14 Days Sailing the Baltic Sea
Elite Traveler, May / June 2003
by Bill Strubbe

Excerpt of Article.

Tours for the Swedish, Polish and Danish legs of this trip are expertly arranged by DavidTours [DavidTravel].

Day 8: STOCKHOLM When in Stockholm, there’s no better place than The Grand Hotel, (Mick Jagger, Bono and Madonna tend to agree). Its crown jewel, the 1,000-square foot Flag Suite, features a Jacuzzi under a glass cupola and a delightful turret room. Tour the Old Town with the guide Orit Feldman-Dahlgren and visit antique shops in the Upplandsgatan and Odengatan districts. Your order of fresh fish is overseen by the eccentric chef Wedholms at Wedholms Fisk in the posh Ostermalm district. (For dessert don’t miss bilberry pie or lingonberry cheesecake.) Have dinner at The City Hall Cellar, where you choose a menu mirroring past Nobel Prize Banquets served over the years.

Day 9: SWEDISH TOUR Take a trip to Mariefred, a picturesque village of wooden homes. (Tours for the Swedish, Polish and Danish legs of this trip are also arranged by David Rubin or DavidTours [DavidTravel].) Visit the Swedish Center for Fine Art Printmaking, then a tour of Gripsholms Castle. Lunch at Gripsholms Vardshus, Sweden’s oldest country in dating back to the 17th Century. Visit the 300-foot Vasa Warship Museum, and the have dinner at a banquet table under the bow of the ship. If weather permits, take a hot air balloon over night-time Stockholm.

Day 10: RAGSKAR ISLAND, SWEDEN Spend the day relaxing on this private island on the outer skerries, frequented by Swedish artists Anders Zorn and Bruno Liljefors. Pass the day reading, hiking, and bird watching at the nearby bird sanctuary. Third-generation owner Bjorn Akerland takes you fishing, then prepares a simple and tasty dinner – salmon mousse with Swedish caviar, grilled fillet of perch, caramel pie – served either Cliffside or in the boathouse (with doors open to the sea and sunset). During the midnight-sun period, simmer in the wood-fired sauna and brave a dip into the chilly waters. Tonight you’ll sleep on beard.

Day 11: GOTLAND, SWEDEN Gotland Island is known as Sweden’s sunniest resort island, and also as the world’s largest treasure trove of pirate plunder. You’ll be glad that guide Torbjorn Jern is by your side, as the island abounds with Viking fort ruins, early churches, medieval towns, and 400 giant carved pagan “Picture stones.” After lunch at Bistros in the medieval capitol of Visby, rent a bike and pedal to one of the many gorgeous beaches for a swim, and check out the remarkable rock formations known as “Raukar.” Dinner is at Donners Brunn, a 16th Century merchant house. Tonight, sleep in the bi-level De Bergska Suite at the Wisby Hotell.

Day 12: GDANSK, POLAND You will be yet at your yacht this morning by local expert Andrew Flakowski, who will take on an exploration of the historical port city (and the birthplace of the Solidarity movement in the 1980s.) Enter the Old Town by the Golden Gate and enjoy a walking tour through charming medieval streets. You’ll be hosted at a private luncheon in the City Hall Building at Korzenna Street, followed by a private visit to one of the most extraordinary medieval castles of Europe: Malbork Castle (the largest European brick castle). Experience a unique “step back in time” dinner (with period music provided by the heralded by the local musical group Capella all Antico) before heading back to your yacht for the night.

Day 13: COPENHAGEN Check in the 250-year-old Hotel D’Angleterre. The 1,400-square-foot Royal Suite will do just fine for this tail-end of your journey: silk tapestries, gilt paneling, antiques, a luxurious bathroom with spa and a terrace overlooking Kongens Nytorv Square. Your driver and guide, Hanne Harhoff, takes you on a city tour: the Old Stock Exchange, Tivoli Garden, Nyhavn harbor, and, of course, the Little Mermaid. Back at D’Angleterre, indulge in a three-hour Elite Traveler’s Recovery treatment with therapist Lotte Arndal before your early evening pick-up to the Karen Blixen Museum-Rungstedlund, the former home of the Out of Africa author, for a private tour.

Day 14: DANISH DELIGHT After breakfast, board your helicopter to Funnen Island and Falsled Kro, a 16th Century smuggler’s inn now ranked among Denmark’s finest restaurants. Stroll the gardens and harbor. In the afternoon, helicopter to Tasinge and Valdemars Castle, where the Baron and Baroness Iuel-Brockdorff welcome you to their ancestral home. An early dinner is waiting for you in the private vaulted cellar under the chapel in the Slotskaelderen Restaurant. Chopper back to Copenhagen and the D’Angleterre and get a blissful night’s rest before your return to the real world!