Kiel Canal Sights

Kiel Canal

Entering Brunsbuttel Lock in the Kiel Canal

Though I’ve transited the Kiel Canal several times, the 61-mile long fresh water channel never ceases to amaze me. In rain or in sunshine, the view has always been beautiful. The countryside landscape unfolding in every ship’s turn along the narrow channel are always stunning. Navigating on a place like this, fellow sailors make sure you have your camera at hand – the amazing sights happen anytime.

Recently, I transited the canal once again. If haze was obstructing the view during those two previous transits, that recent transit was amazing – the weather was perfectly perfect for another remarkable canal cruising. We entered the first lock in the morning and by late afternoon, we were out from the canal.

To share some views in the Kiel Canal, here are some of the most notable and not to be missed Kiel Canal scenes. [Read more…]

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Exploring Old Town of Riga

Riga Cathedral

It’s not the ship’s first visit in Riga as the ship had already made several calls to this port in the past. It may not be the first visit for the ship, but for me, it certainly was my very first – my first time to explore Riga on foot and see some of the city highlights.
The sights of Riga are not those typical sights very common in modern day cities because what Riga has are those sights from hundreds of years ago. From medieval churches and castles in the Old Town to many other structures built in later periods, Riga offers a wealth of interesting spots to discover and explore.
I went ashore and explored the city, particularly in the Old Town. Time ashore was so short or not long enough to explore more around the city. But I knew how to make the most of it – by simply enjoying the panorama of the city. [Read more…]

Scenic Cruising in Naeroyfjord

NaeroyfjordNaeroyfjord is just one of the many places in Norway inspiring the hit Disney animation Frozen. Having watched the film, I was so curious and at the same time so excited to see the place in real. So, as we were sailing into Naeroyfjord yesterday, I had that nagging imagination of Queen Elsa singing here way through the spellbinding wonderland. Taking into account the width and depth of the fjord, inch by inch, we sailed deep into Naeroyfjord as far as the ship can safely navigate. [Read more…]

ABBA The Museum: Iconic Music Experience

ABBA The MuseumABBA The Museum is the only place in the world where ABBA fans can get a lot closer to their favorite band. And with the wide array of displays, original memorabilia and collection of wardrobes that they wore during their world tour, ABBA the Musedum is a great nostalgic way to get to know ABBA better, and get connected with knowing their humble beginnings and rise to popularity and fame.
I grew up with ABBA. It was the everyday music my family played at home, almost like a soundtrack of our daily lives. Everyone, from my mom, aunts, you name it, all listened to the iconic tunes. I can even remember a memory of an uncle carefully placing a classic vinyl recording on a Radiowealth turntable player, filling the room with ABBA for hours on end. [Read more…]

The Sound of Lithuania

klaipedaSa picture na ito ay nasilayan ko ang kultura ng Lithuania through music. Sa picture rin na ito ay nakikita ko ang ilan sa kanilang mga traditional music instruments – instruments na karaniwang ginagamit sa mga important gatherings and events.
First time ko sa port na ito kaya nung sa laot pa lang kami ay nagplano na akong mag shore leave para naman masilayan ko ano ba ang makikita ko dito. Unfortunately, hindi ako nakalabas, hindi ko alam kong tinamad ba ako o hindi ko talaga trip ang gumala sa malamig na lugar. But anyway, whatever the reason is, katawan ko lang ang nakakaalam so dito lang talaga ako sa barko hanggang umalis kami kaninang hapon. And ang dami kong nagawang mga gawain kanina, kahit mga work orders na hindi pa ‘due’ ay natapos ko na rin. Sipag ko talaga ano? Sana walang kokontra… 🙂 [Read more…]

