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Home > Member Reviews > Cruizer Bill's Port Reviews of Hamburg, Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Visby

Cruizer Bill's Port Reviews of Hamburg, Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Visby
Prinsendam cruise in July 2012
Member Name: Cruizer Bill
Cruise Date: July 2012
Embarkation: Amsterdam
Destination: Baltic & Northern Europe
Member Review: Cruizer Bill's Prinsendam Review
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
This is an amazingly wealthy city! Beautiful new or remodeled buildings, clean streets and it seems everyone drives Mercedes, BMWs or Audis!

We took the two-hour Alster lake and canal ride in a covered boat on our own. (The one-hour excursion is in the full sun.) It was very nice but all commentary was in German only. I think we could have rented an English-language recording of the commentary, but it wasn't suggested (perhaps since my DW speaks some German). After walking around downtown we discovered a brand new Munich Hofbrauhaus Beerhall that had just been constructed! I had Weiner Schnitzel and a Hofbrauhaus Beer and was in heaven! I wish we had stopped by Miniature World and seen the world's best model train setup. I heard it is great!

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Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Wonderful old medieval city. We walked up to the top and back down - it is not too far but it is a lot of cobblestones and they wear your feet and legs out. Best view is at the top. Also, there is an excellent brewery you walk past just before climbing to the top - their beer is great! Lots of fun streets to explore and you can see the wonderful spirit these people have now. Their economy is growing and their future has never looked better - their enthusiasm is contagious.
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St. Petersburg
Private Tour Rating: 5+ out of 5+
The centerpiece of any Baltic Cruise. The scale of St. Petersburg is dramatic to say the least! We took the Grand Two-Day tour with Alla Tours and loved every minute of it! The palaces and cathedrals were ENORMOUS and decorated to the point of being gaudy ! You can see the Russian people were slaves until the 1860's and much of their effort supported the insane lifestyle of the Czars. Same thing with the cathedrals - they are all gold mosaics and grand/dramatic in scale. Catherine's Palace and the Fountains of Peterhof Palace are in a league of their own - jaw dropping! Bring your passport, your tour ticket (provisional visa), and a LOT of patience with you to get on and off the ship to go through the passport controls.

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Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
We did this on our own. Although the walk into downtown is walkable, HAL provided a $5 shuttle to downtown and it was worth it. We then went to the ferry and purchased an all-day card for the public transport - it cost us 7 Euros each in August 2012. We took the to Suomenlinna Fortress and walked around there - it was very interesting and fun. We then came back and rode the 3T tram to the Church in the Rock and it was very worthwhile to see. I wish we had more time here!

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Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
The number one attraction is the Vasa Museum and it pays to get there early. When your ship docks, get off right away. If you are docked at Stadsgarden #S167, walk to the left to where the hop-on-hop-off (HOHO) boats are docked. I think it cost us 100 Swedish Kroner (about $15) each (purchase at the dock) and the early boats take you straight to Vasa Museum; after 10:00AM, the boats take the clockwise route, which gets you to VASA in about 30-40 minutes. It is worth it! Vasa Museum cost 110 Kroner (about $18) and is one of the highlights of your cruise. You will be blown away when you see this ship from 1628 !!! We then checked out the free ships next to Vasa - an ice breaker and a lighthouse ship and they were fun too. Then we boarded the HOHO boat to Gamla Stan where we walked the streets and watched the

Changing-of-the-Guards ceremony. Prices at all Scandinavian ports are sky high so bring some food with you! We took the HOHO boat back to our ship.

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Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
A relaxing day to walk ashore and see this old walled city. Check out the nice botanical garden, walk to the top of the hill next to the big church for a good view and just relax today - your feet need the rest! This port is tendered.

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Rostock (Warnemunde)
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
We actually docked at the industrial port of Rostock (berth LP-41) and HAL provided us a free shuttle to downtown Rostock. We took a ship's excursion to Gustrow and saw the palace of the Duke of Mecklenburg and some old churches. We had lunch at a Gasthaus and ate bratwurst and drank the excellent local beer. It was fun! We then took the shuttle to Rostock. Then we purchased an all-day pass on their public transportation and took Tram 6 to the train station (Hauptbahnhof) and then took a train to Warnemunde. It was fun walking the boardwalk at Warnemunde - looked and felt like Coney Island. We then took the train back to Rostock and walked down Koplingerstrasse, the big pedestrian shopping street, before taking the shuttle bus back to our ship. A fun day!!!!

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Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Depart the ship and go straight to the tourist office at the cruise ship terminal. Buy the Oslo Pass - a 24 hour ticket to transport and museums and get the bus and streetcar line brochure. Then walk to the harbor and jump on the ferry to the Kon Tiki and Fram museums. See both of them and then jump on bus number 30 and take it to the Viking Ship Museum. See that museum and then walk to the Norse Folk (Outdoor) museum. See about half of this museum or your feet will get too tired.

Jump back on the bus and head closer to Vigeland Park. Take another bus to Vigeland Park and see the sculptures there. Then take a bus to downtown near City Hall. Step inside City Hall and admire the excellent murals there. Just north of (behind) City Hall is a Visitor Info Office with free wi-fi and internet computer. If you still have time, walk over to the Fortress and visit the Norwegian Resistance Museum, then walk back to the ship, having had an EXCELLENT day for a cost of about $37. Remember to bring some food!

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