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VO Stockholm Question

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For anyone that has done the Homelands or Russia and the Baltic routes with an overnight in Stockholm.... could you give me a quick review of what the included Stockholm excursion was like?   We are trying to plan our precruise days in Stockholm and didn’t want to waste time doing something that would be included later. I am assuming it is a mostly coach tour around the city but didn’t know. Did you go through any museums or the Royal Palace?  

Thanks. 

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We were on Homelands and in Stockholm in June of this year.  The included tour we had was a bus ride panoramic tour with one stop at City Hall for a photo op, then back on the bus lasting about two hours.  There is an opportunity to leave the bus at the free ship shuttle stop to continue on your own.  The tour provided an overview of the city, but was hardly "breathtaking" or "unforgettable".  We departed the tour at the shuttle stop and got tickets for the hop on hop off boat and took it to the Vasa museum and a nice tour around the harbor (there is a boat stop at the Photography Museum where your ship will most likely be docked).  If you opt for any of the hop on hop off options (boat or bus), be aware there are two different companies operating (red and green).

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2 minutes ago, ropomo said:

We were on Homelands and in Stockholm in June of this year.  The included tour we had was a bus ride panoramic tour with one stop at City Hall for a photo op, then back on the bus lasting about two hours.  There is an opportunity to leave the bus at the free ship shuttle stop to continue on your own.  The tour provided an overview of the city, but was hardly "breathtaking" or "unforgettable".  We departed the tour at the shuttle stop and got tickets for the hop on hop off boat and took it to the Vasa museum and a nice tour around the harbor (there is a boat stop at the Photography Museum where your ship will most likely be docked).  If you opt for any of the hop on hop off options (boat or bus), be aware there are two different companies operating (red and green).

I totally agree!  We were on Homelands for our 1st Viking Ocean Cruise.   In fact, the included Stockholm tour was our first VOC excursion.   It wasn't that great.   To be truthful, our expectations were low, however.   We had spent a couple days in Stockholm ahead of time and were so glad we did.  The coach included tour was sort of a waste of time for us, but did provide us a chance to interact and meet some of our fellow cruisers.   We also got off the tour bus near the Opera House and made our own way back to the ship - the walk was good through all of Gamla Stan and given it was a sunny day, made for a delightful conclusion by doing our own "self-tour".   We could also have done the Vasa or the boat companies, but we already had done those.

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I also agree.  Stockholm was our last stop and if we had not extended for 3 days we would have been VERY disappointed with the included tour.  The hop on/off boat was great and if you have an opportunity make sure to see the changing of the guard.

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I did A LOT of research before our Homelands cruise and Stockholm was the only one that people didn't recommend the included tour.  We skipped it and toured it on our own.  We were there for 3 days and loved every minute of it.  We got the Stockholm Pass which included transportation and some points of interest and it worked out great.

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We did the Homelands cruise two years ago and the included tour then was the bus tour.  Definitely get to the Vasa ship museum some way. The HOHO boat tour sounds good--we did not know about it when we were there.  But there's a small ferry not far from where the ship docks--we walked there and for just a few dollars got a  round-trip ride to the amusement park area and walked a few minutes to the Vasa.  That was a highlight of the entire cruise.

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Wow, thanks to you all for this info. This was just what I needed. We are staying on Djurgården so will definitely be doing Skansen, the Vasa and Nordic museums precruise. We were thinking the hop on hop off boats would be a good way to get around  sounds like they will work well for us. Will probably just plan to skip the included tour I wanted to make sure the included excursion did not tour city hall or the Royal Palace and indeed it does not so we will do those on our own as well. 

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Another note on the Homelands included tours, the Tallin included walking tour was excellent (maybe because of our guide).

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1 hour ago, ropomo said:

Another note on the Homelands included tours, the Tallin included walking tour was excellent (maybe because of our guide).

On our Russia and the Baltic Seas tour, the Tallinn walking tour was excellent, even in spite of our guide (or maybe I should say in spite of the group of passengers who kept insisting we stop at every group of shops we passed!).

 

The Stockholm included excursion was a satisfactory introduction to the city, and with time on our own afterwards, we were able to visit the Nobel Prize Museum. For someone staying in the city pre/post cruise, I would skip the included tour.

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2 hours ago, ropomo said:

Another note on the Homelands included tours, the Tallin included walking tour was excellent (maybe because of our guide).

 

Take the afternoon one for a more enjoyable experience.  Streets are walkable then.  All cruise ship tours atr in Old town area in the morning so it can be rather crowded.

