Baltic Cruises

Written by Sarah Provost
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Strictly speaking, the Baltic States are Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, but Baltic cruises often include other areas of northern Europe, such as Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, the Netherlands and even Russia. Options range from rugged fjords to sophisticated cities, from the modern structures of a newly independent nation to the medieval houses that still line the streets of Riga and Tallinn. Baltic cruises open up a whole new world, even for the experienced traveler.

The season for Baltic cruises extends from May to September, with the more expensive high season in July and August. Most Baltic cruises leave from Helsinki or Copenhagen, and tour such cities as Riga, Tallinn, Gdansk and St. Petersburg. Although there are plenty of opportunities for naturalists to view striking scenery and rugged landscapes, it's the old-world charm of the cities that draws most visitors.

Baltic Cruises Give You a Window into History

Riga, the capital city of Latvia, has been settled since the ninth century. Riga is particularly treasured for its architecture, as many of the medieval structures have been preserved. Churches, cathedrals and monasteries are especially abundant, and ancient castles and fortifications dot the landscape.

Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is probably the most popular destination in the Baltic area. With its famed botanic and zoological gardens and its rich history, predating any written sources, Tallinn offers an unprecedented look at old Europe. The Old City has survived through German, Danish, Swedish and Russian rule, and now the independent nation of Estonia welcomes visitors with open arms.

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