If you’re thinking of booking a cultural break not too far from home, consider taking a Baltic cruise for your next holiday. Imagine relaxing onboard with a view of the Baltic Sea as you anticipate reaching renowned cities like Copenhagen, Tallinn and St Petersburg.
Onboard a voyage to the Baltic regions, you can look forward to exploring Germany, Poland and northern Europe, but make sure your time at sea is just as enjoyable by checking out the amenities your ship offers. A wealth of cruise companies offer journeys to the region, so do some research before you settle on a specific ship.
You’ll usually find a swimming pool, restaurants, a games deck and evening entertainment onboard, but there are other features that may be important to you, such as a gym, a spa and a theatre, so it’s worth spending some time thinking about exactly what you want from your holiday that will keep you busy.
Where to visit
Norway – Before you know it, you’ll have arrived in your first port of call, which is often the city of Stavanger in Norway. Venture ashore and admire the many scenic attractions, which include the mountains of Preikestolen and Kjerag and the meandering Lysefjord. You can take a tour of these natural wonders, or embark on a guided walk around the city to learn more about its stave churches and explore the ruins of its cathedral.
Sweden – Another popular stop on cruises around the Baltic region is Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. I’d suggest taking in the picturesque old town (Gamla Stan), which comprises winding narrow alleys and vibrantly-painted houses, as well as the beautiful Royal Palace, which was built in 1764.
Estonia – Your cruise ship may take you to the capital of Estonia next, and Tallinn is certainly somewhere I’d like to visit. The city is brimming with fascinating attractions, but if you have limited time to spend here, there are several must-see landmarks. Kadriorg Palace is one of them; built in 1718 by Peter the Great, the Baroque edifice now houses an art museum. The medieval Dome Church – also known as the Cathedral of Saint Mary the Virgin – is another landmark you won’t want to miss, and it’s worth climbing the 69 m bell tower for some stunning views over the city.
Russia – The city and state of St Petersburg in Russia might also feature on your cruise itinerary, and this captivating settlement boasts a historic centre that, along with a clutch of monuments, constitutes a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you can, take a guided tour of the city to learn more about its history and take a look at landmarks like The Hermitage – which houses around three million works of art – and the Summer Garden and Summer Palace of Peter the Great.
Denmark – Copenhagen is commonly visited on Baltic cruises, and the capital of Denmark is a wonderful place in which to experience authentic Danish culture. Enjoy a traditional open sandwich known as a smorrebrod – rye bread served with a range of toppings – and head to the royal family’s residence, Amalienborg Palace, for a photo opportunity. If you’re in need of some retail therapy, the Stroget shopping street can provide you with the perfect fix, and you should make sure you don’t miss a trip to the Peter and Paul Fortress, which was the first building to be erected in St Petersburg.