Sweden Cruises

Cruising in Sweden

Cruising into Stockholm is a matter of negotiating the complicated geography of channels and many small islands before you reach the dock. The city is actually built on an archipelago, covering fourteen islands; it is a city surrounded by sea, with the sea in its blood. When you disembark, one of the best ways to get into the city is by boat: several companies run a hop-on hop-off service. Alternatively, a bus service runs every 10 minutes and gets you into the city centre in around half an hour.

The old city was founded in the 13th century on the small island of Gamla Stan, which retains its old-world air and is one of the best preserved of Scandinavia’s medieval city centres. Together with the smaller nearby island of Riddarholmen, it is now a popular destination for tourists attracted by its narrow cobbled streets and fine architecture. The main square, Stortorget, is surrounded by elegant gabled five- and six-storied town houses painted in various shades of ochre, red and gold. Three of Stockholm’s most popular attractions are on Gamla Stan: the huge Royal Palace, Stockholm’s Lutheran Cathedral or Storkyrkan, and the Nobel Museum. The islands are also rich in restaurants, bars cafés and souvenir shops.

With the growth of the city over the neighbouring islands, there are now over 50 bridges linking them. Everywhere you go in the city you are reminded of its geography, and boats are never far from view. One of the best day excursions from Stockholm is to take a boat trip north into Lake Mälaren, where you can visit the Viking Island of Birka, the 17th century royal residence on the lake shore at Drottningholm, or Gripsholm castle at Mariefred.

Sweden is a country of contrasts. The landscape varies between vast areas of pine forest and mountain ranges, rolling hills and glorious golden beaches. Around Stockholm the countryside is more pastoral, with green meadows, wooded hills, lakes and small villages full of the ubiquitous red-painted wooden houses—painted with a special copper-based preservative to protect them against the harsh winters. Wherever you go, Sweden’s distinctive style and practicality shine through.

Ports in Sweden

Cruise lines that visit Sweden

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