30th November 2016
Cruising through the Baltics: Jessica & Kyle
From St Petersburg, Russia to Estonia’s Old Town in Tallinn, Jessica Cardona Zahra and Kyle Cardona visited seven capital cities in 12 days on board the Regal Princess.
Two months after tying the knot last June, Jessica and Kyle, both 27, flew out to Copenhagen for a honeymoon cruise spanning 12 days and seven countries, and an additional three days exploring Denmark’s capital on land. From breath-taking views to adrenaline-fuelled theme park rides, the couple enjoyed a little bit of everything on their two week trip last August, booked through the Cruise & Travel Group, including getting lost for miles while cycling through the streets of Copenhagen.
“We managed to get lost on the first day of our honeymoon with rented bicycles,” says Kyle. “We had spent roughly seven hours cycling – which is something we hadn’t done since we were kids – in cold, wet and windy weather, without much of a clue as to where we were, and where we were going. Although we were a bit uneasy about it at the time, we now look back on that first day and laugh.”
This didn’t, however, deter them from enjoying every minute of their first trip as newlyweds, despite spending much of the rest of their holiday with sore and achy muscles from an unexpectedly long day of cycling. They departed Copenhagen for Oslo, Norway, where they visited a number of museums and world famous sites, including the Fram Museum and Norwegian Folk Museum.
“The Fram Museum, which tells the story of Norwegian polar exploration, was particularly interesting, but the site we probably enjoyed most from this stop was a visit to the observation deck at the top of the Holmenkollen ski jumping hill – the view from that point was incredible,” they say.
They continued on to Berlin, Germany followed by Tallinn, Estonia on board the lavish Regal Princess, which forms part of the Princess Cruises fleet. During days and nights at sea, Kyle and Jessica enjoyed a number of the ship’s luxuries, such as themed dinners complete with traditional fare from the different countries on their itinerary, a wine tasting event and various entertaining shows ranging from tribute bands and musicals to folk performances.
During their stop in Russia, Kyle and Jessica visited a number of the best sites that St Petersburg has to offer, one of them being the Catherine Palace, named after Catherine I, the wife of Peter the Great. With its striking blue and white façades and sculptures gilded in gold, they say that the magnificence and size of the site was simply amazing.
“The Grand Palace at Peterhof was also incredible – with lots of gold gilding on the inside and enormous landscaped gardens all around. The sites we visited in Russia were among the most unforgettable,” they explain.
The couple continued on to Helsinki, Finland, where they stopped to observe various marvels such as the Sibelius Monument, made entirely out of empty welded steel cylinders, before heading on to Sweden, their last stop before returning to Copenhagen. In Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, they attempted the SkyView, a popular attraction that takes visitors to the top of the world’s largest spherical building, the Ericsson Globe.
“We also visited the Ice Bar, which was a cool experience but way too cold – the jacket they supply you with to enter the bar does more to protect the ice than to keep you warm. I doubt we lasted longer than 20 minutes in there!”
Kyle considers a visit to Tallinn’s Old Town, or historic centre, to be one of the highlights of the trip. “Everything there was so picturesque it was like walking through a large museum, but we also very much enjoyed the one day out at sea when the sun came out. That day, we got to enjoy a number of the ship’s outdoor activities, although there were too many to fit in.” The couple also enjoyed a number of Tivoli’s many attractions during their last day in Copenhagen at the end of their trip. With its lush gardens and various themed rides and amusements, it made for the perfect ending to their unforgettable honeymoon experience.