In Stockholm, we had a wonderful guide and learned so much about Sweden's history, present government and way of life in general. We took the Princess "Vasa/Sigtuna" shore excursion. We enjoyed touring St Marys church and then had a short time in Sigtuna which is basically about a lengthy-block long. We then went to the Vasa Museum. Learning the history of the Vasa and seeing the ship was amazing. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the museum.
In Helsinki, we took the Princess tour "Best of Helsinki and Porvoo". We visited the town of Porvoo which had cobblestone streets and ancient wooden buildings along the river. We had lunch. which was not up to par. in an old distillery building.
We visited the rock church which was fairly interesting. Same with the Sibelius monument.
We did enjoy the opportunity to see the city and learn of its history. We had a very good guide there also. It was pleasant to have the time to stroll in Market Square to see the vendors and their goods.
In St Petersburg our guide, Natalia, amazed us with her knowledge and skill. She answered all questions and really drew us into the Russian history, government and its people. St Petersburg was magnificent. Its treasures are unspeakably beautiful. We took the two-day "Best of St Petersburg" Princess tour and were very pleased. The museums and cathedrals were beyond description and we really enjoyed the canal cruise. Natalia's narration was excellent and the fact that we had earphones on and could hear her so well, even in large crowds, was so very helpful. The lunches we had both days were excellent. Everything we saw was awe-inspiring and we enjoyed every minute of our time in St Petersburg. Would definitely liked an extra day there - with Natalia - to view even more.
In Tallinn, we took the Princess "Upper Old Town/Kadriorg Palace" tour. We had another excellent guide who related very interesting stories of the history and present-day life in Estonia.
We felt that Upper Old Town was more "touristy" than we'd expected. We visited St Marys Church and saw the many coats of arms on the walls which was "different" after all the grandeur we'd seen in churches in other cities.
Kadriorg Palace had many beautiful pieces of art and a lovely garden.
Gdansk was a pleasant surprise and one of our favorite ports. We had another very knowledgeable guide on the Princess "Best of Gdansk and Oliwa Cathedral" tour.
Gdansk was such an interesting city lined with very old and beautiful buildings and cobblestone streets. We had a walking tour and then time on our own following by a great lunch. We enjoyed browsing in the shops, seeing the open air market and the wonderful architecture of the buildings.
We visited St Marys Church, the largest brick church in the world and marveled at the treasures inside. The astronomical clock, statue of the Virgin Mary holding Jesus and the wonderful painting "The Last Judgment" were well worth viewing.
We then had a walking tour of the gardens surrounding Oliwa Cathedral and went into the beautiful old building and were treated to a wonderful organ recital. The organ was amazing and acoustics perfect.
In Oslo, we were on our own and boarded a "hop on - hop off" bus and visited Vigeland Sculpture Garden. It was fantastic to see the creations of the sculptor in a beautiful setting. The lines of the bodies and facial expressions kept us totally enthralled.
We took the bus back near the ship and walked around a bit and wished we'd had a full day in this very interesting city.