On Stockholm

After a day in Helsinki, we were anxious to visit Stockholm, especially because my wife’s paternal ancestry is Swedish.

The night before, the cruise director encouraged passengers to see Stockholm’s 24,000-island archipelago, which we would be entering around 4 AM. We didn’t set the alarm clock, but as my eyes opened early, a quick glance revealed island – so I quickly dressed, and to one of the upper decks I went.


Given the 4-hour trip through the islands each way, our time in port was short. Frequent drizzle and occasional hard rain was the order of the day, but it didn’t dampen our enthusiasm for being there. Stockholm is home to 2 million people, and located on a series of islands connect by bridges and water taxis. Stockholm’s architecture intrigued us.


Vasa was a grand warship that sank about 30 minutes into its maiden voyage. For over 300 years, it remained submerged on the bottom of Stockholm’s harbor – yet, a salvage operation discovered much remained intact. After a length restoration, it is now in a worthwhile museum.

With it shops, churches, the Royal Palace, and old buildings flanking the narrow, stone streets, Gramla Stan (Old Town) is picturesque and charming.


At the end of the day, we went to a specialty restaurant on the ship’s upper deck as that was our night to celebrate our 35th anniversary (which was actually 5 months earlier). Given the view of the islands from our window table, it was a fabulous way to end the day – the day that our oldest nephew was getting married back in Ohio.

Of all the ports on our trip, Stockholm remains the city that beckons our return, so enjoy the videos below of this beautiful city.

This 2+-minute aerial tour of Stockholm is outstanding, so hop aboard!

For narration, The Expeditioner guides your 4+ minute video tour

Viveka, a Swedish visitor here, provides this post about her recent visit to Stockholm. In her honor, as well as my wife’s family, enjoy this 2-minute video of Sweden to Du gamla, Du fria – the Swedish national anthem with beautiful images.

After a 5-day whirlwind touring cities and with four time changes, we were ready for a full day cruising on the Celebrity Constellation … but Copenhagen yet to come … just click here to join the tour.

42 thoughts on “On Stockholm

    • Carrie,
      Bummer that you had to cut short your vacation due to a family emergency … something that I wonder about too! Because you had similar stops, we want to return to Stockholm! Thanks for stopping by.

  1. Oh, the “Vasa” (sorry, I don’t know how to code italics). She is VERY much a legend in naval circles. Unfortunately, to put it in car terms, she is less Mustang and more Pinto – basically, a one-stop for how NOT to build and equip a ship! A gorgeous attempt, though.
    I realise the Swedish are currently very pacifist, but I would think there would be more acknowledgement of their long (and mostly successful) late Middle Age-early Renaissance military campaigns. But still, plenty of wondrous architecture! :)

    • John E,
      As you well know, the Swedes were quite powerful at one time … and I’m not surprised you know of this ship! … FYI: Thousands were on hand when it was taken out of the water. Thanks for sharing.

    • Elyse,
      We research each port before our trip, thus try to get the most out of the trip on our own. After all, paid tour after paid tour for two can be pricey in itself. And for Stockholm, and given the short time in port, the Vasa and Old Town was all we could get in. Thanks for commenting.

    • Soma,
      The film they showed at the museum stated that only 5% of the wood had to be replaced – which is incredible after being submerged for so long! The cravings were quite intricate! Meanwhile, one more travel post for this trip – and coming soon! Thanks for visiting.

  2. It sounds a great way to celebrate your wedding anniversary, and the views of Stockholm are very charming. Especially the old ship that was raised from the depths. Studying such windows to the past can inspire impressions that stay with us, and give us a different perspective on the life we now lead.

    • Shimon,
      It was a wonderful way to celebrate the anniversary … and the views at dinner were wonderful – and the rain (from the indoors) was part of the charm. The Vasa was interesting and a very popular attraction. Meanwhile, your comment about history is so true! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. It’s so beautiful but with the climate and the harsh conditions and all the land separated by so much water it’s hard to imagine that it’s become a city of two million. You would think the people would have decided there are easier places to live. But I have a friend whose husband is Swedish and she absolutely loves it. Says you can be outdoors or in the woods all day and not one venomous or poisonous thing will bite or attack you – unlike here! xx

    • Spiced,
      If one wants warm weather, the Baltic region gets a small window for that. Then again, they love the cold too, thus use it to appreciate the warm. Then again, it is also relative to what one is used to. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Another interesting post. I hadn’t realized that Stockholm was part of so many islands, but I think the star of this part of the trip was the Vasa.
    My hat’s off to your planning abilities, great trip, well researched in advance, AND you managed to miss a family wedding. Well done!!!

    • Fasab,
      I first heard about the Vasa not all that many years ago when the person I was golfing with mentioned visiting the museum. Because he raved about it, it stuck … so we went … and wow … glad we did!

      When my nephew told me the wedding date, we were already booked and planned our anniversary trip. I told them why we wouldn’t be there because I figured my sister may try to change the date …. so I encouraged them to go forth and they were also very understanding of our trip.

      Thanks for commenting.

  5. Wonderful! Love the island shots. I am currently working with a client in Sweden so may well get a long trip out of it, right now it is all being done remotely. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

    Vasa looks fascinating, I know this was one of my dad’s stops when he and my mother took a similar cruise. She said he was difficult to pull away from the ship.

  6. I hope you do have a chance to return to Stockholm, Frank. It sounds like a fascinating place. The 300 year-old ship was quite a find. It seems to be in amazingly good shape! My nephew was an exchange student to Sweden and had many wonderful things to share with us. He did struggle with the long, dark winter!

    • Debra,
      I love cities, and I left Stockholm with an empty feeling because I didn’t experience the city. … so hey – a great excuse to return! …. but it wouldn’t be in the winter. ;) Thanks for commenting.

  7. Thanks for sharing another fascinating stop from your cruise. I would especially like to see the museum in Stockholm that houses the Vasa warship. I just finished reading the Wikipedia article which goes into interesting detail about the how the construction of the ship was influenced by the naval warfare tactics of the time.

    • Tim,
      The Vasa is its own museum … and the Nordic Museum (a beautiful building in its own right) is next to it! Glad this post motivated you to seek more info! Thanks for commenting.

    • Paradise,
      Glad that someone watched the anthem video … and I concur. If you didn’t see it, the aerial tour is also very well done. … and yes, the skies were very gray that day. But I also think they may see their fair share of rain. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. You photos make me want to walk the streets of this old city. What a journey. I especially love your seascape images as they are wonderfully moody due to the grey skies and fog. A friend of mine once said that bad weather for travelers is a godsend for photographers. That’s what you seascapes remind me of. Sheer beauty where others might find disappointment and gloom.

    • Mobius,
      Between the old city and the opportunities with the architecture, the place has to be a photographers paradise. Good point about the weather and photography. We saw most of the rain that day while cruising through the islands (each way) …. and a little while touring …. nonetheless, a wonderful day. Thanks for sharing.

    • Guapo,
      I’m no photographer, but one told me that gray skies is very helpful. Actually see the comment from Mobius in this post. Meanwhile, the city is the one of this trip that calls me to return. Thanks for visiting.

    • Jo,
      Welcome … and a friend of Viveka is a friend of mine.

      As I noted, my time is Stockholm was too short, then again, that is what cruise ships do … but, given our journey, Stockholm is the one city we want to return to the most!

      Thanks for visiting and commenting —- and I hope you return.

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