Christmas cruise

As January is almost over it is about time to blog about Christmas. Ever since my grandma became immobile and moved into a care facility several years ago, we have the same conversation with my family every year: Where and how to celebrate Christmas. There have been several variations through the years and my mom has suggested a cruise a couple of times. I never really got excited about the idea of a cruise but last year I figured why the heck not – I’ll try anything once. So on the 23rd of December we (me, hubby, my parents and my father-in-law) boarded a rather old Viking Line cruise ship called Mariella from 1985. I have to apologize for this post not containing links, I have trouble accessing the Viking Line site.

Picture from Pinterest

The ship left Helsinki in the early evening, we got settled in our cabins, had a look around the ship and had some drinks. Then we decided it was time for dinner so we opted for the Ocean Grill. The ship was fully booked so we had to wait for the food for quite a while. The food was tasty and we got our tummies filled. The next morning me and hubby chose to have breakfast at the buffet. After breakfast we walked to the old town in Stockholm. We walked around for a while, popped into a café for some refreshments and headed back to the ship. As this was a special cruise, the ship stayed in Stockholm only for four hours.

Enjoying some glögg (mulled wine) in Gamla Stan
My travel companions got caught on film

 Back at the ship we did some shopping, the men went to sauna and we had an aperitif. The cruise price included Christmas buffet on Christmas Eve and so we headed to dinner. The buffet consisted of both Finnish and Swedish Christmas specialties and had been designed by the Culinary Team of Sweden. There was plenty to choose from and the food was really tasty. On Christmas morning we arrived back in Helsinki, the cruise price also included brunch on Christmas morning in the buffet restaurant. The brunch included some leftovers from the dinner. After we had filled our tummies with brunch it was time to say bye to the ship and head home.

Christmas Eve buffet
Christmas Eve buffet
Christmas Eve buffet
Joulukinkku – the traditional Christmas ham
Christmas Eve buffet

I must say I am not too keen to repeat the experience of the Christmas cruise anytime soon. Admittedly it was nice to be able to enjoy a vast array of Christmas food that somebody else had prepared and not having to discuss what should be served at Christmas dinner for weeks. But apart from that the cruise in itself was nothing special (maybe I´ve been on enough them already) and having to spend 1 ½ days “trapped” on an old ship is not really my idea of fun.

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