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Cruises to Visby

Visby (Photo:Roland Magnusson/Shutterstock)
Visby (Photo:Roland Magnusson/Shutterstock)

About Visby

To be honest, there's not a great deal to do in Visby. But then, that's kind of the point of the place.

Visby is the capital of Gotland, Sweden's beautiful 'holiday island', famous for its soft sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs, distinctive grey-fleeced sheep and wild orchids (more than 35 varieties of them, at the last count).

It also has a fascinating history, having been inhabited for more than 7,000 years and invaded by 13th Century Germans (who left behind some spectacular medieval churches) and then by Danes, only reverting to Swedish rule in the mid 17th Century.

Visby itself, which lies on Gotland's northwest coast, is the jewel of the island and testament to its rich history -- a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Sweden's best-preserved medieval cities (complete with ancient walls).

It has the feel of a real seaside resort and is a truly delightful place to spend a few hours in, boasting some spectacular church ruins, very pretty Botanical Gardens, a few historic houses and an interesting museum -- as well as a sparkling seafront, some excellent craft shops and good cafés and restaurants.

Come here with a go-getting rubbernecking agenda and you might be disappointed that there's not more to it. On the other hand, if you view a day here as a chance to kick back, mosey around and smell the roses (which proliferate -- thanks to its clement climate -- until very late autumn) and you'll have a truly lovely time and experience the laid-back Swedish lifestyle at its best.

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DAY 1: Copenhagen

10 Night
Cruise to Visby

Leaving:
Copenhagen
Visiting:
Rostock, Gdansk ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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12 Night
Cruise to Visby

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Gothenburg, Ronne ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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DAY 1: Stockholm

20 Night
Cruise to Visby

Leaving:
Stockholm
Visiting:
Visby, Copenhagen ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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DAY 1: New York

53 Night
Cruise to Visby

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Bar Harbor, Saint John ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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10 Night
Cruise to Visby

Leaving:
Stockholm
Visiting:
Helsinki, St. Petersburg ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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11 Night
Cruise to Visby

Leaving:
Stockholm
Visiting:
Helsinki, St. Petersburg ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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14 Night
Cruise to Visby

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Bornholm, Visby ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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10 Night
Cruise to Visby

Leaving:
Stockholm
Visiting:
Helsinki, St. Petersburg ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Visby

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Gdansk, Visby ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Visby

Leaving:
Stockholm
Visiting:
St. Petersburg, Helsinki ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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14 Night
Cruise to Visby

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Gdansk, Visby ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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20 Night
Cruise to Visby

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Dublin, Belfast ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Visby

Leaving:
Stockholm
Visiting:
St. Petersburg, Helsinki ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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12 Night
Cruise to Visby

Leaving:
Amsterdam
Visiting:
Copenhagen, Tallinn ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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10 Night
Cruise to Visby

Leaving:
Copenhagen
Visiting:
Tallinn, St. Petersburg ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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14 Night
Cruise to Visby

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Skagen, Klaipeda ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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10 Night
Cruise to Visby

Leaving:
Copenhagen
Visiting:
Berlin, Helsinki ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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30 Night
Cruise to Visby

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Skagen, Klaipeda ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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94 Night
Cruise to Visby

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Martha's Vineyard, Boston ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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12 Night
Cruise to Visby

Leaving:
Stockholm
Visiting:
Visby, Pionersky Port ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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30 Night
Cruise to Visby

Leaving:
Copenhagen
Visiting:
Wismar, Ronne ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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12 Night
Cruise to Visby

Leaving:
Stockholm
Visiting:
Turku, Helsinki ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Visby

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Kristiansund, Copenhagen ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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27 Night
Cruise to Visby

Leaving:
Stockholm
Visiting:
Turku, Helsinki ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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11 Night
Cruise to Visby

Leaving:
Kiel
Visiting:
Copenhagen, Stockholm ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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Why go to Visby?

Pros:

History fans will adore this quiet, beautiful destination, which is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Scandinavia

Cons:

There's not a whole lot to do here. And watch your step on the uneven cobblestone streets

Bottom Line:

Travel back in time at this historical "city of roses and ruins," a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Visby Cruise Port Facilities?

Outside the tender station entrance, turn left and just across the road you'll see the Tourist Office, a modern building that is well staffed and equipped with maps and brochures, some of which are free (and available in English and other languages)

There's also an Internet station (SK 2 per minute) and a shop (with a good stock of sheep-related mementoes!). It is open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays it's open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Good to Know?

Volvo drivers with their lights full blaze, driving along at 15 miles per hour (Swedish traffic laws are ferocious, so motorists tend to take things slow and steady in this part of the world). Oddly, this does not appear to apply to flocks of cyclists, who can whizz by at startling speed while you're waiting for one of those interminable Volvos to pass.

Also, watch your step as Visby's cobbled streets look very charming but can be steep and ankle-wrenchingly slippery in the wet. Wear flat, sensible shoes for exploring; this is not the place for tottering about in stilettos.

Getting Around?

Most of Visby is walkable, and if you need to go further afield, the form (according to the locals) is simply to stroll into any hotel or boarding house you pass and ask them to call you a taxi.

There are also taxis at the ferry terminal (near the tender station) or you can call Taxi Gotland on 0498 200 200.

A taxi (for four) to the Botanical Gardens or anywhere in town should cost no more than SK 60 (about $ 8.50). An island run costs SK 145 for one to four people; SK 215 for five to eight, so a gang of you could get an island tour without breaking the bank.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The currency is the Swedish Krona (SK 7 is roughly $1; SK 11.5 is approximately £1, but see www.oanda.com or www.xe.com for the latest conversion rates).

There is an ATM machine set into the wall on the right hand corner of Donnersplats (the main square); look for the 'Automat' sign.

Language?

Swedish, naturally, is the island's language. English is not widely spoken. Take a phrasebook if you really want to connect with the locals, but here are few phrases to start you off, like "hello" and "goodbye" (hej / hejda), and "please" and "thank you" (vanligen /tack).

Where You're Docked?

Ships must anchor at Visby as there's no cruise dock. Passengers are tendered into town past a long breakwater, with the medieval town within easy walking distance of the tender pier. On arrival you'll see a 'Welcome to Visby' sign and there are basic maps and toilets at the landing site, but no passenger terminal.


Visby Cruise Reviews

Serenade of the Seas
RicksClan 2
Sail Date: Jul 2019
Visby- a favorite spot for us. You have never seen a medieval festival till you have been here. The only ones not in authentic wear and gear was tourists from the ship. So amazingly authentic and not the hype of... Read More
MSC Orchestra
TRUEBLUE66
Sail Date: Aug 2018
Our first stop was the town of Visby on the Island of Gotland in the Baltic sea, owned by Sweden. We walked about 20 minutes into town and explored the medieval streets for a few hours. We also found a great coffee... Read More
Queen Elizabeth
exlondoner
Sail Date: Jun 2018
This is no longer a tender port, as we were expecting, as they have built a jetty for cruise ships. It is a charming, low key holiday island, and Visby itself has an attractive old town.... Read More
Magallenic
Sail Date: Apr 2019
Interesting and attractive place... Read More
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