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Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Baltic Cruise. Arcadia J612 & Britannia B716 both go to the Baltic Sea; videos of ports help plan and orientate your Baltic Cruise

The Epic Baltic Cruise !

Throughout the summer many ships cruise the Baltic. It is a packed cruise that just does not stop giving, with major city after city taking you through history of these busy cities built on the sea.

There are many stops to choose from, however as you might not be able to afford a tour on every stop, or if you want to see certain things, you may need to plan and consider options. As many of these places are still very religious, the Christmas markets also become huge attractions as they get celebrated in huge style.

P&O Aurora R621 & Arcadia J620 both sail at Christmas and will have the wonderful Christmas Markets to enjoy in the many countries who really celebrate Christmas. The Silver Wind and Silver Whisper also travel these routes.

Aurora R705 then goes back to the Baltic in May 2017, Arcadia again in June 2017, Aurora R710 goes in July, Arcadia J713 in August, then December 2017 the Christmas markets are the joy of the Aurora going there twice; R722 and R724.

Denmark, Copenhagen

Let us start with Copenhagen.

The Little Mermaid statue is just that, a statue of a little mermaid and it is between town and boat, so unless you have a burning need to see it, the town offers so much more. Look at the film. Click here for the harbour walk LITTLE MERMAID to PALACE.

Take a look at our film of Copenhagen City, and then you can decide the best way to spend your limited time there. See how far you might have to walk if you do it by foot. Jarrad says his oldest walker was 103 yrs old! Click here for CITY TOUR.
With information like this you can decide for yourself and choose an excursion to suit you.

Sweden, Stockholm

Sweden is another city with so much to do and cover, you need to have a plan and study the available options and excursions. It is spread over 14 islands and although there is a metro and bus service the problem is connections and getting lost. The Abba Museum and other museums and parks are away on an island. If you were around in the 70's and 80's this might just be a must. Click here for TRIP TO AND INSIDE ABBA MUSEUM.

The Town might be accessible from the shuttle bus, but again you need to consider the amount of walking. 
The old town is fantastic with the Royal Palace and the town square and Nobel museum. The old town has much to offer and many photo opportunities. A tour will release a lot of information. 
Click here for a CITY TOUR.

The Changing of the Guard is spectacular, no doubt, but it is smack in the middle of the day and to get a good view you will need to be at the rope by 1130hrs. The guards start around 1215 and you will be standing for an hour and half. It has to be considered as it means you will be there at the middle of the day. If you like the Military, it will be on your list. Click here for the CHANGING OF THE GUARDS.

Tallinn, Estonia
Tallinn has one foot in the 15th century and one foot in the present and the Honeydew beer should come with a warning. 
This charming city instantly becomes a favourite and there is more than enough to feast eye and camera on. Doris climbs the St Olav's tower as well as the sites from the hill and a walk of town. Actress Jean Heard who plays Doris in Shades of Bad and presents Doris Visits, also visits the church with 100 coats of alms.
In this tour Doris Visits also goes underground into the medieval tunnels, refurbished for the 2nd World War and then again for Russian nuclear bunkers before becoming the punk party scene of the later 1980's. Click here for the video. It is a must.

Helsinki, Finland
Another Baltic Cruise stop in Helsinki and you start to realise just how much sight seeing a Baltic Cruise has, and how much it needs to be planned to take the harder work out of the hard work. Helsinki is an easier port with normal huge shopping centre and markets and an esplanade, or you can go to the beach or visit a cathedral. There maybe things you think you can omit. take a look. Click here for Helsinki. 

Bruges, Belgium
The chocolate and mussels stop on the cruise. Or was it the chocolate and chocolate visit, for chocolate gets it's very own film with every shape of chocolate from spanners to bosoms.

Doris meets with Gino Lasoen at the shop he owns with his wife Sofie, Chocolates and Happiness and gets to try a chilli chocolate.
The canals in Bruges should seriously be considered because the tours cost only a few euros and only take 30 minutes, that means you see a lot in a small time for a small cost.
The restaurants near the canal station seem to have a slight premium on those away from main areas.
Finally the city has the usual fantastic buildings and churches with shops also featuring Christmas and lace. The chocolate is probably the purchase you take home. There is also a horse and carriage ride that starts in the main square. Maybe we will do that next time as time is always a problem which is why we help you plan with these films. Click here for the general Bruges City tour.

St. Petersburg, Russia
It is unlikely any ship goes to St. Petersburg and does not do an overnight stay. As a tip, that is the night the fine dining might offer a free bottle of wine on board ship. Even with two days it is not enough time to see all of St.Petersburg so choose your excursions to hit the spots you wish to see most. Book early, book on line if possible before you leave. Russia is a place where a visa is needed unless you leave the ship on an organised tour where a visa waiver has been agreed.

The first stop on most people's list is the highly ornate Church of the Saviour on Spilled blood. It has the pavement where Emperor Alexander II was assassinated, and where his blood was spilled. That is why the couch is there and has the name. Beware of pick pockets everywhere in Russia, but in this church it is a serious problem. Click here for the video of the must see church.
The Church of the Spilled Blood is amazing, whatever your calling or not, it is a part of history and the shear time and money spent on this church is a wow factor few places can give. However, crammed with tourists and pick pockets it does not feel in any way religious. I wonder what it is like at night with the lights off. Click here for must see film.

During the overnight, you will have a number of excursions offered. There will be a traditional night, or a concert or a Ballet Evening. Doris took the Ballet Evening as she was a dancer and dance examiner. Click here.
St. Petersburg is very free and easy and the tours let you wonder at ease. However one guided tour which is probably amongst the most popular is the Emperors and Assassinations. It takes you down through the Fields of Mars, back up to the Makhailovsky Palace then into the Church of the spilled blood. It ends at the tourist shop in Art Square which notably has a lap dancing club underneath. Click her... for the tour run down not the lap dancing.

There are other films on St Petersburg including a Peter and Paul Fortress.

Also the St Petersburg Explorer tour allows you to explore on your own.

Kiel Wocke
OK, so Kiel is in Germany, best known for the canal, but few people stop there. EXCEPT this week, Kiel Tall Ships Festival week. The place is heaving, seriously full of food and beer stalls and people partying. If you ever plan a journey through this way try to clash with the Tall Ships festival. My brother and many friends filmed Hornblower in Yalta, a cruise I wish to make sometime, and they all still have firm connections with Tall Ships. Something in the water ... forgive the pun. Kiel film click here.

The Baltic cruise packs in a lot and as you can see can be a lot of work for you as a guest, so it is best planned with a little knowledge, and in at least a few stops you will want the excursion coach to take the strain. Check in again with us to see the newest films.

Check back on this post for more videos as they come out of the edit, there is a queue at Doris TV which includes the Shades Of Bad web TV series, the Status Quo behind the scenes series from Bula Quo, as well as the Dubai Top ten Doris Visits favourites, but they will be up soon.

If you have never cruise, know your ship, we have tours of two that will help you visualise as you compare what the brochures say.

Don't forget we have films from all over the world......  DORIS VISITS, please
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