Baltic cruise shore excursions



My family and I are going on a Baltic Cruise on the Grand Princess. We stop at the following ports: Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallin, Gdynia, Warnemunde, Helsingor. Any recommendations on shore excursions? Can one safely and easily explore Gemla Stan on your own?


Copenhagen - is definitely a walking town, hit the Stroget and the inner harbor & don't forget Tiviloi, especially if there are fireworks. St. Petersburg - you need a tour (visa); Warnemunde is a port for Berlin; Gdynia - had a great taxi tour there (if you can find an english speaking driver) Gamla Stan is fun on your own, just leave time to "get lost" & make the ship before it sails!


I'm recently off the 5/29 sailing and my opinion is that you should do all the ports on your own with the exception of Gdansk. In Gdansk , you should take the $19 "on your own" tour that Princess offers and get a guide book before you leave on the cruise. Even St. Petersburg, soon be done with Red October or another independent tour agency. Although we thought that the tours themselves were wonderfully, we found some of the rudest least considerate people on our cruise that I have ever seen. They were rude on the ship to other passengers and staff and rude on tours to the tour guides. Also the size of group that Princess puts you with means that you end up doing alot of waiting in line and have very little time to see the sight. If none of this is a concern then I would easily recommend the excursions we did as all the tours and tours guides were good. We did:

Stockholm: Stockholm Sampler, Vasa Museum (don't miss the Vasa, but again not enought time to see the museum with Princess)

Helsinki: Porvoo & Helsinki

St. Petersburg: Grand St Petersburg, Evening Folkloric Show

Tallin: Walking tour of Old Tallin

Gdynia/Gdansk: Gdansk City Sampler with Lunch on Your own.

We went to Oslo not Warnemaude, so I can't comment.

I'm going to try to post a review soon, but if you have any questions feel free to email me.

Have a great cruise


Some additional words on my home town Tallinn.
I just saw one report published in Estonian newspaper that maybe half of people from cruise ship decided to do ship tour and half not (article described visit of Regatta to Tallinn).

The most histrorical and interesting area in Tallinn is the Old Town which is situated in within in the limits of walk distance from the port. And I believe that the best way to explore this area the old Town is walking tour.
Though I can say by my personal experience that combined tour with car or bus is also possible. But some areas in the city are pedestrian areas and City council included several streets into pedestraina area additionally this spring.
Ship groups drive up to the Toomea Hill where they will start their classical walking tour in the Old Town.
It is true that sometimes these groups are too large (by my perosnal opinion) to listen explanations of tour guides.
Tallinn is popular destination for cruise ships and it can happen that there are several cruise ships in the port same day which means that more touristic places are overcrowded a litle bit.
The Old Town is one part of city- there are several sights and interesting areas out of the Old Town too, but you need transportation to see them.
And some words about Helsinki, neighbouring capital. Helsnki is not so old as Tallinn. The central area of the was buil only in the 19 th century.
Maybe the best way to spend your day in helsnki is to buy a tourist ticket, so you can use public transportation without any limits. You can take a tram 3t or 3B which passes almost all major sights in this town, or you can try short 1,5 official city tour (price 20 Euro/adult) and there some other tour options too.
Have a nice cruise !


Warnemuende is the port not only for Berlin, but also Rostock. If you decide not to take the long trip to Berlin, take the train from Warenemuende to Rostock, it's only about 15-20 minutes and costs about 5 euros. It goes frequently back and forth. The conductor helps you get tickets from a machine if you ask. There is a bank right at the train station to exchange dollars. Don't get off at the first Rostock stop, get off at Rostock Hauptbahnhof (main rail terminal). From there it's an easy walk into the city. Pick up a map at the train station.

In Stockholm, don't miss the Vasa Museum, take the hop on hop off bus instead of the ship tour and then you can stay as long as you like. The bus also drops you close to the Royal Palace and Gamla Stan, easy to walk around.

In Helsinki all ships have shuttles into the city, again, it's easy to walk around with a map from Information kiosk. Copenhagen the same, we walked everywhere. The Stroget is easy to find, great shops and restaurants.

In St. Petersburg we took the Red October tour and recommend them highly. It was the highlight of our trip, a bit expensive, but so are the ship excursions. RO got us to the front of long lines everywhere, right past ship lines.

We've been on many cruises, but enjoyed this one the most.