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We are in the initial stages of planning a Baltic cruise.

It seems it is difficult to find one that goes to all the countries.

If you had to give up one, would it be Sweden, Finland, Norway or Denmark?

 

Also, many include St Petersburg, Estonia and Hamburg. Did you enjoy these?

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Might be difficult to find a cruise including all the places you do mention - it's either a Norwegian Fjords or Baltic Cruise - and if you want to include St. petersburg only Baltic cruises - I would suggest a baltic cruise out of Copenhagen.

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We went on a Princess Scandinavia and Russia cruise--it was fabulous and very port intensive. You must remember that you only have a day, or in our case 2 days in St. Petersburg , in any port. We began and ended with extra days in Copenhagen and found it a very easy and fascinating place to explore. We visited Germany, Estonia, Russia, Finland, and Sweden. Whatever route you choose look at cost/convenience of flights, times in port and possible excursion opportunities or ease of DIY exploration.

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We are in the initial stages of planning a Baltic cruise.

It seems it is difficult to find one that goes to all the countries.

If you had to give up one, would it be Sweden, Finland, Norway or Denmark?

 

Also, many include St Petersburg, Estonia and Hamburg. Did you enjoy these?

 

I'd probably bin :

- Finland (Helsinki), which is a little more limited than most.

- or Norway (Oslo?), very expensive. The only country where you'd consider smuggling alcohol off the ship :D

 

I'd want to include Estonia (Tallinn), very compact & attractive historic old-town, easy to explore on foot. And a relaxing day before or after St Pete's.

And Denmark (Copenhagen?). Very friendly & relaxed atmosphere, again easy on foot.

And I'd want two days in St Pete's. A minority of cruises pay only a one-day visit, totally inadequate. But three days, offered by a few cruises, isn't necessary unless you want to take the very long haul to Moscow.

 

I know Germany, but not Hamburg. Not a city that would appeal to me. Though Berlin, a long haul from the port of Warnemunde, is worth the effort if you're not otherwise going to have the opportunity to visit.

 

You've asked a subjective question, you're likely to get a variety of opinions.

And this post is just mine.

 

JB :)

Edited by John Bull
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We are in the initial stages of planning a Baltic cruise.

It seems it is difficult to find one that goes to all the countries.

If you had to give up one, would it be Sweden, Finland, Norway or Denmark?

 

Also, many include St Petersburg, Estonia and Hamburg. Did you enjoy these?

 

Just did a 10 day HAL Eurodam cruise that visited Estonia, St Petersburg, Finland, Sweden, and Berlin form Warnemunde, as well as Keil. Out of Copenhagen. So that covers almost all your ports of interest. And stayed on for the next 12 days which included 4 stops in Norway....

 

Wonderful cruise.

 

The route is created for the best use of time. A Baltic cruise stays within the Baltic, usually. Oslo is your closest Norwegian port, but it is barely within the Baltic, and a long sail up a fjord. So it doesn't make standard Baltic cruises.

Edited by CruiserBruce
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We are in the initial stages of planning a Baltic cruise.

It seems it is difficult to find one that goes to all the countries.

If you had to give up one, would it be Sweden, Finland, Norway or Denmark?

 

Also, many include St Petersburg, Estonia and Hamburg. Did you enjoy these?

 

Try the Oceania Marina June 7th & Jun 14th B2B maybe that would work for you

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Actually I found that Princess does have one that goes to Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Estonia, St Petersburg and Berlin in 10-11 days.

 

If this is with the new Royal Princess, I've heard that it will dock in Nynäshamn rather then in central Stockholm.

 

This is because the new ship is too big to be able to navigate through the archipelago. To get to Stockholm you will have to go by bus or train which will take about an hour.

Edited by Desdichado62
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Actually I found that Princess does have one that goes to Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Estonia, St Petersburg and Berlin in 10-11 days.

Don't miss the Stockholm archipelago - as per the posts above the must is Copenhagen, Stockholm and the archipelago, Tallinn and St. Petersburg (two days) - Oslo and Helsinki less important.

