Birka is waiting for its new passengers at Stadsgårdkajen. Photo: Kristofer Scheiderbauer.

Oh you would have been! You might be with !? 🙂 Anyway we stepped ashore Saturday afternoon after 21 super Christmas hours at sea aboard Birka Cruises! The trip was a real hit.

As you might read in the last post I had a whole bunch on this year's test trip of Wintersmak. We have made this type of "companion trip" at sea before, once only we "ladies"And once whole families. This time we were more than ever; the entire 24 tester between about 3 and 55 years. Soooo cool!

Friday afternoon in the November darkness - everyone needed an invigorating cruise! Photo: Kristofer Scheiderbauer.
The first Santa we met was Rickard who came with drink ribbons and Bianka bags for all children. 🙂

After gathering in the Birka terminal in Stadsgården, we had to get on board early, already an hour before the ship left. When everyone was installed in their cabins we met up in the wine bar on the terrace, deck 10, and started our cozy Friday cruise with a wine tasting.

Almost the whole gang - two are unfortunately missing in this picture.

Wine bar on deck 10 as "Friday AW"

If you have not checked so much with Birka, after all, the terrace is a nice place to make an impression. "This was other than the Gotland ferry" was one of the comments. 😉 I really like Birka's wine bar. It does extremely well where it is adjacent to the terrace and works well in both directions; as a nice activity for the guests and as a way for the staff to showcase favorite wines in the assortment. Here you can also get fine wine on glass at bargain price.

Magnus Norgren, a bartender and one of the managers upstairs on the terrace, held the wine tasting. Photo: Heidi Rovén.

We got to try a white one; Sancerre Blanc Les Pierris from Roger Champoult and a red organic that was also KRAV-labeled; Bonterra Zinfandel. The nice thing is that after a test, you can also get a further discount on the already favorable tax-free prices. We got 20% extra. As we acted! After all, it was almost half the price to land!

Christmas table with sago frame

In the right Friday mood and with a decent appetite that started to creep in, we then left the terrace to take us down to deck 6 and Sjösalen. There we waited for what we all looked forward to and were excited about; this year's version of Winter Taste. Read more here this year's concept.

Sure I wanted to be photographed with these happy Christmas figures! Photo: Kristofer Scheiderbauer.
My oldest son Isac got a hug from the sparkly Christmas tree. 🙂 Photo: Heidi Rovén.

We were greeted by an elf, a vibrant and sparkling Christmas tree, jugglers, artists - and a mighty fairy tree! Birka's team is skilled at both building up a nice atmosphere around Christmas and creating magic light in the dining room. This year, the crispy winter white, the cold light in curtains and hanging little led-girlanger with warm light around the sago tree were varied. Very, very nice!

At the sago tree you can sit down and think for a while about the things that hang there, or maybe what you wish for a Christmas present, or want to give!

If truth be told, the Christmas table has been lost a little every year. The herring varieties have become a few fewer, you no longer find pies (a pie though) or Finnish boxes and the perhaps not so Christmasy but lovely ox fillet is gone. But you know - I respect that decision. Although there are certainly financial reasons behind this, I also know that Birka is working to reduce food waste. And there is no point in making food nobody eats.

Kingdom of sugar pigs

We had a wonderful Christmas dinner together. While the fun was juggling brilliant rock rings and other things, I tried to juggle children, photos and movies with chats and friends, and to really think about what I ate and what it tasted like. Lucky I'm used to! 😉

Me with the youngest son Theo, van cruiser also he (and not late to point out which desserts he wanted). Photo: Kristofer Scheiderbauer.

I was pleasantly surprised by this year's heroes. Great! Fine and firm with really good flavors. The favorites were mustard / horseradish, skagen and - a little unripe - chili! In total, they have six varieties plus a vegan sill. Everyone praised the salmon as well and it does not surprise me, it is always good on Birka. On the fish side, I also liked the dill and caviar flock.

I myself did not eat of the chickpea salad or couscous but in the sorrel around the table I heard that they were appreciated. The saffron-cooked nude oats with apricot, chilli, coriander and parsley were new to me and a fun feature. I liked it! Christmas food needs companionship that lightens up.

Fortunately, this year's version of Jansson was not undercooked like last year, perhaps the opposite, but much more so. Nice taste and quite salty! I also really liked the root pomegranate as well as the baked pork side with honey, soy and ginger which I want to remember they have had for years now. It's the top!

The all-time favorite was otherwise the honey glazed turkey breast with orange pepper sauce. EVERYONE mentioned it as a favorite. Lutfisk was also found, like Christmas ham, parsley and onboard-rolled meatballs and much more, for example the vegan dish baked root celery with hazelnut emulsion.

