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Stockholm Cruise – Something to Do at Every Time

17 Jan

Stockholm Cruise – Something to Do at Every Time of Year

If you’re on a relaxing or romantic Stockholm cruise, you will probably be interested in finding out more about this great city, the capital of Sweden. With a long and rich history, Stockholm is a city bursting with life, traditions, things to do and sights to see. Here are just a few of them and a few tips to help you better enjoy your stay.

Stockholm is a city of seasons

Just like the rest of Sweden, Stockholm’s rhythm of life is defined by the seasons.

January is deep winter. You’ll find that, unlike in the rest of Europe, the Christmas Market in Stockholm keeps going until the middle of the month.

April is when the snows will have mostly melted and when life begins to emerge out on the streets. The 30th of April is the King’s Birthday. That evening, Swedes celebrate Walpurgis Night by jumping over bonfires and having a few drinks.

May is when the “street season” really starts, with various street markets, neighborhood festivities, and other events bringing Stockholm to life.

If you choose to visit Stockholm in summer, you have two great choices – visiting for Midsummer or for the Culture Festival in August. Midsummer is an age-old celebration of nature, the longest day of the year, fertility, and in the Christian tradition, it is the feast day of Saint John. If your Stockholm cruise timetable allows it, you should definitely try to join a public or private celebration and experience the rich Midsummer traditions.

The Culture Festival takes place every year in the middle of August and fills the streets with all kinds of great events for five days in a row. August is also the traditional time of “crayfish parties”, where Swedes get together, sing songs, cook and eat large amounts of crayfish (and often consume significant amounts of alcohol), and have a good time.

October is a beautiful time in Stockholm as you can appreciate the beautiful display of tree leaves changing color to vibrant shades of gold, red, orange, yellow, and brown throughout the city. Why not use your free time on your Stockholm cruise to continue the aquatic theme and take a little boat ride around Stockholm’s archipelago of beautiful islands?

In November, you can experience the first real winter month in Stockholm and warm up by watching one of the many films on offer at the yearly International Film Festival.

Finally, in December, you can visit for the Christmas Market, Yule, and St. Lucy’s day, celebrated on the 13th of December.

Don’t hesitate to take advantage of everything that Stockholm has to offer – both its local and national traditions and events. It’s a beautiful and welcoming city and has been for hundreds of years!


Visit Sweden and Learn Swedish Traditions

13 Apr

Visit Sweden

Four Delicious and Delightful Swedish Traditions

Visit Sweden! It is a country that is proud of its rich traditions – and rightfully so! Visitors can partake in many popular Swedish traditions all throughout the year, partly because these traditions are easily accessible for all and encourage participation.

From crayfish parties to popular holiday celebrations and the “freedom to roam,” Sweden has a wealth of traditions to experience and enjoy. Here are just a few:

1. Smorgasbord

A smorgasbord is a very traditional Swedish meal, served buffet-style, with a large number of delicious hot and cold dishes available for people to take as much of as they like. With the emphasis on seasonal ingredients, fishes, and vegetable dishes such as potatoes and stewed cabbage with beetroot salads, topped off by rice pudding and other sweets, the smorgasbord is an essential, and delicious, element of Swedish celebrations of all kinds.

2. Crayfish parties

Visit SwedenKnown as kräftskiva in Sweden, crayfish parties are traditional eating and drinking parties that take place in the summer, traditionally in the month of August, but more recently through mid-to-late summer in general. At crayfish parties (which take place outdoors), Swedes eat crayfish, drink snaps and other alcoholic beverages, and sing drinking songs called snapsvisa. Bread, mushroom pies, salads and various cheeses are served along with the crayfish, which are boiled in salt water and served cold.

3. Midsummer and Yule (Christmas) celebrations

The summers are short and the winters are long in Sweden. That’s why Midsummer and Yule (or Christmas) celebrations, which mark the longest days of summer and the last, darkest night of winter, are so important in Swedish culture. On Midsummer, people celebrate by dancing traditional ring dances around a maypole. Christmastime sees Lucia processions and tasty feasts with traditional food and drinks.

