All-embracing nature experience in a VIP cruise

Welcome to our most exclusive cruise. Admire the most beautiful spots of Lake Saimaa and take full advantage of this multifaceted 7-day luxury cruise. 

Day 1 – Savonlinna

Step on board with a warm welcome.

Come on board where you are introduced to our crew and guide in a relaxed atmosphere, enjoying a glass of champagne. Of course, the ship will be shown to you afterwards. Then, the journey begins with a three-hour evening cruise. Along the way, you can taste a special steamship dinner, combining the region’s seasonal dishes with fine wines. You spend the night on board, close to Savonlinna city. 

 

Day 2 - Olavinlinna

Enjoy the mixture of history and modern city life.

Your second day starts with a delicious breakfast. Then, it is time to explore Savonlinna on a guided walking tour. Visiting Olavinlinna castle is of course part of the day. Depending on the season, you can either enjoy lunch or dinner there, experiencing the special castle atmosphere. The medieval St. Olof´s castle is home of the world-famous Savonlinna Opera Festivals. The building of Olavinlinna was established in 1475. Knight Erik Axelsson Tott, the Danish founder of the castle, decided to construct a powerful fortification to protect the strategically important Savo region. The castle was supposed to repel Russian attacks from the east and to guarantee the control of the Savo region for the Swedish Crown. Hence, the history of Olavinlinna is a mixture of medieval arms clashing, cannons roaring, and every-day chores inside the castle’s thick walls. Savonlinna is an active and vibrant summer town. The town itself and its surroundings are one of Finland’s most popular holiday regions.

Besides the famous Opera Festival, the Savonlinna region offers numerous cultural activities. Thus, you can have a laugh at some of the eccentric local events, listen to the legends associated with the historical sites or simply admire the breathtaking scenery nearby. In addition, you have the chance to visit fascinating museums, art galleries and go shopping in specialty boutiques. Of course, you are free to relax in an idyllic café, savor the delicacies in an elegant restaurant, or spend the evening at a terrace bar listening to live music. To end the day, we cruise another two hours towards our next destination. Evening snacks will be served on board. After a day filled with activities and impressions, you can finally relax. We spend the night on board in a harbor within nature.

Day 3 - Astuvansalmi

Experience scenic landscapes and travel back in time.

In the morning, you start the day with a relaxed breakfast as we continue a three-hour cruise to Astuvansalmi. There, a guided hiking tour starts to search the Astuvansalmi rock paintings. They are located on a steeply rising face of bedrock on the shore of Lake Kovesi, 16 km from Ristiina Church. An island called Astuva is located opposite the painted rock face. The rock paintings are in lake setting of barren beauty with wooded outcrops of bedrock along the shores, having preserved their character almost intact. Over 90 rock painting sites are known in Finland. Of these, the Astuvansalmi paintings are the largest and most diverse entity. They picture, for example, humans, elks, and boats, as well as hand and paw prints. Apparently, the paintings developed over a long period, as the designs overlap in many places. 

After visiting the rock paintings, you enjoy lunch in the nature. Later, we return to the steamship and continue our journey to Sahanlahti. We reach Sahanlahti after three hours where you can enjoy a well-deserved dinner, either on board or in Sahanlahti, depending on the season. Sahanlahti is a small, family-run resort with hotel and cottage accommodation. Two restaurants at the location serve finest local food, made from seasonal ingredients. Additionally, both restaurants offer the most amazing lakeside views. The small guest harbor hosts visitors from near and far during summertime. Built around an old sawmill, Sahanlahti is packed in history and offers exciting insights as you wander around the charming resort. After dinner, you can treat yourself with a traditional Finnish sauna experience and relax your body and mind. Evening snacks are provided later. You spend the night on board in Sahanlahti harbor.

Day 4 - Punkaharju

Learn about Finnish forests, art and culture.

The destination of the fourth day is Punkaharju which is reached from Sahanlahti after seven hours. For this reason, the journey starts already before you wake up. Of course, you begin the day with a tasty breakfast as the cruise continues. Due to the long trip, lunch will also be served on board. Once Punkaharju is reached, we visit Lusto Forest Museum and Johanna Oras’ art manor. Lusto is a national museum and also a versatile exhibition and culture center. It is located at the heart of Lake Saimaa district, next to the Punkaharju Conservation Area. Lusto’s exhibitions and events provide diverse and illustrative insights regarding the significant meaning of forests in the life of Finns.

Tuunaankartano Manor lies in the heart of the Retretti area in Punkaharju. The manor-house, built in the 1910s, is the permanent location for Johanna Oras’ summer exhibition. The artist’s summer atelier comprises a side building which offers something truly exceptional. There, visitors have the chance to observe the artist at work. Hereby, they can discover the mysterious process behind each piece of art, from inspiration to the final brush stroke. After the visit of Lusto Forest Museum and Johanna Oras’ art manor, it is time to enjoy an appetizing dinner at Hotel Punkaharju or on board, varying according to booking dates. In the evening, you have enough time for leisure activities or to end the day in a sauna again. Evening snacks will be offered afterwards. The location where we spend the night on board is the harbor of Hotel Punkaharju. 

Day 5 - Linnansaari National Park

Soak in Finnish nature with all your senses.

