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Deaf Cruise Scandinavia
June 15-27, 2006

Our wonderful Scandinavia cruise itinerary was appealing to 29 deaf clients originating from different parts of the US. The majority of our group booked a pre-cruise hotel package that allowed us to discover Amsterdam before embarking the ship. We stayed at the NH Grand Krasnapolsky, a 5-star hotel in the historic center of Amsterdam. After our arrival, we took the streetcar and went to the deaf club. Gijs Bruggemanne provided information about the history of the deaf club and explained what it is like to live as a deaf citizen in Amsterdam. The next day, we did a nice walking tour that brought us to the Anne Frank House and included a Grachtentour, a boat tour on Amsterdam's canals.

Our first port of call was Copenhagen, Denmark. Most of us booked a sightseeing tour of Copenhagen including the visit of Dragor Village. Dragor Village is a cozy village with yellow painted houses, red roofs, cobblestone streets and a charming harbor front. After a nice stroll through Dragor, we went back to Copenhagen - the capital city. We saw the city's main highlights including the Town Hall Square, Tivoli Gardens, the New Carlsberg Glyptoteque, the National Museum, the Christinasborg Palace, home of the Danish parliament, the old Stock Exchange and the residence of the Royal Family - Amalienborg Palace.

We started our bus tour in Stockholm (Sweden) with a panoramic view of the city. Then, we drove down hill to get to the medieval Old Town, passing the Royal Palace over-looking Stockholm's inner harbor. One of the highlights during this tour was the visit of the Swedish warship Vasa. The present museum was built around the 17th century warship, which sank in Stockholm's inner harbor on her maiden voyage in 1628; its discovery was in 1956 and salvage in 1961.

Lutheran Cathedreal Helsinki
Lutheran Cathedreal Helsinki
After our arrival in Helsinki (Finland) we drove along the Helsinki Shipyard before we reached the city. We passed Embassy Park and the colorful open-air market before we arrived in the neoclassical Senate Square with the domed Lutheran Cathedral. We stopped at Temppeliaukio, one of Europe's most unusual modern churches. Caved out of solid rock, and topped with a copper dome, the Rock Church is a Helsinki landmark. The tour took us to Sibelius Park where we photographed the unique stainless steel monument erected for the Finish composer Jean Sibelius.

Few cities can offer so many stunning attractions as St. Petersburg - City of the Tsars. We stayed in St. Petersburg during the famous White Nights where the sun not realy sets and still we did not have enough time to discover all the sights of this world famous place. Created by Peter the Great in 1703 to be his "window on Europe", St Petersburg combines its fascinating Russian heritage with a strong European influence. We started the day with the visit of the Hermitage Museum. This world famous collection of art was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great as a private court museum. Today, it is the most remarkable collection of art in the world. More than 3 million objects of unparalleled importance belong to the museum today. Afterwards, we had a typical Russian lunch. We continued with a city tour and saw attractions like the Academy of Arts, the University, the Rostral Columns and the Church of Our Savior of the Spilled Blood. We proceeded past the Peter and Paul Fortress, the Winter Palace, and the Palace Square. The second day in St. Petersburg was scheduled for a River & Canals tour. We traveled on the Neva river. After getting back to the coach, we went to the Peter & Paul Fortress - the birthplace of the city located on one of the islands in the delta.

Hermitage, St. Petersburg
Hermitage, St. Petersburg
Orthodox Church of St. Alexander Nevski
Orthodox Church of St. Alexander Nevski
Before we visited the picturesque historic center of Tallinn (Estonia), we stopped in Kadriorg Park, the main recreation area of Tallinn and the Song Festival Grounds. The festivals are held every 5 years with up to 30.000 performers and 300.000 spectators. Approaching Tallinn's Old Town, ancient walls and tower gates can be seen. We disembarked the coach for a nice walk up Toompea Hill to Palace Square. There, we visited the Russian Orthodox Church of St. Alexander Nevski. A visit was also made to the famous 13th-century Dome Church also known as St. Mary's Cathedral. We finished our tour with a wonderful panoramic view of the Lower Town with its towers and steeples rising above the cluster of red-tiled roofs.

Our last port of call was Oslo (Norway). During our "Norwegian Adventure" tour we had the opportunity to trace the history of these hardy adventurers and learn of Norway's maritime heritage. We saw three authentic Viking long ships at the Viking Ship Museum, as well as items dating from 800 AD that were unearthed during 19th century excavations. Next stop was the Kon-Tiki Museum. It is home of the balsa raft used by the modern-day adventurer Thor Heyerdahl to cross the Pacific from Peru to Polynesia in 1947.
Some brave ladies in our group participated in the Talent Show aboard the ship the last night of the cruise. They signed a wonderful show that was rewarded by the audience with a lot of applause.

Thank You Card
Appreciation letter from my clients

Contact Kerstin's Travel to book your next cruise by sending an e-mail to kerstin@kerstinstravel.com

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