4. The “right to roam” in the great outdoors

It’s not all about drinking, eating, and dancing, though. Swedes traditionally worked hard as farmers and woodsmen in the great outdoors. They also relaxed there, and still today camping, hiking, and spending time in nature is a beloved pastime. Sweden’s many beautiful lakes, mountains, and nature trails provide visitors with thousands of opportunities to relax at the heart of nature. And best thing about it? It’s all free and enshrined in law by the “Allemannsrett,” or “freedom to roam,” which allows anyone to camp almost anywhere, including private property, for a night for free and undisturbed. So go explore some of Sweden’s stupendous nature, such as the Kungsleden hiking trail or Tyresta national park.

Visit Sweden

Of course, this is nowhere near all of Sweden’s popular traditions, but it’s a start. You can experience all that and more when you visit Sweden with us!


Gothenburg Museum of Art, Sweden

25 Sep

Gothenburg, Sweden’s City

No visit to Sweden is complete without a visit to beautiful Gothenburg – Sweden’s second city and the famous Gothenburg Museum of Art. Visitors that have already explored Sweden’s ancient capital and toured the islands on a Baltic cruise from Stockholm should head west to the stunning old university town of Gothenburg for its art, culture and breathtaking scenery.

Gothenburg is a large city with lively picturesque streets leading to the waterfront where great green parks look out to isolated islands.

Gothenburg Museum of Art

Gothenburg Museum of Art, SwedenThe highlight of any visit to Gothenburg is a visit to one of its top attractions: the Gothenburg Museum of Art (Goteborgs Konstmuseum).

The Gothenburg Museum of Art is located centrally at the end of the main city street Kungsportsavenyn. It is an imposing, monumental structure with massive archways that dominate the yellow brick front of the museum, and there is a large paved plaza in front providing ample opportunity for photographs. The building was created in 1923 by Swedish architect Sigfrid Ericson in the Neo-Classical style of Nordic Architecture.

Once inside, the space opens out to six floors of cavernous great tiled halls. The rooms feel bright, light and airy, and the art inside is displayed appropriately and in its best light. There is an excellent café as well as a cloakroom for visitors.

The main draw for the visitor is the art – and there is a lot of art about which to get excited! Although the museum is misleadingly known as a ‘Fine Art’ gallery, the collections are much more diverse than that title would suggest: from classical art of the 18th and 19th century right up to contemporary art from around the world.

The museum holds the world’s finest collection of 19th Century Nordic art, including such names as PS Kroyer, Carl Larsson, Edvard Munch, Anders Zorn and Bruno Liljefors.

Some marvelous 20th Century art from around the world includes Picasso’s Acrobat’s Family with a Monkey and works by Braques and Chagall.

In particular, the Sculpture Room is worth a visit. It is a breathtaking space containing important works by Cajsa von Zeipel and Alexander Calder.

Other big names in the world of art include Van Gogh, Monet, and Cezanne – it’s an art lover’s dream.

To navigate the museum requires at least half a day to see all of the marvelous art inside. If you plan to visit Sweden, make sure that you visit the Gothenburg Museum of Art. It’s a great example of what the Scandinavians do so well: culture and architecture.

How to Prepare for a Short Baltic Cruises from Helsinki

01 Aug

Baltic Tours with Nordic Cruises

How to Prepare for a Fun-Packed Short Baltic Cruises

Short Baltic cruises are the ideal way to take a break from the stresses of everyday life. What better way to indulge in such much-needed pampering than aboard a luxury liner? Baltic cruises offer some of the best opportunities to see some of the most amazing sights in popular destinations and along the way. Short Baltic cruises from Helsinki to St Petersburg, Stockholm,Tallinn, or Stockholm are hard to beat. But the details you know before your first cruise could mean the difference between a good time and a great one!

