you like, choosing between our fine dining restaurants or more casual options such as our Golden Lion pub. Do remember to pack at least one black-tie outfit however, as on Gala Evenings we’ll invite you to dress to the nines in your best tuxedos, suits, cocktail dresses and ballgowns.

Baltic cruise FAQs.