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Deaf Scandinavia Cruise

May 3-16, 2015



Amsterdam

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Some guests in our group decided to arrive in Amsterdam a few days prior to the cruise. One of the days, we joined a guided city tour in the Old Town area. We had fun exploring the capital of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and learning a lot of interesting facts and anecdotes of this bustling city. The Grachten and old but well preserved houses provide a charming ambience. Some of us added a visit of the Anne Frank House.

The next day, we joined a bus tour traveling outside of the city going to Zaanse Schans, an open-air museum displaying windmills and Volendam, an old fishing village with its authentic Dutch character. The inhabitants are still seen in their traditional clothing. Amsterdam

Zaanse Schans, The Netherlands
Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany

Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany
Click on the pictures to watch the video
Video Source: Joe Sapienza

Our ship, the Celebrity Silhouette departed Amsterdam later in the afternoon setting sails for Warnemuende, Germany. Most guests in our group joined a bus tour visiting the German capital, Berlin. After a bus ride of several hours via the Autobahn, we arrived in Berlin. A guided city tour took us to famous sights like the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, the remnants of the Berlin Wall, and the Gendarmenmarkt Square. After the sightseeing tour, we had some free time before we returned to the port in the evening.

After a day at sea, we arrived in the capital of Estonia, Tallinn. The first part of our tour was a trip outside of the city going to the countryside. We drove to the Esko family farm. The family raises more than 200 cows to produce cheeses and curds sold in the city. We had an opportunity during our visit to taste some of the fresh farm products. The second half of the tour was a guided tour in the Old Town of Tallinn. Here we experience the Middle Ages while walking past the ancient homes and churches of the Old Town. At the end, we had some free time for shopping and could make our own way back to the port since the port is in walking distance from the Old Town.
Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia
Click on the pictures to watch the video
Video Source: Joe Sapienza



Birthday and anniversary celebrations

Hermitage St. Petersburg

Hermitage St. Petersburg, Russia
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Video Source: Joe Sapienza
We spent the next two days in St. Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city after Moscow. The historic center of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site including the famous Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world. Our tour on the first day focused on the city. We visited the opulent St. Isaac's Cathedral and the Hermitage where we marveled at some of the more than three million artworks and artifacts. During the bus tour, we saw the "onion-domed" church Spilled Blood Cathedral and the Aurora battleship.

Lunch

Lunch at a local restaurant
The all-day tour also included a delicious lunch in a local restaurant in St. Petersburg.

The second day in St. Petersburg was reserved for a tour to Pushkin and Peterhof, suburbs Of St. Petersburg with magnificent palaces. After a bus ride of more than an hour, we arrived at the jaw-dropping Catherine Palace in Pushkin. A guided tour took us through lavish rooms including the Grand Throne Room and the Blue Drawing Room. Then, we walked through the Imperial Estate Tsarskoye Selo before leaving for lunch.

Catherine Palace in Pushkin

Catherine Palace in Pushkin
Click on the pictures to watch the video
Video Source: Joe Sapienza


In the afternoon, we visited Peterhof Palace built in the 1700s for Peter the Great. The palace and estate with its beautiful gardens is sometimes referred as the "Russian Versailles".

Peterhof Palace

Peterhof Palace
Helsinki

Helsinki, Finland
Click on the pictures to watch the video
Video Source: Joe Sapienza

Helsinki, the capital of Finland was our next port of call. While driving through Helsinki, we saw many well-known sights including the Rock Church, Embassy Park, and the Presidential Palace. Then we left the city and headed for Porovo, a charming old Finnish town. The town dates back to 1346. We walked down cobblestone streets and passed old wooden buildings. Lunch was served at the historic Kiala Manor, one of Finland's largest farms.



More birthday and anniversary celebrations


Next we visited Stockholm, the Swedish capital spread across 14 islands and often called the "Venice of the North". 57 bridges connect the city's neighborhoods and each has its own distinct character. A highlight of our tour was the visit of the Vasa Museum. The battle ship Vasa sank on her maiden voyage in the 1600's. It was raised and restored in 1961 and can now be seen in the museum. Vasa Museum

Vasa Museum in Stockholm
Click on the pictures to watch the video
Video Source: Joe Sapienza
Posing with Christian Anderson

Posing with Christian Anderson
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Video Source: Joe Sapienza

Getting off the ship in Frederica, Denmark was an opportunity to join a tour and follow the footsteps of the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. We drove to Andersen's childhood home and visited the museum that is devoted to the author. Andersen's childhood house is a humble abode where Andersen's beloved childhood mementos can be seen. At the museum, we had a guided tour and learned a lot about Andersen's life. Andersen is best known for his fairytales like "The Emperor's New Clothes", "The Little Mermaid", "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Princess and the Pea".


In the port of Copenhagen, Denmark we joined a city tour and later discover the quiet farming village of Dragor. During our bus tour, we saw the well-known sights of the city like Tivoli Gardens and Amalienborg Palace, home of the Royal Family. A short drive to the island of Amager took us to Dragor, first settled by farmers in the 16th century. At that time, the farmers produced food for the Royal household. A guided tour took us along the cobblestone streets of this sleepy little village. We had time to enjoy a complimentary cup of coffee at a local cafe.
After a day at sea, our cruise ended in Amsterdam.
Dragor Village

Taking a stroll in Dragor Village
Click on the pictures to watch the video
Video Source: Joe Sapienza


Group Picture

Group Picture


Thank you note



What our clients said after the tour:

Hi
I really enjoyed my Scandinavian cruise. The interpreters did a great job. You did an amazing job organizing all the details. The group dinner at Qsine and photo was cool. Karen

Hello,
I want to say thank you for your contribution to make this vacation memorable. You were able to make things work out to our satisfaction. Adam

Kerstin,
THANKS BUNCHES FOR EVERYTHING! Will be glad to pass word on to friends about your cruises!! :) MARJORIE


Fundraising Poster

We would like to thank the following people for their donation:
  • Marjorie Hyatt
  • Lisa Smith
  • Cynthia Sadoski
  • Melvin & Patrice Creamer
  • Carl & Charlene Anderson
  • William & Judy Cansdale
  • Joanna Karp
  • Carol Munzinger
  • Darryl & Vickie Justice
  • Peter & Nancy Kensicki

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



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