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Northern Europe & Baltics Aarhus, Bergen, Copenhagen, Gdansk, Greenland, Helsinki, Oslo, Riga, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Tallinn

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  #1  
Old April 22nd, 2012, 08:23 PM
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shoegal24 shoegal24 is offline
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Default Your favourite port

Just curious - out of the list below, what was your favourite port, and why?

- Copenhagen
- Oslo
- Aarhrus
- Berlin / Warenmunde
- Helsinki
- St. Petersburg
- Tallinn
- Stockholm
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  #2  
Old April 22nd, 2012, 10:26 PM
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Default Lots to Love, Do & Enjoy in Russia, Copenhagen, Tallinn, Baltics, etc.!!!

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Originally Posted by shoegal24 View Post
Just curious - out of the list below, what was your favourite port, and why? - Copenhagen - Oslo - Aarhrus - Berlin / Warenmunde - Helsinki - St. Petersburg - Tallinn - Stockholm
We have not been to Aarhrus or Berlin/Warenmunde, but we've had very nice experiences in these other six locations in the Baltics. What's best? Part of that is personal and depends on your exact interest, needs, budget flexibility, past Europe experiences, travel style, etc. Tell us more!! How much are you interested in history? Countryside vs. cities? Museums, food, art, music, shopping, architecture, etc.? How much of it in a leisurely style versus fast-paced? Then, with more detailed information from you, we can make better, more specific suggestions on what best fits your needs and interests.

History, architecture, culture and charming character are important to us. Clearly, St. Petersburg is a world-class super star in all of these important categories . . . AND MUCH MORE!!! We've been in twenty two different Europe countries. We have seen lots in that area of the world and other places through out the USA, Cuba, South America, etc.

Our specifics? We have super loved Copenhagen during two different visits. This Denmark capital has a wonderful combination of water/canals, interesting architecture, street art and design, charm, Tivoli, etc. Tallinn is so super special with its old-world architecture, great shopping, charm, etc. Sorry to use the word "charm" so much, BUT, it's important and very valued by us.

Stockholm, Helsinki and Oslo all have some important key highlights that we enjoyed very much. None of these places are "dogs" or bad. But some of more of different things. Again, it all gets back to what, specifically, you seek, value and need.

Look forward to learning and hearing more details from you. Below are just six of my key highlight photo samples for only a few of our top personal favorites in these six great places.

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio


Did a June 7-19, 2011, Solstice cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Enjoyed great weather and a wonderful trip. Dozens of wonderful visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc., on these postings. We are now at 74,053 views for this live/blog re-cap on our first sailing with Celebrity and much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:
http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/s....php?t=1426474

For details and visuals, etc., from our July 1-16, 2010, Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. This posting is now at 65,490 views.
http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/s....php?t=1227923


Fountains and water at the spectacular Peterhof outside of St. Petersburg:




Dancers marching in Tallinn’s festival parade near the stone towers of the famous Viru Gate:




At Stockholm’s Royal Palace, the changing of the guard is one of the key highlights and is handy, close to the next-door historic old town area. :




This picture shows the main, historic fortress next to where many cruise ships dock in Oslo. The fortress construction started around the late 1290’s. The very interesting Norwegian Resistance museum can be visited there. Norwegian Royalty have been buried in the Royal Mausoleum in the castle. A portion of this fortress was replicated at the Norway pavilion at Disney’s Epcot Center.:




Helsinki’s Church of Rock, or Temppeliaukion Kirkko, is carved out of solid stone with a unique contemporary design.:




Copenhagen’s Nyhavn or “new” Harbor is actually old and charming. This waterfront entertainment district is lined by brightly colored 17th and early 18th century townhouses and bars, cafes and restaurants. Serving as a "heritage harbor", the canal also has many historical wooden ships. Lots of people and fun activity!!:

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Old April 22nd, 2012, 10:37 PM
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Giantfan13 Giantfan13 is offline
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Shoegal

