Cruise Baltic States & St. Petersburg
Looking for a unique trip along beautiful cities and nature by cruise ship? Take a look at the itinerary of the cruise of the Baltic States & St. Petersburg! Here you will cruise the Baltic Sea alongside beautiful nature, islands and picturesque towns. An amazing journey of 8 days. Read all about it!
MSC Sinfonia is a ship, which offers you a lot of pleasure and comfort. This ship provides you all your needs and is not too big in size. Next to the facilities on board the ship has a remarkable history. It was built in Panama in the year of 2002 and sailed as the ‘European Star’ in service of the company ‘Festival Cruises’.
In 2004 the ship was bought by MSC cruises for €220 million. The vessel was quickly renamed the MSC Sinfonia and started his first itinerary in March 2005.
In January 2015 the ship went into maintained and was altered. The ship was divided into two and an extra middle piece was added. This emerged the vessel in size, which received and extra space of 193 new cabins.
On the MSC Sinfonia there is space for 2’579 passengers and a crew of 721 pax.
When on holiday you will mainly visit decks: 5, 6 & 11. Here you will find everything you need. The vessel is quite easy structured and you will quickly find your way.
Though some logistic things are new on this ship and are worth to mention; If you would like to visit the theatre (deck 5 & 6) you will need to reserve a seat in advance. This can be easily done on television screens around the theatre area and reception. You will need to scan your cruise card for this service.
Dinnertime at the evening dining restaurant is quite early on this ship. First seating is at 17h30, second at 20h15.
Also linking your cruise card to a credit card needs to be done via the electronic totems, this service is not offered anymore at the check-in desk.
Remember you can wonder trough the restaurant, even after closing hours. Due to this, you will not get stuck between floors, which is often a problem on other ships. On deck 6 you will find different bars, lounges, the photo gallery and casino.
Besides the ‘Il Galeano’ dining restaurant, there is a more fancy and exclusive alternative, ‘Il Covo’. In this restaurant you can choose the ‘my choice dining option’. This means you can choose your own time for diner. Next to this you can even order Tex Mex steaks, without an extra surcharge! Il Covo is open to passengers with balcony cabins or regulars with lots of club points. When cruising with a group this option is not always possible.
On MSC Sinfonia different pools, Jacuzzi and the waterpark are situated on the eleventh deck. Here will you will also find the gym, buffet, pizza place & cafeteria. All these facilities have flexible opening hours.
- If you are a smoker or a true beer lover you need to visit the Irish Pub on deck 5. Here you will find a smoking area and the possibility to order some good quality Belgian beers (Affligem Blond & Bloemenbier).
- Are you looking for a nice place to get some rest during your round trip? Visit the discotheque during the daytime. Here you can enjoy the spectacular view while cruising. You can enjoy the view or read a good book.
During this cruise the sights were spectacular! We will cruise alongside different islands and beautiful nature. It could be worth the investment to book a balcony cabin. When this is not available you can always follow the voyage on the upper decks or terraces on the back of the ship.
The cruise of the Baltic States and St. Petersburg is certainly worthwhile! This trip consists of 8 days, including 2 days of navigation at sea. The weather was quite well. The sun was shining, though a cold breeze is quite common to encounter. Every city passed was an amazing site full of history and picturesque monuments.
P.S.: Don’t forget to check your regulations regarding disembarking in Russia. You will probably need to book a MSC excursion, in order to be able to go offshore.
Below I shall briefly elaborate each harbour city.
1. Stockholm (Sweden)
Stockholm is the capital of the interesting country of Sweden. We enjoyed a quick but intense visit by boat and bus. This combination is an excellent choice to get a real overview of the different aspects of the city. If you are lucky in timing you could also see the changing of the guards at the royal palace while finishing the boat trip. This ceremony takes some time (45minutes!) but a lot of effort is put into it. Next to the palace is the entrance of the old historical city of ‘Gamla Stan’. Don’t leave Stockholm without visiting this part of town. Here you can find cosy terraces, restaurant, museums and boutiques.
When arriving in Stockholm by cruise, you will first pass ‘the Stockholm archipelago’ where some 24’000 islands can be found. The city of Stockholm itself is spread onto 14 different islands. Don’t miss the navigation before arriving and after departure. It will be one of the most amazing navigation sights on this cruise.
2. Tallin (Estonia)
Tallinn is a lovely town! Here you will find yourself in the mist of medieval times. The city walls are still standing and a lot of history is lying before your feet. Tallinn endured a lot trough the centuries in war, independence and Soviet times. Here you will find people dressed in authentic clothing selling local food. You can visit a lot of different churches and monuments in the old town and due to the fact the city is quite compact, you can do it all on foot!
TIP: Visit ‘Olde Hansa’ for lunch. This is one of the oldest restaurants in town. Here you will find yourself back in medieval times. The crew is dressed in old clothing, the menu is written in calligraphy onto rolls of paper and the whole restaurant is lit up with candles! Here you could try the famous ‘bear meat’. When you have some more time you could visit the castle of Catherina of Russia by taxi. Here you can visit the beautiful garden, the beach or enjoy the lovely architecture. When taking a taxi, do not enter a yellow one! These are more expensive then other companies. Always check the taxi rates in Estonia, because they differ by company.
3. St. Petersburg (Russia)
Before planning your daytrip in the city of St. Petersburg you need to know the regulation of embarking. You will have to arrange your own visa at the Russian Embassy, which can be a long and expensive process. OR book an excursion with MSC, take your international passport with you and everything is arranged. This last option is probably the best one to take, without to many risks. Please note that these excursions can be quite expensive. A half day will be approximately €50, a whole day around €120. Still, it is worth the investment when arriving in Russia.
Our MSC excursion was a whole day including a typical Russian lunch. We visited the Catherina palace, made a city tour with photo-stops, visited an immense souvenir shop (possible to pay in euros, dollars and credit card) and enjoyed a cruise on the river Neva. During our river cruise the sun was shining, which made for a perfect end of a beautiful day!
4. Copenhagen (Denmark)
The last stop of our cruise was the city of Copenhagen, Denmark. In this city there is lots to see! Beautiful nature, amazing architecture, huge shopping malls, shopping streets, lots of history and amazing monuments. Don’t forget the world famous mermaid! I recommend seeing Copenhagen by boat, which you can book at the cosy harbour of Nyhavn. Nyhavn is the place to be if you enjoy a nice atmosphere, bars, restaurants and terraces. Visit the star-shaped island fort, named ‘Kastellet’ for beautiful nature walks. Visit the palace and marble church. And walk trough the shopping street of Strøget until you reach Tivoli at the Central station.
Did you know Tivoli is one of the oldest theme parks in the world? It exists from the year 1843! It is famous for the beautiful gardens, where you can enjoy a nice romantic evening stroll. 115’000 lights by night light up the park. Here you could also enjoy an evening of live music during the concert nights.
It was a marvelous round trip with picturesque and interesting cities with beautiful sights during navigation. We could enjoy each city and have a taste. I would personally recommend visiting Copenhagen and Stockholm again on a city trip!
If you have any questions, you can always contact me via email.
See you on the next journey!