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Le Quiberon

Baltic ferry cruises

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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.

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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.

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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.

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22 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

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.

how bad were they?

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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

 

 

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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!

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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.

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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.

Did you have Russian visas? Or some other arrangements? I must confess that we found the place rather alien in many respects.

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1 hour ago, cvabishop said:

Did you have Russian visas? Or some other arrangements? I must confess that we found the place rather alien in many respects.

We were on SPL so got the 72 hour visa-free entry. Just didn't go on the official tour and went exploring instead.

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2 hours ago, whiteheadplh said:

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

 

This sounds superb I must say - Out of interest how does the Helsinki  - Tallin cruise take 21 hours on such a short stretch of water? 

These kind of cheap mini cruises which will enable me too see many countries is just wjat I am looking for.

 

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The trip to tallink takes you 2 hrs however the ship stays overnight in Tallinn and you have a cabin to use for the whole cruise. The ship doesn’t leave until Midday the following day allowing you to see Tallinn in the am.

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There are quite a few unbelievable and careless driving videos of Russian cars & trucks on YouTube, Viewer beware, some are quite horrendous, I drove a truck from the UK around the iron curtain some 30 years ago, a bit hairy!

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I'd check the Viking Line or Tallink/Silja websites, they usually have some good offers. I did a minicruise Stockholm-Helsinki in 2016 on Mariella (Viking Line) really enjoyed it. There's a voyage report on here somewhere.

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8 hours ago, whiteheadplh said:

The trip to tallink takes you 2 hrs however the ship stays overnight in Tallinn and you have a cabin to use for the whole cruise. The ship doesn’t leave until Midday the following day allowing you to see Tallinn in the am.

so does that mean you can basically explore Tallin and the use ferry as a floating hotel? sound excellent!  what time does the vessel leave/depart? thanks.

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Just researched this and it appears tat during the 22h 'mini cruise' the vessel arrives Tallin at 2200 but does not allow passengers to leave the ship till 0800 the next day, passengers must then be back on board for 12pm for a 1530 return in Helsinki.

So the ship basically just sits quayside all evening and night in Tallin and does not allow you to get off till the following morning for 4 hours. I understand the point of wanting you to stay on-board and spend cash but it would be nice to have the option to leave the ship during the evening/night. Kind of off-putting really.

 

 

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Not sure what would be open from 22:00 though and wandering around Tallin after dark late at night seems a bit pointless.

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8 hours ago, cvabishop said:

Not sure what would be open from 22:00 though and wandering around Tallin after dark late at night seems a bit pointless.

You might be surprised :

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.inyourpocket.com/tallinn/nightlife-in-tallinn-bars-pubs-clubs&ved=2ahUKEwjsmfiSldTiAhUMQxUIHdzsBIQQFjADegQIARAB&usg=AOvVaw3kFctoW_LEYuitOJCzFeX_

Ed. 

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14 hours ago, Le Quiberon said:

Just researched this and it appears tat during the 22h 'mini cruise' the vessel arrives Tallin at 2200 but does not allow passengers to leave the ship till 0800 the next day, passengers must then be back on board for 12pm for a 1530 return in Helsinki.

So the ship basically just sits quayside all evening and night in Tallin and does not allow you to get off till the following morning for 4 hours. I understand the point of wanting you to stay on-board and spend cash but it would be nice to have the option to leave the ship during the evening/night. Kind of off-putting really.

The Silja Europa herself is supposed to be the destination in lots of ways.

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I've been thinking of doing another Baltic trip myself later in the year. Having never tried Tallink/Silja Line, I've been looking at their Stockholm-Helsinki ships and also the Stockholm-Tallinn route. I've seen a few videos and photos and it looks to me like the ships on the Tallinn route (i.e. Baltic Queen) are more intimate and traditional than the Silja Symphony/Serenade, despite being more modern; would this be accurate? The big atriums don't really appeal to me that much, I'd be interested to hear anyone else's views/experiences?

I'd also love to try the Viking Grace but the timings on the Turku route are not so attractive.

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1 hour ago, Ryan_H said:

I've been thinking of doing another Baltic trip myself later in the year. Having never tried Tallink/Silja Line, I've been looking at their Stockholm-Helsinki ships and also the Stockholm-Tallinn route. I've seen a few videos and photos and it looks to me like the ships on the Tallinn route (i.e. Baltic Queen) are more intimate and traditional than the Silja Symphony/Serenade, despite being more modern; would this be accurate? The big atriums don't really appeal to me that much, I'd be interested to hear anyone else's views/experiences?

I'd also love to try the Viking Grace but the timings on the Turku route are not so attractive.

I've done the Baltic Queen from Tallinn to Stockholm and would highly recommend it! The Baltic Queen is a beautiful ship, you certainly won't be short of choice for eating or drinking. We dined in the buffet and thoroughly enjoyed it. We were lucky enough to go in the autumn - sailing into Stockholm watching the morning light against the yellowing trees is a stunning sight.

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