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Q&A


By Ilona Kauremszky


Q: We are planning a Baltic cruise that starts in Copenhagen and stops in Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburgh, Tallinn and Berlin. What type of weather and how rough are the seas from June until September?

A: A member of the Cruising Association and a retired meteorologist Frank Singleton indicates that as far as a general weather pattern, there is no such thing as a typical summer in the Baltic.

"Much depends upon the behavior of the Azores High. When this extends far enough toward Northern Europe then long fairly settled periods can occur," reports Mr. Singleton in the Millennium Cruise to the Baltic. In terms of tides, waves and swells, Mr. Singleton says, "the Baltic has virtually no rise and fall of tide, but if there are strong winds expect relatively short lived swells."

During summer, the westerly winds prevail where sea breezes are common and usually develop around midday. Since your planned trip will occur during the summer months, the average temperature in this region is 19-26 Celsius. I recommend you pack a lightweight coat and dress in layers.

The cities you have outlined are typical stops for a Baltic cruise and tend to attract people with a strong interest in history and culture. If your highlight is St. Petersburg, research cruises that offer two full days in port for this city often known as "The Venice of the North." St. Petersburg's myriad of bridges - there are some 360 of them - crossing the many waterways, canals and the mighty Neva river, makes it a fascinating tour. Be sure to visit St. Isaac's Cathedral, one of the world's largest domed structures and the Bronze Horseman Statue, commissioned in 1782 by Catherine the Great in honour of the city's founder, Peter the Great. Another must-see is a visit to the recently restored Hermitage.

When I contacted an agent at Norwegian Cruise Lines, which offers a 12 day Baltic cruise, the cruise agent indicated the captain as on all cruise liners always intends to avoid bad weather and rough waters. For reservation information, contact your travel agent or call Norwegian Cruise Lines at 1.800.327.7030

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