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How to Prepare for a Short Baltic Cruises from Helsinki

01 Aug

Baltic Tours with Nordic Cruises

How to Prepare for a Fun-Packed Short Baltic Cruises

Short Baltic cruises are the ideal way to take a break from the stresses of everyday life. What better way to indulge in such much-needed pampering than aboard a luxury liner? Baltic cruises offer some of the best opportunities to see some of the most amazing sights in popular destinations and along the way. Short Baltic cruises from Helsinki to St Petersburg, Stockholm,Tallinn, or Stockholm are hard to beat. But the details you know before your first cruise could mean the difference between a good time and a great one!

What to Pack for the Short Baltic Cruises

  • Clothes for Hot and Cold Weather – You never know what the temperature is going to be or the sudden changes that damp weather might bring. Pack for warm and cool weather but include a good waterproof windbreaker.
  • Bring Your Best Walking Shoes – No matter which stops you make, you will have to do some walking. If you feel the need to invest in a new pair before the cruise, make sure you break them in before you go.
  • Formal and Modest Clothing – You may be required to dress for dinner or want to make a visit to a restaurant that requires formal dress. Some tours include visits to must-see churches where long sleeves and pants are required.
  • Convert Your Money – Find out which of your stops are in countries that haven’t made the conversion to Euros. You will probably want to convert some of your money into a variety of currencies.
  • Pack Your Swimsuit – If you plan to go swimming on the cruise liner or at the beach, this is one essential you don’t want to leave behind.
  • Sunglasses – They don’t have to be your designer glasses but they should be effective at blocking out UV rays. Polarized sunglasses are a good choice. They reduce the glare off the water.
  • Hat or Cap
  • Binoculars
  • Camera with Extra Batteries

Favorite Attractions on Baltic Cruises

A lot of the attractions that you will see will be in St. Petersburg. This incredible city is rich in history and culture, boasting a lot of museums and elaborate churches. One to see is the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. You can also visit the State Hermitage Museum to learn about the area’s art and culture.

For families, there are zoos and aquariums, such as Ekzoopark and the St. Petersburg Dolphinarium. Adults can engage in the food, wine, & nightlife in the many pubs, bars, and clubs including the Jimi Hendrix Blues Club.

Contact Nordic Cruises today to book your place on Baltic cruises from Helsinki. Reserve your place aboard the MS Anastasia or MS Serenada and come prepared for a cruise you will never forget.

Yusupov Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia

05 Jul

Traveling to Russia or St. Petersburg visa-free ? Don’t Miss Yusupov Palace

If you’ve always dreamed of traveling to Russia, here’s your chance to see a key player in Russian history—Yusupov Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. The former home of the wealthy and influential Yusupov family, the palace took on a more sinister aspect when an assassin used the home to stage the murder of Grigory Rasputin, a controversial, yet influential political figure in turn-of-the-century Russia.

Yusupov Palace Early History

Located on the Moika River, Yusupov Palace has kept most of its original interior, unlike many of its contemporaries.

Close to the famed Mariinsky Theatre, the site originally belonged to one of Peter the Great’s nieces, the Tsarevna Praskovia Ivanovna. During the 18th century, a new owner, Andrei Shuvalov, razed the original wooden structure to construct a new palace designed by French architect Jean-Baptist de la Mothe.

A Famed Murder Mystery

The royal line of the Yusupov family bought the palace in 1830. On December 16, 1916, assassins—with the help of Yusupov heir Felix Yusupov—entered the home, poisoned, shot, and beat Rasputin in the palace basement. Finding the “mad monk” still alive, the killers threw him into the half-frozen Malaya Nevka River. According to most accounts, Rasputin finally succumbed to hypothermia.

In the palace, historians have crafted a display from photographs, papers, and wax figures to illustrate what took place that day, as well as the subsequent investigation. Many details of the killing remain murky even to this day.

The Palace’s Post-Revolutionary History

Following the Bolshevik Revolution, the education ministry of the newly formed Soviet Union appropriated the building but kept most of the original interior. Currently, in addition to the museum, the building hosts theater performances and classical music concerts in the palace’s theater and its white-columned great hall.

Breathtaking Architecture

In addition to the building’s spellbinding history, its architecture alone is well worth the price of a ticket. On its exterior, its imposing white columns and frieze contrast with its golden-yellow walls, creating a sense of immensity and depth.

