The Baltic nations are earning a reputation as the discerning globetrotter’s destination of choice, with intriguing cultures housed within beautiful towns, cities and regions. This eclectic bunch of nations combine strong influences from Russia, Nordic countries and the westerly stretches of Europe.
Despite not enjoying quite as many hours of blissful sun as the Caribbean and Mediterranean regions, the Baltics provide a delightful cruise passage. The eclectic port visits coupled with the incredible scenery on offer at the very top of the world produce a once-in-a-lifetime cruise experience. To help you get closer to the joys of cruising through the Baltic nations, we have produced this guide on everything you need to know about Baltic cruising.
The nations surrounding the Baltic Sea are an eclectic bunch, offering a wonderful array of experiences and boasting unique personalities. Exploring the major cities by cruise is, perhaps, the best way to get a true taste of the region, experiencing the different cultures on offer through Estonia, Finland, Latvia and more.
To help you make your way to the very heart of the Baltic nations, we’ve put together city guides to a number of the region’s best-loved cruise destinations. The guides provide insight into what first-time visitors should expect as they venture into the very heart of the Baltic nations, and offer a few recommendations about what to see, do and eat during a short stay in the port cities.
Russia’s second city, Saint Petersburg’s 300-year history is one packed with intrigue. Designed to project the power of Russia over mainland Europe, Saint Petersburg is propped up by opulent architecture and cultural feats unmatched almost anywhere in the world. Built by former Tsar, Peter the Great, the city was devised as the Europe-facing fort and beautiful face of Russia.
Today, Saint Petersburg’s good looks have been carefully maintained, welcoming visitors to one of the world’s most enigmatic cities. Almost unfathomably large, modern Saint Petersburg will take you on a journey through Russia’s turbulent history from the grandeur of the Tsars to the cold atmosphere of the Soviet regime, and the rebirth of a city since the early 90s.
Like the Scandinavian capitals, Helsinki is a hub beloved by the hip and the trendy. With a blossoming foodie scene, an absolute wealth of world-beating bars and cafés, Helsinki is a charming and relaxed capital which offers the cultural vibrancy, without the stress and bustle, befitting a European capital.
Beautiful architecture, timeless minimalism and warm locals will welcome you into Helsinki, Finland’s beautiful capital. The heart of Finland, Helsinki is world-renowned for being one of the most progressive cities in the world, with leading artists, musicians, scientists and innovators flocking to the city in their droves. Discover what all the fuss is about in our comprehensive city guide.
Latvia’s cosmopolitan capital, Riga, is one of Central Europe’s most undisturbed major cities. As many other capitals in the region take on the responsibility of stag party haven, Riga has managed to avoid this double-edged sword, remaining a beautiful and culturally-enriching destination for all ages and tastes.
Gothic spires peering over art nouveau architecture personify Riga, a remarkably peaceful and beautiful city to explore on foot. As you glide around town, you may notice an abundance of space, seldom seen in a European capital; Riga is destined to become one of your new favourite city break destinations.
A beautiful blend of the medieval and the modern, Tallinn exhibits influences from a few hundred years of endlessly interesting history. With whispers of Soviet rule sill present in some architectural aspects, the Estonian capital provides an eclectic mix of experiences for guests, whether they’re visiting for the first or the fiftieth time.
One of Europe’s booming cities, Tallinn has enjoyed significant growth since the start of the 21st century, but the locals remain fiercely protective over the Old Town region – still very much the epicentre of the city. But around this charming centre, an abundance of first-rate restaurants and a thriving bar scene have started to emerge over the past decade.
If you’re looking to make the absolute most of a trip to the Baltic nations, and truly immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of the region, understanding the local architecture is a great place to start. We’ve put together the bluffer’s guide to Baltic architecture to help you identify the different architectural designs and movements on show, so you can appreciate more than just the pretty colours and flourishes.
And after reading the guide, you may even know enough to show off to your fellow guests with your newfound knowledge.
The history of Russia’s ruling class is indelibly intertwined with Saint Petersburg, founded by Peter the Great, one of Russia’s great cities which served as the ruling seat for the Tsars for much of its 300-year history. Evidence of the Tsars’ influence on Saint Petersburg is visible throughout the city, with the grandiose architecture largely commissioned by, or built for, the ruling Tsars of the nation.
We have put together this helpful guide for history buffs looking to unearth the history of the Tsar regime in Saint Petersburg. From the fortified citadels, around which Saint Petersburg was built, to the churches developed to honour past Tsars; our guide takes you on a tour of the history of Tsars in Saint Petersburg.
About to head out on a cruise around the Baltics, and not sure what to pack in the suitcase? Fear not, we’ve used all of our cruise experience to put together this extensive Baltic-specific guide to help you pack appropriately for your trip around this beautiful region.
If all of the above has gotten you in the mood for a voyage through the Baltics, be sure to check out our great selection of Baltic cruise deals.