Well, since you asked

While Copenhagen was wonderful, Tallinn was a big surprise as to how nice it was, and St Petersburg was a real jewel of this cruise, I have said it countless times, our favorite port was Stockholm. Maybe I'm the only one who feels this way, I don't know. It was the port where we spent the least amount of time, but there was just something about Stockholm that we fell in love with. We were utterly surprised by the Vasa Museum. We went in looking to take a few pix, have a quick look around and be off, but once inside, we got hooked. I was fascinated by the entire experience, from the movie, to the actual ship itself. It was hard to believe that they built the museum around the ship. Just a mesmerizing experience.
Since Stockholm was out last port of call, we wanted to just get out and explore it. We just loved Gamla Stan. My DW loves to shop and we also like to explore, and this area was just perfect for that. From the narrow cobblestone streets, to the friendliness of the people and to those amazing pastries that we just HAD to have, we literally had to be pulled away to get back to the ship on time. Add to that the wonderful and colorful Changing of the Guard ceremony, it was all just a marvelous time we had.

here are a few pix to help you share our experience in this magical city.

The Vasa, just a fascinating way to spend a couple of hours
http://i834.photobucket.com/albums/z...europe1197.jpg

Walking about in this city, we crossed many picturesque bridges
http://i834.photobucket.com/albums/z...master1235.jpg

Moving on to the Gamla Stan area, there is the Royal Palace and the colorful Changing of the Guard ceremony
http://i834.photobucket.com/albums/z...europe1306.jpg

Then on to the heart of Gamla Stan, with it's wonderful assortment of shops and restaurants
http://i834.photobucket.com/albums/z...europe1265.jpg

Some streets are teeming with tourists while a block or two away you can find basically no one. Just so much fun to explore
http://i834.photobucket.com/albums/z...master1275.jpg

http://i834.photobucket.com/albums/z...europe1270.jpg

One day we hope to go back and spend some real time there.

Cheers

Len
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You have seen bits and pieces of our Baltic adventure, now see the entire album.
http://s834.photobucket.com/albums/z...fan13/baltics/

We have also cruised to wonderful Hawaii, check out our wonderful time in this paradise. will be happy to answer any questions if anyone is interested
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Check us out touring the great Northwest and then our marvelous cruise to Alaska. Again, any questions, just ask away
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 11:55 AM
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I agree with Giantfan, Tallin was an unexpected little gem which we loved. But SPB was by far the highlight of our trip, given its rich history, culture, architecture and world-class museums. That said Stockholm was another favorite, really do want to go back there, as well as SBP, hopefully one of these days...
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 03:58 PM
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Default Baltic cities

I've been to the listed cities except Aarhus and Berlin. All of the cities are interesting, but my favorite is Oslo. There's lots to see there (Kon Tiki, Fram, viking ships, folk museum, etc.), everything is accessible by public transit and the various attractions are close together so you can visit a number of them during a day in Oslo.
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 08:59 PM
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Thank you everyone, especially for sharing the photos! Stunning! Much appreciated.
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoegal24 View Post
Just curious - out of the list below, what was your favourite port, and why?

- Copenhagen
- Oslo
- Aarhrus
- Berlin / Warenmunde
- Helsinki
- St. Petersburg
- Tallinn
- Stockholm
Hm, tough question. This is one of my favorite parts of the world. So much so, I'm going back on a second Baltics cruise this summer.

I love the people and how friendly they are, I love the history and how open everyone is to talking about the history and their experiences, I love the sights - there is so much historical significance and architectural beauty, and I love the landscape, it's absolutely stunning.

For me personally, of the ports you have listed above, I've been to all except Oslo, and here's where I'd rank them.