Inside, white columns repeat its classical motif. A colonnade of lights extends throughout the interior halls. Decorative molding, ceiling murals, and gilded chandeliers give texture and sparkle to the palace interior.

A sweeping staircase of Carrera marble which once stood in an Italian residence creates a dramatic focal point. As the story goes, while on holiday in Italy, Boris Yusupov saw the staircase in his host’s home. Though Yusupov offered a huge sum for the feature, the owner balked. Undeterred, Yusupov bought the entire home, transporting only the staircase back to his palace in St. Petersburg. There it stands until this day.


The Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg

23 May

The History of the Mariinsky Theatre

Located in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Mariinsky Theatre is world renowned for the variety of great artists it has provided to the world for centuries. The Mariinsky Theatre is a historic theatre of ballet and opera. It holds the title of the first musical theatre in Russia and continues to develop the great traditions of Russian music.

This articulate structure is built to enhance and maximize the beauty of the artists who perform here. A few artists who have taken the stage include: Fyodor Chaliapin and Anna Pavlova. The Mariinsky Theatre has also witnessed several talents develop in creative theatre directors, such as Alexander Golovin.

After a fire destroyed the Circus Theatre in 1859, which originally stood on the same ground, the construction of the Mariinsky Theatre began. The project was overseen by Alberto Cavos, who originally built the Circus Theatre as well. Cavos named the new theatre in honor of the wife of Alexander II, Empress Maria Alexandrovna.

The production A Life for the Tsar performed as the opening show for the first theatre season, on October 2, 1860. The show was presented under the lead of Konstantin Lyadov, a Russian Opera Company conductor.

Since its original construction, the Mariinsky Theatre has seen several more renovations and name changes. In 1885, the theatre added a wing consisting of three-stories for multipurpose use, such as: rehearsal rooms and an electricity substation. In 1894, concrete and steel replaced the original wooden rafters and they enlarged the audience foyers. After a few name changes, the Mariinsky Theatre was restored back to its name on January 16, 1992.

Music and Ballet at the Mariinsky Theatre

In 1783, it a decree established that a theatre committee was “to direct plays and music,” as stated by the decree of Empress Catherine II. Since that time, several astounding singers and ballet dancers have performed on this stage. During its lifetime, the theatre has harbored both renowned artists, as well as emerging artists.


After their performance for many years at the Bolshoi Theatre, ballets transferred to continue performance at the Mariinsky Theatre in 1886. The ballet history at the Mariinsky Theatre remains closely linked with the European choreographic art history.

After a long period of isolation, the Mariinsky Theatre renewed contact with several international choreographers, in the 1970s and 1980s. Since this time, the theatre has continued to collaborate with several leaders in the field of world choreography.


After Konstantin Lyadov, the Principal Conductor of the Mariinsky Theatre led the theatre, Eduard Nápravník arrived in 1863 and took his place. He came to lead a fruitful period in the history of music at the Mariinsky Theatre. The 50 years Nápravník spent at the theatre is known as one of the most influential time periods for the opera in Russian music history.

The Mariinsky Theatre is home to the Mariinksy Orchestra, one of the oldest orchestras in Russia. The Mariinsky Orchestra played a role in the first Russian performances of European ballets and operas, and several roles in countless Russian premieres. The orchestra continues to thrive, named as one of the top twenty orchestras in the world in 2008.

The Mariinsky Chorus is best known for its rich history, including impactful events and its close links with the development of Russian music. Regularly appearing at international festivals and performing in several world premieres, the Mariinsky Chorus possesses a rich and powerful sound. Recently, the Mariinsky Chorus won one of its most prestigious prizes, the ICMA 2011 award “For the Best Work by a Chorus.”

The Theatre’s Role in the Musical World

The Mariinsky Theatre has, and continues to, harbor well-known and emerging artists in a variety of different arts – from ballet, to opera to the Mariinsky Chorus. With its image being upheld both in Russia and around the world, the theatre continues to influence artists globally. Several masters of the arts have received their premieres on this stage.

Eliseyev Emporium in St. Petersburg, Russia

19 Feb
St. Petersburg, Eliseyev Store

This gallery contains 18 photos.

     Enjoy Eliseyev Emporium during your visit to St. Petersburg Eliseyev Store or Yeliseevsky Gastronom is the most famous and oldest Russian food hall in St. Petersburg.  It is located in the heart of St. Petersburg along Nevsky Prospect in the beautiful  Art Nouveau building of the early 20th century. The building is designed […]