Day 10 Overland to Aberdeen Visit barrel cooperage & whisky distillery
Breakfast: From 7am-8:30am onboard, with international and American options available.
Morning: From around 8:30am-9:30am, we'll view a documentary onboard about the Baltic Singing Revolution that occurred from 1987-1991. In 1987, the Soviet government revealed plans to establish phosphorite mines in the Virumaa region, causing concern among locals regarding the environmental impact of such a large endeavor. Unbeknownst to the Russian government, this decision was the catalyst for Estonia's fight for independence. In response to the mining plans, Estonians began expressing their resistance in an unusual way: through singing. Tallinn's Old Town Festival in 1988 saw the joining of hundreds of Estonians together in patriotic song. At music events and festivals thereafter, locals banded together to sing the same songs as their act of defiance. This sense of unity inspired the peaceful protests that followed, including the Baltic Way in 1989: a nearly 420-mile long human chain made of about two million residents of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The country declared independence on August 22, 1991.
At around 9:45am, we'll board our private motorcoach for a panoramic tour of Tallinn. On our way, we'll catch a glimpse of sites like the Rotterman Quarter, a time capsule of the city's industrial period nestled among modern buildings in the city center. We'll also see the sprawling campus of Tallinn University, considered one of the top research universities in the world. We'll also discover the district of Viru, which features a quite literal gateway to Old Town Tallinn: the towering stone gates originally built in the 1300s to protect the city now greet visitors as they enter Old Town and the many shops and restaurants within.
Once we arrive in Old Town around 11am, we'll set off on a walking tour. Within the city's ancient gated walls, the streets remain much as they were when Danish rulers built them in the 13th century. The historic city center is divided into the Lower Town and the Upper Town.
In the Lower Town, the 600-year-old Town Hall - the best-preserved of its kind in northern Europe - presides dramatically over Town Hall Square (Raejoka plats). The Upper Town is on Toompea Hill, where two 13th-century landmarks still stand: Toompea Castle (now the meeting place for the Estonian Parliament) and the Dome Church (Estonia's largest Lutheran sanctuary). Many of the city's historic buildings reflect the prosperity it enjoyed between the 14th and 16th centuries. Under German control, Tallinn flourished during these years as a trade port in the Hanseatic League. Later periods of Swedish and Russian rule also left their marks on Tallinn, whose rich layers of history you'll delve into during your tour.
Lunch: You may choose to return from your tour for a 1pm buffet-style lunch onboard, or you can stay in town and have lunch on your own. You may want to try a taste of Estonia's national fish - the Baltic herring - and enjoy a cold glass of locally-made beer or a cocktail, such as Saku or Le Coq.
Afternoon: Those who returned to the ship for lunch will have the option to head back to town on a 15-minute shuttle bus ride around 2pm for some free time. You may want to visit a local marzipan shop, witness the Sweater Wall, climb the tower of St. Olav's Church to take in the views, or hike approximately one mile to the observation platform in the upper part of town. You also have the option to join your Trip Experience Leader around 2:15pm for a walk to discover Old Town's hidden streets. Here you'll find artisan workshops featuring local artists honing their craft in textiles, ceramics, and much more. You might take the opportunity to talk to the local artists about the intricate processes involved in the work or about daily life in Tallinn.
Shuttle buses will run back to the ship between 4pm and 6pm.
Dinner: Served from 7pm-8:30pm onboard in the ship's dining room.
Evening: You have the freedom to spend the rest of your evening as you wish. Perhaps you'll enjoy a nightcap at the bar or relax in the lounge.