russia, st. petersburg, tsar, imperial
The spectacular gardens of Petrodvorets, outside St. Petersburg

Changing Tides of History: Cruising the Baltic Sea

Jun 20 - 29, 2014
Explore the history of the Baltic countries during a cruise aboard the deluxe M.S. Le Boréal
Starting at $6,995
Call 855-330-1542 or Ask Us a Question

Glenn Kranking
Jun 20 - 29, 2014
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 with an emphasis on Russian history, and has lived and researched in Sweden, Estonia, Finland, and Russia. His area of research includes Scandinavia, Russia, and the Baltic Sea Region with an emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries, nationalism, and minorities. He regularly teaches courses on Scandinavia, Imperial Russia, the Soviet Union, and minorities in Europe.

John Meffert
Jun 20 - 29, 2014
John Meffert has a long history with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, serving in many capacities since 1978. In 1981, he was a member of the Trustís Strategic Planning Committee. From 1982 to 1988, he was the director of the Trustís Southern Office in Charleston, and he also served as the past director of the Preservation Society of Charleston, responsible for preserving historic Charleston. Currently, he is a principal with Heritage Consulting Services and an active lecturer on architecture, preservation, and culture.

Lech Walesa
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.

John Cochran
Former chief White House correspondent, guest anchor and reporter of 17 years for ABC News and 21-year veteran of NBC News, John Cochran brings a special personal context to our time in Gdansk. As NBC's Chief European Correspondent during the struggle of the Solidarity union, after the Communist crackdown and suppression of the media in December 1981 (when WaBesa was put under house arrest), Mr. Cochran smuggled videotaped reports out of Poland by putting them inside the hubcaps of giant Swedish trucks traveling in and out of the country.

More than 20 years have passed since these two men last met. It was a decade after Cochran's initial coverage of Lech WaBesa during the struggle of the Solidarity union when President George H.W. Bush scheduled a trip to visit then President of Poland WaBesa. WaBesa would grant only one interview to an American TV correspondent before Bush's arrival; that invitation was extended to John Cochran. Cochran had been in London on his honeymoon with his new bride, Barbara Stubbs Cochran (at that time the Geneva-based executive producer of NBC's "Meet the Press"); they both flew to Warsaw to do the interview.

Cochran has won three Emmy awards and the Peabody and Alfred I. duPont awards for his role in news coverage. A native of Montgomery, Alabama, he began his journalism career while at the University of Alabama. He received a master's degree from the University of Iowa. He will be traveling with his wife, Barbara Stubbs Cochran, the Curtis B. Hurley Chair in Public Affairs Reporting at the Missouri School of Journalism, former CBS bureau chief in Washington, former president of Radio-TV News Directors Association and an alumna of Columbia University.

Mr. Cochran will present several lectures on his perspective of his life as a reporter on historical events both during his tenure covering the White House and as the Chief European Correspondent for NBC News.