Experience the captivating allure of Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and Russia on a luxurious sea voyage. The best way to discover Scandinavia is by cruising the seas, and this journey promises an unforgettable adventure. Unpack once and immerse yourself in the splendor of our new ship, Costa Atlantica, brimming with amenities designed for your comfort.
With numerous cruises under my belt, I can confidently say Costa’s Atlantica stands out amongst mega-liners. This floating art-deco palace, accommodating over 2200 guests and a 920-strong crew, is simply astounding. The marble inlaid floors, the original works of art worth millions, everything surpassed my expectations. The food, oh, the food! I usually shy away from ship food, but this time, I found myself indulging in fresh, delectable menus, prepared by culinary masters from the world-renowned Chaine des Rotisseurs.
Our group of 60 was a delightful blend, forming friendships during our private shore excursions and onboard parties. We were blessed with the best Baltic weather – daily temperatures of 68°F and no rain. The First Officer confirmed it was “the best weather of the summer.”
Every country brought a unique cultural and historical experience. Our 1987-nautical-mile journey allowed us to see Copenhagen’s Mermaid in Denmark, Stockholm’s “Venice of the North” in Sweden, friendly Helsinki in Finland, and Grand St. Petersburg in Russia where we had a power tour of the Hermitage, palaces, onion domed churches, canals, and an evening ballet. Our final port was charming Tallinn, Estonia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, like a fairytale come to life.
Days at sea were filled with activities, from pools, shops, a casino, and luxurious spa, to contests with the crew. The gym was so futuristic I had trouble operating the equipment, my only exercise turned out to be jumping to conclusions. The midnight buffets were nothing short of spectacular, complete with countless ice sculptures, a house made of bread, and a piano crafted from white chocolate.
On our last night, we packed up treasures collected along the way: Faberge eggs, Russian nesting dolls, Swedish crystal, Finnish glassware, Nordic pewter, lingonberry jams, amber jewelry, hand-knit sweaters, and countless T-shirts. Some mementos, like our fur hats, might end up in a garage sale someday, but the bargaining was part of the fun!
We only got a taste of this five-country smorgasbord, but we left utterly satisfied. As I bid adieu to this unique corner of the world, I look back on another journey well done.