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lorrainemargaret

Baltic cruise getting about info please

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Hi we are going on baltic cruise with C/M in may,,Can anyone advise please We will do ship excursions or tour in St Petersburg,But which of the other ports are easy to get off ship and do on our own/ Amsterdam/Copenhagen/Warnemumde/Tallin/Helsinki/Stockholm/Aarhus IF anyone can give me any ideas of which cities are easy to get around from port I would be very grateful or if any are better doing trips,Also any idea what weather will be like in May?So we have some idea what to pack,Appreciate any info

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Posted (edited)

Warnemunde is easy if you're going to stay reasonably local. We took the train , which is adjacent to the harbor and went to Rostock  & walked around. I don't recall but there is a site about the area or state (Meckleburg) that you will be docking in and has do it yourself instructions.

The other place that is easy to do on your own is Tallin. The entrance to the old town  is about a 10 minute walk from the port or even shorter using the shuttle. The old town is charming and the best port to do your shopping.

Amsterdam is also easy to walk around or use the public trams. It is about a 15-20 minute walk from the port to the center of town by the central train station where you can catch trams or sightseeing boats.

Edited by dabear

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58 minutes ago, lorrainemargaret said:

Hi we are going on baltic cruise with C/M in may,,Can anyone advise please We will do ship excursions or tour in St Petersburg,But which of the other ports are easy to get off ship and do on our own/ Amsterdam/Copenhagen/Warnemumde/Tallin/Helsinki/Stockholm/Aarhus IF anyone can give me any ideas of which cities are easy to get around from port I would be very grateful or if any are better doing trips,Also any idea what weather will be like in May?So we have some idea what to pack,Appreciate any info

Tallinn is very easy to DIY. Stockholm depends on your docking location & Helsinki requires transportation to Market Square (Helsinki has a wealth of information on their TI website: https://www.myhelsinki.fi/en/info) - we utilized the trams in Helsinki. Check where you will dock in Copenhagen - if Langelinie, you can walk, otherwise you will need transportation into town (ex: Oceankaj).

Weather in the Baltics is a crap shoot - you can google the yearly averages online for your ports of call. I would recommend layers, a waterproof jacket & an umbrella.

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So much asked for you may not get many replies with answers to everything you are asking about so you could probably start by reading easily accessed info.

 

Plenty of info on the web for cruise passengers giving info on dock location, distance to the town/city itself, transport,  what there is to see and do etc. Try websites such as whatsinport and cruisemapper, but there are others.

 

Also go to cruisecritic RESEARCH (at the top of the page) choose DESTINATIONS from the drop down and search each destination.

 

Also try the EUROPE BOARDS. Go to the threads by country or region, and use the forum search box to find previous posts and threads.

 

And Tripadvisor, but not only the main section reviews with "what to do/see, restaurants, hotels etc" include the individual forums as many cruise pax ask on these.

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My apologies. You asked on the N Europe Board so you already found it!

 

In addition to the general info found as advised in the previous post, use the SEARCH on this forum for each city or town to bring up previously asked questions and the replies. Lots of useful info can be found there.

 

Noting you are thinking of a shorex in SPB you could look at comments and recommendations for private touring before booking anything with the ship.

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All of those ports can be easily toured on your own.  (However, if your ship does not dock in Stockholm proper, you’ve got to find a way to get there.) 

 

We toured all of the ports (except SPB) on our own using only our feet and/or public transportation and it worked out great!  However, you have to do some research to figure out how to do it.  My best resources were the Rick Steve’s Guide to Northern European Cruiseports, the thread by Danish Viking called “Wonderful Copenhagen” and an old thread by Travelanni. 

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We very easily travelled independently throughout the baltics (with the exception of St. Peterburg, where we had a private tour).  We were able to easily utilize the outstanding public transportation almost everywhere, even with a 3.5 year old in tow.  My signature line describes exactly what we did in each city.  The other thing you should note is whether you dock in Stockholm itself, or in Nynashamn, which is about 60 km away.  Have a great trip - the Baltics are really special!

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A lot of topics specific for your ports of interest in this forum

 

Aarhus is easy for DIY - find more information in this topic

 

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Amsterdam is easy. It's a healthy walk or short taxi / (?)bus(?) hop to Damrak, the main city thoroughfare which runs from Centraal Station to Dam Square. Canal trips available on Damrak, the Red Light district is close by, Also Anne Frank Hius (pre-book).

 

Copenhagen depends where you berth. If at the new(ish) cruise terminal you'll need a transfer, if on Langelinnie (by the Little Mermaid) it's a very pleasant waterfront walk past the Kastellet and Amelienborg Palace to Nyhavn for a waterside beer or coffee just before the city centre.

 

Warnemunde.

For a pleasant and easy day take the train to Rostock.

