Sail Northern Europe with Cynthia Rutledge

August 13-24, 2018

Copenhagen ~ Estonia ~ St. Petersburg, Russia ~ Helsinki, Finland ~ Stockholm, Sweden ~ Berlin, Germany ~ Hamburg, Germany

We are planning a similar trip for 2021 with Sabine Lippert.  If you're interested, send an email and we'll let you know when details are finalized!

Join internationally-acclaimed bead artist Cynthia Rutledge on a cruise in Northern Europe on Holland America's ms Zuiderdam.  You’ll arrive and depart from Copenhagen.  The itinerary includes two days in St. Petersburg, Russia.  Along the route, we’ll experience the charm of Finland and Sweden; the history of Germany and Estonia—and a bead workshop with Cynthia while at sea on a project inspired by this journey.

This Beadventure will be a great way to see places you've only read about and make new friends that will share your memories.  It really is what Beadventures is all about--inspire, create, and play!


Day 1.  Monday, August 13.  Arrive in Copenhagen.
Today you’ll arrive in Copenhagen (airport code CPH).  Some say that Copenhagen is not only the coolest kid on the Nordic block, but also gets constantly ranked as the happiest city in the world. Ask a dozen locals why and they would probably all zone in on the “hygge” that generally means coziness, but encompasses far more.  Given the different arrival times, you’ll be free to visit the city on your own or rest from your flight.  Trip includes your transfer from the airport to the Palace Hotel.  We’ll gather in early evening for our “welcome dinner.” 
Meals included: Dinner

Day 2.  Tuesday, August 14.  Anchors Away!
In the morning you will have free to see more of the city.  We will board the ship in the afternoon and set sail at 5 p.m.  Transfer from the hotel to the ship is included.
Meals included:  Breakfast, dinner

Day 3.  Wednesday, August 15.  Workshop at Sea.
Today the ship is at sea as it makes its way to Estonia.  We will take advantage of the “free” time and have our first workshop with Cynthia.  All meals included on the ship

Day 4.  Thursday, August 16.  Tallinn, Estonia.
Today we’ll arrive in Tallinn at noon; departure will be at 7 p.m. Tallinn is the capital city of Estonia and combines the comforts of modern world, luxurious adventures, and a rich cultural scene in a local historical setting.  First established in the early medieval era, today’s Tallinn is an exciting mix of old and new. Tallinn Old Town is one of the best preserved Hanseatic town centers in the world (Hanseatic was a trading alliance in northern Europe between the 13th and 17th centuries).  The city retains its walled, cobblestoned Old Town as well as Kiek in de Kök, a 15th-century defensive tower. Its Gothic Town Hall, built in the 13th century and with a 64m-high tower, sits in historic Tallinn’s main square. St. Nicholas Church is a 13th-century landmark exhibiting ecclesiastical art.  Today you’ll be free to take a shore excursion or tour on your own—just keep in mind the short window of time that the ship is in port!
All meals included on the ship

Day 5 & 6.  Friday & Saturday, August 17-18.  St. Petersburg, Russia.
We will arrive at 7 a.m. Friday and depart Saturday at 5 p.m.  This will provide a bit more time to tour Russia’s second largest city and its cultural heart.  Built from nothing by westward-looking Peter the Great, since its inception St. Petersburg was to be a display of imperial Russia’s growing status in the world. Fine-tuned by Peter’s successors, who employed a host of European architects to add fabulous palaces and cathedrals to the city’s layout, St. Petersburg grew to be the Romanovs’ showcase capital and Russia’s first great, modern city. 

Whether you’re cruising the city’s elegant canals, crossing one of the 342 bridges in the city, or just watching them being raised over the mighty Neva River at night to allow ships to pass through, you’re never far from water in St Petersburg, which has earned the city unsurprising comparisons to Venice. The similarities don’t stop there, though: any wander in the historic center will reveal canals lined by Italianate mansions and broken up by striking plazas adorned with baroque and neoclassical palaces.

St. Petersburg is an almost unrivalled treasure trove of art and culture. You can spend days in the Hermitage, seeing everything from Egyptian mummies to Picassos, while the Russian Museum, spread over four palaces, is perhaps the best collection of Russian art in the world. Add to this world-class ballet and opera at the Mariinsky Theater and classical concerts at the Shostakovich Philharmonia.  If you’re looking for contemporary, there’s also the fantastic Erarta Museum, showcasing the best in modern Russian art, and a small but buzzing gallery scene.
All meals included on the ship

Important Note About Touring St. Petersburg: If you are thinking that you want to tour St. Petersburg on your own, you will need to get a Russian visa.  If you take one of Holland America’s tours, no visa will be necessary (they have an approved “group visa”) and you will be required to depart and return to the port with the tour.  If you sign up for a tour with another company, get confirmation from the company that you won't need a visa; you will not be able to go ashore without this documentation.  Click here for information about getting a Russian visa.

