Cruise Scandinavia and the Baltics - land of the Vikings! - Cruise Trail

Cruise Scandinavia and the Baltics – land of the Vikings!

Cruise Scandinavia and the Baltics and discover our Nordic culture and culinary excellence in the land of the Vikings! Proud to call Scandinavia my home, this region of Europe is known for our fresh air, great outdoors, magical northern lights and some of the highest living standards in the world.

Choosing to cruise Scandinavia and the Baltics means that you will experience the best of northern Europe. Discover cities such as Stockholm (Sweden), Gothenburg (Sweden), Visby (Sweden), Copenhagen (Denmark), Skagen (Denmark), Oslo (Norway), Kristiansand (Norway) and Helsinki (Finland).

Cruise Scandinavia and the Baltics from Stockholm or Amsterdam

If you want to spend time exploring Sweden’s fantastic capital city (and we hope you do) before beginning your cruise to Scandinavia and the Baltics, opt for Scandinavia and Russia cruises which start and end in Stockholm. Stockholm has long been hailed as one of the most beautiful capital cities of the world. Our unique archipelago stretches about 60km east of the city and the islands are full of holiday cottages and fishing boats. In the summer it’s nothing less than perfect. See our Stockholm destination page to discover what to do and where to stay for your pre-cruise adventure!

Some of the cruises to Scandinavia and the Baltics leave from Amsterdam. This means that you can book pre-cruise hotel nights in Amsterdam and add this stunning northern European location to your vacation itinerary. Staying in the center of Amsterdam is pricey, but worth it. Look for hotels in the Oud-West area, just north of Vondelpark which offer better value for money. Stick to the 4-star standard and above. From this area it’s about a 40 minute walk to Dam Square, the medieval centre of the city. Van Gogh’s museum and Anne Frank’s house are within walking distance.

The beautiful Baltic

Many Scandinavian cruises will include the Baltic in their itineraries, and that means you will visit stunning destinations such as Tallinn, Estonia and St. Petersburg, Russia.

The highlight of these cruises is the stop in St. Petersburg, a city steeped in history and intrigue. Think Imperial palaces and the famous Hermitage Museum and step back in time and history for an unforgettable day. Do remember to check visa requirements. Often you join a ship-organized excursion and the visa is included in the price, but rules can change.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and Celebrity Cruises for Northern Europe cruises

Cruise Scandinavia and the Baltics with Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas

Our first recommended cruise ship for these cruises to Scandinavia and the Baltics is Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas. It’s a good all-rounder for all types of guests. As a result of Voyagers huge upgrade during 2019, you will have a luxury cruise experience onboard. It has great specialty restaurants (pre-purchase your dining package or use onboard credit). Giovanni’s Table is our favourite.

Guest areas such as the Promenade deck, the Royal theatre and the fitness area have all been refreshed and refined.  And the ice rink – the first at-sea ice rink on any cruise ship – still offers mesmerizing evening shows. The Perfect Storm twin waterslides and laser tag areas have been rebuilt and there is now a cool outdoor area exclusively for teens.

The Schooner Bar, a Royal Caribbean classic, is a must. What we love is the classical nautical design, ample seating areas, friendly bar service and great atmosphere day and night. But if you’re travelling with teens visit The Tavern instead as they will enjoy the big-screen TV sport games.

When you choose to cruise Scandinavia and the Baltics, as with all other Royal Caribbean cruises, your accommodation, dining, onboard activities (including their award-winning kids club), access to the fitness center and your entertainment is included in your cruise price. Check that gratuities (tips) are all included in the price as well, as this can vary depending on your region.

Book extras online via your Cruise Planner

These extras can be added to your cruise booking easily by booking them online via your Cruise Planner:

  • drinks packages (choose between “Deluxe”, “Refreshment”, “Classic Soda” or “Water Bottle” packages)
  • specialty dining
  • shore excursions
  • internet packages
  • spa treatments

Book from home before you leave to get the best price. Often these things are more expensive if you book onboard the ship.