A very long-day excursion will be offered to Berlin. It's a 3-hour journey. OK if it's your only chance to visit Berlin but I'm assuming you're British and I strongly recommend you put Berlin on the back-burner - flights from the UK are short and inexpensive, and Berlin is well worth a city break of 3+ days.

 

Tallinn.

If you're tolerably mobile & the weather's fine it's only a 15-minute walk to the nearest part of the walled old city, a squat tower with the unflattering name of Fat Margaret.

If you don't fancy the walk you can take ship's shuttlebus to the bottom of the walled city, or take a taxi.

The old city is on a steep hillside - if you opt for a taxi get the driver to drop you at the top then meander down.

Because of the steep narrow cobbled streets, buses can only drop / pick up at the bottom.

Hop-on buses are great in some cities - but not in Tallinn because of those route limitations.

 

Helsinki

You'll need transportation (ship's shuttle?) from the berth to Market Square (about 20 minutes?), From there are selection of boat trips, or a local tram which does a circular route (sorry, I forget the tram number). I think the ho-ho buses call at the berth. 

 

Stockholm

Most ships sail in through the archipelago of islands & berth in the city. That sail-in is one of the best in the world.

Particularly large ships aren't permitted in those narrow channels thro the islands - they have to berth on the coast at Nynashamn, an hour's train ride from Stockholm.

C&M's ships are small, unaffected by the size limitations for sailing into Stockholm. But they're also quite old and might not have the manouvreability to satisfy the port authorities.

Check your ship's itinerary and hope not to see " Stockholm (Nyneshamn)".

Stadsgarden (spelling?) is ideal, it's right in the middle. Frihamnen is OK, it's a short bus ride.

Go see the Vasa Museum first, before the crowds build - numbers are controlled and a queue builds up outside from late morning. Gamla Stan old-town and the Royal Palace are popular. All these places are on the route of the hop-on boats - but their route is clockwise which puts Vasa at the end of the route if you're berthed at Stadsgarden. So early to mid-morning they usually offer a direct boat to Vasa. 

 

Aarhus - sorry, can't help.

 

St Petersburg

If you're not already committed to ship's tour, note the Edinburgher's suggestion.

Many of us choose a tour offered by local tour operators. Google Alla Tours, TJ Travel. SPB Tours, Best Guides, DenRus, Anastasia and half-a-dozen others. They all offer visa-free tours, same visa-free concession as ship's tours, but their tours are in 16-seat minibuses rather than big coaches - so much more personal, more flexible, by-passing queues at sights, no waiting while 50 people board or alight or show up late, closer parking, quicker thro traffic, etc ad infinitum. Prices are similar to ships' tours, normally you can buy seat-in-bus rather than having to put a group together. You do have to pre-book (print-off the tour ticket e-mailed to you, it gets you thro immigration without a visa) but you normally don't pay or even quote a credit card number until you are on the tour.

 

Super part of the world for cruising

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

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Had a thought only today that you mentioned Amsterdam and that you are sailing with C and M.  If this is Cruise and Maritime, be aware that this line is one of those which cancelled all or some of their 2019 Amsterdam calls in protest at the new Tourist Tax.

 

There have been cruisecritic news reports and further updates since December. As you didn't mention the possibility of not being in Amsterdam in your original post, you should probably read this news item all the way through as C and M are mentioned several times:

https://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/news/3619/

 

According to the above, you may be in Rotterdam instead. This you would need to check with C and M before making any plans for Amsterdam, especially if this involves pre-purchasing tours, entrance tickets, canal tours etc which may not be refundable.

 

You might also be interested to check eg whatsinport where cruise lines and alternative ports are mentioned.

 

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On 3/9/2019 at 12:26 PM, John Bull said:

Stockholm

Most ships sail in through the archipelago of islands & berth in the city. That sail-in is one of the best in the world.

Particularly large ships aren't permitted in those narrow channels thro the islands - they have to berth on the coast at Nynashamn, an hour's train ride from Stockholm.

C&M's ships are small, unaffected by the size limitations for sailing into Stockholm. But they're also quite old and might not have the manouvreability to satisfy the port authorities.

Check your ship's itinerary and hope not to see " Stockholm (Nyneshamn)".

Stadsgarden (spelling?) is ideal, it's right in the middle. Frihamnen is OK, it's a short bus ride.

Go see the Vasa Museum first, before the crowds build - numbers are controlled and a queue builds up outside from late morning. Gamla Stan old-town and the Royal Palace are popular. All these places are on the route of the hop-on boats - but their route is clockwise which puts Vasa at the end of the route if you're berthed at Stadsgarden. So early to mid-morning they usually offer a direct boat to Vasa. 

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

 

Just some minor corrections on ship restrictions for Stockholm.
Ships like Royal/Regal Princess, Norwegian Breakaway and the Britannica are allowed into Stockholm although they are on the limit of what is physically possible.