When you wake up, we are already cruising to Linnansaari National Park, which takes six hours to be reached from Punkaharju. During the journey, you can enjoy a breakfast served on board. An expert who works in the forest administration joins our cruise to give you informative insights about Saimaa’s nature, the waters, as well as the ringed seals. This event lasts for approximately three hours. Linnansaari, in the heart of the Finnish Lake District, is an ideal place to spot rare lake seals and majestic ospreys.

Although Saimaa ringed seals are very rare, you may most likely see them towards the end of May when basking in the sun on the lake shore rocks to dry their fur. In the water, the seals are not frightened by boats and possibly follow them when traveling at a moderate speed. Unfortunately, by-catch mortality is the most serious immediate threat to the seal population. Pups, in particular, get easily entangled in fishing nets and sometimes follow fish into a fish trap, having no chance to escape. Therefore, the maximum width should be 15 cm in the openings, even when stretched. Consequently, there are regional and temporal restrictions for net fishing and regarding the use of other fishing gear dangerous to the seals. In contrast, angling and lure fishing are seal-friendly fishing methods. To contribute to the seals preservation, we take part in the Saimaa ringed seal protection program. Using a diverse range of measures, the LIFE Saimaa Seal project aims to enhance the conservation of the Saimaa ringed seal.

Lush green islands and rocky islets dot the waters of the park, guaranteeing beautiful views. The lake land scenery is indeed a delight all year round. Upon arrival, our experienced guide takes you on a hike on the nature trail and to the croft. At Linnansaari Croft, traditional slash-and-burn farming practices are still maintained. A boat service takes visitors to the main island during summer. On land, you can enjoy a picnic lunch on the top of Linnansaari. The guided visit of the national park offers you great opportunities to explore Finnish forests and connect with nature. The peaceful, calming surroundings make all worries diminish. After dinner, you still have enough leisure time to enjoy nature and relax. Evening snacks will be provided on board in Linnansaari, where we also spend the night.

Day 6 - Heinävesi

Admire panoramic views on board.

After breakfast, we cruise along the most beautiful inland waterway in Europe “Heinäveden reitti”. Our destination is Heinävesi and the Valamo Monastery. This journey takes four hours. During the cruise, you can enjoy lunch with beautiful views, as the Heinävesi Water Route of course provides a unique lake scenery. It is an extraordinary route of narrow, winding waterways, open water, islands and old canals. The construction of the canals along the route began in the late 19th century. The first to be completed was Karvio Canal in 1896. It connected Lake Suvasvesi and Lake Kermajärvi and opened a shipping lane from Kuopio to Heinävesi. Subsequently, from 1903 to 1906, the canals of Kerma, Vihovuonne, and Pilppa were built south of Lake Kermajärvi which provided a shipping lane to Savonlinna. A connection to Lake Juojärvi was established between 1911 and 1916 when the canals of Varistaival and Taivallahti were built.

When we arrive at our destination, you can take part in a guided tour to explore the Valamo Monastery. Meanwhile, it is a living center of orthodox religious and cultural life. The peaceful atmosphere of the monastery and the surrounding environment offer great opportunities to escape everyday life and relax from the hustle and bustle we often face. The Valamo Monastery is located in Heinävesi, in a stunning natural environment. After visiting Valamo Monastery and a relaxing sauna experience, a special dinner awaits you on board. Of course, evening snacks will also be available. We spend the night on board at Kerma or Oravi harbor.

Day 7 - Savonlinna

Take away countless memories and join us again soon.

Enjoy a last delicious brunch on board during our cruise back to Savonlinna. The return journey takes three hours. Now, the journey ends, as the crew bids you farewell, and you disembark the steamship. These seven days were filled with unforgettable experiences, learning, exploring and relaxing, as well as enjoying culinary pleasures and soaking in Lake Saimaa’s magical atmosphere. What an amazing week!

Prices

Included in “All-embracing nature experience”:

  • transfers to/from Savonlinna harbor, transfer from harbors to the excursions during the journey
  • cruise in a unique steamship and accommodation in a luxury suite
  • bed linen, towels, bath rubs, slippers
  • crew and host services
  • guiding 
  • entry fees
  • all meals, drinks and snacks

Price (including VAT):

  • 7950€ per person, 2 persons per suite
  • minimum 2 persons for the cruise to take place

Additional services, customization options:

  • other programs like paddling or water jet (need to be booked in advance) 
  • premium wines from sommelier
  • wine and food tasting event

The crew on board is at the customers’ disposal at all times and happily takes care of every concern.

S/S Paul Wahl

Step inside a luxuriously renovated cabin, combined of traditional and modern Finnish design and craftsmanship. The interior of our steamships is made of highest quality. Each of our new three suites is manufactured by a local workshop and every detail is carefully planned. Air conditioning is available inside. Apart from the unique cabins, high-quality services are provided throughout your stay. 

Embark on the trip of your choice which grants you outstanding life-lasting memories.

Cpt. Janne Leinonen

CAPTAIN AND SENIOR BUSINESS ADVISOR​

+358 50 368 2287

janne@1000lakescruises.com

Ms. Maria Laurikainen

SENIOR TRAVEL DESIGNER AND CRUISE HOST​

+358 400 573 769

maria@1000lakescruises.com