Changing Tides of History: Cruising the Baltic Sea
Experience the cultural rebirth of the Baltic States and the imperial riches of St. Petersburg on this six-country cruise aboard Le Boréal featuring a presentation by the former president of Poland.
WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY
What an incredible journey! The Baltic Sea in surrounding countries have a rich history few of us realize. My eyes have been opened to the experiences of the peoples of this region through Smithsonian.”
- Insights from the West of Ireland
- Fabulous shots from Smithsonian Journeys Expert Kirt Kempter
- Visiting Mount Fuji, by way of rural Japan
- Saturday in Pamplona
Glenn Kranking is Assistant Professor of History and Scandinavian Studies at Gustavus Adolphus College. He received his Ph.D. in History from The Ohio State University, and has lived and researched in Sweden, Estonia, Finland, and Russia. His area of research includes Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea Region with an emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries, nationalism, and minorities. One of his more recent courses looks at Nordic Explorers, from the Vikings to the Polar explorers.
By exclusive arrangement, Lech Walesa, former president of Poland, Polish hero and international symbol of the pursuit of freedom and democracy, will meet with our group in Gdansk to discuss his perspective on world progress through globalization. A worker in Gdansk's Lenin Shipyard, Walesa emerged as a worldwide symbol of the resistance against Communism during the shipyard workers' strike of 1980 and the establishment of the Solidarity labor movement. Despite winning the right to form an independent union, Walesa and Solidarity were forced to continue their struggle against the Soviet-backed regime of General Jaruzelski, which jailed Walesa and imposed martial law in Poland in December 1981. In 1983, Walesa received the Nobel Peace Prize, a watershed moment widely considered to have been the first crack in the Soviet Union's Iron Curtain that crumbled with the Berlin Wall in 1989. Only the third foreign dignitary, after the Marquis de Lafayette and Winston Churchill, to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress in 1989, Walesa served as president of Poland from 1990 to 1995.