Baltic cruise photos from our Instagram gallery
With hundreds of photos and memories yet to organize, how do I begin to tell you about our Viking cruise on the Baltic Sea? There were several firsts for us on this trip including our first-ever ocean cruise and first-time visits to several cities, so there will be more posts to come. But to give you a glimpse of our experiences, I’ve compiled several of our Baltic cruise photos that were shared in our Instagram gallery while we were traveling. If you already follow us on Instagram — thank you very much. If not, please do!
And so began our Viking Homelands cruise on the Baltic Sea.
Watching the sunset in Stockholm from the upper deck of the Viking Jupiter, I wondered what my maternal ancestors were thinking as they boarded ships to leave their homeland behind to begin new lives in North America. I wondered if they witnessed such a beautiful sight as they sailed away?
Although feeling the effects of jet lag, Mr. TWS and I couldn’t wait to get out and about in Stockholm. After checking in to our stateroom on the Viking Jupiter, we set out on foot to Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s Old Town, which was in easy walking distance of the port. While meandering along the cobbled streets, I often thought that I was probably walking in the footsteps of my ancestors.
Helsinki is a small, but bustling city and we enjoyed visiting landmarks as well as just walking around. There’s something about trams that adds to the allure of European cities especially when they run along tree-lined boulevards with beautiful buildings. Do you agree?
Famous Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius, is honored with a bold and beautiful monument designed by Eila Hiltunen. More than 600 steel pipes create a flowing type of pattern representing the sounds of a musical composition.
St. Petersburg, Russia
I was thrilled to visit St. Petersburg, Russia having long dreamed of it as a city of beauty and intrigue. During the cruise, we spent more time here than in any other port learning from local guides about the city’s history, culture, architecture, and the daily lives of its people.
A cruise on the Neva River and canals of St. Petersburg (an optional excursion on our cruise) provides excellent views of the city.
A highlight of our time in St Petersburg was a small group tour (optional excursion) that gave us a chance to feel part of the local scene by riding the city’s famed metro system. We made a few transfers in order to admire the beautiful decor of the stations, such as that of the Abtobo station shown below.
Another highlight for me in St. Petersburg was a professional performance of traditional Russian folk songs and dances at a theater in the city.
One of the most famous churches in St. Petersburg is the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, named so because Emperor Alexander II was assassinated on this spot in 1881. The interior is filled with vibrant and detailed mosaic art.
Mr. TWS and I were particularly enthralled with the charm and beauty of Tallinn, Estonia. We spent several hours in the craft shops, galleries, and cafes that line the cobblestone streets and squares. The city very quickly captured my heart.
From the windows of an old apothecary shop and museum, we saw the colorful buildings of Town Hall Square.
After a day of sightseeing in Tallinn, we headed back to our home away from home, the Viking Jupiter, for dining, entertainment and relaxation.
When Mr. TWS and I visited three cities of Poland last spring, we had hoped to add Gdańsk to the itinerary, but it didn’t work out with our schedule. So it was perfect that this city on the Baltic was on our Viking Homelands itinerary. In this photo taken from a bridge leading into Old Town, you can see the 14th-century Gdańsk treadwell crane (tall structure on the far right), a device powered by human strength, to load and unload cargo. Most of the buildings in Old Town were reconstructed after World War II to look like the originals.
“The café with a soul.” Someday I’m going back to Gdańsk, Poland and I’ll have a coffee in this cafe we passed during our walking tour of Old Town. Care to join me?
Another Baltic sunset
There was no shortage of sunrise and sunset viewing opportunities from the veranda of our stateroom on the Jupiter. Here’s another beauty from the Baltic.
Stay tuned for more about these cities and our Baltic cruise.
Oh Talinn and particularly St Petersburg are high on my list of “must visit” destinations! I’ve only recently discovered that visiting by cruise ship means you don’t need a complex Russian visa.
Yes, that was one of the many great things about this cruise. As long as we stayed with our guide and group in St. Petersburg, we did not need a visa. Viking has a blanket visa. Really nice benefit especially since it was our first visit and a short time.
What an excellent tour! I love the vibe of Stockholm (and Copenhagen for that matter). Helsinki is still on my wish list and so is St. Petersburg. And I haven’t met anybody who doesn’t like Tallinn and Gdańsk. What a treat!
I’d heard many great things about Tallinn and Gdansk, too. I was not disappointed!
Looks like it was a great itinerary. Of the places you visited, we’ve only been to Helsinki. However, we experienced some of the goosebumps associated with visiting places you know ancestors must have walked during our recent visit to Sofia, Bulgaria where my husband’s parents were both born.
A lovely part of the world and some of my favourite cities! Especially Stockholm – I love walking around the old quarter.
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