The Northern Europe Adventure


A year ago we met Nancy, the sister of a long time business acquaintance. We found a shared interest in travel. Specifically, Nancy makes her living in the travel industry. She suggested that we consider a trip consolidator who she knew, “Travels with Alan”. So Bill subscribed to Alan’s newsletter.

Alan writes well and all the trips that he describes seem exciting. What he also does well is put together extended cruise trips each consisting of several legs of a cruise line’s itinerary. He pairs this with custom shore excursions at most ports. His prices are good. When Bill got the description of the Northern European cruise on a Holland-American ship, we were talking about our next vacation. It seemed like a fit.

In addition to cost, there were several advantages to using Alan’s services. First, there is the personal attention; Alan and his assistants, NanSea and Bryan, lead the trip and organized much of the details. Second, there were almost 300 people in Alan’s group; since we took excursions and attended other events with these same people, it gave us a chance to get to know some of them. Alan’s group of 300 was a modest subset of the 2,000+ people on the ms Eurodam.

The Itinerary

(1) Amsterdam to Newcastle upon Tyne, England,
(2) to Edinburgh, Scotland,
(3) to Invergordon, Scotland,
(4) to Ålesund, Norway,
(5) to Geiranger, Norway,
(6) to Flåm, Norway,
(7) to Bergen, Norway,
(8) to Kristiansand, Norway,
(9) to Oslo, Norway,
(10) to Copenhagen, Denmark,
(11) to Tallinn, Estonia,
(12) to St. Petersburg, Russia,
(13) to Helsinki, Finland,
(14) to Stockholm, Sweden,
(15) to Warnemünde, Germany,
(16) to Copenhagen, Denmark

Page Links

the North Sea

Amsterdam Amsterdam,Netherlands - May 31 and June 2, 2012
England England - Roman Ruins - June 4, 2012
Scotland Scotland Edinburgh Castle and Lock Ness - June 5 & 6
Norway Norway - June 8 through June 13

the Baltic Sea and the Bay of Finland

Estonia Tallinn, Estonia - June 16
RussiaSt Petersburg,Russia - June 17 & June 18
FinlandHelsinki,Finland - June 19
Sweden Stockholm,Sweden - June 20
Germany Warnemünde,Germany - June 22 & June 23

Things that you might not know about the Baltic Sea:

  • The Baltic Sea is brackish - more fresh water than salt water. Water flows from the Baltic Sea into the salty North Sea through a few relatively small outlets. However, there is some occasional back-flow from the North Sea. Since salt water is heavier than fresh water, the surface water of the Baltic Sea is generally fresh.
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  • The Baltic Sea basin is rising after having been depressed by the weight of ice during the ice age. This is called “post-glacial rebound”. Thus the Baltic Sea is becoming shallower and in some places, such as Finland, the sea floor is becoming dry land. While post-glacial rebound affects a number of places throughout the world, such as the Great Lakes in America, the rebound is especially dramatic in the Baltic area, especially along the Finnish and Swedish coasts. The Finnish coast is rebounding about 8 mm per year.
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  • There is a good deal of disagreement about the boundaries of the Baltic Sea. Some geographers include the Gulf of Finland, the Gulf of Bothnia, and the Kattegat. Some geographers do not.
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  • In most Germanic/Scandinavian languages, except English, the Baltic is referred to as the “East Sea”, e.g. Ostsee.

Other Stuff

Bill's ship log - another view of the same trip