Day 7.  Sunday, August 19.  Helsinki, Finland.
We’ll arrive at 7 a.m. and depart at 4 p.m. in the capital of Finland.  While some consider Helsinki as a younger sibling to the other Scandinavian capitals, it’s the one that went to art school, scorns pop music, and works in a cutting-edge studio. The design scene in Helsinki is one of the most electrifying in the world, with boutiques, workshops, and galleries throughout the Design District, Helsinki's thoroughfares, and intriguing backstreets. Nevertheless, Helsinki's older icons endure. Its understated, yet glorious art-nouveau buildings, centenarian cafes, museums preserving Finnish heritage, and restaurants that have changed neither menu nor furnishings since the 1930s, remain an intrinsic part of the city’s quirky charm.
All meals included on the ship

Day 8.  Monday, August 20.  Stockholm, Sweden.
The ship will arrive in port at 8 a.m. and depart at 4 p.m.  Stockholm’s beauty and fashion sense could almost be intimidating. But get to know it better and there is little that is daunting about this top model city. Despite being spread across 14 islands, Stockholm's 57 bridges mean it is well-connected and essentially compact. Each neighborhood has a distinct character, yet they’re close enough together you can easily spend time in several areas. In each, you'll find trend-setting design, inventive cuisine, unbeatable museums, great shopping, pretty parks, and loads of atmosphere.  The old town, Gamla Stan, is one of Europe’s most arresting historic hubs with imposing palaces and razor-thin cobblestone streets. Just a few feet from this time capsule, the modern city center shines like the pages of a magazine—and the city is surrounded by pristine forests and a vast archipelago.
All meals included on the ship

Day 9.  Tuesday, August 21.  Workshop/At Sea.
Today we will have day two of our workshop with Cynthia.
All meals included on the ship

Day 10.  Wednesday, August 22.  Warnemunde (Berlin), Germany.
We’ll arrive at the Port of Rostock (Warnemunde) at 6 a.m. and depart at 11 p.m. You’ll be able to visit the small town of Warnemunde (population of 35,000), which is located at the mouth of the river Warnow or tour Berlin (about a 3-hour drive one way).  Warnemunde is an operational fishing port and an attractive seaside resort with vast dunes and sweeping stretches of sand on each side of the river's mouth. You'll see rows of ancient, timber-framed houses, sleepy squares, modern hotels with spas, and boats galore. Ice cream stalls and hundreds of screeching seagulls complete the seaside feel. Although some of the city's magnificent, old buildings were destroyed in World War II, you can still see grand marketplaces, bridges, city ramparts, and gates. Even newer buildings are designed in the traditional style of red brick and steeped gables. The skyline is dominated by three massive churches, including St. Peter's, which used to be one of the tallest buildings in the world.

Berlin is a big multicultural metropolis that deep down maintains the unpretentious charm of an international village. Size-wise, Berlin is pretty big but its key areas are wonderfully compact and easily navigated.  Its rich history stares you in the face at every turn. This is a city that staged a revolution, was headquartered by Nazis, bombed to bits, divided in two, and finally reunited – and that was just in the 20th century.  You can walk along remnants of the Berlin Wall, marvel at the splendor of a Prussian palace, visit Checkpoint Charlie, or stand in the very room where the Holocaust was planned. Berlin is endlessly fascinating where the past is very much present wherever you go.
All meals included on the ship

Day 11.  Thursday, August. 23.  Kiel (Hamburg), Germany.
We’ll arrive at the Port of Keil at 8 a.m.; depart at 4 p.m. Kiel has a long shipbuilding and naval tradition. but today it is characterized by its vibrant student scene, laid-back lifestyle, and urban flair. You can sense this atmosphere from the city's beautiful setting on the Kiel Fjord, its modern and spacious city center, and Dänische Strasse, a street of late-19th century buildings full of maritime charm in the heart of Kiel.  

