Baltic Sea Cruise 12 Days

Including Copenhagen, Oslo, Berlin, Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm

A magnificent cruise in the Baltic Sea, 
on the luxury cruise liner Sky Princess.
Includes kosher supervisor during the cruise!
Due to Covid-19 all our cruises tours for 2020 won’t be operated. During August 2020, we will publish our 2021 cruises tours dates & prices.
Sail through a beautiful, unique area of the world, combining recreation and fun along with fascinating tours in the Baltic countries.

Have you ever heard of the youngest sea in the world? A charming sea that was born just recently? Well, to be more exact … the last ice age, something like 10,000 years back … young? “Relatively young,” the experts tell us, that’s when another fascinating area was created on our planet.
The Baltic Sea – the young one – covers an area of 420,000 sq.m. and contains no less than 100,000 islands! There are nine countries surrounding it, and we’ll cruise among them to visit the major cities in seven out of the nine: Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Norway and Denmark. Cruising the Baltic Sea, and in particular the cruise that we at Shai Bar-Ilan have planned for you, begins in Copenhagen. This gives us an experience-inspiring entry into the Baltic Sea, where we will slowly discover the spectacular scenery of Northern Europe. Something that is possible only on a cruise.
To maximize all of these delights, we have chosen to cruise the Baltic Sea in the midst of summer, when long days allow us incredible delight, not only viewing the scenery that adorns our journey, but also the tours in the charming cities and towns that we will visit, their beaches aside which we will drop anchor, and their streets along which we will stroll.
Sailing on the Baltic Sea is no ordinary cruise. This cruise brings us to a wealth of cultural sites, historical cities and recreation in European countries that are not usually found in routine itineraries. In our tours, we will not only hear about and visit the interesting geography, and the uniqueness of each of the cities, but also about significant and fascinating historical periods. All of these, on a 5-star cruise on the luxury cruise liner SKY PRINCESS.

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ITINERARY

We set sail at 6 p.m. so remember to be on deck when we bid farewell to Copenhagen.
The luxury cruise liner SKY PRINCESS was launched in October 2019, weighing 141,000 tons, and having a capacity for 3600 passengers. Other features include:
* 19 floors
* Restaurants and lounges with wrap-around panoramic windows
* Elegant boutique
* Relaxing lotus spa
* Theater
* Bar complex
* Shows are upgraded and designed
* Spacious and elegant staterooms with refrigerator, TV, closet, bathroom with shower

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We will visit Vigeland Park, the largest in town. The park has 212 bronze and granite sculptures that look like real people and inspire a desire to touch them. After the visit we will return to the ship.

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Today too, we’ll be able to enjoy lectures, movies, shows and entertainment in the ships numerous theaters and entertainment centers. How about some Baccarat in the Casino? Or some duty free shopping? An Art auction, maybe? The Spa? Or simply relaxing on deck with a cocktail? Hmmm…

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Historical sites and buildings from different periods, intertwine here wit futuristic buildings, skyscrapers, luxurious shopping centers and a vibrant atmosphere, all of course, with tens of thousands of tourists flocking to it. We’ll see the Brandenburg Gate, a symbol of the city, next to which lies the Reichstag Building – Germany’s Parliament House. We’ll visit the sombre Holocaust Memorial, which was erected in memory of the six million members of our people and consists of 2,700 concrete blocks of various sizes. From there we’ll continue to the underground museum where the names of the six million members of our people who were murdered during the Holocaust are commemorated. Next on our schedule is a visit to the Jewish museum built in the shape of a broken Star of David. Our last stop on the Jewish tour of Berlin will be the synagogue which has become Berlin’s foremost Judaica center. Then we’ll stop at Checkpoint Charlie, the historic crossing point between the eastern city and the west – the foremost emblem of the Cold War between the US and the USSR. We’ll see the historic Potsdam Square, which is designed in an innovative high-tech style, from where we’ll continue to observe the remains of the famous Berlin Wall – the most prominent sign of forced separation and the Cold War between East and West.

