Helsinki Cruises, Finland
SHORE EXCURSIONS View all excursions
Charm is in no short supply in Porvoo, your first stop on this trip. It’s one of the oldest towns in Finland and the Medieval hub looks as if it’s been frozen in time. Dive into the tangled streets and you’ll find yourself in a maze of dinky wooden houses. As you set off on your walking tour, keep an eye out for the former home of Johan Ludvig Runeberg, Finland’s greatest poet. Then wander along the riverside to see the famous red warehouses, which share space with pastel-painted houses. Take a closer look and you’ll see that today they house museums, boutiques, cafés and restaurants. After you’ve had a chance to explore, we’ll take you back to Helsinki. Here the big sights come thick and fast on this whistle stop tour – the City Hall, the Parliament building, the Opera House. You’ll see them all. We’ll take you through the oldest part of Helsinki, past Sibelius Park and down to the Esplanade, the city’s favourite weekend hangout. On top of all that, you’ll get a chance to visit the Temppeliaukio Church, too. Otherwise known as the Rock Church, it’s a contemporary church carved out of – yep, you guessed it – rock.
Dinky Helsinki holds the record for the smallest city ever to host the Olympic Games. The locals call it ‘a big village.’ But despite its home-town vibe, it’s still quite the cosmopolitan capital. And its mix of Slavic and Scandinavian architecture tells the story of its push-me-pull-me relationship with Russia. On this city tour you’ll see sights like the Neoclassical Presidential Palace that sits on the waterfront. You’ll drive down Mannerheim Street where Helsinki’s commitment to design shines through. Here the powerful looking Parliament building, the glittering white marble of Finlandia Hall and the minimalist lines of the new Opera house vie for your attention as you whiz by en route to Senate Square. This is the Neoclassical heart of the city. Designed by German architect, Engel, the square is home to the onion-domed Tuomiokirkko, otherwise known as St Nicholas’ Cathedral. Next on the sightseeing hit-list is Sibelius Park where you’ll stop to see the Sibelius Monument erected in honour of the famous Finnish composer. A modern sculpture of hollow metal tubing, it creates beautiful music when a breeze blows through. Last but not least, you’ll visit the Church in the Rock. A holy house that’s literally carved out of the rock face, this place does exactly what it says on the tin.
Enjoy a leisurely drive past the highlights of Helsinki, ticking off sights like the Senate Square, the Presidential Palace, Finlandia Hall and the new Opera House. You'll also get to enjoy the famous Sibelius Monument and Temppeliaukio Church. After that, head for the shores of Lake Tuusula and the scenic town of Ainola. This is where Jean Sibelius spent most of his life in a specially-designed, timber-built villa that gave him the distance and space he needed to compose in peace. It’s a destination of pilgrim for music lovers. Enjoy the unbroken tranquillity as you wander round the house and grounds learning about the great maestro’s work.