Thankfully, cruises have shed their elitist image and are no longer considered to be holidays only taken by the rich and famous. In recent years, cruises have become very competitively priced in the holiday market, and whereas as one time, many families would take two holidays a year, many are now opting to take one more luxurious one, and you get much more luxurious than a cruise ship.

One of the many pluses of cruising is the opportunity to see several countries on one trip, and experience a great variety and diversity in cultures and lifestyles. As with all holidays, the further in advance you can book the better, and a simple internet search will bring up a plethora of results where there are many great cruise offers to be had for the discerning traveller.

By a large margin, cruises to the Caribbean and around the Mediterranean have been the most popular options for the British traveller, but there has been a huge surge in popularity in recent times for Baltic cruises. These can be taken so you take in solely the Baltic countries, or combined with a Mediterranean cruise so you can take in the best of both worlds and see what both Eastern and Western Europe has to offer.

With the great British climate being what it is, it seems that the British mentality has always been to head south to the sun, and as the Baltic countries are in the north they were largely overlooked as tourist destinations. As the bureaucracy which used to divide Europe had now dissipated, countries such as Poland, Russia and Estonia have been discovered to be great holiday destinations, and business is booming.

These little known countries which were once only mentioned in the Media and rarely visited now have thriving tourist industries, and taking a Baltic cruise gives you the opportunity of experiencing exactly what these countries have to offer. With English being widely spoken there are very few language problems when in port, and any currency issues are easily overcome thanks to travellers cheques and credit cards.

Another big plus for the Baltic countries is that the ports are very close to the main attractions, so even on a short stop you still get to see plenty of sights. When you disembark in Tallinn, Estonia you have only a short walk into the city centre, and in Oslo, Sweden, the port is practically in the city centre.

There are many websites that specialise is Baltic cruises, and it is well worth checking them out to compare their itineraries and see which route they will take. Eastern Europe was for a long time a complete mystery to those in the west, and it is great to see that the rest of our continent is now accessible to all, and we can all experience the delights of these fascinating countries.

If you fancy taking a cruise, you can do a lot worse that taking one around the Baltic countries, the photo opportunities are endless and the opportunity to experience these countries first hand is priceless.

Article published on behalf of Norwegian Cruise Line