I was spending time in Stockholm when I pulled out my map to define where in the world I was. I noted that Finland was just across the Baltic Sea and set my sights on trying to find a way there. From the east coast of Sweden I found two cruise lines (Viking and Tallink) that would take me on a voyage across the Baltic Sea. I bought a ticket and took my first cruise to Helsinki, Finland. After some days in Helsinki, I took another cruise from Helsinki to Tallinn, Estonia. I then took two cruises to reverse the entire route, spent more time in Stockholm; and then sailed back across the sea to Riga, Latvia.
The cruises were an affordable luxury since the cost of passage was only slightly more than a decent hotel room and the price included my own cabin. The facilities, food choices, and entertainment options were on par with any cruises I have been on from the United States. Many passengers seemed to be onboard merely for the tax-free shopping. They had small hand-trucks which they loaded up with chocolates and perfume, but mostly with alcohol.
During my trips (six total), I soaked in hot tubs, sweated in saunas, tried my luck at a casino, and caught some great zzz’s. I twice had a fantastic champagne-included breakfast consisting of an impossible variance of European delicacies to sample, all while cruising past hours of beautiful views. Consider adding a cruise across the Baltic Sea to your bucket list.