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Stockholm and Helsinki

This tour was quiet different from our normal tours as it was more independent and took in two cities and an overnight cruise.

Stockholm is a very pretty city, immaculate with beautiful building. It is expensive with drinking and eating out more expensive than Ireland. However I would not be put off by this as it is completely different than the other European cities we’ve all visited at sometime or another. Two definite things to see are City Hall where the Gold room hosts the famous Nobel prizes every year, and the Vasa Museum which displays the only almost fully intact 17th century ship that has ever been salvaged. The 64-gun warship Vasa sank on her maiden voyage in 1628.

Silja Cruise from Stockholm to Helsinki was the most unexpected thing I think I’ve ever come across. I was expecting a nice ferry type boat but got a cruise ship instead. Complete with shopping promenade in the middle of the ship, great size cabins as they all can accommodate up to 4 people, bars, nightclubs, beauty spa it was all fantastic. A taxi down to the port took all of 10 minutes, then we boarded at 4.00pm and set sail at 5.30pm. We arrived in Helsinki the next morning at 9.30am and were in the taxi on our way to the hotel by 10.00am.

Helsinki is a rather different city than Stockholm. Still interesting with its Orthodox Churches and its famous Church in a Rock, a lot of the building were torn down in the 70’s and replaced with then modern buildings but which are now very dated looking. Much more reasonable than Helsinki so any shopping you want to do I’d wait until Helsinki as they have the same shops as Stockholm.

I’ve done this tour in the Winter and Summer and both times have their pros. The Summer goes without saying…its warmer than here and the Winter its absolutely freezing but if dressed appropriately the country caters for the cold with everywhere indoors roasting and of course in Helsinki you have steam rooms everywhere. I actually really enjoyed it in the Winter.

Overall I loved this tour as it was really unusual and unexpected but appeals more to people who don’t mind making there own way from airports etc. (all timetables are provided with tickets).

– Celine, General Manager