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We are booked on Oceania Nautica for the 14 days King & Kingdoms leaving Stockholm 1 September 2014. It includes 3 days in St Petersburg and a Kiel Canal transit. Heaps of time in St Petersburg was not a requirement for us, as we have been there before, but for a first timer there is plenty of interest to fill three days. We liked the port intensive nature of this itinerary. Not lovers of at sea days. We have actually been to a lot of these ports before, but happy to do many of them again - in the case of Stockholm it will be my fourth visit! Love Stockholm! Great setting and Gamla Stan is so lovely. Not to be missed, IMO. Copenhagen is nice too. Okay with not returning to Oslo. Helsinki did not rank highly last time we visited it, but there were some things of interest (eg Temppeliaukio, the church in the rock) so happy to take another look. Tallin, Riga & Klaipeda are new territory for us. We will not be doing Berlin from Warnemunde - too much travel time, and there are plenty of other interesting options closer to the port. We were last in Amsterdam about 30 years ago, so that being included in this itinerary is a bonus for us!

 

There are lots of Baltic options with various cruiselines, as I found when I was researching for our trip, but this was one of the easier choices for us. Depends what your interests are of course.

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If this is with the new Royal Princess, I've heard that it will dock in Nynäshamn rather then in central Stockholm.

 

This is because the new ship is too big to be able to navigate through the archipelago. To get to Stockholm you will have to go by bus or train which will take about an hour.

Correct...and that would be a negative to me when docking in Stockholm.

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Might be difficult to find a cruise including all the places you do mention - it's either a Norwegian Fjords or Baltic Cruise - and if you want to include St. petersburg only Baltic cruises - I would suggest a baltic cruise out of Copenhagen.

 

side: Which Scandinavian country? We are in the initial stages of planning a Baltic cruise. It seems it is difficult to find one that goes to all the countries. If you had to give up one' date=' would it be Sweden, Finland, Norway or Denmark? Also, many include St Petersburg, Estonia and Hamburg. Did you enjoy these? [/quote']

 

Excellent summary and comments by hallasm and others. No one cruise in these northern Europe areas can do it "all". Clearly THE top "super-star" is St. Petersburg. Make sure you have a minimum of two days there. Don't get stuck with a cruise that only does one day there. Not enough!!

 

On our cruise in late July 2008, our next level of must-sees were Copenhagen, Tallinn and Stockholm. Each has lots of character, history, interest, etc. We didn't do any stops in Germany. Oslo and Helsinki were of interest and good, but not quite at the highest levels from the other four mentioned above. Below are a few of my photo samples to preview what is there among your many options. Tell us more about your ages, personal and travel interests, past Europe travel experience, budget flexibility, etc. How much are you interested in history? Countrysides vs. cities? Museums, food, art, music, shopping, architecture, culture, etc.? How much of it in a leisurely style versus fast-paced? Then, with more detailed and specific information from you, we can make better, more specific suggestions on what might best fits your needs and interests.

 

Then there is Norway and its spectacular western coast. Few if any cruises combine the Baltics/Russia with the fjords and going farther north in that area. See more on the wonderful western Norway coastal areas and the great options there from my live/blog connected below.

 

Reactions and added questions?

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

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 121,397 views.

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

 

 

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!!:

 

Boat.jpg

 

 

Copenhagen's City Hall and its large Square are in the heart of the main downtown, near Tivoli and the central train station. Completed in 1905, it was designed in the "National Romantic" style with inspiration from the Siena City Hall. Dominated by its richly-ornamented front wth the gilded statue of Absalon just above the balcony, its tall, slim clock tower is 345.6 feet or 105.6 meters tall. It is one of the tallest buildings in Denmark.:

 

1-CPH-CityHall.jpg

 

 

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

 

1A-Tallinn-DancersMarch.jpg

 

 

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. And it’s free! No charge or tickets required.:

 

1A-StHolm-Guards.jpg

 

 

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.:

 

VasaFront.jpg

 

 

Helsinki’s City Hall in the main downtown overlooking the interesting and varied market area that is a must-see for walking around.:

 

1A-Helsinki-CityHall.jpg

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In reality you are left with two options - either take B2B cruise - one week Baltic and one week Norwegian Fjords (like RCCl from Copenhagen) - or take a Baltic cruise this year and Norwegian fjords next year - then you will get everything.

