Thank you for subscribing!
Got it! Thank you!

Baltic Sea Elegance (And at a Discount)

The phrase "Baltic Elegance" is not an oxymoron, certainly not to discerning travelers who know how elegant the Swedes can be and just how scenic the Baltic is along its coastline and islands. To journey here is always a pleasure, but when fares are reduced 15% to 39%, as the Silja Line has done for trips between August 12 and next May, taking the trip is practically an obligation.

Though the rate discount applies from now through May 31, 2003, special decor, cuisine and entertainment highlight the autumn "Escape in Elegance" promotion on cruises from September 2 through November 21, on four ships crossing daily from Stockholm to either Helsinki or Turku, the charming former Finnish capital.

The more luxurious of the line's ships, the Silja Serenade and the Silja Symphony, ply the Stockholm- Helsinki route, sailing in the late afternoon on overnight cruises arriving into port the next morning. Cabins in either direction range from $90 to $162 per person double for those in the Promenade and Seaside classes, 15% to 25% below last year's rates. Top fares apply on Friday, naturally, when the numbers of weekend travelers swell.

Along with the "Escape with Elegance" theme, both ships will be serving up the flavors of the Mediterranean, featuring spicy Catalonian, Spanish and Tuscan dishes. There will also be floorshows aboard with Finnish entertainers on the Europa and Swedish on the Festival.

The Silja Europa and the Silja Festival are less expensive and take a more scenic route, crossing the Baltic between Stockholm and Turku. These two ships depart in the morning and evening and sail through the thousand-island archipelago between the two countries. Seaside-class cabins run $41 per person on day cruises and $50 to $74 per person on overnight sailings, a reduction of 15% on day trips and 27% to 39% on night sailings. The rates are highest on weekends, again.

Meals cost extra, sample prices for breakfast is right around $6, and a buffet dinner goes for around $20. You can plan on saving a little more you're your meals as tipping is not expected.

Contact Silja Line for additional information, brochures and bookings through their U.S. agency, Norwegian Coastal Voyages, at 800/323-7436 or 212/319-1300, Web site