If you’re cruising to the Baltic and Northern Europe, you’ll get to explore several ports of call along the way. From the busy Oslo Harbor in Norway to the bustling city center of Helsinki in Finland, you can enjoy some good drinks and great food at some of the top-rated bars in the region. Here are some of the top picks for bars in Northern Europe.
Akkurat in Stockholm, Sweden
One of the top-rated pubs in Sweden, this bar serves up a variety of malt whiskies and ales. It hosts live music throughout the week and is always bustling with activity. The venue also serves food so it’s the perfect place to enjoy some Swedish specialties and taste some local flavors. It’s not a dive bar by any means but is always bustling with activity. If you head here on a Thursday night, you can enjoy ‘German nights’ with cask lagers straight from Germany and German-style food. Sundays are another popular night for live music and performances.
Leskinen in Oulu, Finland
Another highly-rated pub in northern Europe serves up 750 different types of beer and 20 different draughts. It’s a crowd favorite by locals and visitors alike. Since it’s close to the water, many travelers on a cruise or boat excursions end up here during their journey. You can settle in at the patio out front and spend some time people watching in downtown Oulu. It’s the perfect location when you’re exploring the rest of the city and want to get at taste of life as a local.
AleBrowar Gydnia, Poland
A popular bar near the water is a haven for craft beer lovers, a brewery that releases Polish favorites and regularly. The Gydnia location is the official brewpub of the Ale Browar brewery and has become a mecca for beer fans from around the globe. You can sample all types of beer and take a few favorites back to the ship to enjoy as you continue your cruise through Northern Europe.
A variety of cruise ships tour the Eastern coast of North America and several of the ships offer unique adult only clubs, lounges, and bars. These are five of the best onboard bars.
The Safari Club-Royal Caribbean
The Safari Club has an old world library theme and features four bars in one, the Congo Bar, Serengeti Card Club, Game Reserves, and Zanzibar. The Serengeti Card Club offers a variety of card tables and games in a laid back atmosphere. At the Congo Bar, guests can enjoy floor to ceiling windows overlooking the ocean from one of the ninety-nine seats. The Zanzibar offers tables with built-in checkers, chess, and backgammon. In the Game Reserves, guests take part in Nintendo WII tournaments and enjoy playing pool on self-balancing gyroscopic pool tables which accommodate the movement of the ship. There is a centrally located dance floor between the clubs that features line dancing, karaoke, game shows, and champagne art auctions.
Spice H2O-Norwegian Cruise Lines
Spice has a double personality depending on the time of day you visit. During daylight hours cruise-goers can lounge in the sun enjoying their favorite drinks or take a dip in one of the hot tubs. Spice offers a waterfall grotto to walk through letting the gentle cascades refresh your skin and cool you off. At night, the club transforms into a dance party, the giant video screen features images of destinations while the music plays and the stars shine. Spice also features an 80’s theme night for guests to “glam-up” and dance to their favorite hair bands and also hosts a “Glow Night” for everyone to sport neon and glow-stick jewelry.
Piano Bars-Carnival Cruises
The Piano Bar is a unique place to spend an evening whether you sit up at the piano and participate or sit at a table and just observe. When at the bar, guests order their drink and request their favorite songs from the piano player. Once your song comes up everyone is asked to sing along, the musicians know an astounding number of songs and are rarely stumped. Participation is not required but it definitely adds to the excitement and moral.
Queens Room-Cunard Cruises
The Queens Room is the largest ballroom at sea and the social hub of the ship. Daytime highlights include dance classes, fencing, music recitals, and afternoon tea. After sunset, the orchestra plays and the ballroom dancing begins. The Queens Room hosts a Gala night for guests to break out their formal attire and socialize.
The Martini Bar and Crush-Celebrity Cruises
Enjoy a talented staff of mixologists and a vast selection of martinis prepared with a high energy flare. The Martini Bar features a wide range of rare vodkas and a portfolio of fine caviar. The bar is topped with ice to keep your drinks at optimum sipping temperature and the music is always upbeat and fun.
The most fun cruise ships know that providing the right atmosphere is key for passengers. A few ships go above and beyond by setting the perfect atmosphere with the perfect bar, Here are a few of our favorites.
Svedka Ice Bar-Norwegian Epic
A great place to take a break from summer heat, the ice bar stays a constant seventeen degrees year round. The Scandinavian inspired bar is themed with Northern Lights for ambiance and a true arctic feel. Ice features inside include seats, tables, bar, walls, sculptures, and glasses. This quaint area of the ship has a capacity of twenty-five people and they take reservations between 5:30 P.M. and 10:30 P.M. nightly. All guests are given a coat and gloves upon entry. One of the signature cocktails is a Rockettini, a vivid mix of Svedka Citron vodka, Cointreau, and blue Curaçao.
Bionic Bar-Royal Caribbean
Four of Royal Caribbeans ships feature a “bionic bar,” the Harmony, Quantum, Anthem, and Ovation of the seas. Simply order your beverage of choice through their app and the “bartenders” with have it to you in under a minute when it is your turn. The robots’ names are Shaken, Stirred, Mix, and Mingle, depending on which ship you are aboard. Drink possibilities are endless with a variety of thirty spirits and twenty-one mixers accompanied by the muddling, stirring, shaking, and straining talents of the “bartenders.”
Just what the doctor ordered. This old fashioned pharmacy themed bar can be found on all but four of Carnival’s ships and soon will be on all of them. Here, “pharmacists” are on staff to fill your “prescriptions.” They specialize in martinis and hold weekly tastings but guests are also encouraged to fill out a “prescription” and let them create your ideal cocktail from a wide array of fresh juices, spices, and syrups.
Rising Tide Bar-Royal Caribbean
Up, up, and away, this floating bar is onboard all of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class ships. Lift-off takes place every thirty minutes throughout the day and the ride to the top is around twenty minutes long. There is a standard selection of drink options and splendid sky-light views as the bar rises three full decks. There are enough seats on the Rising Tide for around 25 people.
Disney’s Pink is a champagne bar that also offers whiskey, cognac, and mocktails. Since champagne is the featured drink, they have made the room appear as if you are sitting inside a bubbly bottle. There are pink and gold lights glistening from all directions and “bubbles” floating up the walls. The most exquisite champagne offered is the Armand de Brignac Gold which is served at $499 per bottle. An excellent place for some adult time on your family cruise.