It had been 17 months since Oceania Cruises Marina set sail on the Baltic after a long hiatus due to the pandemic. Despite Covid-induced requirements like masks and proof of vaccination, passengers and crew were delighted to once again be on board this charming vessel. From Copenhagen, the ship visited ten ports in eight countries during an 11-day voyage.
We visited Germany, Bornholm, Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland before eventually arriving in the Swedish capital of Stockholm. It was indeed fantastic to be able to visit all these Baltic states and experience all the cultural differences.
Travel + Leisure contacted Ulf in the summer of 2021, and from there they began planning the trip and discussing the creative brief. It was Ulf’s first travel assignment since the pandemic, so he was thrilled to be back to doing what he loves. In fact, this was Ulf’s first cruise experience, which added to the excitement. In addition to learning about the ship and meeting the crew, Ulf enjoyed meeting all the tourists and hearing about their travel experiences.
Over the years, I’ve done a lot of different travel assignments across the globe, so this project was in many ways right up my alley. The combination of travel, food, and people is something I have specialized in and absolutely enjoy.
Despite a few logistical challenges as a result of visiting a new country almost every day, the journey went smoothly. Travel + Leisure’s writer Nina Caplan helped Ulf plan what to photograph at each destination. While it was late in the season, the weather was beautiful, making each location even more picturesque, from the historical city of Riga to the vast forests of Finland, Ulf basked in the beauty of it all.
I personally really enjoyed visiting Riga Central Market in Latvia. This beautiful art deco style market is the largest in Europe and absolutely worth a visit, especially in late summer when it’s berries and mushrooms season. Wonderful atmosphere and great food.
Aside from taking in the beauty of all the different countries, Ulf enjoyed the ship’s casually elegant setting. From the sparkling Lalique Grand Staircase to the stunning Owner’s Suites adorned with Ralph Lauren bedding, sophisticated design touches were abound.
In his extensive career as a photographer, Ulf has traveled to many countries around the globe, including Myanmar, Ethiopia, Croatia, the Philippines, and the United States. In all of his work, both personal and commissioned, Ulf strives to create timeless images that are unique. His work has appeared in Food & Travel, Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Deco Plaza, and the Financial Times.
I had a great collaboration with the Photo Editor Ebba Pero regarding high-res files for the layout and online use. Absolutely a pleasure to see the final layout in hand!