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Cruised Baltic Capitals: Pictures Available

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Aug 29th, 2006, 09:01 PM
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Cruised Baltic Capitals: Pictures Available

Here are my pictures from our recent cruise to the Scandinavia capitals of Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki and Oslo, as well as St Petersburg, Tallinn and Amsterdam.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/calbill...7594258507060/
This is from a cruise taken on the Celebrity Century June 27 - July 9.
Be glad to answer any questions.
I am also posting this on the cruise board.
Thanks to all of you for the assistance I have received to help make this trip memorable.
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May 14th, 2007, 10:03 PM
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Wow- your pix are amazing! 'm considering sailing on Century 6/10/08 & loved the photos.
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May 15th, 2007, 04:40 AM
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That does whet the appetite. Thank you.
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Feb 19th, 2008, 11:26 AM
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Just enjoyed looking at your pictures of St. Petersburg. We were there last July and saw much of the same things you did.

You had one picture that you captioned, "Never did get this." It is one of two Rostral Columns that were originally lighthouses, although this fact was not mentioned by our guide. Since we are lighthouse enthusiasts, I researched this long before we left and was surprised it wasn't mentioned.

Were there lots of newly married couples there? We were told that newlyweds make the rounds of St. Petersburg and have their pictures taken at all the famous places. We saw couples there, as well as many of the other places we visited that day.
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Feb 19th, 2008, 12:03 PM
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Hi Giovanna:

You have me mixed up with BillJ !!!that's okay BillJ looks like a terrific fellow!

You are right about the Rostral Columns and the wedding pictures.

The Rostral Column area because of its location with a background of the Hermitage( Winter Palace)) or the other way toward Peter and Paul's Cathedral makes this a favourite spot for wedding pictures.

Also The "Bronze Horseman" statue is another very favourite place.

There were FIVE wedding parties at the Bronze Horseman!!!


Percy

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Feb 21st, 2008, 09:01 AM
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Once again I goofed Percy. But enjoyed your post. We spent three days in St. Petersburg on our first River Cruise last July. It was a terrific experience. Started in Moscow for a couple of days and ended in St. Petersburg, about 12 days in all.

We were fortunate to get an incredible fare, and after reading some of the posts about the very, very expensive shore tours, we were also fortunate to have most of ours included. Optionals in St. Petersburg were canal cruises and Peterhof Palace. Our visits to the Catherine Palace, Hermitage, performance of Swan Lake, etc. were all included. The same was true in Moscow and other ports along the way.

Thanks again for taking the time to post on both threads Percy.
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Feb 21st, 2008, 11:16 AM
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Hi,

Sailing on Princess in June to the Baltics, Great pics. I can't wait to go. Did you use a private tour, any recommendations while there
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Feb 21st, 2008, 12:25 PM
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http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...1&tid=35108621

Read this thread and you will have to have a private tour while in St.Petersbug.

Ethier the ship tour or better still ,one of the private tour companies in St. Petersbug,.

Percy

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Feb 22nd, 2008, 02:36 AM
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Thank you so much Percy, I have saved your link and even printed it. What a great review and excellent details, this will be coming with me. I'm in the process of trying to book a private tour in St. Petersburg that includes a canal tour. Hopefully one of the companies can do that.
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Feb 22nd, 2008, 01:53 PM
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moonbee73

Hi There

Which link of mine are you referring to !

The link I gave you to get to the posting of "Visa for St.Petersburg" or
the link
for my
"Trip Report for my Baltic Cruise" last year( August 2007)!

Have a good time
Percy

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Feb 24th, 2008, 02:56 PM
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Hi Percy,

Both links are great. I was speaking of the link that reported about your tour last year. I've printed out what you wrote and can't wait to get there. We will be there the first week of June.
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Feb 24th, 2008, 03:34 PM
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moonbee73

Good Luck .
Have a great time.

Any question just ask away!!

Percy
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Feb 25th, 2008, 08:30 AM
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Percy,

Any guides that you would recommend? I know you said go on a private tour in St. Petersburgh, but in the other countries would/could you do it alone?
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Feb 25th, 2008, 10:10 AM
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moonbee73

About the guides.

It depends how much homework you do on your own and how much you know.

In Stockholm you will need a guide or taxi to get to the places I mentioned

If you just want to go to Gamla Stan and walk about then..No you do not need a guide.
But you really should see Vasa Museum
Drottningholm Palace
City Hall
and then Gamla Stan
So for all this you need a guide.


For Helsinki:

You should go to Sebelius Park first and then on the way back stop at Rock Church ( must see)..then head to the Market Square by the seaside in front of City Hall.

From here IF you know all the places to see you can walk( as I mentioned in my trip report).
BUT, don't just stay around the Market area..there is too much to see in down town Helsinki.

This is where I guide is good because he takes you and drives you from point A to point B.

And don't forget to go to Suomenlinna Islands from the dockside at the Market Square.

In Tallinn:

The walk from the ship about a20-30 minute walk into the Old Town Square.

The dock here early...so like I said in the report ,Go to the Kadriorg Castle and Park first.

Gdansk Poland:

For sure get a taxi as soon as you get off the ship.

You have a long way to go and much to see along the way(like Oliwa Church and the 7876 Pipe Organ dating from at least the 1400's being played and on the way back also. (Go to Westerplatte Memorial)

Oslo:

You can do this on your own for sure.