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Today too, we’ll be able to enjoy lectures, movies, shows and entertainment in the ships numerous theaters and entertainment centers. How about some Baccarat in the Casino? Or some duty free shopping? An Art auction, maybe? The Spa? Or simply relaxing on deck with a cocktail? Hmmm…

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Tallinn is a city in the throes of major tourist development and because of its beauty, it is also known as “New Prague”. During its history, Tallinn was occupied by the Danes, the Swedes and the Russians, with the latter ruling it from World War II to 1991 – when Estonia’s parliament declared its independence. We’ll take a tour of the city. We’ll see both parts of the city:  the beautiful, modern part of Tallinn – which still bears the scars of communism; and the ancient part – with the ancient wall with its towers and turrets, small, old red-roofed houses, streets and alleys inlaid with cafés and boutique shops, and its wide and picturesque square. All of these were the reasons for UNESCO to declare it as a “World Heritage Site” in 1997. At the end of the tour, we’ll return to the ship to prepare for Shabbat.

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St. Petersburg served as Russia’s capital during the Tsarist period for 200 years. The city’s name was changed several times – following the October 1905 revolution it became Petrograd, and during the communist regime it was called Leningrad. In 1991 its original name was restored. Today, St. Petersburg is the second largest city (5 million inhabitants) in Russia and, most importantly, it has a central status as a port city that is open to trade with Europe. It is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, known as “Venice of the North” and, accordingly, is also a very romantic city, with magnificent palaces surrounded by spectacular gardens and charming waterways. In addition, it is known as a cultural and global hub. We’ll stroll through many squares with statues and monumental architecture and visit the world’s largest museum – the Hermitage, formerly Russia’s Winter Palace of the Tsars and today one of the world’s largest and most important museums, in line with the Louvre in Paris and the New York Metropolitan. The Hermitage has over 3 million works of art including masterpieces by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Rubens, El Greco, Picasso, Matisse, Van Gogh, Gaugin, Cezanne and more. We’ll continue our tour with a visit to the Aurora Destroyer Museum, the great pride of the Navy and the Russian army during the first half of the 20th century. Construction of the ship was completed in St. Petersburg in 1900, and a few years later it had already participated in the Russian-Japan War. However, the heroic portion of its proud history came on October 25, 1917, when its crew fired a blank shell from the cannon, signaling the beginning of the “October Revolution” – an attack on the Winter Palace, the seat of the Provisional Government, and the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks. After World War II, a ship reconstruction and preservation project was carried out, and later it became a museum and a teaching and training facility for the nearby naval school.

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Helsinki is currently a metropolitan area on several peninsulas – 650,000 inhabitants in Helsinki itself and about 1.2 million residents in the metropolitan area comprising 3 additional cities. Helsinki offers tourists a concentrated dose of beauty, nature, architecture, good food and vibrant nightlife. From being a closed, cold Soviet-style city (Finland declared its independence in 1917), it has become one of the most vibrant cities in the European scene, with designer avenues, boutiques, bustling entertainment areas and a highly developed cafe culture. All of these reflect the development of Finland, which has become one of the economic and cultural powers of Europe. Helsinki is a city where many arts, culture, culinary, sports and other events take place. Among other things, the city has hosted the Olympic Games, the Eurovision Song Contest and more. Incidentally, the largest bookstore in Scandinavia is also in Helsinki. The city won the title of “World Design Capital” for 2012 and is ranked as “Green City” in seventh place in Europe. The essence of Finnish design – a worldview, really – is marked by minimalism, simplicity and nature. Indeed, Helsinki is a city where historic and new buildings, ancient churches and green parks, lakes, seashores, squares and wide boulevards blend in perfectly. We’ll walk to the Senate Square in the heart of the city. Here the buildings tell the story of Helsinki and the Finnish nation – in 1809 Helsinki moved from the Swedish royal house to the Russians, which made it the new capital of Finland. Czar Alexander I invited Prussian architect Karl Ludwig Engel to design the city center, according to the Russian model of St. Petersburg. Thus, in the center of the square, we find a wonderful statue of Czar Alexander II and the great Lutheran Cathedral of Helsinki. The buildings around the square provide a sense of being in Helsinki – but feeling in St. Petersburg. No wonder a lot of movies whose plot has taken place in Russia were actually filmed in Helsinki, including “Red” (1981, Warren Beatty) and “White Nights” (1985, Taylor Heckford). The rock church “Temppeliaukio,” to which we will come later, miraculously combines the principles of Finnish architecture with music. This church was a brilliant idea of two brothers, Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen. It was built in the 1960s from granite boulders, and the space covered the designers with a glass dome decorated with a winding and endless copper coil. This created a space with perfect acoustics. This is one of the most prominent examples of modern architecture in Finland. At the end of the day we’ll bis farewell to Helsinki and return to the ship.

