Baltic Cruises: Northern Europe Discoveries
The Baltic Sea is the body of water between the Scandinavian Peninsula and mainland Northern Europe. Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Poland and Germany all have coastlines on the Baltic. These countries are often overlooked as cruise destinations, but they have rich and diverse histories and cultures which make for an interesting holiday.
Where to Go: Baltic Cruise Destinations and Cruise Deals
Sweden offers many cruise ports along its long coastline. Chief amongst these is Stockholm, the capital which embraces the classic and the modern at once. The approach to Stockholm is a stunner, as the ship navigates the archipelago of thousands of small islands within which the city is hidden. Other ports include Karlskrona, Nynashamn and Visby, the quiet and slow-paced capital of Gotland, Sweden's holiday island.
Finland doesn't see many cruise ship visits apart from in Helsinki, the country's capital. It has a strong Russian influence and is home to some wonderful styles of jewellery making, fabric patterns and glassware. There is plenty for visitors to see and do, with amusement parks, concerts and beaches to enjoy during the summer months.
St Petersburg is another cruise port, on Russia's short Baltic coast. It is a stunning city, and almost all buildings in the historic city centre are world heritage treasures. The Hermitage Museum is a must-see attraction, one of the world's most beautiful buildings and greatest collections of art and antiquities. In June, the city experiences its famous White Nights, where the sun barely sets and the streets are buzzing 24/7.
The southern Baltic coast is a busy one, with coastlines of many different countries. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany and Denmark all have ports along there, and although cruising in the area is not very developed, there are some cities which welcome ships. In Estonia, some lines stop at Tallinn, the capital city which has a medieval Old Town complete with cobbles and architecture from the 1400s. Saaremaa Island in Estonia is a quiet and unique spot which retains a lot of the traditional Estonian way of life. Gdynia in Poland is another cruise port, not far from the major city of Gdansk. On Germany's Baltic coast, ships stop at Sassnitz which is a cruise port and a well-known resort town, and Warnemunde which is within reach of a day trip to Berlin or Rostock.
The Cruises: P&O, Royal Caribbean, Princess and the Luxury Lines
The Baltic is not as widely popular as the Mediterranean when it comes to European cruise destinations. However, there are quite a few lines which run cruises there, and this does include some of the mainstream lines. Small-ship luxury lines Silversea and Azamara Club run all-inclusive cruises in the Baltic, generally using Stockholm and Southampton as embarkation and disembarkation points. P&O UK is a common sight in the area, with plenty of Baltic itineraries leaving from Southampton, the line's home port. They offer an in-depth 16-night Baltic cruise which takes in many of the cruise ports mentioned. Princess and Royal Caribbean also have the occasional Baltic itinerary.
Whichever Baltic cruise deals you are looking for, they can be found at Cruise Sale Finder. All the best Baltic Cruises are easily searchable and a breeze to book with help from friendly cruise consultants.