The capitals of the Baltic retain their distinctive allure each with its own architectural style, combining ‘old-world charm’ with ‘modern culture’. What better way to visit the major historical cities of Northern Europe than from the comfort of a cruise ship. A wide range of itineraries are available with all the major cruise lines sailing from UK ports.
Since the late 1990s, Copenhagen has undergone a transformation from a small Scandinavian capital to a metropolitan city of international scope in the league of cities like Barcelona and Amsterdam but still retains its appealing small town atmosphere. The harbour of Copenhagen has largely lost its industrial importance and is now a major cruise destination. As a result of the growth in the cruise industry facilities have been expanded and improved.
At the World Travel Awards in 2008, Copenhagen Port was named the number one cruise destination in Europe for the fifth year in a row. Denmark boasts the world’s oldest monarchy and the royal palace is situated just a few minutes walk away from the pier. Here visitors can enjoy the changing of the guard every day at noon.
www.copenhagen.com/ - Danish tourist board site
The capital and largest city in Finland. Located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland , an arm of the Baltic Sea. Helsinki is Finland's major political, educational, financial, cultural and research centre as well as one of northern Europe's major cities. Approximately 70% of foreign companies operating in Finland have settled in the Helsinki region.
In 2009, Helsinki was chosen to be the World Design Capital for 2012. The city centre with its famous Kauppaton (market square) and twin shopping streets of Pohloisesplandi and Etelaesplandi, is built around the main harbour and is easily accessible on foot.
www.helsinki.com - Finish Tourist Board site
Gothenburg is a popular destination for tourists on the Swedish west-coast, and offers a number of cultural and architectural highlights. The pier is conveniently situated 1Km from the centre of town and quayside public transport can take you to the heart of the city in a matter of minutes.
The main boulevard of Kungsportsavenyn is commonly known as "The Avenue" and starts at the location of the Gothenburg Museum of Art, the city's theatre, the city library as well as the concert hall— and stretches out all the way to the old city centre of Gothenburg, crossing a canal and a small park. Avenyn has Gothenburg's highest concentration of pubs and clubs. Scandinavia's largest shopping centre, Nordstan, is located in central Gothenburg. Gothenburg's Haga district is known for its picturesque wooden houses and its cafés.
www.goteborg.com - Swedish Tourist Board site
Located on Sweden's south-central east coast, where Lake Mälaren meets the Baltic Sea. The central parts of the city consist of fourteen islands and its numerous waterways are criss-crossed by 57 bridges. Stockholm is known for its beauty, its buildings and architecture, its abundant clean and open water, and its many parks.
Stockholm is sometimes referred to as Venice of the North. Stockholm is one of the most crowded museum-cities in the world with around 100 museums, visited by millions of people every year. Cruise ships dock in the centre of the city just a short walk away from a wealth of cultural treasures and historic sights of Old Town, making Stockholm an increasingly popular cruise port.
www.visitstockholm.com - Swedish Tourist Board site
Situated on the northern coast of the country and is the capital and largest city of Estonia. Since its return to independence, improving air and sea transport links with Western Europe and Estonia's accession to the European Union have made Tallinn easily accessible to tourists and is now an established cruise destination.
Tallinn's Old Town with its winding cobbled streets and quaint medieval houses is one of the best preserved old towns in Northern Europe. The city is in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. And was a European Capital of Culture for 2011.
www.tourism.tallinn.ee - Tourist Board of Estonia
The capital of Latvia and the largest city of the Baltic States, one of the largest cities in Northern Europe and home to more than one third of Latvia’s population. The city is an important seaport and a major commercial, cultural and financial centre of the Baltic Sea region.
The city lies on the Gulf of Riga, at the mouth of the river Daugava. Riga was founded in 1201 and is a thriving town with a rich history. The historical regions of the city have been renovated since liberation from the Soviet Union and now offer a blend of new-world architecture and old-world charm.
www.virtualriga.com - Tourist Board of Latvia
Saint Petersburg was founded by Tsar Peter the Great in 1703 and was the Imperial capital of Russia until 1918 when the central government bodies moved from Saint Petersburg to Moscow. It is Russia's second largest city after Moscow with almost 5 million inhabitants Saint Petersburg is a major European cultural centre, and also an important Russian port on the Baltic Sea.
Often described as the Jewell in the Baltic Crown it is an increasingly popular cruise destination. With a packed cultural program and a large number of world heritage sites, as well as a developing tourist infrastructure, Saint Petersburg has started to enter into the number of the world's leading centres of culture and tourism.
A visa is required prior to your visit should you wish to explore the delights of the city on your own. It is recommended that cruise ship passengers (without a visa) take organised shore excursions either through the ship or a licensed tour operator, who can organise a ‘block visa’. Some cruise lines now offer an ‘at your leisure’ tour that gives you the visa yet allows you time to explore on your own.
www.saint-petersburg.com - Comprehensive Guide to St. Petersburg
Whatever Baltic cruise you are looking for, contact our cruise partner Superior Cruises and one of their dedicated cruise experts will find you the most suitable and competitive deal to suit your taste and budget.You can book your cruise with confidence in the knowledge that Superior Cruises are ATOL protected and members of the Travel Trust Association (TTA).
Tel: 0844 822 7015