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The city’s population is 1 million and its metropolitan area has about 2 million. Stockholm, founded in the 13th century, has always been an important trading station thanks to its direct access to the Baltic Sea. As early as the 17th century it became the capital of Sweden and despite the battles and exchanges of power for centuries, it developed into a European-economic power center. Stockholm has a huge number of museums, galleries, theaters and concert halls. The city also houses institutions of a global cultural nature, such as the UNESCO (which is responsible for preserving UN heritage sites) or the famous town hall where the Nobel Prizes are awarded each year – which we’ll visit. The ancient part of Stockholm is characterized by beautifully preserved houses. We’ll visit this part of the “Gamla Stan” area built in the Middle Ages, stroll about the ancient buildings, the picturesque stone-paved alleyways and enjoy the charming and distinctive atmosphere. We’ll see the royal palace which also serves as a museum and which also holds national ceremonies, and then continue to visit the island of Djurgården, which in the past was the hunting grounds of the royal house. Today it’s all green and pastoral and pleasant to stroll around. We will visit the Skansen Museum which is located on the island and is the most popular museum in the city. It is the world’s first open museum, offering a glimpse into rural Sweden of yesteryear, through some 150 historic buildings, farms, artisan workshops, churches, windmills and more. These were relocated here from all parts of the country, to demonstrate and preserve everyday life in Sweden from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.

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Today too, we’ll be able to enjoy lectures, movies, shows and entertainment in the ships numerous theaters and entertainment centers. How about some Baccarat in the Casino? Or some duty free shopping? An Art auction, maybe? The Spa? Or simply relaxing on deck with a cocktail? Hmmm…

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Like Stockholm and Helsinki, Copenhagen is also built on several islands. What started here as a small fishing village in the Middle Ages, has over the years become a lively and prosperous city, with beautiful canals, impressive palaces and powerful fortresses, lush gardens and lofty towers. Incidentally, the towers that adorn the Copenhagen skyline (and sometimes even strangely shaped) are a great example of the building styles from the city’s various periods – the Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo. During the tour we will also see the Houses of Parliament, City Hall, Stock Exchange and the longest pedestrian mall leading from the city center to the port area, where we’ll also see the famous mermaid statue. We’ll arrive at the Amalienborg Palace –  the Queen’s residence – and observe the Gefion Fountain, built to honor the Nordic Goddess, which is the largest monument in Copenhagen. The fountain also serves as a wishing well. Our visit to the Baltics has now come to an end. Laden with so many experiences and relaxed from the wonderful cruise we will fly back home.

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PRICES & DATES

DEAPARTURE
RETURN
DAYS
PRICE *
SINGLE ROOM **
FLIGHTS
NOTES
PRINT
02 Aug 20
12 Aug 20
12
$5825
$2995
Excluding

Canceled due to Covid-19

* Price per person in USD double or twin room

** Supplement Price for single room

NEED TO KNOW

Price Includes:

Tips for local service providers
12-day cruise on the SKY PRINCESS – Balcony room
Air-conditioned tourist coach
Entrance to all sites mentioned in the itinerary
Kosher half-board throughout the tour including supplies to make sandwiches for lunch
Kosher full board during the cruise
Professional experienced English-speaking guide
Kashrut and Logistics supervisor on the cruise

Price Excludes:

International flights
Tips for Ship’s staff – $15 per person per day to be paid directly to the ship
Travel, baggage and health insurance
Personal expenses and services
Shows and evening entertainment not included in the above itinerary
Tip for guide (Recommended: $5 per person per day)

Important to Know:

There may be changes to the order of places visited. We will make every effort to visit every place mentioned in the itinerary.
The tour organizers have no control over airline services such as seating, special meal requests, changes in departure times or delays. These remain the sole responsibility of the airline company.

