Sunset in Stockholm and Other Baltic Cruise Highlights

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!

Stockholm, Sweden

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?

Sunset in Stockholm, Sweden seen from the Viking Jupiter

Gorgeous sunset in Stockholm, Sweden

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.

Old Town Stockholm

Old Town Stockholm

Helsinki, Finland

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?

Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki, Finland

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.

Sibelius monument in Helsinki, Finland

Sibelius monument in Helsinki, Finland

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.

Boats on a canal in St. Petersburg, Russia

Boats on a canal in St . Petersburg, Russia

A cruise on the Neva River and canals of St. Petersburg (an optional excursion on our cruise) provides excellent views of the city.

Scene along a canal in St. Petersburg, Russia

St. Petersburg, Russia

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.

A metro train pulls into the beautiful Avtovo Metro Station in St. Petersburg, Russia

A metro train pulls into the beautiful Avtovo Metro Station in St. Petersburg, Russia

Another highlight for me in St. Petersburg was a professional performance of traditional Russian folk songs and dances at a theater in the city.

Traditional dance performance in St. Petersburg, Russia

Traditional dance performance in St. Petersburg, Russia

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.

Gorgeous mosaics of the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, Russia

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, Russia

Tallinn, Estonia

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.

Tallinn, Estonia from a view point above the city

Tallinn, Estonia

From the windows of an old apothecary shop and museum, we saw the colorful buildings of Town Hall Square.

Interior of an apothecary shop and museum in Tallinn, Estonia's old town

Apothecary shop and museum in 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.

Walking back to the Viking Jupiter at night after a day of sightseeing in Tallinn, Estonia

Back to the Viking Jupiter after a day of sightseeing in Tallinn, Estonia

Gdańsk, Poland

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.

Boats on the river in Gdansk. Poland

Gdansk, Poland

“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?

"Cafe with a soul" -- an inviting cafe in Gdansk, Poland's Old Towncafe in

“Cafe with a soul” — Gdansk

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.

Sunset on the Baltic Sea

Sunset on the Baltic Sea

Stay tuned for more about these cities and our Baltic cruise.

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View of Tallinn, Estonia from Upper Town -- Tallinn, Estonia

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7 thoughts on “Sunset in Stockholm and Other Baltic Cruise Highlights

  1. Lis Sowerbutts

    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.

    1. Catherine Sweeney Post author

      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.

  2. Fida

    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!

  3. Suzanne Fluhr

    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.

  4. Pingback: Tallinn on the Baltic: A Medieval Surprise | Traveling with Sweeney

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