London & Cruising the Baltic

Dec 29, 2016 Avatar Susanne Hamer Susanne Hamer

This journey began with a flight from LAX on Air New Zealand to London in premium economy class. This is one of the best flights I’ve been on, and the premium economy looked like a business class cabin.

I stayed in London for three nights and experienced two different hotels.

My first night was at the Berkeley hotel, which had just been remodeled and was fantastic. It is very close to Harrod’s and in a great area for shopping and restaurants. This area can be very crowded or busy with shoppers.

The second stay for two nights was at the Café Royal, which is on a side street and not as easy to find. Not being on a major thoroughfare had it’s downside:

One day it rained and it was impossible to access a taxi! The doorman needed to go out into traffic to hail one.

This hotel had also recently been remodeled and was much too modern and masculine for my personal taste. The breakfast service was slow and quite disorganized.

London is a very walkable city and it is easy to find all the major cities and attractions with public transportation. You may want to consider purchasing a day pass ahead of time, which will give you access to most museums as well.

If you have never been to London, I would highly recommend a private guide and tour it will be much easier and you skip the lines as well as optimize your sightseeing time.

From London I flew to Copenhagen and stayed for one night in a small, well-known 4-star hotel, The Kong Arthur, before joining my cruise. The hotel was in a nice neighborhood and not too far from the port.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises exceeded all of my expectations. The Voyager is a smaller cruise ship that accommodate a maximum of 700 passengers. It is all-inclusive, and most of the shore excursions are included in the price. To avoid disappointment, I recommend shore excursions to be booked in advance, especially for St. Petersburg.
The 10-night cruise started in Copenhagen and ended in Stockholm, visiting Lithuania, Latvia, Finland and Estonia, with 3 days in St. Petersburg which, in my opinion, was the highlight of the itinerary.

The staff on the cruise was amazing, nothing was too much for them and in the main restaurant they even made a special dish for me when I did not like what was on the menu!

You can dine at your convenience and with whom you wish. They also have specialty restaurants and again I would recommend advance reservations for these.I spent the last night in Stockholm at the Sheraton which was just a 5-minute walk outside of the Old Town.