 

Restrictions apply for all ships that requires a pilot (=for example all cruise ships) and ships are divided into several categories:

For when there are poor visibility conditions (if visibility is equal to or less then 500 m).

Ships with a length 175-300 m and ships with a length that is exceeding 300m

Then for wind strength length categories are:

Ships shorter then 175 -> usually no restrictions.

Ships with 175-245 m length

Ships with 245-300 m length

Ships with a length that is exceeding 300m.

 

Maximum depth for ships are 9m.

 

Restrictions also depends on which Fairway the ships arrive via. Most ships arrives via Furusund/Tjärven but some of the smaller arrives via Sandhamn.

 

Restrictions and etc can be found here:

http://www.sjofartsverket.se/en/Maritime-services/Pilotage/Pilot-Areas/Stockholm-Pilot-Area/Standards--Procedures/Fairway-Standards/

http://www.sjofartsverket.se/en/Maritime-services/Pilotage/Pilot-Areas/Stockholm-Pilot-Area/Standards--Procedures/Fairway-Standards/Stockholm/Furusundroute-Wind-Visibility-and-Darkness-Restrictions/

http://www.sjofartsverket.se/en/Maritime-services/Pilotage/Pilot-Areas/Stockholm-Pilot-Area/Standards--Procedures/Fairway-Standards/Stockholm/Sandhamnroute-Wind-Visibility-and-Darkness-Restrictions/

 

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Everyone has given you some good advice, but here's another thing to consider - we used Anastasia's Travel in St. Petersburg, and then we added a couple of other ports on because we got incredible deals. Then we didn't have to worry about buses, taxis, etc. Everything was taken care of - and because we used them in multiple ports, it didn't cost much extra. Yes, we could have done it on our own. But at the end of it all, it was worth the few extra dollars we spent - completely worth it.

 

Talk to whoever you are using in St. Petersburg - see what they have going on for options. 

 

 

 

 

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On 3/8/2019 at 10:21 PM, lorrainemargaret said:

Hi we are going on baltic cruise with C/M in may,,Can anyone advise please We will do ship excursions or tour in St Petersburg,But which of the other ports are easy to get off ship and do on our own/ Amsterdam/Copenhagen/Warnemumde/Tallin/Helsinki/Stockholm/Aarhus IF anyone can give me any ideas of which cities are easy to get around from port I would be very grateful or if any are better doing trips,Also any idea what weather will be like in May?So we have some idea what to pack,Appreciate any info

I think most ports you can do by your own. In some cities you may just walk to the city. In most Baltic ports it was quite good and easy way to travel by metro or taxi. We did Amsterdam, Copehnagen, Tallin and Helsinki on our own. In St. Petersburg we had a tour with Red Sun Tours

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I agree that you can do some of the ports on your own. We explored Amsterdam, Stockholm, Helsinki and Tallinn with a group of friends, and for St.Petersburg and Berlin we booked through Anastasia's Travel. Warnemunde (for Berlin) is also easy to do on your own, and maybe get yourself to Rostock if you are not planning on going to Berlin.

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On 3/8/2019 at 12:21 PM, lorrainemargaret said:

Can anyone advise please We will do ship excursions or tour in St Petersburg,But which of the other ports are easy to get off ship and do on our own/ Amsterdam/Copenhagen/Warnemumde/Tallin/Helsinki/Stockholm/Aarhus IF anyone can give me any ideas of which cities are easy to get around from port I would be very grateful or if any are better doing trips,

A good resource for first time visitors to your ports of call is: Rick Steves Northern European Cruise Ports. This handy travel book provides tons of tips and information regarding DIY (getting around on your own). You should be able to pick-up a copy at your local library, book store or Amazon.

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Posted (edited)

I would suggest  Best Guides for the tour of St. Petersburg. They offer a 2 day itinerary in small groups.

Edited by maddocfamilyu

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Hi we did a Baltic cruise we did B2b cruises.in the month of May. I figured the weather would be cool. So I took only cool weather clothes and wool socks and water proof shoes. The weather did a 180 it was really warm the temps were like July. My husband was wearing short sleeve shirts.The early morning were cool but would warm up to summer temperatures. I would take layers and a pair of sandals. You will do a lot of walking especially St Peterburg . We averaged about 11 km per day with the different Places.

The day we were to go to  dock in Warnemude at about 6  am we were usable to dock until 11 am because they closed the port  due to fog. A lot of shore excursions got canceled..

If your cruise  goes to Nysham try and get up early for the sail in at sun rise it is spectacular. The sail out is interesting as well.  Also the sail into St Peterburg  is really interesting as well with the old forts and churches.

The days will lengthen each day and it does not get dark for long at night. You will have beautiful sun rises. 

Have a great cruise. 

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We did the Hoho buses  inHelsinki and Stockholm. Tallin you can just walk on you own. In Germany we did the Molli train on our own and that was so much fun! 

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