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What to do in Stockholm / Helsinki / Oslo

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Hi,, We are calling at Stockholm and Helsinki  and Oslo  in August  on Arcadia   and wondered if anyone had advice on what to do in either place, should we book trips or are the ports near enough for us to walk off and potter around on our own . ?

Thanks

ss

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We havn't been to Oslo but are calling there in May.  We took an organised tour in Stockholm and visited the royal palace and then walked around the town .  However I'm sure it's somewhere you could do on your own.  We walked around Helsinki independently visiting cathedrals which are magnificent.  If I remember correctly both ports are easily reached from the ship.

 

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We did all three cities on our own.  In Oslo we walked from the ship to the Sculpture Park, then took transit back into town and explored.  In Stockholm we visited the Royal Palace for the changing of the guard and explored the old town,  Our sons and their families went to the Abba Museum and the Ice Bar then joined us at the palace.  I don't remember much about Helsinki, apart from taking a free walking tour and seeing lots of churches.

Are you going to Tallin?  We really enjoyed the free walking tour we took there and explored the market and surrounding old buildings.

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We didn't go to Skagen, so can't comment.  Tallin was a reasonable walk from the ship, cobbled stones, so watch your footing.  It was one of our favourite places on the Baltic Cruise.  The only place we did organized tours was St. Petersburg where we used SPB Tours.  Everywhere else we researched on the internet and did our own thing.

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In Stockholm we got the water taxi from the boat dock to the Vasa  Museum - fantastic place displaying this failed old battleship in stunning setting. A must see - look it up. Then we used the same ticket to go on to town and walked around under our own steam saw changing of the guard but little to write home about. Found the little statue of the iron Boy and rubbed it for luck - didn`t get any! Had a coffee in the Nobel Museum - great sight to see all the signed chairs of past winners hanging around the ceiling but didn`t go into the museum itself. Other than that enjoyed the walk seeing the narrowest street and watching a street artist. Lovely place.

In Helsinki the cathedral and Senate Square were lovely and easy to get to. I think we got a bus from boat to  town cheaply. The market / fish market area is lovely too.

 

Skagen was so much better than I thought. Don`t just go around the town. head out to the point and get the tractor bus right out to where the two seas meet. You can actually see where they crash together and have a foot in each sea if willing to get wet. Great fun and sight to see. When we went there was a music festival o with free bands everywhere that made it a really memorable trip and you can always look at the lovely Skagen watches.

 

Talin is gorgeous and the free (but well tipped) walking tour was great. Don`t know Oslo but the others were easily done on your own.

 

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Private trips in St Petersburg are the way to go. We had a fabulous 2 day trip with SPB Tours (I think) and a woman who never stopped and covered every inch we could. half the boat price and a minibus of 8 of us that meant we could park where coaches could not and get around easily/ through queues. Brilliant and recommended.

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We also loved the Vasa museum in Stockholm, go independently - much cheaper than a shore excursion but get there early.  In Helsinki we opted for a trip around Helsinki and the church, then to Porvoo, areally lovely old town and on the way we visited a mansion connected to Tsar of Russia. A very good trip and you see something of the city.  Have a great time and try to see the entry into and/or out of Stockholm - hours of wonderful scenery through the archipelago. Would go on a Baltic cruise just to see that alone.

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All of those cities (and Tallin too) are great places just to wander around in.  Don't even think about excursions (so long as you make sure you can get back to the ship on time) - just wander around.  Lovely places, all of them - and even more so in Summer.

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All of the Scandinavian ports are accessible on your own.

Depending upon the location of the ship's berth, you can walk to the tram terminus in Helsinki and purchase a day ticket for all public transport from a vending machine.  It is very easy to get around.

Similarly, you can walk from the ship into Oslo city centre.

The new cruise terminal in Copenhagen is farther from the city centre, so it is too far to walk to a metro station.  However, there are public buses to the centre.  Allow plenty of time for your return to the port, because the service can be infrequent.

If your ship is scheduled to moor in the harbour at Stockholm, you will have no problem touring independently.   However, some massive ships (including Royal Princess and Regal Princess), are too large to enter the city harbour safely and might anchor offshore at Nynäshamn - a 60 minute train journey to the city centre.  It is still possible to tour independently, but a ship's tour would save you time.

At Tallinn, you can walk from the ship into the Old City - and/or you could travel by tram to Kadriorg Park, and visit various museums.

In Tallin and Helsinki, you will require euros to pay for bus and tram fares etc. - and a small amount of the local currencies in Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm.

I recommend borrowing guide books (such as Lonely Planet and Footprint guides) from your public library and make a few plans in advance.

 

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Sculpture Park in Oslo is fascinating and, in my view, the Viking Ship Museum is a must see. The latter is on a peninsula with some other museums so it is possible to spend a whole day out there if museums are your thing. There are great views from the Olympic Skijump site up above the city, but as we did a ship's tour here I'm not sure what the other transport possibilities are - maybe hop-on hop-off bus. Assuming that you dock by the Akershus fortress which is the main terminal it is an easy walk along the waterfront into town.

In Stockholm, the Vasa Museum is a great experience as the ship is in even better condition than the 'Mary Rose' over here. A good way to get there is using the 'hop-on hop-off' boat which also takes in some other sights as well as providing a short harbour tour. Would suggest getting tickets on-line before departure for both to save queing for tickets. Old Town and Royal Palace can easily be done on one's own.

We were disappointed in a tour to the Sibelius Monument and Rock Church in Helsinki, and had a better time just exploring the waterfront with its market and the Cathedral. We haven't been, but friends have told us that Porvoo is well worth visiting.

Hope this is helpful.

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As we are going to the Baltic in June I have been told that in Denmark and Sweden we need local currencies. does anyone know how much to take just for a coffee and cake say? Can I just use my credit card instead of cash?

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54 minutes ago, terrierian said:

As we are going to the Baltic in June I have been told that in Denmark and Sweden we need local currencies. does anyone know how much to take just for a coffee and cake say? Can I just use my credit card instead of cash?

Why bother they take Euros ,and some shops will price things in the currency  of your choice ,and yes credit cards and debit cards are widely accepted ..Davybe

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12 minutes ago, littlemousa said:

I would recommend local currency in Norway and Sweden, if for nothing else so that you can use the toilets. Free toilets are very difficult to find in the cities you are visiting:blink:.

The same applies to Copenhagen -  particularly if you intend to use the excellent public transport system.  You will be able to use credit or debit cards for most purchases, but not for items such as bus fares.

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