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Cruises to Helsinki

Helsinki (Photo:Scanrail1/Shutterstock)
Helsinki (Photo:Scanrail1/Shutterstock)

About Helsinki

Helsinki is a city with a variety of identities. Maybe it's the Russian influence (St. Petersburg is a quick train ride away). Maybe it's the strong appreciation of contemporary design -- the capital of Finland is home to Marimekko, world-renowned for its boldly patterned textiles; Kalevala, known for distinctive bronze and silver jewelry; and Iittala, known for glassware. The city also might be associated with the dark, cold and snowy winters that last half the year (fortunately, this is not the season for cruising). Helsinki embraces a bit of oddball fun, too. One annual festival features the tossing of Finnish-made Nokia cellphones, and another popular mainstay is a wife-carrying competition.

Finland differs from Nordic neighbors like Sweden and Norway because of its near-inexplicable language. (It originated as an oral language, rather than a written one, so it's very difficult to follow; Swedish is also widely spoken.) The country itself is one of Europe's newest; independence from Russia was achieved in 1917 following the Bolshevik Revolution.

Helsinki was founded in 1550 by Swedish King Gustav Vasa and offers monuments such as the Lutheran Cathedral (Lutheranism is one of the national religions), the onion-domed Uspenski Cathedral (Eastern Orthodox) and the neo-classical buildings in and around Senate Square. The city also features Kiasma, the avant-garde Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Design Museum.

Helsinki's other major plus is that it's bounded on three sides by the Baltic Sea. In summer, the city's waterfront is the liveliest place in Finland -- whether you're soaking up the sun at a cafe, riding the ferry to the island housing the Suomenlinna Sea Fortress, or taking a boat tour of surrounding waterways.

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DAY 1: Copenhagen

9 Night
Cruise to Helsinki

Leaving:
Copenhagen
Visiting:
Rostock, Tallinn ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Amsterdam

10 Night
Cruise to Helsinki

Leaving:
Amsterdam
Visiting:
Rostock, Tallinn ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: New York

53 Night
Cruise to Helsinki

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Bar Harbor, Saint John ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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DAY 1: Copenhagen

7 Night
Cruise to Helsinki

Leaving:
Copenhagen
Visiting:
Berlin, Tallinn ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Helsinki

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

Leaving:
Stockholm
Visiting:
Helsinki, St. Petersburg ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Helsinki

Leaving:
Copenhagen
Visiting:
Stockholm, Helsinki ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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Cruise Critic Favorite

12 Night
Cruise to Helsinki

Leaving:
Amsterdam
Visiting:
Berlin, Helsinki ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Helsinki

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Oslo, Copenhagen ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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12 Night
Cruise to Helsinki

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Gothenburg, Ronne ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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9 Night
Cruise to Helsinki

Leaving:
Copenhagen
Visiting:
Rostock, Helsinki ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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Cruise Critic Favorite

13 Night
Cruise to Helsinki

Leaving:
Amsterdam
Visiting:
Tallinn, St. Petersburg ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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10 Night
Cruise to Helsinki

Leaving:
Stockholm
Visiting:
Kotka, St. Petersburg ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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9 Night
Cruise to Helsinki

Leaving:
Copenhagen
Visiting:
Aarhus, Gdansk ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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11 Night
Cruise to Helsinki

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

Leaving:
Copenhagen
Visiting:
Stockholm, Tallinn ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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14 Night
Cruise to Helsinki

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Copenhagen, Stockholm ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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59 Night
Cruise to Helsinki

Leaving:
Stockholm
Visiting:
Helsinki, St. Petersburg ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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8 Night
Cruise to Helsinki

Leaving:
Copenhagen
Visiting:
Rostock, Pionersky Port ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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27 Night
Cruise to Helsinki

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

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Azores Islands, Brussels ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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11 Night
Cruise to Helsinki

Leaving:
Copenhagen
Visiting:
Oslo, Berlin ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Helsinki

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Oslo, Copenhagen ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Helsinki

Leaving:
Amsterdam
Visiting:
Aarhus, Rostock ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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12 Night
Cruise to Helsinki

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Oslo, Copenhagen ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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Why go to Helsinki?

Pros:

The city features a lively waterfront, with various markets, cafes and access to ferries and boats

Cons:

Helsinki is a bustling city and as such, there's the usual risk of petty crime to watch out for

Bottom Line:

This port is full of character and personality, and it's a lovely destination for a summer day

Helsinki Cruise Port Facilities?

There is tourist information at both harbors and also money exchange, an ATM, luggage lockers, a trolley service and restaurants. It is easy to walk into the city center from South Harbour although taxis are usually available near the gate. There are taxis and also tram stops at West Harbour.

Good to Know?

Helsinki is a safe city where traditional Lutheran values mean that people have always looked after each other, but this does not mean the city is free of pickpockets. Take care of your money and your valuables in crowded places like the Market Hall or Market Square.

Getting Around?

Cruise ships typically offer a shuttle (most charge about $5 to $10) from the ship, stopping at five locations between the Swedish Theatre and Market Square (at the harbor end of the Esplanade). Taxis also line up at the cruise ship terminal; a cab to Market Square or the Swedish Theatre will run about $15. The city is very walkable, and once downtown, you'll also find a good trolley system (there is no direct service from the pier). At the Swedish Theatre, you can catch hop-on, hop-off double-decker tourist buses that take you to the major sights (for about $25). These buses also operate from the harbors in peak season.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The euro has been the currency of Finland since 1999. For currency conversion figures, visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com. ATMs are located throughout the city center and around South Harbour.

Language?

Finnish and Swedish are the two official languages of Helsinki, but you'll find most shop assistants and waitstaff in Helsinki speak English (the Finns find using English useful as the only language similar to theirs is Hungarian). A few Finnish phrases always help, of course.

Hei: Hello

Nakemiin: Goodbye

Kiitos: Thank you

Where You're Docked?

There are two harbors in Helsinki. South Harbour is right in the center of the city, where ships tie up opposite the Presidential Palace. There is room for three ships (on Olympia Quay and Pakkahuone Quay) around this pretty, natural bay.

Located outside the city, West Harbour has been created for larger ships. Melkki Quay is located at the south end of West Harbour, 15 minutes by taxi to the city center. Katajanokka Quay is located slightly closer (10 minutes by taxi).


Helsinki Cruise Reviews

Marella Explorer
Mark-Wemyss
Sail Date: Aug 2019
I have mixed up Helsinki and Stockholm and cant change it. Stockholm is stunning but you need much more time there. We walked the old city which took our available time. Shuttle bus was laid on which was... Read More
Regal Princess
Kikcruising
Sail Date: Aug 2019
Loved Helsinki! It was quieter than the other cities and easy to get around everywhere on foot.... Read More
Norwegian Getaway
teng
Sail Date: Oct 2019
When we got off the ship, a minute walk from the ship, a public bus (#14) was waiting. And it only cost 8 euro each for the whole day getting around. We started from Sibelius Monument, Regatta for a quick sticky... Read More
lawyertx
Sail Date: Jul 2019
Not much to offer in Helsinki. We jumped off the tour in Market Square and spent the afternoon there. That made for a pleasant afternoon.... Read More
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