Posted on 03-May-2019 by Administrator
When you want to cover multiple destinations over a short period of time, and especially if those destinations happen to be spread over multiple countries, taking a cruise is the best way to cover it all. One such region that is best covered on a cruise and is on the bucket list of most travel enthusiasts is the cluster of Scandinavian countries bordering the Baltic Sea in Europe. Consisting of the nations of Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia & Norway, these countries are a wondrous mixture of culture, languages and possesses a bounty of art and ancient historical relics. Cruises on the Baltic Sea to the Scandinavian capitals has become immensely popular in the last few years with leading cruiseliners deploying their best ships to take passengers through the sweeping fjords and mountain valleys.
Here are some of the popular ports of call on a Scandinavian Cruise:
Copenhagen: A departure port for many cruises, the capital of Denmark is a bustling, striking city with an ode to its Viking heritage visible in its very vibe. Often named the ‘the best city to live in’, Copenhagen is surely a city worth exploring. The main attractions are the Trivoli Gardens, the Frederiksberg Palace, the magnificent Copenhagen Opera House and the Nyhaven, one of the most picturesque harbours in the world, with a row of multi-colored row houses fringing along the Danish coastline. Also, this city is home to some of the world’s best restaurants.
Helsinki: The Finnish seaside town of Helsinki is a glorious combination of culture, art and architecture, boosted even more with stunning greenery. Its broad streets, neoclassical mansions and the giant maritime fortress of Suomenlinna are what pull most visitors to this haven. The most picturesque locations include the Kauppatori or the Market Square – the central point for getting a taste of Finnish culture and cuisine, the Korkeassari island - zoo with its leopards and Siberian tigers, and the Finnair Sky Wheel, where you get unobstructed views of the emerald coast and the entire city.
St. Petersburg: Established by the Russian Emperor Peter the Great, the 300 year old city of St. Petersburg is the most majestic city to visit on a Scandinavian Cruise. The greatest attraction is undoubtedly the Hermitage Museum, housing the largest collection of paintings in the world and the Winter Palace, a structure of astounding magnificence and grandeur that defies words. The Peterof Palace – called the Versailles of the East - , the multi-domed church of Spilt Blood, and a leisurely boat tour around the canals of the city are other experiences worth having when in St. Petersburg. If you are an admirer of Russian architecture, a look of this grand city from the colonnades at St. Isaac’s Cathedral is sure to leave an imprint on your mind forever.
Oslo: Oslo is a city that has it all – Scandinavian heritage, grand museums, architectural wonders, fjords and the fascinating Northern Lights! It is a Norwegian city nestled in the heart of mountains with serenity in its very air. You can enjoy your day on this port by taking a local Norwegian cruise to explore the mountain fjords and experience nature with an intimacy that seems almost unimaginable. A city tour is another excellent idea, which will take you to the Natural History Museum, the Viking Ship museum, the Oslo Opera House and the royal Palaces. Do partake in the Beer Academy’s beer tasting sessions to taste exotic craft beers over ninety minutes, or take a hike through the Nordmarka- a forested area for hiking lovers with overnight cabins in the middle of the woods!
Tallinn: The capital city and cultural hub of Estonia, Tallinn is beautiful city located on the banks of the Baltic Sea. Parts of Tallinn are literally like walking back in time, with meticulously preserved 15th century cobblestoned streets, a 13th Century Gothic Town Hall, a fairytale style town wall dating back to the middle ages and countless medieval styled buildings in the Old Town. The joy of exploring this gem of a city and all of its Estonian restaurants and cafes is an unraveling of sorts, especially because this city is devoid of the tourists crowding most popular European cities. Other major attractions in Tallinn are St. Alexander Nevsky’s Cathedral, the Lennusadam Seaplane Harbour and every photo-enthusiasts’ favourite – the view of the city from atop Toompea Hill.
Bergen and Tromso: Bergen and Tromso are both Norwegian cities renowned for having the best views of the Northern Lights. Both relatively small towns are personified into lands of midnight sun during the summers, with bright nights, plenty of bounty for fishing and unexplored lands perfect for hiking. Tromso is also famed for its vibrant party culture and pubs, particularly Olhallen, Tromso’s oldest and most cherished pub. You can explore these lands with Fjord cruising, fishing, visiting the famous Arctic Cathedral and watching whales. A popular spot worth visiting in Bergen is the UNESCO world heritage listed Bryggen, an enchanting place with wooden alleys and a number of shops for shopping, recreation and fine dining, not to mention wonderful photography.
