Very long day but worth the time! We booked an independent tour with SPB tours and had a delightful day. Our guide was Boris, an American living there for the past 13 years. We saw everything we wanted to and really enjoyed his knowledge of all of the history that this city has to offer.
Very easy port to negotiate on your own. It took about 10 minutes to walk to the Old Town area. After walking throughout, we enjoyed a wonderful lunch at Von Krahl which I highly recommend. The chocolate dessert with taragon ice cream was sublime. Prices were very reasonable. The location and setting were perfect
This was the port that most affected our choice of this cruise. It lived up to our expectations but surprisingly did not exceed them. We booked the 2 day Baltic Pearl with SPB Tours. They did a wonderful job of taking us to all of the major sights-busy and a bit exhausting but we feel like we realy got an excellent overview of the city. We had beautiful weather the first day that complimented our canal boat tour. The second day was misty and overcast but wasn't enough to cramp our enjoyment. Highly recommend SPB!
We walked about two blocks to catch the local bus into town. We purchased an all day transportation card for 7E from the driver. The bus took us into the main area of town- from there we walked a few blocks down to Market Square where we caught the city ferry over to Soumennlina. (Note, this is part of the ticket price mentioned above- the ferry leaves at the far end of the square towards the government palace) This UNESCO site is interesting but doesn't merit more than a quick visit. However, the ride over offers a terrific view of the port of Helsinki. Upon the return trip we explored the outdoor market and enjoyed a lunch at one of the vendors in a makeshift restaurant. We then hopped on the 3T tram that basically circles the city and gives you a great overview. We stopped off at the train station to admire the unique architecture as well as the "Rock Church". We completed our tour with a visit to Stockman's Department store food hall. The return bus to the ship was just a block or so away. Make sure that you allow enough time to get back to the ship.
Stockholm exceeded our expectations! Despite being docked 45 minutes away and having to tender we had plenty of time to enjoy our day. Our original plan was to take the shuttle bus from the port to the train but once we arrived we found a HOHO bus waiting at the pier. For 40E (I think that was the price) we were transferred direct into downtown Stockholm. From there, we boarded the blue line to the Vasa museum- a jaw dropping experience. We walked back from the Vasa along the river- we were blessed with a beautiful sunny day. We enjoyed the houseboats and cafes located along the river. From there, we walked over into the Old Town area which is delightful. Our only regret is had it just been the two of us, we would have ridden both lines of the HOHO to get a complete overview of the city. But we had already decided to return so it didn't seem to be as important. The HOHO had a set return time of 3:30pm which allowed enough time to be back for the last tender at 5:30pm.