April 2012: Transatlantic and Baltic Cruise
Presenting PixTraveler's 2012 Transatlantic Crossing and Baltic Cruise aboard the Norwegian Sun. We boarded the Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Sun at Port Canaveral Florida, crossed the Atlantic to the Azores, visited Amsterdam, then toured six fascinating Baltic ports stopping at Copenhagen, Warnemunde (the gateway to Berlin), Tallinn in Estonia, St. Petersburg in the Russian Federation, Helsinki,Finland, and Stockholm, Sweden.
Saturday April 21 through Friday April 27, Atlantic Crossing
This map traces our transatlantic crossing which started in Florida and took us past Bermuda where we encountered windy weather and rough seas. The pools were for looking only! Onboard the food entertainment, and service was great. Our route then took us to Azores.
Saturday April 28, In Ponta Delgada in the Azores
This map traces our visit to the Archipelago of the Azores, which is an autonomous region of Portugal. We cruised past several islands in the group and arrived at Ponta Delgada on the island of Sou Miguel. Our bus excursion took us through rough volcanic terrain and beautiful lakes. The views from the cliffs near Ponta do Escalvado were unforgettable. Don't miss this opportunity to follow our route on this three dimensional Google Earth Map!
Sunday April 29 Through Tuesday May 1, Through the English Channel Bound for Amsterdam
This map traces our days at sea after leaving the Azores. We passed close to the northwest tip of Spain, sailed through the Bay of Biscay, rounded the tip of Brittany in France and entered the English Channel. We passed the Guernsey Islands and Normandy and saw beautiful views of the sun setting over the white cliffs of Dover and the open North Sea. Then we began our approach to Amsterdam.
Wednesday May 2, Visiting Amsterdam, and Thursday May 3 Bound for Copenhagen
This map traces our visit to Amsterdam including our approach to the coast, our trip up the Amstel River, a bus excursion past Dutch tulip farms to the Gardens at Keukenhof. Our cruise then left the the North Sea and proceeded past Jutland, Denmark on route to Copenhagen.
Friday May 4, Visiting Copenhagen
This map traces our visit to Copenhagen, Denmark. After docking in Copenhagen, we began a bus excursion which included stops at the Little Mermaid statue, the Royal Palace, and the Parliament building. Our excursion ended with a walking tour of Tivoli Gardens. At Tivoli Gardens we had an outdoor lunch at the Den skaldede Kok Resturant where I enjoyed a special Danish treat, pickled herring. After leaving Copenhagen, we cruised through the numerous islands off the Danish mainland, entered the Baltic Sea, and approached our next port, Warnemunde, Germany.
Saturday May 5, Visiting Warnemunde, Germany (the gateway to Berlin), and Sunday May 6, Bound for Tallinn
This map traces our visit to Germany where we docked at the port of Warnemunde. Warnemunde is the gateway to Berlin. There was, in fact, an available excursion by train to Berlin, but we chose to take a bus excursion to the countryside near Warnemunde. The excursion included views of buildings and naval facilities from the cold war era when Warnemunde was part of East Germany. The highlights of the excursion were visits to Bad Doberan and Rostock which date from the Middle Ages. Our route passed the ornate Wasserturm-Bleucherstrase (water tower) and the old town gate. We then departed Warnemunde and continued northeast in the Baltic toward our next port, Tallinn, Estonia.
Monday May 7, Visiting Tallinn, Estonia
This map traces our visit to Tallinn, Estonia. Our bus excursion included visits to the old city wall and the site of the Estonian song festival. The Estonian song festival was an important cultural event in an era when Estonia was part of the old Soviet Union and the USSR was encouraging emigration of Russian speaking people into Estonia. The site of the Sailing Center for the 1980 Moscow Olympics is located near Tallinn and has a beautiful view of the city.
Tuesday May 8 and 9, Visiting St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
This map traces our two day visit to St. Petersburg, Russian Federation. We were there during the celebration of the end of the war in Europe. Our first day included an evening at the ballet. The second day featured a bus excursion which included a drive along the Neva River passing the Peter and Paul Fortress and the Cruiser Aurora, which played a historic part in the Russian Revolution. We visited a number of beautifully restored churches including the Church of the Savior of Spilled Blood, St. Isaac Cathedral, and St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral. Leaving St. Petersburg, we headed west into the Gulf of Finland, at the eastern end of the Baltic, bound for our next port, Helsinki.
Thursday May 10, Visiting Helsinki, Finland
This map traces our visit to Helsinki, Finland. It began with a bus excursion which included stops at the Sibelius Monument, the Parliament House and a visit to the Felsenkirch, a church in hollowed out one piece of stone at the top of one of the highest points in Helsinki. Other sights included the Central Railway Station and the Finish National Theater. Leaving Helsinki, we cruised west in the Gulf of Finland heading toward Stockholm. As we approached Stockholm, we maneuvered our way through numerous beautiful Baltic islands in the Swedish Archipelago.
Friday May 11, Visiting Stockholm, Sweden
This map traces our visit to Stockholm, Sweden beginning with our approach to Stockholm harbor. It continues with a bus excursion which passed the Riddarhuset, the Swedish House of Nobility and included a visit to the Vasa Museum, the location of the the historic sailing ship, Vasa. The highlight of the excursion was a visit to huge spherical Ericsson Globe hockey arena - hockey is the national sport of Sweden and their are great rivalries with other Baltic countries. The visit included a gondola ride to the top of the sphere which offered a fantastic view of the city. As we left Stockholm, our last port, we again passed through the beautiful Swedish Islands during perfect weather, a fitting end to a wonderful cruise.