Shore excursions in the Baltic

Feb 20th, 2009, 03:05 PM
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Shore excursions in the Baltic

We are going on an MSC cruise in May and wondered at which of the ports of call would be able to do shore excursions by walking ashore and doing a tour on our own, and in which ports it would be best to do a tour. We have booked the ship's tours for our two days in St. Petersburg and are also stopping at Gdynia, Helsinki, Riga, Tallin and Visby. Thank you for your help. Margot
mhwhite is offline  
Feb 20th, 2009, 06:32 PM
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Only in Tallinn can you walk from the ship into the Old Town.

Helsinki need a taxi ride and then you better know where you are going.

In Gdynia ( for Gdansk) need a taxi and /or guide. Gydansk is 25 miles away.

Read my Baltic Trip report for more detail at these ports.

Percy is offline  
Feb 20th, 2009, 07:45 PM
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In both Tallinn and Helsinki, we did not dock close enough to the sights to walk--well, it would have been a really long walk. Our cruise ship provided a bus, for a modest fee.

In St. Petersburg, we booked two days with Red October. For four of us traveling together, it was cheaper than two days of ship's shore excursions, and the days were tailored to us.
abram is offline  
Feb 21st, 2009, 03:17 PM
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Thank you both for your replies. Percy, I copied your information and will use it as a guide.
We are spending three nights in Copenhagen before the cruise so will see that city then.
Wish we had waited and done a private tour in St. Petersburg.
Has anyone been to Riga or Visby and can we walk from the ship to town?
Thanks again, Margot
mhwhite is offline  
Feb 21st, 2009, 07:11 PM
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If possible ,I would try to get Grethe as a tour guide in Copenhagen for a full day.

If you are staying central in Copenhagen, you can walk to many places

..... but if you want to go to Hillerod to see Frederiksborg Castle and then on to Kronborg Castle...and come back along the Copenhagen Riveria route, then I am sure you will enjoy being with Grethe.

Have a nice time
Percy is offline  
Mar 6th, 2009, 10:01 AM
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I did a Baltic cruise with Carnival last August. I camped in Copenhagen years ago, and on this visit, I didn't really notice any big changes to the tourist sections of the city. Tons of people walked the 20 to 30 minutes on their own from the ship. It's an easy city in which to get around, especially since I bought a map of the city before leaving the U.S.

Tallin was a cinch to walk from where the Splendor was docked; lots of people left the ship on their own walking tours. You can get lots of historical info on line about the city. Also, many maps are available on line; actually Carnival had simple maps of all the ports.

In Helsinki, there were shuttle busses at the dock for reasonable prices, as abram mentioned. I think it might have been around $10 round trip. It's not a large city, so we had no problems finding everything. The Helsinki Tourist Board sent me lots of information, including a wonderful map of the city. We even took a boat ride to the Suomenlinna Maritime Fortress.

St. Petersburg was the only stop at which we used an organized tour, as you, but we used DenRus.

At all the ports except Warnemundi, Germany, almost everyone spoke English and happy to help us as well as talk about their cities. You have to keep in mind that when these cruise ships come in, it means a good tourist trade for the people in those cities, so things are made fairly easy for the holiday crowd.

We had a blast just wandering around on our own. Of course, we would meet people from our ship doing the same. Then we'd compare notes and make sure we still had time to visit something we missed.
trapsma is offline  
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