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14 hours ago, mhb1757 said:

Wow, thanks to you all for this info. This was just what I needed. We are staying on Djurgården so will definitely be doing Skansen, the Vasa and Nordic museums precruise. We were thinking the hop on hop off boats would be a good way to get around  sounds like they will work well for us. Will probably just plan to skip the included tour I wanted to make sure the included excursion did not tour city hall or the Royal Palace and indeed it does not so we will do those on our own as well. 

 

We found the included tour satisfactory as a recap as we had spent 3 days there before we boarded.  City Hall should be a must see.  We did Drottnnigham the way Rick Steves describes on the Stockholm pass as we also got the travel card for public transport.  Check the HOHO boats as they do not run all the time.  We were there in September and they had stopped for the season.  Check out the subway stations art.  They are all unique.  We went to the Pelican restaurant in Sodormolm and the neighboring table assured us it was very Swedish.  We stayed in Gamla Stan and also had another wonderful meal there in a restaurant that made you feel that you were in someone's family home for the meal.  If you want, I could look it up and the spelling on the other restaurant is slightly different in Swedish.

 

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We too are on this trip and I'm hugely grateful for you all taking the time to pass on your experience. Dauntless I'd be pleased to hear your recommendations on restaurants too.

 

I remember reading your experiences from this cruise so I shall go back and look at the hot tips and suggestions you gave then.

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On 9/30/2019 at 11:42 AM, DGHOC said:

We too are on this trip and I'm hugely grateful for you all taking the time to pass on your experience. Dauntless I'd be pleased to hear your recommendations on restaurants too.

 

I remember reading your experiences from this cruise so I shall go back and look at the hot tips and suggestions you gave then.

 

We made our own arrangements and stayed at First Hotel Reisen on Gamla Stan.  We could see where the ship docked from our window--requested.  Best breakfast of the entire trip and really liked the feel of the hotel.  Not a Hilton type.  Same rating as Viking's choice but with more charm and half the price.  We ate at Chokladkoppen on the main square.  The red building in the pictures of that location.  It was lunch.  The first night was Fem Sma Hus, around the corner from the hotel.  Made up of five small houses that connect below street level.  This was a Wed night and a little chilly and the place looked closed but we went to the door to try and it opened and when we were greeted we were taken downstairs which was very busy but they found us a place even though we had no reservations.  A very unique experience.  The second night we ate close to the Metro station.  Had no plans but chose Sankta Clara.  this was a warm, inviting atmosphere and decor was reminisent of "Cheers" bar.  Comfortable restaurant on street level and a music  venue in the basement.  Te food was good but no show stoppers.  As I mentioned before, we ate at Pelikan our last night on shore.  A Swedish beer hall feel with traditional local fare.  when we reached Bergen we stayed 2 extra nights there.  First night at Det Henseatic Finndgarten Hotel.  Right behind the Museum and close to the Funnicular,  We really liked this hotel.  Another unique experience.  The last night we stayed at the Airport Clarion as we figured it would be easier to be there when we woke up and not have to worry about transportation in the morning and could partake of their buffet that morning since our plane left about 10:30.  We walked to the terminal that night, checked out the scale to weigh our bags in the morning to make sure we were still under 50 pounds.  Though it is on airport grounds we heard no sounds that night.  A modern hotel.

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We quite enjoyed the included panoramic tour but don't feel compelled to tick off 'must sees' in the form of museums etc. 

Actually, the most enjoyable section for us was the sail out  of Stockholm threading our way through the myriad little islands and waterways. We sat on our balcony with  glasses of wine and some smoked salmon and watched local people really revelling in their access to water sports in various forms. 

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On 10/15/2019 at 4:53 AM, Dauntless said:

 

We made our own arrangements and stayed at First Hotel Reisen on Gamla Stan.  We could see where the ship docked from our window--requested.  Best breakfast of the entire trip and really liked the feel of the hotel.  Not a Hilton type.  Same rating as Viking's choice but with more charm and half the price.  We ate at Chokladkoppen on the main square.  The red building in the pictures of that location.  It was lunch.  The first night was Fem Sma Hus, around the corner from the hotel.  Made up of five small houses that connect below street level.  This was a Wed night and a little chilly and the place looked closed but we went to the door to try and it opened and when we were greeted we were taken downstairs which was very busy but they found us a place even though we had no reservations.  A very unique experience.  The second night we ate close to the Metro station.  Had no plans but chose Sankta Clara.  this was a warm, inviting atmosphere and decor was reminisent of "Cheers" bar.  Comfortable restaurant on street level and a music  venue in the basement.  Te food was good but no show stoppers.  As I mentioned before, we ate at Pelikan our last night on shore.  A Swedish beer hall feel with traditional local fare.  when we reached Bergen we stayed 2 extra nights there.  First night at Det Henseatic Finndgarten Hotel.  Right behind the Museum and close to the Funnicular,  We really liked this hotel.  Another unique experience.  The last night we stayed at the Airport Clarion as we figured it would be easier to be there when we woke up and not have to worry about transportation in the morning and could partake of their buffet that morning since our plane left about 10:30.  We walked to the terminal that night, checked out the scale to weigh our bags in the morning to make sure we were still under 50 pounds.  Though it is on airport grounds we heard no sounds that night.  A modern hotel.

