Baltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: Stockholm, Sweden

ONBOARD WIND SURF- ­ Stockholm has always been my favorite Scandinavian city, going back to my first visit here in the mid-80s.  Spread out over 14 islands, it is a city of dazzling beauty ­ clean, green, cultured and cosmopolitan.  Attesting to that, the city has been honored as both the Green and Cultural Capital of Europe in recent years. Did I mention expensive?  Yes, it is that, but the old adage, “you get what you pay …

Read moreBaltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: Stockholm, Sweden

Baltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: At Sea, bound for Stockholm

ONBOARD WIND SURF- ­ Last night¹s private ballet performance at St. Petersburg’s elegant Musical Comedy Theatre was a big hit with Wind Surf passengers.  Nearly everyone attended the three-act performance of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, performed just for us by one of the city’s top professional ballet companies. Wind Star offers a complimentary private event such as this one during each of Wind Surf’s voyages.  I think most passengers would agree that it’s a great gesture on the …

Read moreBaltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: At Sea, bound for Stockholm

Baltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: St. Petersburg, Russia

ONBOARD WIND SURF- ­ Just to set the stage, this is day 2 for Melinda and me in St. Petersburg.  As I related yesterday, I’ve stayed onboard today while Mel is undertaking two tours. So to begin, I’ll tell you about our visit yesterday to the magnificent Hermitage Museum, and I will later report on Mel’s whirlwind day. Lace up your cross-trainers, grab a bottle of water, and join us for a brief but rewarding visit to …

Read moreBaltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: St. Petersburg, Russia

Baltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: St. Petersburg, Russia

ONBOARD WIND SURF- ­We are docked this morning for a two-day stay in St. Petersburg, tied up at the Morskoy Vokzal Sea Station, a facility that has been expanded and improved since my last visit, thanks to a 2005 extension adding additional berths and a new Marine Passenger Terminal.  It is a safe and highly efficient complex, with its only drawback being its location, some 45 minutes away from the city center. Although we have two days …

Read moreBaltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: St. Petersburg, Russia

Baltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: Helsinki, Finland

ONBOARD WIND SURF- ­With an all-aboard call for 12:45 p.m., today’s visit to the Finnish capital was a hasty one.  Although this was Melinda’s first visit, I’d been here on a number of occasions, so I volunteered to lead an independent tour of the city. Nestled around its scenic harbor, with most popular attractions within walking distance, Helsinki is an easy city to explore afoot, and we got started with a visit to the bustling harbor side …

Read moreBaltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: Helsinki, Finland

Baltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: Tallinn, Estonia

ONBOARD WIND SURF- ­Onboard Wind Surf ­ Having absorbed all the hype surrounding its medieval Old Town, said to be the best preserved in all of Europe, Tallinn was for us the most anticipated destination of the voyage. On our way into the historic center, we caught glimpses of a gleaming modern side of the capital city of 440,000, replete with glassy high rises housing the headquarters of thriving industries including chemicals, electronics and information technology. By …

Read moreBaltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: Tallinn, Estonia

Baltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: A day at sea

ONBOARD WIND SURF-A relaxing day at sea now and then is always a good thing, and we’re enjoying one today as we sail from Klaipeda to Tallinn, Estonia.  We didn’t get that much extra sleep, however, as we wanted to be on hand for a 9:30 a.m. galley tour with Executive Chef Olven Dsouza.  By now Melinda and I have had a chance to dine at most of the Wind Surf venues and we’re keen to see …

Read moreBaltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: A day at sea

Baltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: Klaipeda, Lithuania

ONBOARD WIND SURF- ­Today’s visit to Klaipeda marks a couple of firsts: it’s the initial visit to Lithuania for both Melinda (Mel) and me, and it celebrates my 149th country visited.  The real milestone for me (150) comes on Sunday, however, when we tie up in Tallinn, Estonia.  No minor accomplishment, I suppose, in view of the fact there are 195 countries in the world as currently recognized by the United Nations.  I’m getting up there in …

Read moreBaltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: Klaipeda, Lithuania

Baltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: Gdansk, Poland

ONBOARD WIND SURF-My partner and assistant Melinda and I are greeted this morning in Gdansk by sunny skies and a predicted high temperature of 72 degrees ­ quite a relief to this Floridian who has been suffering through an exceptionally hot, muggy summer. Those of a certain age might recall that Gdansk was the scene of anti-Soviet demonstrations and unrest through most of the 1970s and 80s. Gdansk Shipyard was the birthplace of Lech Walesa’s Solidarity trade …

Read moreBaltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: Gdansk, Poland

Baltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: Bornholm Island, Denmark

ONBOARD WIND SURF- ­ Following a restful night’s sail westward from Copenhagen into the Baltic Sea, we find ourselves this morning anchored just off the tiny port town of Gudhjem on the Danish island of Bornholm. Like most of our fellow passengers, we’d never been there and hadn’t even heard of the place until we booked this cruise.  So we were all enthusiastic about having a look at Bornholm. Windstar Cruises has a knack for finding offbeat, …

Read moreBaltic cruise aboard Windstar Cruises’ Wind Surf: Bornholm Island, Denmark

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