Kashrut on Cruises

The kosher meals on other cruise lines are provided by each Cruise Lines’ kosher meal supplier. All kosher meal suppliers are under recognized rabbinical kashrut supervision.
On board the ship we have our own separated section of the kitchen in which all the kosher meals are prepared. Furthermore, we obtain brand new sets of flatware (meat and milk) for each and every cruise.
Hashgacha aboard ship is performed by our specially trained tour guides, and for large groups, there is a logistics and kashrut supervisor aboard as well.

The meals:

Breakfast is prepared using our utensils. We use local fresh fruits and vegetables, and we use milk products when they are permitted. We use kosher cereals, and bread. We usually serve hard boiled eggs and sometimes scrambled eggs or omelets. At breakfast, we prepare our lunches so that people have their choice as to what they eat for lunch. We bring food from Israel to supplement what is served in the hotel such as cheeses, peanut butter, tuna, etc.
For dinners, we serve either fish or meat (usually chicken) as our main course. In areas where meat is not available nor readily acquired, we will have fish. When possible, we acquire the meat locally from Chabad or other reliable kosher source, and in some cases we fly the meat in from Israel. We try to provide as many meat meals as possible. The main course at dinner is preceded by soup and salad and accompanied by freshly prepared vegetables. Dessert typically consists of fresh fruits.
We do not guarantee Pat Israel and Chalav Israel for all destinations.
In many destinations we have our own dishes and silverware. Where we don’t, we provide disposables at the meals. When we cook in hotel kitchens, we use our own knives, cutting boards, pots and pans, cooking implements and disposable metal trays. All food preparation is done on covered surfaces under the strict supervision of our trained staff/guides who function as our mashgichim.
We make great efforts to assure that our travelers will experience local foods first-hand, while maintaining stringent observance of Kashrut laws on all occasions.
On most of our tours, you will be accompanied by two of our staff members- one a guide for the tour who is knowledgeable about the places you are visiting and will accompany you throughout the day and the second, a person who will deal with the logistics of the tour and provide kashrut supervision in the kitchen.

Hotels:

It is our aim to provide the finest hotel possible in each area we visit. We require our hotels to allow us to work in the kitchen and to supervise the cooking and there are many hotels that are not willing to cooperate. They simply have no desire for us to be “meddling” in their cooking process nor are they happy about our bringing our equipment into their kitchens. We work very hard to find the best hotel in the area that will meet our requirements. Because we are not ready to compromise on kashrut, we may not always be able to use a five star hotel.

Deposit, Cancellation Fees & Policy:

Remarks
Fridays and Saturdays, holidays and holidays in Israel, Sundays and holidays abroad are not counted as a working day count.
If any air tickets are issued or additional services such as a visa are purchased, etc., their prices will be added to the cancellation fees specified above.
In case of change, cancellation or malfunction related to flights, cruise or transportation, the responsibility lies with the airline or transportation company.
There may be changes in the itinerary due to changes in internal flight times and other objective reasons.
The performance of the trip is subject to the conditions and responsibilities as they appear on the website
Passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the date of return

Terms of Payment
Registration fee is $ 500 per person
By June 1, 2020, a further $1500 per person
By September 1, 2020, 100% of the cost of the trip

Terms of cancellation
When canceling for any reason from the time of registration and up to 90 working days before departure, the passenger will be charged $ 97 only
Cancellation for any reason from 89 working days to 30 working days before the trip the passenger will be charged $ 1500 + $ 47
Canceled for any reason from 29 working days to 14 working days before the trip the passenger will be charged $ 2500 + $ 47
If canceled for any reason from 13 working days before the trip until the date of departure the passenger will be charged the full cost of the trip including all the accompanying costs.
* If visas are issued to the countries of destination and / or flights, the prices will be added to the specified cancellation fees.

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