(NAPSI)—Ancient sights, romantic nights and days filled with delights can be found when you take your family on a cruise to the Baltics—made up of countries surrounding the Baltic Sea—a breathtaking region that is gaining popularity as a travel destination. More than 4 million travelers cruise around there every year.

Vikings and Norse explorers once sailed these waters and a cruise may still be the best way to meet the warm, welcoming people who live there now and explore its many other charms—because you can save time and money staying on the ship. Accommodations and food are taken care of on the cruise so travelers don’t have to worry about costs associated with visiting some of the world’s most expensive cities.

What’s more, while once many of the ships sailing the Baltic were older, midsized cruise ships, the growing popularity of the region means cruise lines now deploy bigger, more contemporary vessels. For example, Princess Cruises is sailing two of its newest ships, Royal Princess and Regal Princess.

Three More Reasons To Cruise

First, cruising offers something for everyone, from the very young to the young at heart. It’s great for groups, celebrations and meeting new people. That may be part of the appeal for the estimated 10 million people who go cruising from U.S. ports every year.

Consider this: On board Princess Cruises, you can watch “Movies Under the Stars,” with complimentary blankets and popcorn. Alternatively, meet friends for a small bite and wine by the glass, and enjoy street performer-style entertainment in the Piazza. Or spend a few hours of tranquility in The Sanctuary—a retreat just for adults where you can enjoy a massage, signature drinks and snacks, or the spectacular sea views and sunsets from your plush lounge chair. Evenings are filled with live entertainment options.

Next, it’s educational. A new Discovery at Sea program at Princess, in partnership with Discovery, brings to life the nature, wildlife and history of the region that guests are sailing to through onboard activities and shore excursions.

Finally, once you get off the ship, the next exciting phase begins. From the glorious spires of St. Petersburg and the idyllic waterfront of Stockholm to the fjords of the Norwegian coast, there are great sites and sights to see, such as:

• St. Petersburg—Few places can match St. Petersburg for sheer opulence. Known as the “Venice of the North” for its canal system, this grand city is home to such treasures as the world- famous State Hermitage Museum, opulent Peterhof and Catherine Palaces, as well as elaborate parks and magnificent cathedrals.

• Norway—Geiranger Fjord, lined by soaring snowcapped mountains and fabled waterfalls, is a World Heritage Site. The stark wonders of North Cape and remote towns like Spitsbergen and Tromsø await farther north in the Land of the Midnight Sun.

• Copenhagen—Adding to the romance of the picturesque seaside buildings that welcome travelers is Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, who sits on a rock gazing out to sea.

• Tallinn—The capital of Estonia is among the best-preserved medieval European towns with cathedral cupolas and golden crosses rising high above the rooftops. It dates back nearly a thousand years. Exploring the many narrow, winding, cobblestoned streets is like taking a trip to the 15th century.

• Stockholm—Old Town Stockholm is one of Sweden’s most spectacular spots. The top of City Hall offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area. The Royal Palace has over 600 rooms and several museums.

Voyages begin in May and run into September, either of which can be a great time to go to enjoy lighter crowds and lower cruise fares.

Learn More

For further information on cruising to the Baltic, visit your professional travel consultant or go to www.princess.com.


On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)