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  2. We were on SPL so got the 72 hour visa-free entry. Just didn't go on the official tour and went exploring instead.
  3. Rhapsody is in service on the seasonal Genoa-Porto Torres route, as she has been for the past few years. The season runs from mid May to the end of September so she's only available for charter out of season and does a pretty tidy business during it given how cheap she was to buy and fix up. I always thought she'd have been an interesting ship for Portsmouth-St Malo but she's a bit long in the tooth for that now.
  4. It looks like we got a mention on BF's Twitter account.. https://twitter.com/BrittanyFerries/status/1131217644714156033?s=20 Ed
  5. Today
  6. Suppose it depends when it's new engine is fitted. Didn't some speculate it would happen sooner rather than later, and then they would almost certainly sort something out. In the winter, I am not sure it would be necessary.
  7. Did you have Russian visas? Or some other arrangements? I must confess that we found the place rather alien in many respects.
  8. We did St Petersburg with St Peter Line a few years ago. Didn't bother with any arranged tours, we just jumped on the metro and went out to explore the hinterland and suburbs. We had a great day but I'd be less inclined to go there nowadays. SPL's food back then was pretty average but it may have improved with the guiding hand of their new owners (not that Moby are that great). The Princess Anastasia is certainly in better condition than P&O left her in. The Turku picnic cruise can be had for 2 Euros if you put your mind to it which is great for a full day at sea. I prefer the two Silja ships. A Friday night on them or the Cinderella comes with a health warning. The Star and Megastar at Tallin are also worth doing on a day trip. Sadly there's not too much to recommend nowadays to the west of Sweden other than Color Line save for Fjord Line's three ships.
  9. Two cars burning furiously in the middle of the road. Subsequently heard there were people inside. Not nice at all but the way that traffic was just treating it as an obstruction to be negotiated was quite upsetting really. Some people regard Russia as part of Europe but it isn't at all, attitudes are very different there. Helsinki and Tallinn on either side of the gulf were fine, totally European and Tallinn is a great place to visit very walkable in the lovely old city and a short tram ride from the old city to the palace quarter for more exploration. I'd go back anytime. Helsinki is quite good but more sprawled out in terms of attractions. A local excursion would be a good way to see the main sites as we did. My feeling with Russia is similar to what we experienced in Egypt. There are some absolutely amazing sights to be seen but the only really safe way is to use a local tour operator who will give you the guided tour in a safe bubble. Don't be put off but make sure it's safety first. I wish things were not that way but they are. You won't regret it though. Just for the record, our cruise called at Stockholm, lovely place and Copenhagen, needs no introduction. A pleasant surprise was Warnemunde in Germany. It is touted as a port to visit Berlin which is hours and hours away by coach but the port itself is really nice, we thought it was similar to Weymouth in the UK plus a short train ride will take you to nearby Rostock with its attractive medieveal centre. Very much underrated. We enjoyed our Baltic cruise as it offered the opportunity to visit a lot of very different countries in a short time which could have been quite expensive by other means although ferries may indeed offer a viable alternative. Just do your homework first!
  10. I recently flew to Helsinki for a few days and did the following : Turku - Åland Islands day trip on Tallink Helsinki - Stockholm 2 nights cruse on Silja Line (tallink) Helsinki - Tallinn on Silja Europa (21 hr cruise) im a member of the Tallink club one scheme and through that I was able to get the Stockholm cruise for 59 euro. The Tallinn cruise was 39 Euro, Åland Day cruise was 25 euro. The club one membership was free to join. Well worth it
  11. Stena have officially confirmed the name of their next E-Flexer will be 'Stena Embla', which will be the 4th E-Flexer (3rd E-Flexer for Stena) built at the AVIC Shipyard. 'Galicia' will be the 3rd E-Flexer built by AVIC with the 'Salamanca' being the 6th E-Flexer. https://www.niferry.co.uk/stena-officially-announce-the-name-for-second-new-belfast-to-liverpool-ferry/?fbclid=IwAR3IgSH2JR6B49gk5aGjn4a6-_CzMotSEvTGH8XBZMwrN6r6MsATivBuX9k
  12. This is where the Wightlink service has gone downhill. By changing to a less frequent service handled by just two large ferries they have left themselves vulnerable to major disruption in case of breakdown. Of course it was predictable but the new arrangements cut costs at the expense of reliablility and customer service. Underneath the positive veneer, passengers are getting a significantly worse service overall but the accounting bottom line is still protected. Depressing really, just like the airlines.
  13. I don't think it is somewhere you'd want to visit without being cocooned in the embraces of a local tour operator but the palaces and the Hermitage are stupendous. Might be worth looking at recommendations on sites such as Cruise Critic. I won't republish my highway photos as people on here thought they were too graphic at the time.
  14. Me neither, certainly not while this rudder problem is being sorted. They may arrange something for when she has her engine sorted.
  15. Not sure if I fancy St P - sounds like Beirut! 😉
  16. Her annual issue. She always seems to have engine issues of some kind. Thought she was running late quite a lot. Better get fixed before festival.
  17. St Peter line has a visa free travel arrangement for st Petersburg https://stpeterline.com/visa-free-rule
  18. There was lots of cabins available on the Irish Ferries crossing from Dublin to Cherbourg on June 2nd when I checked yesterday. Today the website shows none whatsoever, I wonder has someone block booked them all as a contingency plan🤔🤔
  19. Very it would seem - running the circular Baltic routes Stockholm-Helsinki-Talin-St Pt'brg route!!
  20. If you want to visit St Petersburg then plan very carefully as entry requirements are stringent and travel arrangements can be difficult unless you make arrangements in advance with a local tour operator such as those which serve the cruise lines. We visited for 48 hours as part of a Baltic Cruise and the sights in the city are amazing but the road and driving standards absolutely terrifying. During our two days we saw 32 accidents from the coach one involving people in burning vehicles in the road with casualties on the verge and the traffic just driving around it all.
  21. I plan to travel around northern Europe/Baltic states in summer 2020, starting from Germany. I already plan to do Color Lines cruise to Oslo as this 'has to be done.' Are there any recommendations for cruise deals in the Baltic - I have seen DFDS offering on Copenhagen/Oslo which looks reasonable. St Peter lines circular cruise Stokholm/Tallin/St Pt'br/Helsinki looks good. Any help or recommendations would be hugely appreciated as I am already planning the trip one year in advance. Thanks, Quibz.
  22. Really can not see bf grabbing a vessel in the near future myself...
  23. She'll be heading to the boat lift in Cherbourg next week, they expect it to take 10 days
  24. St Clare out of service for a week with prop problem ..w class coming in to cover so stand by for traffic problems
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