HAL in the Baltic: Return to Copenhagen

ABOARD THE EURODAM – Back at our home port. “To wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen Salty old queen of the sea Once I sailed away But I’m home today Singing Copenhagen, wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen for me.” (Lyrics and music by Frank Loesser) In the 1952 internationally successful musical, Danny Kaye in his role as the famous Danish poet and fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen sings this ode to this wonderful 600-year old national capital of Denmark famed for its …

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HAL in the Baltic: Never judge a restaurant on one meal

ABOARD THE EURODAM – On our previous cruise aboard the Eurodam we had the pleasure of sampling two of the ship’s special additional-cost restaurants, the Canaletto and the Tamarind. On our first week during this sailing, we experienced a wonderful meal at The Pinnacle Grill. So during our last few days of this cruise, we are giving all three a second go-round. First up is the Canaletto charging an extra $10 per person. Canaletto A restaurant with …

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HAL in the Baltic: Germany Excursions

ABOARD THE EURODAM — There are two opportunities to visit Germany on this cruise, going east with a stop at the port of Kiel, and returning with a stopover at the seaside resort town of Warnemunde. From these ports there are excursions to some of the historical Hanseatic League cities including the old red-brick town of Rostock; Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city featuring an international maritime museum; Wismar, founded in 1229: and the Old Town of Lubeck, …

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HAL in the Baltic: Four Ashore to Explore

ABOARD THE EURODAM – When it comes to shore excursions, I like to mix them up. Some are best done on a tour, such as the extensive variety offered by HAL. Sometimes a Hop On-Hop Off bus seems to be an appropriate way to explore a new city. And there are some compact ports where walking is the best way to get the feel of the spirit of a place, or what the Romans called its “genius …

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HAL in the Baltic: Sightings on the Eurodam

ABOARD THE EURODAM – The Officers and crew of the ms Eurodam take pride in being “the friendliest ship in the Holland America fleet.” When everyone greets you with a hearty hello and more often than expected, knows your name, I have no reason to disagree. A recognized leader in cruising for more than 140 years, Holland America Line is known for “consistently comfortable accommodations, award-winning service, gourmet dining, and extensive activities and enrichment programs.” I expect …

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HAL in the Baltic: Mysteries of the deep on the way to Stockholm

ABOARD THE EURODAM – Following a time change coming from Finland, our ship is gliding on the placid waters of the Baltic this morning past hundreds of small forested islands. As dawn breaks only a smattering of summer cottages with a boat dock can be discerned among the trees on most. Even more infrequently, we pass a tiny village with a marina in the wake of our ship. The sun rose at 4:35 AM to begin a …

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HAL in the Baltic: The Hermitage, pride of St. Petersburg

ABOARD THE EURODAM – On a 1974 Pan Am tour (remember them?) our group was taken to The State Hermitage Museum in what was then Leningrad. As a novice photographer at that time I much preferred being out shooting in the street rather than being stuck inside a musty museum. So when I was told there was no photography permitted in the museum I abruptly bolted for the door. Subsequently I learned that skipping the Hermitage was …

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HAL in the Baltic: Raiders & Traders – The Vikings

ABOARD THE EURODAM –As we voyage through the Baltic Sea on the fourth day of our cruise, it is appropriate to imagine these waters as they were sailed by those savvy mariners known as Norsemen from the eighth to twelfth centuries. Originating from small groups scattered about what are now the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Sweden and Norway, these intrepid explorers conquered Europe and beyond and became known as Vikings. According to a couple of theories they …

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HAL in the Baltic: Restaurant confidential

ABOARD THE EURODAM – Can the world’s best French fries be found at a floating fast food stand? Better yet, can you order these crispy, crunchy, double-fried delights without standing in line? Just place your order – naked fries, smothered in melted cheese, or with a side of secret sauce – then go lounge by the pool until your beeper alerts you that your piping hot potato-strips-from-heaven are ready for pick up. Only one of the new …

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HAL in the Baltic: Reacquaintance with the Eurodam

ABOARD THE EURODAM – The Swedes have a word for the racing of the heart at the beginning of a journey when anxiety and anticipation collide, “resferberer.” On a morning that began under all-over baby blue skies, then turned leaden and drizzly during passenger emergency drill, ultimately concluding with spots of sunshine, the Eurodam departed the harbor at Copenhagen. A long line of 20 wind turbines, which, on a very windy day can produce up to 140 …

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