Cruising the Baltic Sea…

A flat lay image of my travel must haves: Baltic Sea Ports Marco Polo Travel Guide, sunglasses and camera

Cruising the Baltic Sea:

Marco Polo travel guides have recently published a range of cruise guides offering insights into ports around the world which are very useful for deciding on what to do at each destination. The guides come with handy pull out maps, perfect for planning your adventures at sea. The range includes ports in the Baltic Sea, Canary Islands, Caribbean and Mediterranean. The lovely people at Marco Polo sent me a guide to help with my future cruise planning. I chose Baltic Sea cruise ports, as I’d love to explore this incredible area of Europe.

Ad: This post has been produced in collaboration with Marco Polo Travel Guides.

Here’s my dream itinerary:

  • Firstly I’d choose Southampton to depart and arrive back into as it’s near to where I live so would eliminate having to get flights anywhere. This would make cruising the Baltic Sea very relaxing from the word go!
  • Helsinki – Finland: The scenery is something that draws me to this part of the world and I’ve heard it’s a scenic journey into the port, past small islands and craggy coastline. I’d make sure I’d be up on deck to take it all in. I would jump on a vintage tram ride to see the city’s top sites and visit the Old Market Hall to buy some Finnish cakes.
  • Stockholm – Sweden: I love an old town and Stockholm’s Gamla Stan sounds like it ticks all the boxes for me; cobbled streets, quirky buildings and cool coffee shops to sit and watch the world go by in.
  • Gdansk – Poland: I’d love to stop in Gdansk to try out traditional Polish food and to take some photos of the picture perfect streets. I’d also like to climb to the top of St. Catherine’s Church Tower to take in the city views.
  • St. Petersburg – Russia: I have never been to Russia so a stop in St. Petersburg would be firmly on my itinerary. I’d love to see the historical buildings and beautiful architecture. The colourful domes of the Church of the Resurrection of Christ are something I’d like to see in person.
  • Tallinn – Estonia: The capital of Estonia, this lovely looking city has plenty of charm with Gothic landmarks and an old town full of cafes and cobbled streets. If I had time on my day there I’d head slightly out of the city to the Teletorn TV Tower. There is an outdoor viewing platform right at the top and on clear days you can see across to Finland.

Why you need to go on a cruise:

These days cruising isn’t just for the older generation it has become popular with younger people in a big way. Cruise companies have modernised their ships, upped their marketing and onboard itineraries to appeal to not only younger couples and singles but families too.

A cruise is certainly something on my travel wish list; Matt and I got a taste for the cruising lifestyle after we went on a mini-cruise to France last year. I can definitely see us enjoying a longer cruise at some point in the future.


In case you need some persuasion here are my reasons as to why you need to go on a cruise…

  • It’s such a fantastic way to see the world; you get to wake up in a new destination everyday.
  • Enjoy complete relaxation on sea days. While there’s nothing but blue horizons all around it’s the perfect opportunity to kick back and relax with a book, enjoy the entertainment onboard, go to a fitness class or enjoy all the food if you are on an all inclusive package.
  • A lot of cruise companies have removed formal dining in favour of a more relaxed experience, so while formal dining may still exist there are now other options such as buffets and fast food restaurants onboard. This means you won’t have to pack your bow tie and tux if you don’t want to.
  • This also applies to dress codes; whilst there are still opportunities to don your bow tie many cruise ships have a less formal dress code making cruises much more relaxed.
  • There is so much going on onboard that you’ll never want to get off! From cinemas to shows, casinos to coffee shops, spas, climbing walls and waterslides, not to mention kids clubs if you have children with you. It’s like a floating city!


I spent a day on MSC Preziosa as part of a press event, head over to my post: My Day on a Cruise Ship with MSC Cruises to read all about it. For more on planning a cruise, Cruise Critic is a great website to discover cruise itineraries, they have a section just for Baltic Sea Cruises. Cruise blogger, Emma writes all about life at sea over at Cruising Isn’t Just For Old People; check it out for all you need to know on cruising.


My day on a cruise ship with MSC Cruises…

I’ve never been on a cruise but it’s definitely something I’ve always wanted to try, so when the opportunity to spend a day on a cruise ship popped up I jumped at the chance to go.  Arriving at Southampton City Cruise Terminal I was blown away by the size of MSC Preziosa and couldn’t wait to meet other bloggers for #BlogCampOnBoard.  Hosted by MSC Cruises and organised by Sally Whittle from Tots 100 the day consisted of blogging workshops, lunch, a tour of the ship and a Q & A with the MSC marketing team and Antonio Paradiso, MD of MSC Cruises for the UK and Ireland.  It was a fantastic day and I loved having the opportunity to meet bloggers from completely different niches to my own, family, food, cruise and lifestyle to name just a few.
Now for a bit about the ship, Preziosa is part of a fleet of 16 owned by MSC Cruises, is 333 metres in length and can hold 4345 guests; which is mind-boggling!  The luxurious interior is incredible, one of my favourite parts was the Swarovski crystal staircase, just so sparkly!  I loved touring the ship and got to see plenty of aspects of cruising life.  Preziosa has an incredible spa with indoor and outdoor pool, jacuzzi and comfy sunbeds, plus gorgeous treatment rooms with floor to ceiling windows and a gym at the stern with uninterrupted views of the ocean.  All things I would love to indulge in if I was cruising.  There’s a theatre, a 4D cinema, a casino, a library and a huge selection of bars and restaurants to choose from too.
I was really interested to find out what was onboard for children, as having Emily who is now 18 months old means a slightly different kind of planning when it comes to deciding on trips.  Cruising is often misconstrued as a holiday choice for the older generation, but visiting the ship I got to see a whole new side.  MSC has worked hard to create a huge variety of activities for children onboard.  Kids club Doremi, a mini aqua park, a partnership with LEGO and Chicco and web series ‘Kelly & Khloe Onboard’ mean there is an endless amount of activities for children.  All day entertainment runs from 9am-11pm so parents can take some time to relax while the kids have fun!
MSC have just announced that they will be introducing kettles in cabins on MSC Magnifica, (something pretty important to us tea loving Brits) the addition of afternoon tea and most importantly a new partnership with yorkshire tea, who will be providing the perfect brew whilst at sea.
From March 2018 MSC Magnifica will be setting sail from Southampton as well as Preziosa.  Climb aboard for Northern European and Mediterranean adventures with a laid back and luxurious twist.
After spending a day on MSC Preziosa I think cruising could be my new thing!