Finest Hour 177, Summer 2017
Offering guests a view of the Baltic region in World War II, this program begins with a two-night pre-cruise tour in Copenhagen, one of the first capital cities to fall to Nazi Germany in 1940, and finishes in Stockholm, where politicians delicately maintained neutrality in the conflict. While in Copenhagen, we will focus on the miraculous rescue of 7,000 Danish Jews via small fishing boats to Sweden. Local guides will tell their own families’ rescue stories in the quaint fishing town of Dragør on the outskirts of Copenhagen.
Once aboard Le Soléal, our next three ports will offer insight into the rivalry between Hitler and Stalin. In Helsinki, the Winter War becomes the main topic, while in St. Petersburg we will focus on the scene of one of the longest and most destructive sieges in history, chronicled in Harrison Salisbury’s The 900 Days: The Siege of Leningrad. The three million inhabitants endured a merciless siege with temperatures dropping, at times, to 30 degrees below zero. In Tallinn, hear the stories of the locals who sought liberation from Stalin’s tyranny only to suffer through occupation and pillaging by Hitler’s forces.