Baltic Shore Excursions: Doing Berlin Justice With Pre- And Post-Cruise Stayovers

Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate: It once separated East Berlin from West Berlin. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

A friend of mine recently referred to Berlin as Europe’s most eclectic city. Certainly, it is hard to think of another European city that was as divided as Berlin — and with the United States, Great Britain, France and Russia controlling the various sectors. All have left their influences as have the great tragedies that this great city endured.

Berlin Wall

Outdoor Art? In 2009, artists repainted the longest remaining section of the Berlin Wall. Known as the East Side Gallery, the exhibit snakes along the bank of the Spree River for about 1.3 kilometers. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

When cruise ships call on Rostock & Warnemunde, cruise passengers often have the opportunity to visit Berlin. It makes for a long day, as the transit alone will take up to three hours each way.

I recommend that you consider instead staying two or three nights (at least) in Berlin before or after your Baltic cruises.

As I wrote in Back In Berlin, the city is relatively inexpensive, there’s abundant history, inspiring architecture, wonderful restaurants, efficient public transport (the cost from the airport to the city center by public transport is less than US$3) — and typically for less than US$100, you can travel between Berlin and Stockholm or Copenhagen, where many cruise ships depart to explore the Baltic Sea.

Berliner Dom

Berliner Dom at dusk. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

The perfect itinerary: Fly from North America to Berlin, stay two to three nights (visit Dresden is possible), then fly to Copenhagen or Stockholm, where your Baltic cruise is likely to begin, stay two nights in the embarkation city and two nights in the disembarkation city. This makes for a long, but enjoyable, trip. Don’t have that much vacation time? Tell me about it. See Epiphany In Sweden & The (Im)Balance Of Life & Work In America.

Beefeater In Berlin

Honoring the former English sector in Berlin? The Avid Cruiser with a Beefeater at the Ritz-Carlton Berlin. Beefeaters serve as ceremonial guards at the Tower of London. What’s he doing in Berlin? Having a relaxed, good time, just as you should. © 2013 Monica Frisk