Since my father’s retirement he has had the free time to be able to depart on his own adventures with many of his friends. Recently, they have been cruising a great deal. It allows them the opportunity to visit many destinations in a short time period that has a prearranged schedule and the ability to organize excursions with reputable travel agencies and tour companies. If anything peaks their interest they can always come back for an extended visit to a particular destination. Typically, they travel during the winter and early spring when costs are low and most people are working. Due to my academic schedule it is impossible for me to join them on the vast majority of the trips they take. This changed in the spring of 2009 during a conversation with my father about an upcoming trip he was taking that summer to Northern Europe. They were planning a cruise to the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe. It took absolutely no convincing to talk me into joining them on their trip. Shortly after this discussion one of our travel companions booked our flights through a friend who is a travel agent. We also met as a group a number of times prior to the trip to discuss, plan and register for a number of excursions that the cruise line offers through local tour agencies. The school year eventually winded down and it was time to embark on a European adventure.
Travel Map & Itinerary
The map below provides additional information about the cruise itinerary, individual excursions and landmarks visited within each destination.
In July 2009 we traveled to London, England, UK completing the first leg of our journey. After a day and a half in London we took transport to the Port of Dover to board our ship. The cruise was a 12* day voyage on Norwegian Cruise Line’s (NCL) Norwegian Jewel that took us to:
- Dover, England, UK
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Warnemünde & Berlin, Germany
- Tallinn, Estonia
- St. Petersburg, Russia
- Helsinki, Finland
- Stockholm, Sweden
- Dover, England, UK
Following the cruise we spent another two days touring and exploring London before eventually flying back home to the United States.
*Travel Note: It is worth mentioning that currently NCL no longer offer this cruise itinerary. Instead, they offer a 9 day cruise that stops at the same destinations. This round trip cruise is now based out of the Port of Copenhagen. As a result, the price of the cruise may be cheaper, but there is also less cruising time for vacationers looking to spend a larger portion of time on the ship at sea. Additionally, the change of ports will also impact the cost of the flight. Heathrow International Airport, UK is a major European hub when compared to the Copenhagen International Airport and airlines typically provide international travelers with more reasonable rates compared to others who may be forced to make a connection from another airport (like Heathrow) and pay more to get to the port of embarkation.