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Exploring North European and Scandinavian Cruises

April 29th, 2010

baltic-scandinavia-cruises.jpgThe North Sea and the Baltic Sea areas are popular destinations for many tourists around the world. However, taking a cruise to the Norwegian fjords, the open fields and liberal environs of the Netherlands, the island of Bornholm, and the beauty of Iceland, Sweden, or Estonia enthralls one beyond words. Depending on your location and tastes, exploring Northern Europe, Russia, the Baltic States, and Scandinavia via cruise can be an exotic and pleasant experience, especially during the warmer months of the year. Many companies offer cruise sales with varying lengths and prices for those who might want to try them.

The Norwegian fjords are probably the most delightful and captivating element of a cruise to Scandinavia. Made with glacial abrasion into U-shaped valleys, fjords in Norway are usually even deeper than the adjacent sea. Cruising through the fjords can be the most relaxing, pleasurable, and awe-filled activity, not to forget being away from work, traffic, lights, and pollution. Most trips would include stops at various small villages and towns so that you not only enjoy the natural beauty of the fjords but also have a peek at the Norwegian culture. Typical stops would be at Oslo, Bergen, Flam, Geiranger, Tromso, and Trondheim.

Copenhagen, Arhus, Korsor, Skagen, and Ronne would be the probable stops in Denmark. Calm envelops you here with cobbled streets, red-roof houses, and friendly people. Ronne is situated on the island of Bornholm, and maybe on your stop there you could pick up a bike and travel around to see the beauty of the countryside. Sweden will take you to Kalmar, a hub for the shipping industry, which abounds in nature’s wonders with the Kalmar Castle by the sea. Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, will offer all that you can ask for from museums and art galleries to amusement parks. Gothenburg, Sundsvall, and Visby would be other probable stops.

Reykjavik in Iceland is a small city that became more multicultural from the period of the second world war, when people saw it as a tranquil place away from the fighting. Often described as the greenest city in the world, Reykjavik has a geothermal spa and beach. The architectural wonder of the Perlan with the glass dome is one of the more notable anthropomorphic features here.

If you end up boating on the canals of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, you can discover the liberal culture of the place. Do visit museums and theaters, and do not miss hashish and cannabis brownies, and festivals that are sure to be going on. An extremely friendly city, Amsterdam is one of safest in the world.

The Baltic state of Estonia has two stops – Talinn and Saaremaa Island. Talinn has great architectural wonders to explore. The island of Saaremaa arose years ago from the Baltic Ice Lake. Don’t miss the Panga cliffs, the seals on the shores, and the nine meteorite craters. Riga in Latvia is a world heritage site for the Jugendstil, the German Art Nouveau architecture. St. Petersburg in Russia has not lost its grandeur in architecture even now, so do not miss the Hermitage and the Summer Palace on the trip.

Of course London would also be a stop on a cruise like this one. But one cannot only talk about places when on a cruise — the real wonder lies in actually being out at sea with no land in sight. Ships usually provide all amenities and many on-board activities so do not worry about getting bored. For available travel opportunities, you can check out Cruise Lines International Association’s website at Cruising.org with a host of destinations and an association of 25 cruise lines.

This article was sent to us by Nidhi Varma, who specializes in literature relating to travel and tourism.

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