Not considered Copenhagen as a cruise port, a place to start your next cruise? Neither had we but having spent the weekend there as part of the Cruise Line International Associations Cruise 360 conference at the weekend we can now see the attractions...and so should you!
Cruising around the Baltic region remains a popular choice for cruisers with Northern Europe tucked in behind the Mediterranean as the 2nd most popular region for cruisers from this part of the world. Here's a few reasons why you should consider starting or finishing your cruise in Copenhagen, or at the very least ensuring you visit it.
There are several airlines flying directly to Copenhagen. For example from Dublin there are flights with Ryanair, SAS & Norwegian Air getting to Copenhagen in approx 2 hours 15 mins. You can also get there from Cork with a change of planes. Costs can of course vary but flight prices a quick look in October on random dates shows return flights for €133.
Nearly all major cruise lines have passed through Copenhagen in 2017 including MSC, Royal Caribbean, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, P&O Cruises, Costa Cruises...Celebrity...the list goes on and on. In 2018 you can take your pick of cruise lines embarking and disembarking in Copenhagen, from HAL to Seabourn, NCL to MSC, Princess Cruises....even Disney!! Itineraries as you would expect take in the sights and sounds of Scandinavia in particular, perhaps visiting the major cities such as Stockholm or taking in the Fjords of Norway but many also take in the wonder of St. Petersburg.
Due to the hard work and investment in the port by cruisecopenhagen.com the port is very well run and supported. They have worked hard over the last 25 years and now with with over 60 different local partners from hotels to transport companies to tourist attractions to ensure that your experience is a wonderful one. 97% of those surveyed last year on turnaround cruises stated they were satisfied or more than satisfied with their experience of Copenhagen! Currently Copenhagen alone can take up to 8 ships but don't worry, thats not typical and even when it does happen they are prepared for it!
Transport is excellent around Copenhagen. If you're flying in then the airport is approx 15 mins by Metro or train from Copenhagen city centre and you'll be right in the middle of things. Tickets can be easily purchased from the machines in the airport itself. From the ship to the city centre is approximately 20 mins and shuttles tend to be provided by the port itself. Around Copenhagen itself you'll quickly learn it has a bike culture with in fact more bikes than cars in this city! It's a fantastic thing and fits with the environmental approach Copenhagen is keen to promote. If you don't fancy a bike then don't panic! The Metro system is good and of course you have buses, taxis, trains....even Segways!!
Things to see and do:
Our recommendation? Take 2 days pre or post cruise and even then it won't be enough...there is so much to do! The obvious attraction is Tivoli Gardens... a beautifully constructed theme park but if theme parks aren't your thing do not rule out visiting anyway (you don't need to go on any rides as they are paid for separately). The setting is stunning, the lights are beautiful, the light show and fireworks mesmeric. We recommend going mid to late PM and then watching the place change around you as the lights come on. Then there's the Carlsberg tour, albeit probably not the best tour in the world, but still one to tick off! Take a canal trip and you'll quickly realise this is like Venice with canals everywhere, bridges galore and beautiful sights to see! You can visit royal palaces, museums, Hans Christian Andersen's House and o course the little mermaid! Then there's the shopping, the food (with 15 (count em) Michelin starred restaurants) and just kicking back and relaxing....we could go on but best you watch this video below!
We know we know, we're big spoilsports here but then, we keep telling you, we want to be honest! Copenhagen isn't cheap...in fact it's a touch expensive! In fact a recent report by The Economist put Copenhagen as 9th in the top 10 most expensive cities in the world with only Zurich, Geneva and Paris ahead in terms of European cities! Now, to be clear, a lot of people would consider Ireland expensive in terms of eating out, drinking and visiting attractions so you do have to bear that in mind. It's just something to consider and with a little planning we're sure there are ways to keep costs under control. e.g., if visiting Tivoli, don't pay by ride, pay for the unlimited ride wristband.... if booking a hotel, make sure breakfast is included etc...
Copenhagen is a very well organised city very well set up to cater to cruise passengers, in fact tourists in general. With so much to see and do, with it being so accessible, with so many cruise lines to choose to cruise on departing from the city and at prices that offer extremely good value it's well worth considering say a 7 night cruise with a 2 night pre or post stay. Like the 97% we don't think you'll regret it!
NB: Pictures & Video courtesy of Copenhagen Media Center