What to Pack for the Short Baltic Cruises

  • Clothes for Hot and Cold Weather – You never know what the temperature is going to be or the sudden changes that damp weather might bring. Pack for warm and cool weather but include a good waterproof windbreaker.
  • Bring Your Best Walking Shoes – No matter which stops you make, you will have to do some walking. If you feel the need to invest in a new pair before the cruise, make sure you break them in before you go.
  • Formal and Modest Clothing – You may be required to dress for dinner or want to make a visit to a restaurant that requires formal dress. Some tours include visits to must-see churches where long sleeves and pants are required.
  • Convert Your Money – Find out which of your stops are in countries that haven’t made the conversion to Euros. You will probably want to convert some of your money into a variety of currencies.
  • Pack Your Swimsuit – If you plan to go swimming on the cruise liner or at the beach, this is one essential you don’t want to leave behind.
  • Sunglasses – They don’t have to be your designer glasses but they should be effective at blocking out UV rays. Polarized sunglasses are a good choice. They reduce the glare off the water.
  • Hat or Cap
  • Binoculars
  • Camera with Extra Batteries

Favorite Attractions on Baltic Cruises

A lot of the attractions that you will see will be in St. Petersburg. This incredible city is rich in history and culture, boasting a lot of museums and elaborate churches. One to see is the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. You can also visit the State Hermitage Museum to learn about the area’s art and culture.

For families, there are zoos and aquariums, such as Ekzoopark and the St. Petersburg Dolphinarium. Adults can engage in the food, wine, & nightlife in the many pubs, bars, and clubs including the Jimi Hendrix Blues Club.

Contact Nordic Cruises today to book your place on Baltic cruises from Helsinki. Reserve your place aboard the MS Anastasia or MS Serenada and come prepared for a cruise you will never forget.

Visit the Vasa Museum During Your Baltic Cruise from Stockholm

06 Jun

The Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden

When you visit Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, one of the great delights – and a ‘must do’ experience – is the Vasa Museum. Situated on Djurgården island, a short hop from the city center, the visitor’s first impression is a modern, hangar-like building. Hidden inside is one of Europe’s most remarkable treasures – the only 17th-century ship ever to be salvaged in close to pristine condition, the Vasa.

Vasa Museum, Stockholm

Baltic cruises from Stockholm or Helsinki will take you past where the Swedish warship, bristling with cannons and the pride of the fleet, foundered shortly after her launch in 1628. She was discovered in the 1950s, brought up from the harbor in the early 1960s, carefully restored, and is now displayed beautifully with majestic glory in the museum.

Carefully Controlled Conditions Preserve Ship’s Original Beauty

The hangar’s temperature and humidity are carefully controlled to preserve the Vasa in the best possible condition. Although visitors cannot board the ship, they can walk around and admire her from her gorgeous, intricately-carved stern to her elegant bow with its leaping lion figurehead. The lower parts of all three masts have been fitted, as well as the rigging. The museum’s vast atrium supports a remarkable and beautiful copper roof that depicts the full height of the Vasa in her prime, with her sails aloft.

Learn About Life on Board

A replica of the platform from where the sails were worked (17m above the deck), also gives visitors a chance to brave the dizzying heights that sailors had to climb to operate the ship.

The museum also has engaging, interpretive sections that describe life on board. You will get a great idea of what it was like to be a sailor on this beautiful, but cramped ship. You will also become acquainted with the details of the sinking and of the ruling family that built her. The name Vasa means ‘vase’ in Swedish, the heraldic symbol of the king.

Learn About 17th Century Shipbuilding

On your visit, you will find out more about the Vasa’s construction and the vast industrial network needed to support Sweden’s 17th-century naval might. One of the most remarkable insights is that the cannons were salvaged not long after the Vasa sank, using primitive “diving bells” to allow swimmers to work successfully in the shallow harbor waters.

The entire experience, from viewing the ship to the supporting exhibits and the excellent museum restaurant, has made it one of the most popular museums in Scandinavia. The area is home to several other museums as well, so it’s well worth the short trip.

The Warship Vasa in Stockholm

Baltic Cruise from Stockholm or Helsinki

You can visit the Vasa Museum by Baltic cruise from Stockholm or Helsinki.