First Time to Scandinavia? Try a Royal Caribbean Baltic Cruise

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Scandinavia is packed with popular tourist destinations and for a good reason. Whether you hope to see the midnight sun, experience Nordic culture, or love history and architecture, you will find it abundant in nearly every direction. A Royal Caribbean Baltic cruise is a fun way to learn about new destinations in an easy, laid-back way.

Baltic cruises allow for relaxing travel throughout the area, with stops in several major cities and surrounding countries.

A large cruise ship docked at a dock.

Cruising is a great way to introduce yourself to a new region. It is the perfect sampler for first-time visitors planning future travel. If you’re not sure how to decide which cruise to take, check out my tips for choosing your cruise.

Consider a Royal Caribbean Baltic Cruise

Whether you want to explore nature, history, architecture, or walk in the footsteps of the Vikings, you can do all that and more by choosing a Baltic cruise.

We had an amazing time on our Royal Caribbean Baltic cruise, and I think you would, too! Here’s why.

Port Intensive Itineraries

With so much to see in the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea, most cruises will have limited days at sea. Because of this, cruisers spend most daytime hours exploring cities like Stockholm, Helsinki, or Copenhagen rather than staying on the ship.

Pack the walking shoes to make the most of these stops, and plan to maximize your time on land.

My family loves to cruise, but we typically stick to sailing the Caribbean like many others in North America. That all changed on our 15th-anniversary trip to Europe!

A brick building with bicycles parked in front of it.

Potential for Overnights in Port

Something I love about Baltic cruises is the potential for overnight port stays. I want to see many places but not have to change hotels often. That said, on a cruise, you tend to miss a city’s nightlife, so if that is important to you, check out overnight stays in the port.

Check itineraries before booking to see if your cruise includes multiple days in port. You can leave and return freely anytime if the ship is in port.

This is an excellent option for travelers who want to experience nightlife in the city before returning to the ship.

First Visit to Northern Europe

If you are new to the area and need help deciding where to begin, choosing a Baltic cruise makes a lot of sense. It’s surprisingly easy to get a feel for a destination on your own or by booking an excursion like this walking tour of Old Town Stockholm.

A group of people sitting on a bench in front of colorful buildings.

Baltic cruises also minimize travel time between cities or hotels by allowing you to keep your belongings in one place during your trip.

Calm Sailing

Sailing the Baltic Sea is typically a much more relaxed experience due to the calmer waters compared to more extensive ocean sailings.

If you are worried about getting sick on a cruise, this is a major win for the Baltic sailings!

A boat is sailing in a body of water.

The summer months in this region usually offer pleasant weather and smooth sailing, which is welcome news to those who may experience motion sickness.

Few Tender Ports

Likewise, most Baltic ports allow ships to dock locally, thus avoiding the need to drop anchor and use a tender boat to transport passengers to shore.

The lack of tender ports saves time and provides a more comfortable experience for those with mobility issues.

You can check with your cruise line to verify which ports require tendering.

A man standing in front of a sign that says mind your head.

Save Money on Meals

One of the best parts of traveling is trying new foods. However, cruising offers a reprieve from this added expense for those on a budget.

Enjoy the included breakfast and dinner on the ship to save money and still have plenty left for snacks and lunch on shore.

Breakfast on the balcony of a cruise ship.

Consider booking a food tour of the city to get a great introduction to the best local delicacies. Or read restaurant reviews and make a reservation if needed.

Active Vacationing

Nature lovers rejoice! Hiking, boating, and biking opportunities are available depending on your interests.

Find beautiful royal gardens, national parks, beaches, rivers, and lakes to explore and enjoy. See some of the best natural places in this part of the world.

You can even rent scooters to zip around the city to make the most of your day.

A man and woman on a green scooter in a city.

If enjoying the view is more your speed, set your alarm as you sail through the breathtaking Swedish Archipelago and take in the sights from your balcony as the sun rises.

See the Best of Scandinavia

For those who want to see as much as possible in a short amount of time, cruising makes it simple.

Popular Baltic destinations include Stockholm, Sweden; Helsinki, Finland; Copenhagen, Denmark; Tallinn, Estonia; Riga, Latvia; Oslo, Norway; and more.

Explore local culture, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, theme parks, or museums just a few miles from each port.

The inside of a ruined building with arches.
Visby, Sweden

Want to see even more? It’s easy to add a few days before or after your cruise. Travel by train in this area is convenient and makes it easy to explore when you have more time.

A boat docked at a dock.

If your trip is within the Schengen Area, you won’t have to pass through passport security in most places, making travel even more uncomplicated.

For instance, if your cruise doesn’t include a particular location, add a few days to explore on your own before heading home as we did in Copenhagen!

We stayed at Hotel Bethel right in Nyhavn and had a fantastic time.

Accumulate Points for Future Royal Caribbean Cruises

Avid cruise travelers accrue loyalty points when sailing multiple times with the same cruise line. These points correspond to different membership levels and offer added benefits for future cruising.

For repeat cruisers, this is another way to extend the benefit of a Baltic cruise for the next vacation.

The deck of a cruise ship with lounge chairs and a large screen.

When planning a trip overseas, taking a cruise in Northern Europe may not be the first thought. But it is truly an enriching experience full of adventure and relaxation; everything a vacation should be.

A version of this post was originally published on Wealth of Geeks.

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About Andrea Updyke

Andrea Updyke is a married mom of two boys living in Raleigh, NC. She is a published author and blogger of more than 18 years and loves to celebrate the little things that make life awesome.

Whether she's sharing tasty recipes, traveling or hanging with the family, Andrea's goal is to help make your days a little easier and a lot more fun! Email inquiries to

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