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Beyond Baltimore: Cruising the Baltic Part 1

Amsterdam's Singel Canal in the Spui
Amsterdam's Singel Canal in the Spui
Reed Hellman Wordsmith

It would be so bittersweet to grow old in Amsterdam. The marvelous architecture, the bicycle-borne culture, the underlay of decadence, carefully regulated and governed. On a sweet, rainy Sunday morning, quiet carillons compete with a dove’s mournful song and the happy splash of ducks landing in the canal. I could live here. I could grow old and die here, happily, quietly, sipping coffee, watching a leggy young woman pedaling past on her way to work, determined, a part of the traffic, not realizing how special this place is.

However, for now, Amsterdam is a point on the way. I am sailing on the Celebrity Constellation, bound out of the Zuider Zee for the Baltic. For the next 12 nights, I will be on a journey of discovery, to learn about the nations of the Viking Sea. For so many of the Baltic peoples, food dictated their culture. I want to know why they eat the foods that they eat. How did their cuisine determine their history and regional politics?

Because the Celebrity cruise ships focus on their cuisine, sailing on the Constellation is an ideal way for a devout foodie to sample this region’s culinary story. The Celebrity itinerary will take me from Holland to Germany, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, and Denmark—a full sweep of the Baltic’s shores. Each port call will be an opportunity to learn about regional staples and delicacies, visit the markets, and try the local specialties. The Constellation’s galley also offers dishes from each port, adding to the menu’s spectrum.

Join me aboard the Celebrity Constellation for the next several posts. Travel with me as I dine my way through the Baltic.

For recipes and more of Reed Hellman’s signature culinary adventures, visit his Website at You can follow his monthly columns in Recreation News and read his feature articles in Business Monthly.


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