I normally plan my vacations around a beach, so I admit that I wasn’t too hot about the idea of a Baltic cruise….however, wow am I glad I got to experience it!
Our Baltic cruise entailed visiting the following countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Russia and Sweden. And all this, while cruising around on the Norwegian Getaway!
We started off our stay, in a really cool boat house in Copenhagen built by the artist Jimmy Birdie. I would advise you to get lost in the beautiful old streets around Nyhaven. A must, is to check out Christiania; a town within the town of Copenhagen. Unexplainable experience…to be experienced. Also check out Tivoli gardens. The oldest amusement park in the world, that you can visit and check out the rides as well as a Michelin restaurant (2019), the Chinese gardens, the architecture…oh and grab yourself a hotdog!
Then it was time to board the great Norwegian Getaway. What an impressive boat, and very much so the ideal way to explore the Baltic. The most beautiful sunset I have ever seen, was whilst sailing to our next destination, Helsinki, Finland. The sunset lasts many hours, completing its course around 11pm in the summer.
A little bit about our ship…
The Norwegian Getaway is a destination in itself. There is literally something for everyone! In 10 days, I can say that we were discovering things hours before leaving and there are still parts of the ship that we didn’t have time to see. The fun includes water slides, arcade, bowling, incredible dance shows (dancers from shows like “Dancing with the stars”, which of course mesmerized me since I love ballroom), spa, gym and did I mention the incredible food! I could go on…the staff was exceptional, paying attention to my little seven month old at all times! An overall ideal way to visit 5 countries while having your room following you at every destination.
I would recommend paying the $15US to take the bus with the cruise ship that drives you directly into the quaint town of Rostock.
My little discovery of a store (I later found in every scandic country), was “Flying Tiger”. Lots of little knick knacks at prices that will knock your Lederhosens off!
Hey, Hey Hey….hello and bye respectively. I was enjoying the use of these words in our short stint in this scandic country. The architecture here was stunning. The Temppeliaukion church built within the surrounding rocks, the beautiful markets with fresh fruit from the north, and of course the Finnish spas. Apparently, there are more spas in this country than there are cars!
Note for this destination, if you decide to leave the boat (which of course would be recommended. You didn’t come this far to not see the city), you may require a Visa. There are exceptions…if you purchase a guided excursion with the ship, they do provide a tourist visa, or depending on the passport/country you are from. As a Canadian citizen myself, and a worldly wanderer, I decided to apply for the visa in advance for our trip. A little complicated, but doable, and definitely worth it!
You can grab a taxi from the port, directly into St. Petersburg (make sure you get their card/number for the ride back, as in Russia, it may be difficult to find someone that speaks English).
The architecture of St. Petersburg is so incredibly impressive and rich in history and well preserved. The wonderful colours of the Church of Spilled Blood make for classic photo opportunities in Russia.
While we were in St. Petersburg, it was the weekend of national military celebrations. So to my surprise, all the naval ships were out, and actually had seven ships surrounding us while at sea!
This was by far my favourite pit stop. We took the hop on, hop off tours directly outside the ship. Make sure you do the whole circuit (although we almost missed the boat because of this!).
This town is very games-of-thrones-esque. Buildings here go back to the 11-14th century. Tallin embodies history, and although I hated history in high school, this town made me want to get schooled! After wondering in the historical centre, the bus takes you around the beaches and oh so beautiful pine forests. This was THE place I would want to live if you sent me over to the baltic.
From the cruise port, grab a train ticket from just outside the boat, and walk to the train station that takes you to downtown Stockholm (about an hour ride). Head to Gamla stan, again a place of unique, old town architecture. A must is to check out Sweden’s underground subway stations, all with their own individual personality.
We made a little pit stop at the town of Osmo….worthy of a picture, since this was the first trip with our new Osmo Pocket (used in the above Russia video).
Overall, I highly recommend a Baltic cruise. Gives you an ideal taste of each of these wonderful scandic countries, and will want you coming back for more….even in the middle of winter!