A. Baltics Trip Gen. information

Baltics Trip – General Info – 9 Nights Europe Cruise on the Norwegian “Getaway” ship from Copenhagen- ours included  3 dinners from their “Specialty dining package” and we received, free of charge, the “Adult beverage package.”Coffee, bottled water, pop” was not included – but you can get all the coffee, pop, lemonade, and water you can drink by going to the “buffet” that is just about open always.    This ship is a small city – nearly 4,000 cruisers & nearly 1,000 workers.

Before you travel to Europe, make sure you call your credit cards to let them so they do NOT put a stop on your card.  Also, ask them how much they charge to use their card for exchange rate of purchases.  Most card charge 3 % but Discover does not charge and American Express also does not charge for charges that are done on the Cruise Ships. Always take at least 2 cards, just in case.  Make a copy of front/back of credit cards and keep a copy in your cruise room safe and snail mail send to someone else, just in case Also call your bank and see if they can change some of your American dollars to the currency of the Country you are going to.  Be sure you do it early enough for the bank to get the currency in time before you leave. Took Lyft to/back airport – $41.10 for 2 people and of course remember to tip the driver. You can pay when you set up your appt. with your credit card.

Day 1 -Copenhagen, Denmark – Hotel FIRST HOTEL MAYFAIR, Helgolandsgade 3 Copenhagen 1653,  Tues. May 23 till May 25th.
FREE Walking tour with tour guides- (We opted for a free walking tour/guides)
Copenhagen has a rich history as a major city on the edge of the Baltic. It grew from a little fishing town to the capital of Denmark, and survived fire, plague, invasion and just about everything in between. Nowadays Copenhagen is known as a culture capital, a hub of design and experimentation, a place for foodies and a land of fairy tales. 
2  –  Warnemunde, Germany –  Signed up for a Walking Tour with “Dave’s.”  Walking street along the canal is called der Alte Strom or the Old Channel. Went to Wismar and Tour ed the Unesco World Heritage old town. Lunch then off to Schwerin Castle Garden. Was a good tour and informative. It’s basically a promenade of pubs, restaurants and shops, lined with dozens of working fishing boats and tourist boats carting people out and around the area.  You can check out the shops, sit down for a beer and people watch, grab an ice cream cone from any of the dozen vendors, have a fantastic seafood lunch or stroll out to the beach and check out the pier.
3 –   At Sea —– Fun day??  IT WAS- Won the “Twist Dance Competition”
4  –  Tallinn, Estonia   – Tallinn is the capital and largest city of EstoniaTallinn was founded in 1248, but the earliest human settlements date back 5,000 years, making it one of the oldest capital cities of Northern Europe a look into Tallinn’s past, visit Rocca-al-Mare Open Air Museum’s typical rural Estonian taverns, windmills and watermills, see the onion-domed 1900 cathedral or join the bustle in historic Town Hall Square. St. Olav’s spire was once the tallest in the world, BUT NOT ANY MORE. 
5  –  St. Petersburg, Russia 7:00 AM – 2 DAY- This two full day tour combination lets you enjoy the best of St. Petersburg: Catherine’s Palace, Hermitage Museum, Peterhof Grand Palace and a city tour.
 Day 1: We went outside of the city to the town of Pushkin (former Tsar’s Village) where we saw & visited CatherineII Palace. Peter the Great presented this estate to his wife Catherine in 1710. It was used as the summer residence of the Royal Family. Its grandiose, white-and-gold facade stretches 978 feet. Walk through a series of magnificent rooms, including the famous the Great Hall and the Amber Room. The town of Pushkin is famous for the man it was named after – Alexander Pushkin, the most celebrated poet in the country.  Then drove to the Hermitage Museum, the largest art museum in Russia and the most prestigious museum in the world. The Hermitage Museum occupies the Winter Palace, the winter residence of the Russian Tsars, and four more buildings.
6  –  St. Petersburg, Russia —–
Day 2: Began with a transfer to Peterhof, (Peter’s House) the town of palaces, fountains and parks, which was built by Peter the Great to rival Versailles (that is does).  It lies on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland. The Grand Palace is known as the most brilliant of all the summer residences of the Russian Tsars. The layout of the 300-acre park and spectacular fountains was designed by Peter himself. The Grand Cascade consists of three waterfalls, an avenue of 64 fountains and 37 gilded statues.

7  –  Helsinki, Finland 7:00 AM 4:00 PM  – A coach took us from the pier to start your walking tour from Senate Square, with its neo-classical atmosphere. It is surrounded by the Main Lutheran Church, the Senate Building and the University. Walked by the central railway station of Eliel Saarinen and see the National Theater and Sanoma Talo.  Continued the tour by walking to Mannerheim Street, Helsinki’s main thoroughfare where you’ll see Helsinki’s museum of Contemporary Art, National Museum, the new Music Hall and the House of Parliament. Then, visited the world famous Rock Church built of bedrock and quarried stone. Continue our walk towards Sibelius Park, in which the name was given to the park honoring Finland’s greatest composer, Jean Sibelius.

8  –  At Sea – another fun day??

9  –  Gotenburg, Sweden (Gothenburg, a city of Stockholm) 10:00 AM 7:00 PM – 
Depart the pier for the drive to Gothenburg, founded in 1621 after King Gustav II, tiring of Danish raids, ordered a strong fortress built to secure Sweden’s only western port. Gothenburg grew rapidly into the trading and maritime city envisioned by the King, and the East India Company became Sweden’s first international trading company during the 18th century. Silk, tea, spices and porcelain, the luxury items of the era, were imported to Sweden from countries such as China, despite journeys often lasting more than a year. Cross the Alvsborg Bridge to Klippan for views of the Archipelago and Alvsborg Bridge & Masthuggs Church for vistas of the city and port.  On to the Botanical Gardens for a short visit to rock garden and rhododendron valley inside the park. Next is the stop was near the city center and Gotaplatsen, the cultural hub of Gothenburg, flanked by the Museum of Fine Arts, Concert Hall, Municipal Theater and Library. This square is dominated by Carl Milles’ imposing sculpture, The Poseidon Fountain.  Drive along Avenyn, Gothenburg’s loveliest & busiest Street, to Gustav Adolfs Torg, named after the City’s founder. Here is the City Hall, Courthouse Drive & Stock Exchange.

10 – Copenhagen, Denmark –  Then fly back to Chgo.