Helsinki

The exquisite Tuomiokirkko
A Neoclassical capital city
The huge Senate Square

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Helsinki

A young city – to be discovered

Instantly loveable, Helsinki is remarkably different from the other Scandinavian capitals, and closer both in mood and appearance to the major cities of Northern Europe.
Today, cruisers will find a youthful buzz on the streets, where the boulevards, outdoor cafés and trendy restaurants are crowded with Finns taking full advantage of the short summer.

Following a devastating fire in 1808, and the city’s designation as Finland’s capital in 1812, Helsinki was totally rebuilt in a style befitting its new status: a grid of wide streets and Neoclassical brick buildings modelled on the then Russian capital, St Petersburg.

Esplanadi, a wide, tree-lined boulevard across a mishmash of tramlines from the harbour, where your MSC cruise ship awaits your return, is Helsinki at its most charming. At its eastern end, the City Museum at Sofiankatu 4 offers a record of 450 years of Helsinki life in an impressive permanent exhibition called “Helsinki Horizons”.

To the north is Senate Square (Senattintori), dominated by the exquisite form of the Tuomiokirkko (Cathedral). After the elegance of the exterior, the spartan Lutheran interior comes as a disappointment; more impressive is the gloomily atmospheric crypt, now often used for exhibitions. About 50km east of Helsinki, Porvoo, one of the oldest towns on the south coast and one of Finland’s most charming, is just waiting to be discovered on an MSC Northern Europe excursion.

Its narrow cobbled streets, lined by small colourful wooden buildings, give a sense of Finnish life before the capital’s bold squares and Neoclassical geometry. The old town is built around the hill on the other side of Mannerheimkatu, crowned by the fifteenth-century Tuomiokirkko, where Alexander I proclaimed Finland a Russian Grand Duchy and convened the first Finnish Diet.

Must see places in Helsinki

  • Porvoo

    Porvoo

  • Unique Lapland

    Unique Lapland

  • Sibelius Monument

    Sibelius Monument

Discover our excursions

8 results found

  • HALTIA NATURE CENTRE & HIKING

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE

    HSK09

    Fans of the great outdoors will be in their element on this half-day immersion in Finland’s majestic natural beauty, with a 45-minute coach drive first taking you to the Finnish Nature Centre Haltia, housed in an eco-friendly building that is heated and c
    • Snack included

    • Limited seats

    • Duration
      4 h

    • Adults$135.00Price per person

    • Children$99.00Price per person

  • HELSINKI BY BIKE

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE

    HSK02

    Why not opt for a different kind of sightseeing tour and join us on circuit of Helsinki by bike! We will take in the best of this beautiful city, passing the most important sights and enjoying a cycle ride through the city’s leafy parks, past the main mus
    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      3 h

    • Adults$92.00Price per person

    • Children$69.00Price per person

  • INTRODUCTION TO HELSINKI

    CITY TOUR

    HSK01

    Leave the ship and get set to explore Helsinki – also known as the “White City of the North” due to the pale local granite of which numerous buildings are made – and enjoy some of its many delights. This tour around town will take you past the open-air ma
      • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Easy

      • Duration
        3 h

      • Adults$79.00Price per person

      • Children$59.00Price per person

    • HELSINKI BY BOAT

      SCENIC ROUTE

      HSK04

      Considering some 73% of the total surface area covered by the Finnish capital is water – interspersed with countless larger and smaller islands – it seems fair to say Helsinki is a rather watery city. In addition, this relaxing outing gives you a chance t
      • Snack included

      • Limited seats

      • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Easy

      • Duration
        2:30 h

      • Adults$85.00Price per person

      • Children$59.00Price per person

    • SAVIJÄRVI MANOR HOUSE & HELSINKI PANORAMA

      SCENIC ROUTE

      HSK03

      Treat yourself to a taste of rural life and a chance to see the main sights of Helsinki on a half-day tour dedicated to presenting some of the best Finland has to offer. Situated only a short drive to the east of Helsinki in the middle of the unspoiled co
      • Drink included

      • Limited seats

      • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Easy

      • Duration
        4 h

      • Adults$89.00Price per person

      • Children$62.00Price per person

    • HELSINKI HIGHLIGHT AND FINNISH TAR PRESENTATION

      SOMETHING SPECIAL

      HSK11

      A coach-based look at Helsinki’s beautiful inner city and impressive architecture begins this half-day tour, followed by a unique presentation of products containing wood tar at a tiny island, linked to the mainland by a causeway. In addition to taking in
      • Long route by bus

      • No guide available

      • Snack included

      • Best seller

      • Limited seats

      • Duration
        4 h

      • Adults$122.00Price per person

      • Children$89.00Price per person

    • HELSINKI, SIBELIUS & INSPIRED JEWELLERY

      SOMETHING SPECIAL

      HSK10

      Not only is Helsinki Finland’s capital, but also inextricably linked to the composer Jean Sibelius. This half-day tour starts with a drive-by look at the main sights of the city such as the shipbuilding docks, the Neo-Classical Senate Square, the mid-19th
      • Long route by bus

      • Drink included

      • Lunch or dinner included

      • Wheelchair and disabled-friendly tour – Wheelchair guests must be accompanied by their own helper to get on/off the coach. Wheelchairs must be foldable as the coach is not provided with ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.

      • Best seller

      • Limited seats

      • Duration
        4 h

      • Adults$119.00Price per person

      • Children$89.00Price per person

    • WINTER WONDERLAND EXPERIENCE & HELSINKI

      SOMETHING SPECIAL

      HSK12

      Whatever the season, this half-day tour gives you a chance to visit the amazing, year-round Winter Wonderland Experience in the middle of the Finnish capital city. Only a short coach ride after leaving the ship will see you reach the only igloo hotel to b
      • Drink included

      • Limited seats

      • Duration
        4 h

      • Adults$135.00Price per person

      • Children$99.00Price per person

    The excursions in the program above are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this program is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise.
    Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.

     

    Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

    Finland

    Eccentricity and mystery
    Eccentricity and mystery

    Drawing strong cultural influences both from its easterly neighbour, Russia, and from the West, Finland remains one of Northern Europe’s most enigmatic countries.

    It’s a land best known for its laconic, pithy people with a penchant for kicking back in a sauna au naturel, and for its quirky and bizarre annual festivals – indeed its strangeness is a good part of the country’s charm. The Finnish landscape is mostly flat and punctuated by huge forests and lakes, but has wide regional variations. A cruise to Finland will take you to the south whose scenery may be least dramatic, but this is more than compensated by the capital, Helsinki, with its brilliant fin-de-siècle architecture and superb collections of late modern and contemporary artworks, as well as the former capital of Turku, with some great museums and nightlife.

    Stretching from the Russian border in the east to the industrial city of Tampere, the vast waters of the Lake Region provide a natural means of transport for the timber industry – indeed, water here is a more common sight than land, with many towns lying on narrow ridges between lakes. North of here, the gradually rising fells and forests of Lapland are Finland’s most alluring terrain and are home to the Sámi, semi-nomadic reindeer herders.  

     
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