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Independent Shore Excursion

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Marlton, New Jersey
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Independent Shore Excursion

We have 9-10 hours in the port of Helsinki next July. We tend to get bored easily so we need to keep very busy and we are into quaint areas, but not museums & not city buildings. We thought of doing this for our shore excursion:

We get off the boat around 7am and we thought of taking the bus to Porvoo where we could walk around and explore for about 2 hours. We like to see the countryside. We are not sure how to get to the train station from the cruise ship berth and then to Market Square or Church on the Rock from the train station when we return. I am aware that it is about a 5 minute walk from the train station to the middle of town.

From there we would get back to Helsinki and try to see the church on the Rock. We are not sure how to get here and how to get to Market Square from there.

In the time we have left, we thought that we would get a bite to eat and shop a bit at the Market Square. If we have any time left, then we would take the ferry to the Suommenlina Fortress and walk around until it was time to get back on the boat. We would have to estimate how long it would take to get back to the boat and allow a little leeway.

Does this sound doable and could you please advise how we could use public transportation? I greatly appreciate your help.

Helsinki, Finland
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for Tallinn, Finland, Helsinki
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1. Re: Independent Shore Excursion

The FAQs cover much of your questions:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g189934-i444-k4258…

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g189934-i444-k5611…

Frankly, Porvoo is stretching it a bit. The bus ride in both directions takes over 2 hours. With 2 hours there plus the time taken getting to and from the bus station, a large chunk of your time will be used up, much of it just getting there and back, and there's little in the way of countryside scenery along the unglamorous highway. You might be better off spending your time more leisurely in Helsinki, unless you are the type who enjoys dashing around like a reality TV competitor.

I'd suggest you spend a couple of hours on Suomenlinna, perhaps having lunch there or at least enjoying the view from the Valhalla restaurant's open-air bar on the battlements overlooking the sea lane through a narrow strait between the islands guarding Helsinki harbor. The inexpensive city ferry means a lengthy walk from the terminal to the main points of interest on Suomenlinna. Paying the extra for the tourist boats will save you time and shoe leather; one of these takes you straight the King's Gate. The boats are quite frequent in the summer.

Helsinki
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for Helsinki
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2. Re: Independent Shore Excursion

How to use public transportation: http://www.hsl.fi/en/tickets-and-fares & the journey planner http://www.reittiopas.fi/en/

Public transport is safe, fast and rated one of the best in the world. A day ticket will cover all the trips you do, unless you catch the private ferry to Suomenlinna.

3. Re: Independent Shore Excursion

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Athens, Greece
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4. Re: Independent Shore Excursion

There are several cruise ports in Helsinki. Which ship are you arriving in and which date ?

Marlton, New Jersey
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5. Re: Independent Shore Excursion

I am arriving on the Norwegian Star on Friday, July 18, 2014. I appreciate all the help given to me on these forums. It has been so helpful and I am very grateful for those that try to help me. I know that my kind of vacation is not for everyone. I get so excited when I am in a place and try to see as much as possible, and believe it or not, I truly enjoy doing that. I would rather be prepared and have more to do prepared and have to skip something than not having ideas prepared. The time on the ship is very boring to me so I look forward to the ports. Thank you.

Oulu, Finland
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for Helsinki, Oulu, Lapland
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6. Re: Independent Shore Excursion

Closer to your cruise - sometimes in April I presume - the Port of Helsinki will publish the list of expected cruise ships at portofhelsinki.fi/passengers/expected_cruise… . In the list you can then find the quay where your ship will dock and can plan your excursions and check your transport options. The vast majority of larger cruise liners use West Harbour, while the South Harbour receives the somewhat smaller vessels (due to the narrow passage to/from the harbour at Kustaanmiekka sound in Suomenlinna).

Helsinki, Finland
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7. Re: Independent Shore Excursion

Hey there! First of all: when you move around in Helsinki with the public transportation, this is a good website to use: http://www.reittiopas.fi/en/

You just writhe in from and to, and it gives you alternatives. For the Rock Church, you can write "Temppeliaukio Church" (which is the name of it).

About your program. I think it sounds okay, until your Suomenlinna plans. I don't think there is any chance to go to Suomenlinna, if you do all that you said. Only the trip to Porvoo takes 1 hour, and 1 hour back. But visit Porvoo, have some lunch, go to chruches in Helsinki, and have fun! I wish you the best, and good luck!

Marlton, New Jersey
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8. Re: Independent Shore Excursion

Thank you for all the great info. Whatever we can get done, we get done. If we decide to do less or linger in one place, then that is okay too. But at least we are prepared. We were in Venice this past summer and didn't prepare enough to do and then we were just riding the boats around for a couple hours while we tried to figure out what was at the stops. Same thing happened in Halifax, Sante Fe, Lucerne and in the Bahamas as well as quite a number of stops for us. We got done our itinerary alot sooner than what people told us it would take and then returned to the ship or the hotel because we weren't sure what to do. So at least we will be prepared.

9. Re: Independent Shore Excursion

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10. Re: Independent Shore Excursion

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