Port and Shore Excursions
Ship was anchored right at the edge of town so walked around on our own. The famous statue of The Little Mermaid was so close we could see it from our Ship. Took the free shuttle provided by the ship downtown where they dropped us off directly in front of the Tivoli Museum. We walked all over town on our own, and just happened to arrive in front of the Amalienborg Palace in time to see the changing of the guard, then walked back to the ship, stopping at a restaurant closeby to relax, talk to some locals, and have a glass of wine. Copenhagen is a very beautiful city, and next to St. Petersburg, was the most enjoyable port of the cruise.
Our tour we prebooked was canceled because not enough people signed up, so at the last minute took a "Scenic Helsinki Harbor Cruise". Still had lots of time there so walked a short distance to the tram stop, found a cute restaurant for a glass of wine and snack, then rode the tram around town, getting off at the Rock Church where we lucky enough to catch the end of a choir concert, then back on again to the Lutheran Cathedral. After climbing all the steep steps to the top and seeing the inside of the church, walked the remainder of the way back to the ship, which was very scenic, then walked through the nearby marketplace looking at all the furs, fresh fish, and produce before boarding.
Ship's excursion to Turaida and Sigulda Castle was very picturesque and we got to see a lot of the countryside. This is evidently a place where many locals go to get married, and we must have seen 10 different wedding parties, which made it even prettier.
The ship offered a number of different excursions into Berlin, but we had been there before so took an excursion into Rostock, which was pretty but was disappointed we had no time on our own because the guide had to allow time to include a stop at a local pub where we had a free beer and pretzel, and also received a souvenir mug. After arriving back at the ship, our departure time was not until 11:00 pm so decided to see Warnemunde which was within walking distance of the ship. Warnemunde is a very scenic beach town which is used as a vacation spot by the German people, and this was August which is vacation time so it was very crowded, but fun. There was also a very scenic street on a canal, which was lined with restaurants, pubs, and shops. It was a fun port to just wander and enjoy the atmosphere.
An unbelievable experience thanks to the great excursion arranged by the ship!! The palace (like all three that we saw) was so beautiful and so unbelievably detailed (even the floors and ceilings were as detailed as the walls and furnishings), plus we were treated to almost a private tour, with multiple types of entertainment and dinner. This was the highlight of our entire cruise!!!
Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood
This was our favorite of the cathedrals we saw there. It is the one you always see in postcards of St. Petersburg, and is even more beautiful in person.
Visiting St. Petersburg was the main reason we booked this cruise, and we were not disappointed, thanks mainly to the two evening excursions that included almost private tours of both Catherine's Palace and the Hermitage. These were the experiences of a lifetime!!
Incredibly beautiful. Reminds me of Versailles only better because all the fountains are working!!!