The 280 passengers who set sail with the 6th International Cruise of the Armenian Relief Society to Northern European countries and Russia have returned home with exciting memories. The Royal Caribbean “Serenade of the Seas” Cruise began on July 22nd from Stockholm and cruised through seven countries in two weeks.
On the first day of the cruise, the passengers had an opportunity to meet with the ARS Chapter in Sweden who had organized a special excursion for them at the Royal Palace, Armenian Church, and the local Armenian Center. The members interacted with the passengers, creating new friendships and learning about their community’s activities.
Then the cruise set sail from Stockholm to Finland, and reached its summit to the historical St. Petersburg, Russia. During the three-days in Russia, the passengers explored the city by visiting several Palaces, Cathedrals, and Museums. Some members even had an opportunity to visit the St. Catherine’s Armenian Church, where with the request of the Archbishop Yezras Nercessian, the Cruise entertainer spontaneously sang Komitas’ “Horovel.”
At sea, when the stars came out, the fun didn’t stop. The ARS had organized four Armenian Kef Nights, with Elie Berberian and his band, who entertained the guests non-stop with his performances in an array of different flavors of music. There was also a special ARS Day program organized where, ARS Central Executive Board Member, Sonia Akellian presented the activities of the ARS to the passengers, which was followed by a session of networking. The passengers also had a chance to explore the countries of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and after making several stops in Denmark, the action-packed vacation came to an end in Copenhagen.
As the 6th International Cruise of the ARS came to an end, the passengers already began asking about the next one. “We are grateful to those who planned their summer vacation with the ARS” stated former ARS Central Executive Board member and Chairperson of the Cruise Committee, Shakeh Basmajian. “Through their participation, they were able to escape ordinary vacations and create memories that last a lifetime, all while supporting their beloved organization.”
The next Tour will be announced soon. To stay up to date, sign up for the ARS newsletter at http://ars1910.org/newsletter-sign-up/.