In Photos: Scandinavia and the Baltic

The Winter Palace

After our recent trip with Celebrity Cruises to the Scandinavian and Baltic region we can reflect on the experience; looking at photos of the places we visited and contemplating the positive (and sometimes negative) aspects of these destinations. This particular itinerary on the Celebrity Eclipse visited Zeebrugge, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallinn, St. Petersburg and Warnemunde over 14 days. Pictures do ‘speak a thousand words’, offering a unique account of a trip and these will hopefully help readers decide if this adventure is one for them.

Zeebrugge is an access port to the historic town of Bruge, as well as further afield to Ypres and Flanders Field. The shuttle bus takes you to Blankenberge – one of Belgium’s most lovely seaside resorts.

Blankenberge Beach
Traditional beach huts on Blankenberge beach © 2017 Louise Farquhar
Coffee in Blankenberge
Belgian coffee in Blankenberge © 2017 Louise Farquhar
Blankenberge Bistro
Bistro in Blankenberge © 2017 Louise Farquhar

Copenhagen is the gateway to the Baltic, rich in Scandinavian culture and modern design. Tivoli Gardens, a traditional amusement park, inspired Walt Disney and Hans Christian Andersen.

Tivoli Gardens
Tivoli Gardens © 2017 Louise Farquhar
Copenhagen Flowers
Copenhagen Flowers © 2017 Louise Farquhar

Stockholm is a vibrant city surrounded by pristine forests and a stunningly beautiful archipelago. The historic Gamla Stan, with its cobbled streets and Royal Palace, contrasts with the modern centre where visitors find leading museums and the famous Ice Bar.

Stockholm archipelago
Stockholm archipelago © 2017 Louise Farquhar
Stockholm
Stockholm by the river © 2017 Louise Farquhar
Changing of the guard
Changing of the guard © 2017 Louise Farquhar
Stockholm Ice Bar
Stockholm Ice Bar © 2017 Louise Farquhar
Stockholm at night
Stockholm at night © 2017 Louise Farquhar

Tallinn is a Medieval gem, with a well-preserved quaint centre only a short walk from the cruise terminal. Beyond the old town are abandoned and neglected post-Soviet buildings giving a stark reminder of the recent history of this fascinating place.

Tallinn
Tallinn approaches © 2017 Louise Farquhar
Tallinn's abandoned buildings
Views of the former Patarei Prison from the abandoned Linnahall 1980’s Moscow Olympic sailing venue © 2017 Louise farquhar
Tallin graffiti
Graffiti covers Tallinn’s abandoned buildings © 2017 Louise Farquhar
Tallinn's historic centre
Tallinn’s historic centre © 2017 Louise Farquhar
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Tallinn can be very busy © 2017 Louise Farquhar
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Tallinn’s oldest cafe © 2017 Louise Farquhar

St. Petersburg is the pinnacle of the voyage with its onion-domed churches in eye-popping technicolour, world-leading art collection and glittering palaces. A visa is required to leave the ship, which comes as part of any shore excursion. With the high crime rate in the city a group tour may be a safer option. There is poverty here as well as riches, and the information you are given on trips seems carefully curated to the point of being restricted in terms of some Russian history and current affairs.

The Winter Palace
The Winter Palace on a walking tour © 2017 Louise Farquhar
Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood
Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood © 2017 Louise Farquhar
St. Petersburg military
Russia’s military might on show as battleships and submarines line the river © 2017 Louise Farquhar
The Hermitage Museum
Crowds at The Hermitage Museum © 2017 Louise Farquhar
Touring the Hermitage Museum
Touring the Hermitage Museum © 2017 Louise Farquhar
St. Petersburg housing near cruise terminal
Standard housing near St. Petersburg cruise terminal © 2017 Louise Farquhar
Naval Defences
Naval Defences on Russian sail away © 2017 Louise Farquhar
Russian sea fort
Russian sea fort © 2017 Louise Farquhar

Warnemunde is a pleasant seaside town but has limited interest. The port is more beneficial as a starting point for Berlin excursions, which can be lengthy and expensive,  or trips to the nearby town of Rostock.

Warnemunde harbour
Warnemunde harbour © 2017 Louise Farquhar
Warnemunde house
Warnemunde house © 2017 Louise Farquhar
Warnemunde lighthouse
Warnemunde lighthouse © 2017 Louise Farquhar

And so after 14 wonderful days …

Sunset on the Baltic
The sun sets on the Baltic © 2017 Louise Farquhar

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