It’s hard to think of a better vacation than combining the beauty and culture of some of Northern Europe and the Baltic’s most historical cities with the fun-filled activities and amazing amenities that only a cruise can offer. For this reason, it’s easy to see why Norwegian’s Baltic Capitals cruises are so popular. Not only will you be sailing with Europe’s best cruise line, but you’ll be visiting some of Scandinavia and Europe’s most spectacular sites while sailing through the beautiful waters of the Baltic Sea. Norwegian Star is typically the ship you’ll be sailing on, renovated in 2010 and with around 2000 passengers is half the size of Norwegian Epic.
See Copenhagen- The Jewel of Scandinavia
To start with, this 9 day cruise departs and returns to Copenhagen, Denmark, one of the most modern cities in the world and a model of Scandinavian efficiency and design. Still, Copenhagen isn’t all modern glass and steel, as this beautiful oceanfront city is also home to some incredible historical architecture and unique Danish culture.
You definitely need to plan on spending some time either before or after your cruise exploring this fascinating city, and you surely don’t want to miss cruising the city’s canals by boat or strolling through Stroget, Europe’s longest solely pedestrian street and home to a huge array of shops, restaurants and more.
The Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie & Brandenburg Gate
Although this is a Baltic capitals cruise, it also presents you with a unique chance to see Berlin and its enthralling history firsthand. Still, you’ll have to take an express train to get there, not to mention pay nearly $350 for most Berlin excursions. The reason for this is that Berlin isn’t on the Baltic, and you’ll actually be stopping at the port of Rostock, nearly 150 miles away. If you’re determined to do it yourself, also check out the German www.bahn.de website (you can change the language at the top of the page) and book your train tickets in advance, though you should be aware that these are not normally exchangeable.
Experience the Eastern Baltic
After leaving Rostock, the cruise spends more than a full day at sea, heading to the eastern end of the Baltic to stop in the capital of Estonia. Talinn is a fabulous medieval city, where you’ll be able to head past the ancient walls and into its historical Old Town. Whether you’re looking for culture, hsitory, dining or shopping, you surely won’t leave disappointed.
The stop after Talinn has to be the highlight of the trip, which probably explains why it’s the only city where cruisers get to spend two full days. St. Petersburg is, simply put, one of the most amazing cities in the world, and definitely not to be missed. Long the cultural epicenter of Russia, the incredible architecture and sights of the Venice of the North will stick with you long after you’ve departed, and you’ll surely be sad you only had two days there.
The rugged coastlines of Scandinavia are famous for their beauty, and you’ll surely be impressed when cruising into Helsinki, truly a unique city, with its massive white neo-classical buildings and the home of the 1952 Olympic Winter Games.
After Helsinki comes Sweden’s capital city, Stockholm. Stuck smack dab in between the sea and a large lake, Stockholm features a massive series of canals and waterways, which definitely provide the best and easiest way to see all of the city’s famous sites. Nonetheless, you might also want to take a romantic walk down the quaint cobblestone streets as well, but one thing that surely can’t be missed is the beautiful 17th century palace that overlooks the large harbor.
In truth, it really can’t get much better than Norwegian’s Baltic Capitals cruise, as it allows you to cram more culture, history, and fun into nine days than you could’ve ever thought possible. If you’re not into beaches or the hot tropics, but still want to experience the joy of a cruise, there are surely very few, if any other experiences that could match.