We are going on a Baltic Sea cruise with our immediate family, our extended family and several friends. Many of us have been obsessively reading about the cities we will be stopping in so that we can explore the things that interest us most. Today’s post is about what my plans are with the nuclear family members who want to join us. And Dad, if wants to escape the huge crowd and enjoy some time doing something a little bit off the beaten track.
Day 1—fly Norfolk to Boston to London, bus to ship. Embark. Day 2—At sea. For these two days we will be tired, grouchy and want nothing more than a decent meal, an adult beverage and our veranda on the ship. (Except Martina, who can have a Shirley Temple.)
Day 3—Copenhagen, Denmark. Arrive 8am, depart 5pm. Arrival and departure times are crucial to planning. You can only do so much in the span of the average work day. Our plans for Copenhagen involve take-out smorgasbord at Ida Davidsen chased with great beer and maybe a shot of Aquavit then a trip to the Tivoli Gardens. We do have a nine year old after all. This might be her favorite part of the trip.
Beyond that we may wander but I suspect that just these two things could occupy most of eight hours.
Day 4—Warnemunde, Germany. Arrive 7am, depart 11pm.
Warnemunde is the cruise ship gateway to Berlin. Most of our traveling companions will get on a bus and spend the day cruising to, through and back from Berlin. We, on the other hand, intend to explore the port town, take an excursion to see an Amber Museum and hunting lodge and spend the evening drinking beer on the beach.
Day 5—At sea. Hmmm, time for a date night?
Day 6—Tallinn, Estonia. Arrive 8am, depart 5pm. Simple plans here. We will get off the ship and go to the old, walled city and wander around. Check out a few churches, grab something to eat, soak up some of the ambiance and then leave. Nine hours isn’t much time to get to know a place.
Day 7—St. Petersburg, Russia. Arrive 7am Today we will take a tour and have some free time to souvenir shop. Then an evening trip to see traditional folk dances and hear the music of Russia. We generally prefer to explore cultures on our own time and own terms but Russian visas are expensive and honestly, Russia scares me. We’re doing cruise line excursions here.
Day 8—St. Petersburg, Russia. Depart 6pm. Today it’s Murder on the Moika. We will go to the Yusupov Palace where Father Grigori Rasputin was murdered. Morbid, yet exciting.
Day 9—Helsinki, Finland. Arrive 7am, depart 6pm. Tram rides, Winter Gardens with the cactus and rose rooms, Market Square and Market Hall. ‘Nuff said.
Day 10—Nynashamn/Stockholm, Sweden. Arrive 8am, depart 5pm. We will be joining the crowd and heading off to see the Vasa. It sounds really interesting.
Day 11—At sea.
Day 12—At sea. Happy Birthday to me!
Day 13—Arrive at Dover and go to hotel in London.
London is always wonderful. A few things on the agenda include: Madame Tussauds Wax Museum; The Eye; a Harry Potter walking tour; a Ghost Walk; Harrods; the Tower. It will be a busy 3 days and two of us will be headed to Edinburgh to pick up the absolute last for-hire motor home left in Scotland on day 2.
When we all meet up again in the motor home we will be headed off on a smaller adventure through England and Scotland. Stonehenge, Glastonbury, Lake District, York, Edinburgh … or wherever the wrong-side-of-the-road leads us.
It’s going to be a grand adventure!