Part 1 of our Baltic cruise covered Stockholm, Finland, and Estonia. The cruise is called Viking Homelands, and many of the places we visited were founded as Viking trading ports. Now some highlights of the rest of our journey.
St. Petersburg, Russia was the easternmost stop of our voyage, and it's a city with more than its share of glamour and drama. It was founded in 1703 by Czar Peter the Great as his "window on the west." At the time, the country was largely landlocked (Archangel, the only other port in European Russia, is far north on the White Sea and frozen for a good part of the year.)
Peter wanted to make his country modern and European, so he toured the great capitals of Europe for inspiration. Built at the mouth of the Neva River, the marshiness of the area led to numerous canals as well as grand boulevards, elegant palaces, and splendid churches with characteristic Russian onion domes.