Europe’s northernmost nations create a wonderful region to explore, filled with fascinating contrasts. Following the shores of the Baltic Sea can showcase Scandinavia’s capitals, medieval towns and cities dotted with grand imperial buildings. On the other hand, choosing one of our Norway and Iceland cruises is more about the scenery, the sense of being away from it all.
Visit in the winter months and you can expect the crunch of snow under your feet, seasonal markets and cosy cafés. Summer is a more popular time for holidays here, when you'll be rewarded with warm temperatures, flower-decked meadows and almost 24-hour daylight. May to August are the main months to take a Cunard cruise through the majestic Fjords, which are the best way to appreciate the Norwegian coast’s silent beauty, legends, waterfalls and glaciers. You can also combine one of our Fjords cruises with Iceland’s geysers and mineral rich thermal springs.
Baltic cruises reveal a history tied to merchants and trade, with the powerful Hanseatic League creating many of the thriving cities that exist today. By contrast Scandinavia and Iceland have a simpler, more traditional history, with fishing playing a major role in their development.
With the great wealth that trade bought, cultural pursuits followed and the Baltic is home to exquisite theatres and lavish concert halls, playing host to some of the best performers in the world. Russian ballet, for example, is highly acclaimed. Some of the world’s best museums can also be found in the Baltic, with St Petersburg’s vast Hermitage Museum a spectacular example.
Most travellers new to the Baltic expect to find robust stews and not much else – something of a misconception. Whilst the Baltic cities are, indeed, home to wonderfully hearty dishes – usually served with black rye bread – they offer a far wider menu. Summer, for instance, brings delicate fresh fish, meats and herbs cooked and served in the summer sun.