Stockholm: The Venice of the North, the capital city of Sweden is another popular port that most Scandinavian cruises call upon. For anyone enamored with Sweden’s Viking heritage, the Vasa museum is a must visit. The museum is in the form of the massive Swedish battleship Vasa that sank in 1628, and was converted into a museum after its remains were salvaged in 1965, with over 95% of the present museum being the original vessel. Visit the Royal National City Park, Ericsson Globe, the City hall, the palace where the Swedish royal family resides and Ostermalm, the fashion hub of the country with the world’s best labels offering their best with a touch of Swedish design. You could also take a sightseeing tour aboard an open two-deck bus or the Stockholm In One Day Sightseeing Tour that allows to make the best of this marvelous city, both by land and boat.
All the world’s leading cruise liners are taking multiple cruises to the Scandinavian countries this summer. The added bonus of taking these cruises during summer is that the weather is blessedly warm, with daylight hours much longer than the year round average. Following are some of the major cruises to the Scandinavian countries this year:
Norwegian Getaway: Norwegian Cruise Line’s ship offers 10-14 day long cruises beginning from June 2019 covering the ports of Copenhagen, Berlin, Tallinn, St. Petersburg Helsinki and Stockholm. The magnificent ship has a capacity of over 4,000 passengers and excels in comfort in particular by providing a wide variety of staterooms ranging from spa suites, interconnecting rooms, spacious villas for those travelling with families and solo studios for lone guests. Other highlights of this ship include the Waterfront promenade, the private beach club Haven, and nearly thirty different unique dining options.
Regal Princess: You’re in for a royal treat on board the Regal Princess’s fourteen day long sojourn through St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Warnemunde in Germany, Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki. The huge ship has a total of fifteen decks and continues the Princess Cruises’ legacy of splendor with an expanded atrium, multi-cuisine restaurants and non-stop entertainment options like the famed Princess Theatre Live Performances, dance clubs, the Princess Casino options for sports enthusiasts as well.
MSC Meraviglia: Accommodating over five thousand passengers, this is MSC Cruises’ largest cruise with multiple extraordinary features to enhance your cruise to the Scandinavian countries. Starting from May, 2019, the cruise offers 6-9 day cruises covering beautiful spots across Germany, Denmark, Finland and Estonia. In addition to all the natural beauty bestowed by the surroundings, the cruise itself offers modes of entertainment like original shows of the Crique de Soleil, hubs of socializing like the Atmosphere Pool, the longest LED Dome covering a promenade of 480 meters and excellent dining options from practically every corner of the world.
Costa Magica: The fact that this cruise has been inspired by the glory of Italy is apparent in every manner. The decks are named after great Italian artists, the interior of the ship and cabins reflects Italian architecture as do the eye-catching works of art that adorn its grand halls. The ship has a self-service restaurant, multiple options for shopping and the Salento Grand Bar – with floor to ceiling windows marvelously reflecting the azure blue waters of the Baltic Sea. Starting from May, Costa Magica offers 6-9 day cruises departing from Stockholm and further voyaging to the ports of Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Tallinn.
Brilliance of the Seas: A 12 night Baltic cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas gives you the opportunity to explore Amsterdam, Skagen (Denmark), Tallinn, Finland, and St. Petersburg while also exploring all the wonders of this brilliant ship. From luxury dining to bar hopping, sight-seeing from the topmost decks to learning Flamenco dancing, the ship is a small city in itself. For a riveting experience, book yourself a ticket for this cruise starting from June, 2019.
Celebrity Silhouette: Celebrity Cruises takes you for the ‘7 Night Norwegian Fjords Cruise’ with cruises beginning as early as the end of April! This cruise departs from Southampton in England before going north-west to explore the un-earthly Norwegian Fjords in Norway, docking at the ports of Bergen, Alesund, Geiranger and Stavanger. Over 85% of the ship’s staterooms have sweeping verandas with extraordinary views of the ocean and the magical fjords. On the inside, the Grand Curvee is an absolute favourite restaurant with flamboyant interiors, contemporary eating options and stellar service. The ship also has a silent disco, a live concert called Life and some of the trendiest bars.
The summer months are on their way, and this year you can enjoy them by visiting this uniquely brilliant set of nations. Each Scandinavian country has its own language, culture and historical heritage, yet there is an invisible thread of similarity that ties them together. Nature’s bounty coupled with the luxury and comfort of a cruise is the best way of immersing yourself into this world. So hurry and book yourself a trip like no other. The sun never sets here in the summers, and neither will your bliss!