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The Famous Fabergé Eggs!
Food, Food, and More Food!
  • Writer's picturesbcrosby .

Hello, Helsinki!

Updated: Aug 12, 2023

We began our Baltic cruise departing from Stockholm and heading past the archipelago and out to sea. Dinner at Setté Marie was lovely, and we enjoyed a stroll around the ship to better acquaint ourselves with its offerings. A nightcap in the Meridian Lounge, complete with lots of laughter, was a nice ending to our first evening on board. Our first stop the next morning (Wednesday) was Helsinki, Finland.

Helsinki has much more of a Russian feel and influence, rather than a Scandinavian feel, even though it was aligned with Sweden for centuries. We boarded a tour boat that took us out to the surrounding fortified islands. We disembarked at Suomenlinna – which means islands with castle. Funny, as it doesn’t contain a castle! It does, however, contain a very large fortress built in the 17th century to guard Helsinki’s harbor, and was only bombarded once during a war. This is a Unesco World Heritage Site, and it contains what once was the largest dry dock shipyard in the world – something quite unique in the 1800s, and is still in use today.

After walking all around the grounds, including the Great Courtyard and Piper Park, overlooking the captain’s quarters. Some 800 people live on the Suomenlinna islands today. During the winter, residents ice skate or even bike across the frozen waters in between this cluster of islands.

After returning to Helsinki harbor, we ventured up to the Helsinki Cathedral, a Lutheran church. Lutheran is the predominant religion of Finland – part of its Swedish influence. A stop in the Vanha Kauppahalli (food market) gave us a quick snapshot of the local food offerings before heading back to our ship.

Dinner that evening at Chartreuse, the French restaurant on board, was lovely. The escargot was incredible – prepared in a non-traditional way with a Burgundy-Dijon sauce with Bayonne ham and sautéed mushrooms. Scrumptious!

Now, on to St. Petersburg! We’ve been told to expect very little to no connectivity while we are here, so our blog will likely be delayed for a few days.


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