Originally Posted by Sunset
These cruises you took, what boat/ship were they on ?
Could you describe your experience a bit more as We are also considering a Europe trip. Our cruise experience so far has been a 4,000 passenger ship on Carnival Eastern Carribean 7 day.
We took a similar trip on the Star Princess. We did it after taking the Rhine River cruise and spending a couple days in Amsterdam. we flew from Amsterdam to Copenhagen to pick up the ship.
we stopped in Stockholm.Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallin, Gdansk, and Oslo. We chose that cruise as we did not want to miss Frogner park and the Viking Museum in Oslo.
Without sounding snobbish, there is a world of difference between a Princess European cruise and a Carnival Caribbean cruise.
We thoroughly enjoyed both the river cruise and the Baltic cruise, as well as the time in Amsterdam.
We Sailed into Stockholm passing numerous houses sprinkled on all the little islands, which were summer houses. When you are this far North, you must make the most of every summer day.
Since Stockholm, like Venice, is situated on a number of islands, we felt the best way to sightsee was on a tour boat. We passed by the beautiful Nordic Museum located on Djurgården in central Stockholm, displays the cultural history of Sweden from the 16th century until today. We also passed the Stockholm City Hall, which is where the Nobel Prizes are awarded.
We boarded our private launch along with our guide for the approximately 90-minute scenic cruise. We sailed past the old Yacht Club, a city landmark, and the diplomatic district, located on a peninsula that juts into the bay.
We cruised past Suomenlinna Fortress, the "Gibraltar of the North" built by the Swedes to protect Helsinki from Russian attack.
One of the real highlights of our cruise was the visit to the Hermitage, the Tsar's former Winter Palace and four other buildings which house one of the world's premier art collections. Our guided tour visited the display rooms, which contain over three million art works, including paintings by DaVinci, Rafael, Monet, Rembrandt, Renoir - to name a few. Designed by Rastrelli, the Baroque Winter Palace boasts patterned parquet floors, ornate staircases, molded and decorated ceilings and gilded appointments.
Old Tallinn is closed to motor coaches, so we drove around the Old City's medieval walls, gates and watchtowers. We walked around the city walls and then walked up the road to visit the Alexander Nevsky
Cathedral. It was a typical Orthodox cathedral, with beautiful icons behind the altar.
On the way to Gdansk, we stopped at Sopot, the summer capital of Poland this seaside resort featuring miles of beaches and the longest promenade pier on the Baltic. There was an interesting lighthouse on the beach there. After Sopot, we passed by Oliwa and its 13th-century cathedral.
The buildings were very reminiscent of Amsterdam, and we wandered through the Long Market “window shopping”. On the way back to the ship weyou passed Gdansk Shipyards and Solidarity Square with its monument to the striking workers slain by the regime in 1970
We sailed up the Oslo fiord and docked at the edge of town. From our ship we could see the ski jump in the distance and also the small castle of King Oskar I.
Our first stop was at the Holmenkollen ski jump. Perched high above Oslo, Holmenkollen is the cradle of ski jumping and the site of the 1952 Olympic ski jumping competition. It is in the process of being rebuilt for future Nordic ski championships.
Our next stop was at Vigeland Sculpture Park, Once considered controversial; the park is now one of Oslo's favorite attractions. Our guided walk visited the stone, iron and bronze sculptures of Gustav Vigeland. The sculptures depict a complete human life from birth to death. Fortunately, we started at the highest point, so it was easy to walk down as opposed to climbing all the stairs.
The most striking sculpture is the Monolith which towers 46 high and is composed of 121 human figures rising towards the sky. This is meant to represent man’s desire to become closer with the spiritual and divine. It portrays a feeling of togetherness as the human figures embrace one another as they are carried toward salvation.
After leaving the Vigeland Park, we visited the Viking Ship Museum. The museum is home to three Viking long boats uncovered during 19th-century, and early 20th-century excavations near Oslo fjord. In addition to the superbly crafted ships, the museum exhibits sleds, carts, jewelry and other artifacts found aboard the vessels.
This is just a thumbnail of our experiences.