Baltic cruises have the advantage of letting you visit so many places where you may not otherwise go, and all on the same cruise.

The Baltic of Northern Europe are those countries that encompass the Baltic Sea along with the Skagerrak Strait and Kattegat Bay. This includes ports of call in countries like Finland, Sweden, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, eastern Denmark and northeastern Germany.

Amazing Variety of Cultural and Historical Sites

The port cities in these countries offer an amazing variety of cultural and historical sites to see. The shore excursions at these ports are typically visits to palaces, museum, castles, and cathedral.

The season for Baltic cruising is mainly from mid-May through mid-September. In this time frame there are three periods and each has their pros and cons for cruising:

· Mid-may to mid-June – The fares are the lowest during this period and the crowds both onboard and ashore are fairly moderate. But the days are still chilly and it can be windy. This is also the rainiest season in the Baltic making the seas occasionally rough.

· Mid-June to mid-August – Many of the days during this period are sunny and warm, with calmer seas and less wind. The days are longer which is a plus for shore excursions. The disadvantages to this period is that it can become quite hot, it is much more crowded, and both cruises and airlines can be completely booked and/or have hire fares.

· Mid-August to mid-September – The conditions are much the same as for the early season, but with less rain.

Weather is an important factor to consider when planning Baltic holidays since there are many full-day excursions. Warm weather and blue sky will enhance you excursion as well as your photo opportunities.

There are 28 Baltic cruise ports, but these are by far the best:

St. Petersburg, Russia – St. Petersburg is the northern most city on many Baltic Cruises. From May to July the people of St. Petersburg celebrate ‘white nights’ or late sunsets and early sunrises with a massive city wide art festival that offers free admissions to many museums and exhibits. You may also want to visit the palace square in St. Petersburg, or one of the cities many historic museums, parks, and cathedrals.

Copenhagen, Denmark – This is one of the ports where many Baltic cruises begin or end and is a perfect place to spend a day ashore with its storybook charm, the Tivoli Gardens, Canal Tour, and the statue of the Hans Christian Anderson’s Little Mermaid.

Stockholm, Sweden – Stockholm is another common begin or end of a cruise. This is a fascinating 750-year old city that span across twelve islands all connected by bridges. A must see is Gamla Stan (Old Town) with its narrow cobbled streets and museums.

Other outstanding ports on a Baltic cruise include Talinn, Estonia; Helsinki, Finland; Gdansk, Poland, Riga, Latvia; and Rostick, Germany.

There are several cruise lines that offer cruises to the Baltic and you can choose a cruise line by what style cruise you prefer and what fits your budget.

If you are looking for a less crowded cruise with a lot of luxury, Regent Seven Seas and Silversea Cruises offer these. For an upmarket cruise go with either Celebrity or Holland America. Lines like Costa Cruise, Norwegian Cruise, Fred Olen, Princes, and Royal Caribbean offer the mainstream and less expensive Baltic sea cruises.

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