Viking Cruise: The Best Way to See Scandinavia and the Baltic

Cruising has always been a great way to see a lot of different cities and countries, with the pleasure of only unpacking once.

On the 15-day Viking Homelands tour, travelers will get to see gorgeous scenery with overnights in Stockholm, majestic St. Petersburg and scenic Bergen, and explore charming historic city centers in Tallinn and Gdańsk. Plus, travelers will get to see Helsinki, Berlin and Copenhagen as well as sail through the beautiful fjords of Norway.

Sailing

Viking has both ocean and river ships. The Viking Homelands cruise is an ocean ship—it’s small enough to get into ports that big ships can’t manage, but large enough to have plenty to do and see on board. There’s a private veranda in every stateroom, multiple restaurants offering a variety of culinary options, the most al fresco dining at sea, an infinity pool, a Nordic-inspired spa, panoramic Explorers’ Lounge and thoughtfully curated book collections.

The goal of ocean itineraries is to maximize the amount of time travelers spend in their destination. So that means spending ample time exploring Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, and Berlin.

The Itinerary

Europe’s Baltic nations boast beautiful old-world town centers, cobblestone streets and beautiful museums.

Stockholm, Sweden: A great way to explore this city is by taking a boat tour excursion to see the city skyline from the water. Some might enjoy taking in an opera performance at the famed opera house. Or you can stroll through the cobble stone streets stopping at the Vasa Museum and visiting the Skokloster Castle. Don’t forget to eat a traditional smorgasbord meal with smoked salmon and other traditional culinary favorites. This city is spread over 14 islands and its historic old town dates back to the 13th century. It might be one of your favorite spots on the trip.

Helsinki, Finland:Known as the White City of the North, this city is worth exploring via foot or by a guided tour. Be sure to take in the views from the Uspenski Cathedral—it’s one of the top sights in Helsinki and it’s 13 green and gold domes represent Christ and the apostles. The medieval town of Porvoo has cobblestone streets and beautiful historic buildings. Lastly, the 18th-century Suomenlinna Fortress is well worth a visit.

St. Petersburg, Russia:Another highlight of the trip is St. Petersburg. The itinerary includes a city tour that will take you to St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the Peter and Paul Fortress and Nevsky Prospekt. Additional popular excursions include the Hermitage Museum, a visit to the see the famous Faberge eggs and a private concert or ballet.

Tallinn, Estonia: The capital city of Tallinn is a meticulously restored medieval town that will have you feeling like you were transported back to the 14th and 15th. Be sure to visit  the beautiful  Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, built in the Russian Orthodox style. Other good tour options include the Baroque Kadriorg Palace, intended as a summer residence for Catherine the First of Russia, and now the home of the foreign art collection of the Art Museum of Estonia. Don’t leave without trying the marzipan—this country is known for this honey and almond confectioner’s delight.

Cruise the Baltic Sea: Some of the best days are the days at sea. On this day, find a great lounge chair and simple relax as you take in the sights of the Baltic. Or, go for a dip in the infinity pool, get a Swedish massage in the amazing spa, try out the snow grotto and sauna or simply take in a movie at one of the three onboard movie theaters—one is under the stars and the other two are heated and indoors.

Gdańsk, Poland: This Polish city is one of the prettiest in Europe with its mix of Gothic, Renaissance and baroque styles. Be sure to sample the traditional pierogi dumplings, try the gold-flecked Goldwasser  liqueur that was invented in the 16th century. A highlight is the Malbork Castle, the world’s largest brick castle and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Berlin, Germany: The Belin Wall is a must, as well as Alexanderplatz square and Checkpoint Charlie. Have lunch at the Käfer restaurant which boasts one of the best views in the city, since it’s located on the top of the magnificent Reichstag. Berlin is one of the most interesting historical cities in Europe and a day spend wondering around here will be a highlight of the trip.