1. Helsinki - completely unexpected and surprised by the beauty of it, the fun of it, the uniqueness of it. Had so much fun and tasted reindeer meat for the first time! Most excited about going back to it for the second time!
2. Stocholm - Vasa Museum blew me away. I'd read about it, but never expected what I had experienced. Gamla Stan was beautiful. And the sail into Stockholm through the archipelago was stunning.
3. Copenhagen - So much life and character and charm. Lots to do and see, and just people watching on the Stroget is so much fun. The city has lots to offer.
4. St. Petersburg - Way more beautifu and amazing than I had ever expected there to be. And so much history. I can't believe I'm putting this as #4, it probably should be #1, but there were such unique things about the other cities that I didn't expect either that I had to put them ahead. Church of the Spilt Blood was beautiful, watching a performance of Swan Lake at the Mariinsky Theater was breathtaking and a once in a lifetime experience.
5. Berlin/Waremunde - Berlin was moving and touching and sad. But this port comes in #5 because the distance between Waremunde and Berlin was extreme making time in Berlin limited. The Holocaust Memorial in Berlin was touching, moving and very very sad. I didn't expect that since I had read very little about it beforehand. I wish I had more time there.
6. Tallinn - A very easy city to do on your own. It was a pretty medieval town, but just didn't have the attractions of the other port cities. There was a festival going on in the town square when I was there, so that was fun. Not sure it would have been as fun if there wasn't the festival with the performers.
7. Aarhus - I went to Den Gamle By and walked through the older part of town until I got to the pedestrian street in the newer part of town. After having traveled through much of Europe, this town just seemed much the same to me as other older towns in Europe I've been to, and therefore, I have to rank it at the bottom of the list because there just wasn't much unique about it.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 05:08 AM
aquilegia aquilegia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoegal24 View Post
Just curious - out of the list below, what was your favourite port, and why?

- Copenhagen
- Oslo
- Aarhrus
- Berlin / Warenmunde
- Helsinki
- St. Petersburg
- Tallinn
- Stockholm
Haven't been to Aarhus or Warnemunde. Of the rest, the one I didn't care for was Stockholm (apart from the wonderful Vasa Musuem),. Copenhagen, Oslo, St Petersburg, Helsinki and St Petersburg were all brilliant, but the only one I would really like to live in is Helsinki. It was unexpectedly stylish yet still kept to its traditions. The people were really friendly too, so I'd have to say that's my favourite.
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Old April 24th, 2012, 10:34 AM
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TLCOhio TLCOhio is offline
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Default Lots to Love, Do & Enjoy in Russia, Copenhagen, Tallinn, Baltics, etc.!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by shoegal24 View Post
Thank you everyone, especially for sharing the photos! Stunning! Much appreciated.
Appreciate the nice comments, including "stunning" comment on the photos. The range of options and potentials in the Baltics are wide and very interesting. That's why it's so good you are doing your research and planning. It will pay off big-time during your trip.

Below are a few more of my visual previews on Tallinn, the Vasa, etc., to help you get even more excited about this upcoming trip.

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio


Did a June 7-19, 2011, Solstice cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Enjoyed great weather and a wonderful trip. Dozens of wonderful visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc., on these postings. We are now at 74,533 views for this live/blog re-cap on our first sailing with Celebrity and much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:
http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/s....php?t=1426474

For details and visuals, etc., from our July 1-16, 2010, Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. This posting is now at 66,910 views.
http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/s....php?t=1227923


At the Vasa Museum with this large salvaged ship from the 1600’s. This is their website: http://vasamuseet.se/en/ Taking almost two years (1626-1627) to build Vasa, carpenters, sawyers, smiths, ropelayers, sailmakers, painters, carvers, gun carriage makers and other specialists struggled to complete the navy’s great, new ship. The king, Gustav II Adolf, visited the shipyard to inspect the work. With a hull built of more than a thousand oak trees with 64 cannon, masts over 50 meters high and hundreds of painted and gilded sculptures, this was a spectacular ship. BUT, it was too heavy and sunk sailing out from the harbor.:




As we entered Catherine's Palace outside of St. Petersburg, here was the welcoming band.:




Helsinki’s City Hall in the main downtown overlooking the market area:




Tallinn’s rooftops in this charming Estonia Capital from the Toompea/upper town with docked cruise ships shown in the more distant background:




Here is an inside view of Tallinn’s Alexander Nevsky Cathedral built in the Orthodox style 1894–1900. This church crowns the hill of Toompea. The church has been meticulously restored since Estonia regained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.:




Shopping is great in Tallinn. Here we are inside a nice linen shop near the City Hall.:

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