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Tumnus2010

Baltic Minicruises

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Looking into doing a Minicruises with my wife for upcoming birthday early next year. Have looked at both Color and Stena from Kiel. Stena on paper is quite a bit cheaper and cabins seem good. But any recommendations? You don't get long in Oslo with Color, is it worth the extra or is Gothenburg a better bet?

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Definitely Color line. The shows are 1st class, this year they had a guy on a trapeze performing over the stage  which lowers into a hole in the floor. Travellers queue for over half an hour to get in. Great food, great onboard shopping and the bus tour around Oslo is worth it. It's in German but our guide took the time out to explain the sculpture park etc in English and the Fram ship is not to be missed especially as you can walk on her in the footsteps of Nansen and Amundsen.

If you're planning on driving there are extensive road works out of the Hoek and again through Germany from Bremen Northwards. Hamburg is also effected. Took us about 7 hours but we also had a couple of extensive stops and I got lost in Dutch diversions. We usually head north via Rotterdam which bypasses the works but opted for Harwich as I wanted to sample the two Stena monsters.

There are good hotels in Kiel, just remember though that there's a good chance that there'll be a fair amount of clubs all showcasing adult entertainment although it doesn't have an undertone or seedy feeling. Good pedestrianised shopping and a Woolworths!

Oh and secure parking adjacent to the ship which can be pre paid.

I've been on most of the Baltic ships as we have a longtime friend in that neck of the woods and do reciprocal yearly visits, but Color Magic and her sister are really the only ones which offer a more authentic cruise experience.

Next year will be either Kiel-Gothenburg or Genoa/Civitavecchia-Barcelona via Santander. Driving as usual, as I don't fly.

 

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Yes, I second what Jonno says - I did the Kiel/Oslo mini-cruise some years ago, the ships are amazing - when I sailed they had an ice rink which came up from that hole in the floor with a couple of ice skaters, there were 2 shows and you had to pre-book to get a seat but once the 2 shows had been completed it became a free-seating show bar with an excellent live band.

There is a bar above the bridge with panoramic views, a good choice of eateries......but it is not cheap on-board, one of those trips where you save up beforehand and don't think about the prices when you get there 🙂 I still have my Color Fantasy mug which sits on my desk, looking at it right now.................

Andy

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