With its exquisitely intricate costumes, majestic architecture and old world romance, it’s no surprise that the latest BBC adaption of War & Peace has left British viewers enamoured. And it’s not just Andre and his military get-up that has people smitten. The Baltic region is home to some of the most stunning cities on the planet and for contemporary War & Peace fans, a cruise is the perfect way to dive head first into its brilliance.
Be swept away by St Petersburg
Timelessly grand and eternally fascinating, St Petersburg has a rich history dating back to 1703. Set your eyes upon over three million works of art in the State Hermitage Museum collection, spend an evening getting lost in the eclectic underground art and music scene that thrives after dark and of course, bask under the majesty of the city’s iconic domed churches.
Connect with Mother Nature in the Norwegian Fjords
Yes, the Baltic is famous for its grandeur, but Mother Nature more than holds her own against ballet, fine vodka and extravagant architecture. A cruise through the stunning Norwegian Fjords will take your breath away, and leave you utterly in awe at the pristine beauty of it all.
Experience a collision of cultures
With a host of immersive shore excursions, a Baltic cruise is a fantastic way to get up close and personal with one of the world’s most culturally rich regions. From the extravagance of the cities to the humility of rural populations, it’s a wonderful collision of sights, sounds and experiences. Spend an evening utterly in awe at a Russian ballet performance, watch a Scandinavian folkloric show, sample local delicacies in Denmark’s picturesque Faroe Islands, visit 200-year-old houses in Norway and more.
Explore a world of masterpieces
No other region can rival the unique artistic history that peppers the Baltic. In Oslo, paying visit to Edvard Munch’s masterpiece The Scream is a must. Norway’s Hadeland Glassworks galleries offer fascinating insight into local techniques, Berlin’s Museum Island is brimming with extraordinary works while Finland’s striking Kiasma Modern Art Museum is a mecca for contemporary critics.
Be enamoured by architecture
Nowhere on Earth does architectural brilliance shine brighter than in the Baltic. The 220-pound pure gold dome of Russia’s St. Isaac’s Cathedral is just the beginning of what’s scattered across the region. From the grandeur of St Petersburg station, Copenhagen’s Kronburg Castle (made legendary by Shakespeare’s Hamlet) and Helsinki’s Suomenlinna fortress, even built up cities are a feast for the eyes. Not the mention, a host of UNESCO sites.
Image via Flickr Creative Commons. Photo credits: Mariano Mantel, Aleksandr Zykov