Another option is to visit Hamburg, Germany’s second-largest city, which is located about 60 miles away. Hamburg has engaged in business with the world ever since it joined the Hanseatic League back in the Middle Ages. Its role as a center of international trade in the late 19th and early 20th centuries brought it great wealth and recognition as a Unesco World Heritage site in 2015.  This legacy as one of Germany’s wealthiest cities continues today and its maritime spirit infuses the entire city; from architecture to menus.
All meals included on the ship

Day 12.  Friday, August 24.  Depart for home from Copenhagen.
Our ship arrives back in port in Copenhagen at 7 a.m.  Please schedule your flight to depart after 11 a.m.  Transfer from the ship to the airport is included.
Meals included: Breakfast

About Cynthia’s Project . . .
Cynthia will be designing a project inspired by this Beadventure.  Check back for details!

About Cynthia Rutledge . . .
Cynthia is a contemporary artist and teacher focusing on beadwork as her medium. She specializes in peyote stitch and off-loom weaving techniques with an emphasis on developing sculptural unsupported shapes in beadwork. Her work has been exhibited in national and international shows and has appeared in Nicolette Stessin's Beaded Amulet Purses, Carol Taylor's Creative Bead Jewelry, and Carol Wilcox Wells' Creative Bead Weaving: A Contemporary Guide to Classic Off-Loom Stitches.

Cynthia writes:
"My attraction to 3-dimensional shapes has created a fascination for me throughout my life and has fueled my creative spirit. My choice of beadwork as a primary medium has followed that same fascination. As my beadwork has evolved, my work seems to always lean towards the building of shapes and forms that are functional and wearable.

The choice to use beads as my medium was primarily influenced by my love of color. Beads reflect and absorb light, hold shape and dimension, and in so doing, offer chameleon-like qualities. It is not always the end result that is the most important to me, however. The process of working with beads and thread is meditative and calming, which allows time for reflection. Engineering each piece is always a challenge that thrills me, as well as giving me the power to make the decisions that need to be made for each piece. The more I experience the wonderful qualities of beadwork, the more I realize my relationship with beads will always be one of learning, experiencing and sharing.

The decision to teach grew from my personal desire to share my love of beads and all the wonderful things that can be created with them. The commitment that I have to teaching stems from my desire to share the knowledge I have gained while developing my own skills in this medium. Ultimately, my mission is to help to keep this art form alive and well."

In early 2016 Cynthia released her first book “Timeless Beadwork Designs,” a compilation of 15 gorgeous projects that reflect the beauty with which Cynthia approaches her designs and the generosity with which she teaches.  Learn more about Cynthia at her webpage.

Trip Cost

  • $4,230.00 for shared hotel and cabin
  • Additional cost for single room and cabin:  $1,630.00

Cost includes:

  • Copenhagen Palace Hotel - one night pre-cruise (based on availability)
  • Welcome dinner in Copenhagen
  • 10-day cruise aboard Holland America's ms Zuiderdam; cost is based on Interior Cabin, Category L on Deck 6 - click here to view deck plans should you want another category of room
  • All meals aboard the ship
  • Bead workshop tuition

For those staying at the Palace Hotel, cost includes:

  • Transfers from airport to hotel; hotel to ship; ship to airport
  • All luggage handling

Cost Does Not Include:

  • Airfare to and from Copenhagen
  • Shore excursions while on cruise
  • Trip insurance (you will need to provide verification that you have purchased trip insurance at the time of final payment)
  • Supplies for workshop (kit will be available for purchase)

To Sign Up / Payment Terms

Send in a $1,000 deposit and completed registration form.  Balance will be due 120 days (April 13, 2018) prior to start of Beadventure (see Conditions & Responsibilities for more information).

Trip Insurance

To protect the investment you are making in your planned travel, you are required to provide Beadventures with confirmation that you have purchased trip insurance when you send in your final payment. Beadventures highly recommends TravelEx based on its excellent customer service.  Click here for information about their coverage options.

Trip Notes . . .

About your activities while in port

  • Beadventures will not be arranging separate shore excursions or tours during the cruise.  Holland America will have shore excursions from which you can select, but it is too early to have 2018 excursion details available.  You can, however, review information about the options for a similar cruise in 2017 by clicking here.  Other tour options also can be found at by searching the Internet, such

About St. Petersburg visit

  • You will not be able to tour St. Petersburg on your own unless you have a Russian visa, for which you must apply and receive approval by the Russian government.  If you take one of Holland America’s tours, no visa will be necessary (they have an approved “group visa”)--but you will be required to depart and return to the port with the tour.  If you sign up for a tour with another company, get confirmation from the company that you won't need a visa; otherwise you will not be able to go ashore without this documentation.

Cynthia's Workshop Supplies

  • Bring your customary supplies, bead mat, and a battery-powered task light.