 

Thanks so much Dauntless. Sorry for my tardy reply - been away travelling.

 

We love city breaks and plan to do the galleries and museums and will squeeze in as much as we can. Neither of us have visited Stockholm before so really pleased to have the extra time there.

 

Whilst we loved our Northern Lights cruise, the panoramic tours disappointed us, especially in Bergen. We should have just done our own thing there. I suspect we won't do the panoramic tour of Stockholm.

 

I've made a note of your hot tips and send you our thanks.

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I really enjoyed Malbork Castle in Gdansk and the walking included tour in Aalborg was great fun.  If you didn't do Grieg or Old Bull's place in Bergen you might try either one of those.  They are not always open. depending on the season.  The funicular was easy to do in Bergen.  Our included was a bad walking tour that took us to a museum that was so overcrowded that we had to leave the tour.  I though the pano might have been better but I guess not.  What time of year is your cruise?  We did the NIAN round trip from Bergen and that was good.  It gets you into the countryside.  Did ours through Norway Active(or maybe Active Norway).  Included train to Myrdyl then down to Flam--no guide.  Could have come part way down on bike but didn't choose that option.  We had lunch-not part of the tour-- then we took the Fjord Safari tour-with guide- though Nerofjord and really enjoyed that.  Disembarkedat the end of fjord and were given a van ride, that had some panoramic vistas up to the train station in Voss and then back to Bergen--no guide.  It's a long day but a great experience 

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Ours is a different cruise to yours. We're doing the Stockholm to Copenhagen, think it's Russia and the Baltic. We're going to use Alla in St Petersburg but do our own thing in Stockholm. We're city folk who love a city, so will be in our element there!

 

We're travelling in May 2020 so the temps should still be cool enough to wrap up and head out comfortably but warmer than Northern Norway in March which was our experience of Viking to date. All very exciting!

 

Thanks again!

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3 hours ago, DGHOC said:

Ours is a different cruise to yours. We're doing the Stockholm to Copenhagen, think it's Russia and the Baltic. We're going to use Alla in St Petersburg but do our own thing in Stockholm. We're city folk who love a city, so will be in our element there!

 

We're travelling in May 2020 so the temps should still be cool enough to wrap up and head out comfortably but warmer than Northern Norway in March which was our experience of Viking to date. All very exciting!

 

Thanks again!

We did this trip in spring of this year, and it was a great trip. We also used Alla for our three days in St. Petersburg (highly recommend), and were there May 1 through 3. The weather was interesting, as one day was sunny and so  pleasant that by afternoon we left our jackets on the van. The second day was chilly, and the last day was so cold and windy with flurries of snow that I had to buy one of the furry Russian style hats that they sold in the port terminal at quite a premium. We had brought gloves, but not hats, so be prepared. All other stops on the cruise were at worst chilly, but never cold like St. Petersburg. I would choose that time frame again, as the crowds were tolerable and I assume better than they would be during the summer months.

Enjoy! 

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Thanks lackcreativity, I think we spoke back then. I remember some great reviews from your group.

The cooler weather will greatly suit me as I'm not a hot weather lover, and it's so much easier for city touring. We're British  ('Ne're cast a clout till May be out') so will be packing gloves and scarves, rain jackets and brollies just in case!

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DGHOC,

Since you mentioned an interest in museums, I will mention again the Nobel Prize Museum right in Gamla Stan which we visited in Stockholm. Granted, it may not be a stop that everyone would enjoy, but we certainly did. The main exhibit at the time was focused on President Obama, the Civil Rights movement, and Martin Luther King. It was really a moving exhibition with  some things to be proud of as an American during what were shameful times in our history. Not sure if that would be as interesting to a Brit, but I find British history interesting, so maybe it would be. There were many other things to see regarding winners of all the different categories of the Nobel Prize.

 

 

Edited by lackcreativity

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Lots of great comments..I do agree with them. Please add the ABBA museum in Stockholm to your list..

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