Baltic Cruise, May 2015
St. Petersburg, Russia and the Scandinavian Capitals – what an experience! This itinerary has interested me for some time and I finally did it! I added 3 days prior to the cruise in Copenhagen, Denmark, visiting Tivoli Gardens, Hamlet’s Castle, and Viking sites. The Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus took us everywhere from the City Hall and the local rail service to the outlaying areas.
Entering Russia was smooth going, as we had completed all of the paperwork in advance and gave it to the stern-faced Russian officials at the pier. Only tourists with a qualifying tour are allowed to enter with a US Passport and the Visa, issued by the tour company. We stood outside on a very windy day to enter Catherine’s Palace and The Hermitage, but every minute was worth it. Our guide, Elena, told us interesting stories about growing up in The Soviet Union as we toured in the motor coach.
Tallinn, Estonia proved to be a fascinating medieval city. A walking tour took us all to the main square where the locals were sitting in the sun at outdoor cafes.
This was a port intensive itinerary, loaded with history. We had the beverage and dining packages onboard the Norwegian Star, so all was taken care of on the ship. Between ports we rested and read what was on the schedule for the next day.
I would advise travelers to review the history of these countries before going, to gain an even better perspective. I would go again anytime.