Leave the Akerhus Castle for the last( this Castle is right across the street from your cruise ship)

BUT...as soon as you get off the ship ...get a taxi and head of Vigeland Park(Free!!Q)
Then..
From Vigeland Park go to the ship Museum and see the Fram....the cost is about 5 euros and you get to walk all over the Fram and take your pictures steering this historic boat/ship.

From here have the taxi driver take you back to City Hall..BUT wait as you leave the ship museums stop and take a pictures of the Stave Church.... you will not see anything like it anywhere else.!!!

Okay back at City Hall ...just follow my directions from my Trip Report and you will see ALL the majors places in Oslo...

Then walk back to your ship and NOW you can walk across the street and do the Akerhus Castle...

You have to see the Norway Resistance Museum here...
then finally sit out in the nice courtyard at a bench and have a beer( drink)....remember your cruise ship is right across the street....so
when you are all done you only need to walk across the street.!!

Percy






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Feb 25th, 2008, 12:26 PM
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Thank you again Percy. These boards are so helpful. Can I get a guide while there or is this something that needs to be done before hand?
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Feb 25th, 2008, 01:44 PM
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moonbee73

For Stockholm:

E-mail this fellow and ask for the guide named Peder ( if he is available) or anyone else.


[email protected]

For Helsinki:

Ahti Arak
E-mail Address:
[email protected]

Ahti lives in Tallinn but he will come across the Gulf of Finland from Tallinn to meet you in Helsinki.

He came to Helsinki from Tallinn to tour me around Helsinki!!!

In Poland :

get a taxi as soon as you get off the ship.
BUT talk to the driver a bit ask him 5-6 questions about certain places you want to see.

I talked to Peter ( taxi driver ) at the dock in Poland and kept asking him question!!

No !! I was not trying to find out if he knew the places I was talking about...what I wanted to know for sure is how good was his English!!!

It was good and so I took him right away.

Some drivers can say "yes my English is good and that is the "last" good English word you might hear !!

For Oslo:

Get and taxi first thing, and head off to Vigeland Park( a Must See Place).


I set up all the tour guide before I left for my cruise...and they were all there to meet me .

Percy


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Feb 25th, 2008, 02:41 PM
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Good advice Percy, esp. about testing for English proficiency.
In Oslo do try to see the viking ship museum. And aren't their other ship museums there too Percy? I recall the Fram but isn't there another one too that is nearby?
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Feb 25th, 2008, 08:05 PM
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Hi jacketwatch:

Yes there are Three Ship Museums and they are all close together.

The Fram and the Kon- Tiki are right next to each other, so when you come out of the Fram Museum you only have to walk about 50 feet to get to the Kon- Tiki.

The other ship Museum is the Viking Museum.

Just to help the reader:

1. The Fram is the ship that Roald Amundsen took to the South Pole in 1912... it is quite the ship and you get to go on the ship and walk about and turn the steering wheel etc.

It is polished and painted immacuately!

2. The Kon- Tiki... is a small sail boat type of vessel that Thor Heyerdahl sailed from Peru to Polynesia.

When you see this fragile look vessel ,you will say to yourself "Foolish Boy" lucky he made it.

Then again in 1970 he sailed a small boat from Morocco to the Caribbean...this boat was called the Ra II.

Heyerdahl had some theories he wanted to prove, !!!

3. The Viking Ship Museum houses 3 lovely ships preserved from about the 9th Century,

It is interesting how they dug these ship up!

When you leave these ship museums don't forget to take a picture of the Stave Church on your way back to down town Oslo.

Good Night

Percy







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Mar 13th, 2008, 05:50 PM
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Moonbee,
We did the "clockwise" Baltic tour last year and never used guides or ship's excursions except in St Petersburg. Our companions who were much more experienced at this kind of thing got in touch with several other people through chat room (cruise critics I think) and booked a guid for two days for about twelve of us. We used Alla Tours who were excellent. Very flexible about intineraries etc (as long as we agreed among ourselves in time for them to make bookings etc). They are authorised to arrange tourist visas for Russia and they also had pre booked priority times for some of the busiest museums. Among others we got to Peterhof, Catherine Palace, St Peter & Paul Church and one of the more reputable souvenir shops. They even took us for a trip on the St Petersburg Underground which was quite an experience.
For most of the historic buildings in St Petersburg you need a separate ticket if you want to take photographs, this is definitely worth the extra money.
The only sour note with Celebrity in St Petersburg is they will refuse to let anyone off the ship until their own excursions have left. Celebrity claimed this was due to Russian visa or customs regulations but the Russians told us this was rubbish.
Go with open eyes and an open mind and you'll have a great time.
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Mar 13th, 2008, 08:23 PM
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Craigellachie:

I think that is just terrible that Celebrity kept you on the ship until their tours left in St. Petersburg.

I also used Alla as mentioned in my trip report and...if you read my trip report (at least on St.Petersburg !) you will know that Iwas almost one of the first ones off the ship.!!

You are correct the cruise ships all use some kind of rubbish to entice you to take their tours.

Princess said that for their ship tour ONLY , you can have a visit to the Yusupov Place....Oh really!!!

Well Alla took me there before anyone else from Princess ever came.

Good Night
Percy
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