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Cruises in Sweden

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A Baltic Cruise

A Baltic Cruise

VisitSweden / P. E. Adamsson
Sweden...the land of lakes and forests. Scenic coastlines, island havens and the arctic wilderness all add to the country’s appeal. And what better way to explore the coastline than by boat?

Travelers are opting for cruises since they are all-inclusive, and with the right deal, far less expensive than staying in a hotel. All you need when it comes to transportation for your trip is a flight to Sweden and an airport transfer to the harbor.

When to go?

You can embark on a number of Baltic cruises and cruises along Sweden's coastline during the summer and winter months, however there is very limited availability of winter cruises. Freezing temperatures will make it as unpleasant as you can imagine. The only reason for a winter cruise is a trip to see the Northern Lights and to celebrate the winter solstice, when the sun begins to return to Scandinavia.

Summer cruises are far more popular. All cruise lines run from May to September, with July and August being by far the busiest months. Do take note that cruise packages tend to be more expensive during this time.

Where to go?

A very popular option is called the Oceana Cruise. It starts in mid-June. The itinerary is subject to change every year, but typically the cruise will last for 29 days, traveling through Northern Europe, including stops at Copenhagen and Stockholm.

However, my personal favorite is the fantastic, local “Great Swedish Cruise”, which aims to provid you with an opportunity to explore the very best of Sweden. It crosses two seas, a river, a series of canals, eight lakes and a whopping 66 locks. (A lock is similar to a marina in Sweden). The best option is to take the 6-day cruise running between Stockholm and Gothenburg, but 2 and 4 day versions are available. The longer cruise option allows for more shore excursions along the way. There are four ports along the way. Most travelers will embark at Stockholm, though it is possible to board in Goteborg as well. This Swedish cruise runs every year, without fail, and the least likely to change their route. (It also includes all the stops below.)

When you select your Swedish cruise, it is very important to make sure to take note of the ports you'll visit.

No matter what Swedish cruise you're on, they all stop in Stockholm. Stockholm is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, so you would want to see as much as possible before your cruise. A highlight is a visit to the Vasa Ship Museum, where it hosts the world’s oldest preserved ship by the same name. The Medieval Museum on the other hand preserved archeological discoveries of the Castle of Three Crowns. If museums aren’t your thing and you would rather spend your day outdoors, Gamla Stan is always a nice choice. It is the oldest part of Stockholm, and the cobblestone streets are lined with intact buildings dating back to the 16th century. Today the area is home to unique boutiques, art galleries and cafes.

If your cruise stops there, make sure to pay a visit to the historic town of Visby on Gotland. The journey will take you through the heart of Sweden and the countryside as the ship navigates through the waterways. And as you might have guessed in this part of the part of the world, Visby is a former Viking site. It was once the main trade center in the Baltic, and a history lover’s dream come true. Places of interests include the Viking ruins, the ring wall and the Cathedral of St Mary.

Helsingborg is the next harbor on route. The town is known for its festive atmosphere, as many music festivals are held here all year round. The ruins of Helsingborg Castle lead all the way to the city centre and provide a beautiful view of the harbor.

Also bring your camera for the stop in Gothenburg, the second largest city in Sweden. It is a cosmopolitan city, and it is pulsing. Gothenburg is known as the leading city in contemporary culture in Europe. Mostly Dutch influenced, a central canal is linked to a series of impressive parks and streets lined with small cafes and cozy restaurants. If you are planning to spend some time in Gothenburg, it is a good idea to purchase a Gothenburg Pass. This grants you access to public transport and access to galleries, museums and sightseeing hotspots.

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