Craft Cruising with Holland America Line

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A fantastic opportunity to celebrate your crafting skills or to learn something new with fellow crafters.  Holland America Line are offering a 12 day Baltic Knitting Cruise from 17th to 29th August 2012.  Every stop is a treasure for knitters, with designers and artisans joining the cruise to give inspiration.  Instruction and workshops are available on board from the world’s leading lace expert Galina Khmeleva.  Galina grew up in Leningrad and is a world expert historian on Orenburg knitted lace.  Whilst on board you can take advantage of her experience as she teaches the knitting techniques of this region.  She will also share her wider knowledge of  Russian food, markets and traditional cooking, with local favourites such as borscht, pirozhki and blini!

The Baltic is well known for its rich knitting culture.  Estonia in particular is a favourite destination and for years groups of knitters have visited the Estonian Folk Art and Craft Union – a non-profit organisation that promotes Estonian hand crafts as a source of income for craftspeople.

In Copenhagen a knit and crochet paradise at Sommerfulgen, the largest yarn store in Denmark.  Meet Bente Geil, a Danish star designer, as he displays his designs.  Sommerfulgen offer special discounts to cruisers on kits and samples by the top Danish designers Vivian Hoxbro and Hanne Falkenberg.

The visit to Berlin gives you chance to take a train journey with your new found friends to find local arts, crafts and even more wool stores.  In St Petersberg Galina will bring the city alive with her in depth knowledge of the city and it’s history.
In Helsinki you visit the Finnsheep Wool shop, and can bring back 100% Finnsheep wool that has been naturally dyed with plants and mushrooms.  Resident designer Leena Riihivilla has an open air stand at the waterfront market – Leena’s mitten kits are wonderful and a definate gift to bring home!.  In Sweden, visit the craft fairs featuring local hand work and take a moment to discover the best design studios and art galleries in Europe.

There are plenty of other Craft Cruise options at Holland America Line and no matter which one you choose, you’ll be able to share new culture, meet the locals and form friendships that will probably last a lifetime!  The good news is that partners are well catered for with all the additional facilities on board so you can craft to your hearts content!

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Richard Boyce

Richard Boyce is a cruise travel specialist for Cruise1st Australia.

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