St. Petersburg’s Twisting Skyscraper

Lakhta CenterThis is the super tall skyscraper of Lakhta Centre in Saint Petersburg, Russia. At 462 – meter high, the skyscraper is the tallest building in Russia and (as of now) in Europe.
The building features 86 floors and at the top most of the building is an observation deck. If admission fee is required for visitors to get to the observation deck in the World Trade Center and Empire Estate Building in New York, The Shard in London, the Petronas Tower in Kuala Lumpur, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai to name few of some of the world’s tallest landmarks, getting to the observation deck of Lakhta Tower will cost nothing to visitors. This is absolutely very great news for [Read more…]

Exploring Old Town Tallinn On Foot

Reval-8371Arriving one of Europe’s most magical cities, it’s more of a ‘privilege’ than simply ‘luck’ to get into the port of Tallinn, Estonia on a clear warm day. Summer is still at its peak, so today’s visit in this ancient Hanseatic city should be wonderful as it can be. From 1 to 10 where 10 is the highest, for me Tallinn today is at 11. Well, obviously I was exaggerating but honestly when we arrived port of Tallinn this morning, I knew it’s another absolutely perfect day for us – just like what we had in Stockholm yesterday.

Tallinn at this time of the year is at its peak season for cruise visits. Just for today, three ships in a row – Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth, Princess Cruises’ Regal Princess and us – are in port.

Tallinn is best explored on foot and around 20 to 25 minutes walk from the cruise terminal, you can start exploring some of the city’s uniquely interesting highlights. The sights around [Read more…]

Stockholm, One At A Time

gamla stanIt doesn’t matter coming back to Stockholm over and over again; the cityscape itself never ceases to amaze me. Every visit to this Baltic city simply means another opportunity to experience more of Stockholm and another chance to see and further enjoy a lot of its offerings.

Arriving Stockholm on a cruise ship, the wonderful experience already starts even before arriving into port. The ship begins its scenic journey from the entrance of the approximately 45 – mile long passage deep into where the beautiful city sets. An archipelago of several islands and countless islets, cruising towards Stockholm is breathtaking scenery of natural landscape. [Read more…]

The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen

little_mermaid_copenhagenIf the iconic Statue of Liberty is a symbolic structure in New York; the overlooking Christ the Redeemer is an imposing landmark in Rio de Janeiro; then here comes the Little Mermaid, the iconic symbol of Copenhagen. Small and unimposing it may seem but it’s one of Copenhagen’s major attractions.
Mga kababayan, ito po si Little Mermaid, maliit lang siya pero sikat na sikat lalo na sa mga turista na dumadayo sa Copenhagen. Araw araw dinadayo po ito ng mga turista na naggagaling pa sa iba’t ibang bansa. Kaya naman hindi ko hinayaan na hindi masilayan at syempre makapag selfi kay Little Mermaid habang nakadaong sa Copenhagen ang barko kanina. [Read more…]

Parang Picnic Lang

cadiz_spainKababalik ko lang sa barko from my 2-month long na bakasyon at eto na naman ako gumagala kasama ng ilan kong mga ka tropa – ka tropa sa kainan. Hindi ka tropa sa inuman ha dahil ZERO PERCENT ALCOHOL policy kami rito. In short bawal sa amin ang kahit anumang inumin na nakakalasing. Well, sa una medyo mahirap talagang isipin na sa buong kontrata ko na 6 months ay hindi ako pwedeng tumikim ng beer o whisky. Kaya naman nung nasa Pinas pa ako ay sinamantala ko na ang mga pagkakataong makapag inuman kasama mga pinsan at mga uncles ko.
Naglalawig pa lang ang barko ay walang ibang nasa isip naming halos sobra sa 400 crew na mga Pinoy ay ang makakain na naman sa paborito at binabalikbalikan na seafood restaurant sa puerto ng Cadiz, Spain. Halos lahat na mga tripulante ng barko particular na sa mga cruise ships na may mga crew na Pinoy, isa lang ang pinaka unang pinupuntahan pagkatapos ng trabaho – sa isang seafood restaurant lang na ito talaga. [Read more…]