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Baltic Cruise - St. Petersburg
by Sharon & jim Frost  |  Ambassador Clients Since 2005
Our Baltic cruise in 2006 was one of our most enjoyable cruises ever. The itinerary included Stockholm, Sweden (where we toured City Hall which is the site of the banquet honoring the year s Nobel Prize laureates and the Vasa Museum which surrounds the 17th century warship Vasa, the oldest fully preserved ship in the world), Helsinki, Finland (where we experienced Tempeliaukio Rock Church carved out of solid bedrock covered with a copper cupola and then traveled into the countryside to explore Porvoo, Finland s second oldest city), St. Petersburg, Russia (for two unbelievable days of touring), Tallinn, Estonia (an exceptionally beautiful late Middle Age town), Gdansk, Poland (where we saw and heard the history of where WWII began and experienced the Solidarity Museum chronicling the struggle of the ship workers against Communist rule), Warnemunde, Germany (where we drove inland to Rostock for beer tasting and a city tour), and Copenhagen, Denmark (for a canal boat ride and a tour of Christianborg Palace). The most memorable was our two days spent in St Petersburg.

The first day in St. Petersburg began with a drive to and tour of Peterhof Palace, the summer palace of the tsars. It was amazing. The opulence, grandeur, and beauty were beyond description both inside the palace and on the grounds surrounding it. Returning to the city, we toured Yusupov Palace where in 1917 the murder of Rasputin was attempted. He was poisoned in the basement; when he didn t die, the assassins dumped him in a nearby canal where he drowned. After a late lunch at the Astoria Hotel which included a shot of Vodka and music played on Russian folk instruments, our tour continued with a visit to Peter and Paul Fortress which was built to guard the city against Sweden in the early eighteenth century. During the Communist era political prisoners were taken there and often were never seen again.

Our second day in St. Petersburg began with a one hour boat ride on city canals. We passed the cruiser Aurora that fired its guns on October 17, 1917 which began the Bolshevik Revolution. Then we spent over two hours enjoying the art and architecture of the Hermitage Museum. After lunch which also included Vodka and musical entertainment, the afternoon concluded with visits to two churches. The first was Church of the Savior of Spilled Blood (Cathedral of the Resurrection), which was even more dazzling inside than out, and then St. Isaac s Cathedral, which is the third largest domed cathedral in the world and can be seen from the ship as you arrive.

Even though our Baltic cruise occurred almost four years ago, the itinerary was fantastic and the splendor and history of St. Petersburg will always be one of our traveling highlights.

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