The cheese table was large and generous but unfortunately I did not have space, but I saw others at our table who also enjoyed this selection. Good! In conclusion, I fell like a pine for the tasty cookies syrupy and soft gingerbread. Yum! We were also very pleased that they have left their candy room. I didn't actually take that much, but it is very cozy as an idea and concept! And the children, yes all the children we had on the trip were of course in the kingdom of heaven! The fact that they removed the big Anton Berg chocolate cakes they had the first year, I can understand, must have been expensive! But they are happy to take back the polkagris pigs to put a little more Christmas touch on the candy supply. Or have froths, ice cream or something else Christmas.

The Christmas table also includes drinks such as beer, wine, Christmas must and more. And entertainment that we already mentioned! 🙂

Christmas Circus in Backstage

With saturated and happy stomachs, we probably left Sjösalen's Christmas buffet the last of all I think. The children had already run in advance to Backstage where the Christmas Circus Christmas show had started. that is, the first of two during the evening (19.15 and 21.00).

The show was really good this year; playful, happy and speedy with glitter and five talented performers on stage at the same time. Here, the three beautiful singing artists were complemented by acrobatics and fun, colorful elements. Just that there were a few more people I thought gave a boost to the entertainment, it will be a more pleasant impression. Birka's scene is not big, so it can't be something grand. On the other hand, it is their strength: that it becomes cozy and close.

While the children were watching a movie in one of the conference rooms, we sat adults in one of the couch groups outside and socialized. Some of us took a planning tour in the tax free and we even had a listen to the karaoke where one of the kids in our company actually went up on stage and OWNED. So brave! He sang Laleh's song Goliath and they did really well! Oh what we patted! 😀

Then my eyelids started to cut. Lillplutten was already asleep in the carriage. When we got to the cabin it was so cozy to crawl down between the sheets, watching a movie we had seen a while before it was time to go out.

The luxury breakfast - even a full hit

The next morning we had the best breakfast I think at Birka! Over the years they have tested slightly different concepts, it feels like and not quite found home. The breakfast (which was included because we had a luxury cabin) has been served in the inner part of the Compagniet, with warm alternatives at the table, and both cereals and omelets have looked different over the years.

Now they have found home. I chose only a few things, but in my opinion the most delicious: a perfectly cooked omelette with a few pieces of salmon salmon on plus a slice of rye bread with skagen stir, and then a cup of double espresso for it. It's morning happiness for me! For those who did not know, Salma is considered to be the finest salmon cut by hand from salmon that have lived and grown freely and naturally along the Norwegian west coast. (I checked the price online at a large grocery store, they took over 500 kronor kilos. Luxury in other words!)

Christmas Day!

Satisfied and satisfied, again, we melted the food for a while before it was time for the next program point: bath! To the happiness of all children (and some parents) I must add! On the terrace there is both a "big" pool that holds 24-25 degrees and a jacuzzi that is warm and comfortable. You buy yourself a sun and pool hour (they have great artificial suns too) before you can leave space for someone else. Price 120 SEK for adults and 60 SEK for children. In the changing rooms there is a sauna, shower and towels they also agree. If you have forgotten swimwear, you can buy it.

Here Kristofer is also stuck in the picture. 🙂

While the "gang" was bathing, I worked. Yep! So it is to be a cruise writer! 😉 But I also took the opportunity to make our wine purchases at the bar and shop in the tax free. Before we arrived, everyone gathered in a few different directions in the lobby bar and took a sandwich, a yogurt, a banana… yes something to get some energy for the return trip.

At 14, Birka added to the Stadsgård quay again and it was a slightly dull but happy bunch that got off, satisfied and full of impressions.

Thank you friends and thank you Birka Cruises for another enjoyable cruise! This was a hit and definitely sails to the top of the best we have done with the shipping company! You who haven't had enough of Christmas at Birka after this long blog post can also watch a movie from our Christmas cruise here:

https://www.seafun.se/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/20191122_200400_2.jpg?v=1574690781https://www.seafun.se/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/20191122_200400_2-150x150.jpg?v=1574690781Heidi RovenBirka CruisesBirka StockholmBlogChristmas CruiseBaltic SeaBirch, birch cruises, Christmas table, Christmas table cruise, Christmas cruise, Christmas food, Baltic Sea, winter tasteOh you would have been! You might be with !? 🙂 Anyway we stepped ashore Saturday afternoon after 21 super Christmas hours at sea aboard Birka Cruises! The trip was a real hit. As you might read in the last post I had with me this winter's test trip of Winter Taste ...Cruises - news, great tips and advice