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Travelbug 2

? about Baltic - Timing and ship.

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I know this is VERY early to ask about this but I want to get a head start in the " research dep't" and would like to secure a booking as soon as the HAL schedule for 2008 is available.

 

Our 50th wedding anniversary will be in Sept 2008. We love HAL and would like to celebrate this event with a Baltic cruise aboard a HAL ship. May I tap into the wonderful knowledge base on this board by asking a few of questions?

 

Is there a "best time" to take this cruise? ( closest to Sept would be great)

 

Past cruisers reccommendations for which ship to consider would be helpful.

(we prefer the smaller to mid size)

 

Is there a "preferred itinerary?

 

Any comments on St Petersburg, tours etc?

 

Has anyone done the B to B Transatlantic/Baltic?, I believe it is a spring sailing from New York.

 

Hope I am not imposing with all these questions but I want this one to be as perfect as possible for obvious reasons --- 50yrs is pretty special.

 

Thank you in advance for any help and advise.

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Is there a "best time" to take this cruise? (closest to Sept would be great)

As the weather is unpredictable there is no “best time”. Best guess: July, August, but there's no guarantee.

 

Any comments on St Petersburg, tours etc?

Try Ports of Call -> Baltic Ports, there are many threads about St. Petersburg in particular because of the visa requirements but also on all other ports.

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I'd suggest Prinsendam - it is a small ship - and small enough to go through the Kiel Canal, a beautiful part of Germany.

 

We were going to go on Prinsendam in the Baltic last summer, but then found a two-for-one pricing with free air on Oceania's Regatta, also a small ship that went through the Kiel. Couldn't pass up that pricing, and we thought the food superior to HAL's.

 

Isn't it wonderful we have so many choices?

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Any comments on St Petersburg, tours etc?

 

I highly recommend Red October tours for St. Petersburg. You can it as a couple or they will hook you up with another couple or two to save money.

We were a family of 5 and they hooked us up w/ another couple. We had a van that would accomodate about 12.

 

You will go the front of the lines at all places. RO also will take care of all the visa required and for no additional money.

 

As for price it was slightly cheaper than the HAL tours and you didn't have to deal with hundreds of people.

 

http://www.redoctober.spb.ru We dealt w/ Olga and she was GREAT!!!

 

I also found a http://www.redoctober.us - not sure if they are one in the same or not.

 

I can't wait to go back!!!!

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I did a round-trip out of NYC a few years ago that (among other places) did the usual Baltic ports. The cruise went from mid-August to late September. The weather in most of the Baltic ports was fantastic! It did rain in Helsinki, but otherwise was comfortable. When we sailed out from Stockholm I stayed on the ship's bow for most of the 4-hour ride---it was that nice an evening.

I concur with the Red October recommendation. I swear I saw everything in two days and one evening that was on every single HAL tour. In the small groups we could see and hear what was being described, and could ask individual questions---follow-ups, too!

50 years, eh? Congratulations. Have you considered the Renewal of vows Ceremony while on the cruise? Think about it.

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Quote -- "50 years, eh? Congratulations. Have you considered the Renewal of vows Ceremony while on the cruise? Think about it."

 

 

Ruth C.

Thanks for congrats and the info', how does the renewal of vows thing work? Is there any info' on the HAL website? Sounds interesting.

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Ruth C.

Thanks for congrats and the info', how does the renewal of vows thing work? Is there any info' on the HAL website? Sounds interesting.

Sorry to say all I'll ever know about the Renewal of Vows is what I read on this board.

It is a ceremony---frequently held on a formal night---where the participating couples gather with the Captain, other assorted ship staff (? Hotel manager, ? Cruise Director) for the renewals. Each couple does their renewal individually. There's champagne, cake, a certificate for dinner at the Pinnacle Grille (doesn't have to be used that night). Pictures are taken.

I suggest you read through some of the threads on this board. Perhaps you would like to post the question as a new thread. Several regular posters have spoken highly of the renewal and recommend it.

(There is a fee for it, btw.)

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Now mind you, my Baltic experience was on a US Warship but it doesn't change the weather condition or ports.

Is there a "best time" to take this cruise? ( closest to Sept would be great).

I've been in the Baltic in June through August. They seem the best times to be there although the early part of September I'm sure would still be good as well.

Past cruisers recommendations for which ship to consider would be helpful. (we prefer the smaller to mid size).

MS Rotterdam is a wonderful ship and makes several cruises in the Baltic.

Is there a "preferred itinerary?

All the itineraries I've seen look great. I've been to Stockholm, Helsinki, Arhus, Tallinn, and Kiel. All outstanding ports

Any comments on St Petersburg, tours etc?

The only port on the itineraries I haven't been to but really want to see.

Has anyone done the B to B Transatlantic/Baltic?, I believe it is a spring sailing from New York.

I have transited the Atlantic in the spring and late in the fall. Spring is much better before the Tropical Storms start mixing things up. We got caught in a real nasty one on our way back in 92. That one was so bad we had to change course and were delayed a day getting home from a 6 month deployment(lost a couple of our life rafts abd a piece of fire fighting equipment over the side - these were well secured in their stowage). Other years going back across in December were hit and miss for the weather.

I hope this information was helpful.

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Thank you all for the useful info'--------now the planning begins, thats the fun part.

2008 seems soooo far away--ho hum!!

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Travelbug -

One thing to consider about September - the days are rapidly getting shorter (less daylight) in the northern latitudes - especially Stockholm and Helsinki. This wil definitely affect your port time in Stockholm since the transit from the city back to the Baltic must be made in daylight hours. We were in Stockholm in late August and had to depart at 3 or 3:30 so as to be clear of land by sunset.

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Travelbug -

One thing to consider about September - the days are rapidly getting shorter (less daylight) in the northern latitudes - especially Stockholm and Helsinki. This wil definitely affect your port time in Stockholm since the transit from the city back to the Baltic must be made in daylight hours. We were in Stockholm in late August and had to depart at 3 or 3:30 so as to be clear of land by sunset.

 

That is a heck of a transit through the narrows to get to Stockholm isn't it. The poor nagigation detail on our ship was set for quite a while! :D

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Travelbug -

One thing to consider about September - the days are rapidly getting shorter (less daylight) in the northern latitudes - especially Stockholm and Helsinki. This wil definitely affect your port time in Stockholm since the transit from the city back to the Baltic must be made in daylight hours. We were in Stockholm in late August and had to depart at 3 or 3:30 so as to be clear of land by sunset.

 

Thank you.

In view of this we will probably go mid to late August.

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Anyone sailing on this date? I have a friend who has not yet been on CC and has a few questions but I don't see a Roll Call for June 22, 1006. Thanks

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Anyone sailing on this date? I have a friend who has not yet been on CC and has a few questions but I don't see a Roll Call for June 22, 1006. Thanks

If you don't see one there probably isn't one. Why don't you or your friend start a Roll Call?

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