Royal Caribbean’s Crown and Anchor Society

We recommend that you join Royal Caribbean’s membership program the Crown and Anchor Society. It’s free to sign up and you start earning reward points from the first time you sail with them. Benefits include:

  • onboard offers
  • priority check in at some ports
  • private departure lounges with continental breakfast
  • welcome refreshments and snacks
  • balcony and suite discounts

These benefits vary from tier to tier.  So the more your cruise, the more points you earn and the higher the tier status you can achieve. 1 cruise point for every cruise night and an additional point if you choose to book a suite!

We just love Voyager. It’s a classy, elegant ship without being stuffy. You get a luxurious cruise on a ship which has just the right amount of variety – restaurants, entertainment, sports and relaxation. It’s definitely one of my favourite cruise ships amongst Royal Caribbean International’s amazing fleet of ships. We highly recommend that you plan your Scandinavian cruise together with a land package to have an unforgettable vacation.

Cruise Scandinavia and the Baltics with Celebrity Reflection, a Solstice cruise ship

Our next choice for cruising Scandinavia and the Baltics is Celebrity’s beautiful ship Reflection. The elegant Solstice class ships are great for adults or couples with older teens. We say that because Celebrity, whilst offering kids and teen clubs, are aimed more at the adult market (no kids pools!) although families do cruise on them especially in the summer holidays. For European sailings the guests are an international mix and you will make friends from all over the world.

Celebrity is known for its 6-star dining and menus onboard. The cuisine really is incredible. The main dining room Opus offers a fantastic menu each night and there was always something new to try. The Specialty restaurants are good too. We loved the classic italian food at Tuscan Grille but best of all our theatrical dinner at Qsine. My teens still talk about our dinner there, and trust me, you have to experience the amazing food for yourselves.

All Solstice class ships are unique in having The Lawn Club. This is real grass on the top deck of the ship. So grab a picnic blanket, a glass of wine and listen to live music out on the lawn.

When you choose to cruise Scandinavia and the Baltics, as with all other Celebrity cruises, your accommodation, dining, onboard activities, access to the fitness center and your entertainment is included in your cruise price. PLUS wifi, drinks and gratuities (tips) are always included in every Celebrity cruise.

Book extras online via your Cruise Planner

These extras can be added to your cruise booking easily by booking them online via your Cruise Planner:

  • specialty dining
  • shore excursions
  • spa treatments

The classic drinks package is included in the price of your cruise. We found this to be more than adequate with an extensive menu of both alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks, including a good selection of wines and beers. Specialty coffees, juices and bottled water all are included. We found the classic drinks package for a family of 4 good value for money, basically you drink whatever you want, whenever you want.

If you want to upgrade to a premium drinks package and pay the extra you can, but do this only if you really want that single malt, champagne or special cognac. Book from home before you leave to get the best price.

Celebrity Cruises Captain’s Club

We recommend that you join Celebrity Cruises membership program the Captains Club. It’s free to sign up and you start earning reward points from the first time you sail with them. Benefits include:

  • onboard offers
  • special invitations
  • complimentary laundry
  • spa discounts
  • stateroom category upgrades.

These benefits vary from tier to tier.  So the more your cruise, the more points you earn and the higher the tier status you can achieve. 1 cruise point for every cruise night and an additional point if you choose to book a suite!

Combine your cruise to Scandinavia and the Baltics with pre- and post-cruise hotel nights

Cruises to Scandinavia and the Baltics are a fantastic way to see many destinations in one and the same European vacation. Not to mention how much money you save compared to flying to these different, and sometimes logistically difficult destinations. See our Stockholm, Amsterdam and Copenhagen pages for tips of how to combine these itineraries with pre- and post-cruise city visits.

How to start planning your cruise to Scandinavia and the Baltics

If you are still in the planning process and need help deciding on the best cruise for you, these articles will help you along the way. They are full of good advice and travel tips to help you book the perfect cruise for you and your family:

Cruising – questions to ask to kick-start your planning
Top tips for booking a cruise and avoiding common mistakes

Meet the Author

Mattias has nearly 2 decades of travel industry expertise, working with cruise lines, tour operators, airlines, IT providers, hospitality suppliers and everything else in between that makes the travel industry tick. more..