Why Take A Baltic Cruise?

Think of a Baltic cruise as a serial city break to Northern Europe’s most exciting ports of call, and you’ll immediately start to see the appeal of this classic cruise destination. From the Scandinavian capitals to the living treasure trove that is St Petersburg, the highlights of a Baltic cruise are indeed numerous and you can see virtually all of them in one superb and cost effective holiday.
What’s more, you’ll see a side to Europe that is, perhaps, rather less well known than some of the more typical holiday destinations frequented by travellers in search of the soaring summer heat of the Med’. For those considering a trip north the reward is a trip to some of Europe’s most dynamic and interesting cities.

These are maritime cities, cities best discovered by ship that will allow you to juxtapose destinations on an almost daily basis without the need to book expensive overnight accommodation, not to mention a series of costly flights. Factor in all the food and entertainment included in your Baltic cruise and you’ll see why this is a cruise that appeals to many an expert cruiser.

Scandinavian City Break? Scandinavian Cruises Deliver So Much More!

If your Baltic cruise only visited the Scandinavian capitals it would still offer more than most holidays could ever manage, such is the richness of history and scenery that’s on offer. Stockholm, Copenhagen, Helsinki and Oslo aren’t the biggest cites in the world but, as anyone that’s ever been to them all by sea will attest, they all punch way above their weight.

Let’s begin our Scandinavian cruise with a trip along Oslo Fjord. This is simply one of the most beautiful and underrated sea passages you’ll find anywhere, made all the better by the fact that you haven’t even reached the city yet! As you pass picturesque holiday homes, tiny islands and a veritable fleet of small boats full of waving well-wishers, you just know you’ll be charmed by Oslo itself.

When you reach the city a trip to the weird and wonderful Vigeland Sculpture Park is a ‘must’ and the 200 sculptures, all the work of Gustav Vigeland, are sure to leave an impression on you for ever. For an Oslo overview that includes the Sculpture Park, the famous Ice Bar and more besides try an Oslo City Tour.

No less impressive is your arrival amongst the fourteen islands that make up the city of Stockholm. There are many contenders for the epithet ‘Venice of the North’ but, for many, Stockholm is the real deal. Judge for yourself on a Canal Cruise through the city’s many intricate waterways. Alternatively, head for the Gamla Stan (Old Town) to get a feel for the city before it discovered uber cool Scandinavian architecture!

No Scandinavian cruise worth its salt would be complete without a visit to wonderful, wonderful, Copenhagen - even without the famous Carlsberg brewery, ‘the salty old queen of the sea’ is still, probably, the jolliest of all the Scandinavian capitals! See it all from the water with a City Harbour Cruise.

Copenhagen’s most famous symbol, the exquisite Little Mermaid statue was commissioned by Carl Jacobsen, son of the Carlsberg founder, and modelled on the ballerina Ellen Price who had been appearing in an adaption of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale. However, although the face is that of the ballerina, the body was based on the wife of the sculptor, Edvard Eriksen, after the demure ballerina refused to model without her clothes.

Why not head for the Tivoli Gardens - unashamedly touristy, but lots of fun - where you can ride the rides, go boating or sit down and watch the world go by? If you’d like to see the alternative side to Copenhagen, head for Freetown Christiania where they make their own rules, houses, workshops and excellent organic food. If you want to see and be seen, hire a fabulous Pedersen bicycle and explore.

Helsinki rewards explorers too, whether you stay in town or head out to the island of Porvoo for a thrilling Bat Mat Boat Safari that will give you a glorious glimpse into soulful and rather lovely Finnish countryside.

If you’d rather stay close to your ship you don’t have far to stroll to see magnificent architecture like the extraordinary Temppeliaukion Church (Church of the Rock will do nicely) that is built into solid rock and topped with a fabulous copper roof. Close by, in the same Toolo District, the Sibelius Park houses the amazing Sibelius Monument - 24 tons of abstract ambition that resembles a sound wave made from massive organ pipes – hugely controversial in 1967, it still looks cutting edge today.

Looking To Visit The Baltic States? Discover Tallinn’s Fairy Tale Towers

Sitting across the Gulf of Finland from Helsinki, Tallinn is Estonia’s capital and something of a treasure for anyone on a Baltic cruise that may not have been to this charming port before. The Old Town is just a short walk from the port, but you may well feel that you’ve stepped back through 500 hundred years of history.

The imposing, and intact, city walls, the fairy tale towers and beautifully preserved cobbled square make Tallinn one of the most enchanting ports of call on any Baltic cruise. Take time to stroll around, stop for a coffee or an excellent Estonian beer and admire the Kiek in de Kok tower that dates from the 15th century and the Gothic Town Hall and Church of St. Nicholas that both date from the 13th century.

To see the best of Tallinn’s Old Town with an expert guide try a Deluxe Visit excursion.

Cruises To Germany? How About Hamburg, Berlin And The German Seaside?

Germany’s Baltic coast can be your gateway to Berlin and a chance to visit this most historic capital From West to East the city is replete with history from the Kurfürstendamm, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, Potsdamer Platz, the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag and the lovely Unter den Linden. There’s even a little of the Berlin Wall left to act as a reminder of just how frosty the Cold War became.

If you don’t fancy Berlin or a day at the seaside in Warnemunde itself, then a trip to Lubeck can show you the powerhouse of the Hanseatic League, the medieval merchant guild whose influence held sway right across the Baltic (and beyond) for hundreds of years.

And, talking of influence, Hamburg is not only Germany’s second city and major port, it is also the city that – Liverpool aside – helped to fashion the Beatles into the world’s most famous band. A visit to the Kaiserkeller will help you catch a sense of where the pre-Ringo Beatles could be found ‘knocking ‘em dead’ for £15 a week! Unmissable.

You’ll Have To Start Russian For Baltic Cruises in 2019!

Excuse the pun, but we had to grab your attention in case you risk missing out on a Baltic cruise to the Russian Federation in 2019. And you really don’t want to miss the chance to visit St Petersburg, Peter the Great’s ‘Window on the West’ that is still recognisable as the 18th century masterpiece that the Tsar envisaged.

Tours to the Hermitage will introduce you to one of the world’s most extraordinary (and enormous) art collections, though you may prefer a glimpse into the everyday lives of the cities inhabitants with a tour of the St Petersberg metro and central food market. Elsewhere history and revolution appear around every corner and along every twist in the River Neva! Why not head north on your next summer cruise and discover why a Baltic cruise is something you just have to try?