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We had memorable days in Oslo and Helsinki; Oslo for the museums and Helsinki for an amazing salmon meal at the market square. It's all a matter of doing the research and deciding what interests you.

 

Yes, I personally rated Helsinki of more interest than Tallinn, which I found a bit small/enclosed, and you're isolated away from Tallinn proper, and Copenhagen, which was at the end of our cruise and by then it seemed to repeat similar ground to what we'd already seen, so sequence probably comes into it.

 

Helsinki had more unique sights, plus good shopping, churches and the fabulous market. There was a lot of variety and culture to draw from.

 

All destinations there have something to offer, but John Bull was spot on about there being a variety of opinions. :D

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Yes, it's the Royal Princess. So what's the problem with Nynäshamn?

Approx the 1 hour transportation needed to get into the city. This has caught many cruisers by surprise when porting in Stockholm.

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Yes, it's the Royal Princess. So what's the problem with Nynäshamn?

 

Approx the 1 hour transportation needed to get into the city. This has caught many cruisers by surprise when porting in Stockholm.

 

........ which compares to ten minutes by shuttle or local bus - or ho-ho boat at the pier - if porting along Stadsgardleden. Or a slightly longer local bus ride if porting at Frihamnen.

And, judging from posts & googlemaps, missing the amazing sail-in through the archipelago of islands. So close that you feel you could reach out & touch the trees.

 

JB :)

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We debated the same thing a couple months ago. We are more into scenery than cities. More into ports than spending time on the boat so we like port intensive itineraries. We basically use the ship as a hotel. We decided to do the Baltic cruise and spend 3 days pre-cruise in Norway doing the Norway in a Nutshell plan and 1 night pre-cruise and 1 night post cruise in Denmark. The cruise is 10 days so we just made it 2 weeks. This is our first time to that area so I have no idea what is worth it or not. We booked the SPB 2 day tour in Russia and will go on our own the other days. I don't really care about Berlin. In many ways I would rather see the coast of Norway, but Russia is a once in a lifetime thing and everyone raves about that cruise.

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I've heard two extremes about Berlin-one said it was one of her favorite European towns and another said it was nothing special, just like any big city. But maybe they weren't in the same parts of town?

 

Has anyone taken the 9 night Norwegian Star to the Baltic?

We've sailed RCCL, HAL, Celebrity, Azamara, Princess, but never Norwegian.

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I've heard two extremes about Berlin-one said it was one of her favorite European towns and another said it was nothing special, just like any big city. But maybe they weren't in the same parts of town?

 

Has anyone taken the 9 night Norwegian Star to the Baltic?

We've sailed RCCL, HAL, Celebrity, Azamara, Princess, but never Norwegian.

 

I'm going through the same process as you. This has been my thought process:

 

Know that I want to leave from Copenhagen. Have it down to the Royal Princess, HAL (Eurodam) or the Star, can't afford anything else.

 

The problem I have with the Royal Princess is that it's weak on Stockholm, given the port's distance to the city. But probably the nicest ship. HAL's new itinerary overnights in Stockholm - a plus. It is also in St. Petersburg on Wed evening when the Hermitage is open later. And, well the Star is the best price, gets the job done and it's dates work the best.

 

We have cruised NCL before and it's fine - but know it won't be a stunning ship. Love Celebrity - but we've been to Amsterdam a few times, so for us we wanted a Copenhagen start.

 

For us it will come down to which ship is the best value when prices get reduced after final payment.

 

You might also want to check out the RCI sailing in second half of June, starts in Copenhagen, ends in Stockholm with three days in St. Petersburg. If the dates had worked with my work schedule that would have been a top choice. Adds Visby Sweden and Riga Latvia, in addition to the usual ports, sandwiched between great start and end cities.

 

Berlin is a city where two people can come away feeling differently depending on how it's done. It's large and sprawling, so if someone doesn't like to take mass transportation and is staying in an uninteresting part of the city they might not like it. For, us it's up there with one of our favorite cities in Europe. Needs more than a day shore excursion from a far away port however.

Edited by buggins0402
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