Costa Cruises' Costa Luminosa made its maiden call at Stockholm, Sweden, on May 15 as it repositioned to the Baltic Sea for the summer on a new seven-day itinerary. The ship will cruise a series of 15 "Jewels of the Baltic" voyages through mid August, visiting four Baltic cities.
The ship's arrival in Stockholm was celebrated with a ceremony whose participants included Elena Basile, Italian Ambassador to Sweden, Stefan Hansson, chairman of the board of ports of Stockholm, Thomas Andersson, CEO Stockholm Visitors Board, Henrik Ahlqvist, manager cruise and ferry and deputy harbor master, and Andrea Tavella, sales and marketing director North Europe of Costa Cruises.
The one-week itinerary departs from Stockholm, with a one-day and one-night stopover. From there the Costa Luminosa will continue to Helsinki (Finland); then two days and one night in St. Petersburg (Russia); a day call to Tallinn (Estonia); and return with one day and one night again in Stockholm.
Guests from North America can take advantage of reduced fares on Costa Luminosa's departures on May 23; June 6, 20 and 27; July 11 and 25; and August 1 and 8. Rates start at $499 for inside cabins and $799 on balcony cabins. Fares are per person, double occupancy.
In Stockholm, guests can choose from among a wide choice of excursions: a boat trip to the 14 islands comprising the city; or a bicycle trip in the royal gardens of Djurgården; a visit to the Royal Palace and the old city; a panoramic tour from the 130-metre-tall Sky View; a visit to the Vasa Museum, with the world's only fully preserved seventeenth-century ship; an evening at the Ice Bar; or shopping in the many design shops.
Helsinki (Finland) can be visited by boat or bike. Some of the many places of interest include the Parliament, the National Museum, Finlandia Hall, designed by the famous architect Alvar Aalto, and the new Opera Theatre. From Helsinki guests can discover the old city of Porvoo, with its historic centre and characteristic small wooden houses.
The two-day and one-night call to St. Petersburg will allow guests to visit the Hermitage Museum, the beautiful palaces on the Neva, like the Winter Palace, the Nevsky Prospect, and The Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood. Guests can also attend a classical dance show or take a cruise on the city canals.
Tallinn instead is famous for its medieval historical centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The heart of the capital is also its Town Hall, a Gothic structure dating back to the 1400s, and next to Raeapteek, Europe's oldest municipal pharmacy that's still open for business.