Explore enchanting Karlskrona with its storybook cottages, immense town square, and hundreds of small islands awaiting discovery amid the sparkling sea. Karlskrona boasts the second largest main square in all of Europe, surrounded by historic buildings, including three important churches, unique shops, restaurants and cafés. Visit The Church of Holy Trinity (Trefaldighetskyrkan) featuring an Italian inspired dome-shaped roof rarely seen in Sweden. Then go see Fredrikskyrkan, The Frederick Church from the early 1800’s with its unusual color and décor. Spend time in the Car Museum, the Porcelain Museum and the Marine Museum. Then browse through the wonderful boutiques and galleries. Take home hand-blown glass, porcelain, designer clothing and jewelry. Enjoy international cuisine or delicious Swedish favorites of fresh seafood in an idyllic setting.

Port: Karlskrona
Experience

Karlskrona

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  • Boat Tour to Kungsholm Fortress

    Cruise to an imposing island fortress that has lorded over Karlskrona and its invaluable shipyard for more than 300 years.

    After a short walk down the pier, you will board a boat and cruise around the archipelago of Karlskrona, which consists of dozens of small islands. This is one of the few ways to see many of the islands because they are controlled by the Swedish military and off limits.

    As you skirt the coastline, your guide will point out the most notable landmarks, including the Naval Shipyard, which has fueled Karlskrona’s economy and reputation since the town was founded in 1690. Before long, you will disembark on the island of Kungsholmen to explore the Kungsholms Fort, which was constructed to protect the harbor and shipyard.

    Although clearly a deterrent with its imposing towers and stonewalls, the fort has never been attacked. Even so, it has been continually manned for more than 300 years and is still used as a training facility because it serves as part of the only naval base in Sweden. The fort’s storage magazines are fortified with double brick shells, thick walls and heavy iron doors.

    While here, you will have the opportunity to stroll through the fort’s gardens, which were created with exotic plants that sailors brought back from their voyages. You might also climb the stairs to the top of a tower for a panoramic view of the archipelago. Afterwards, you will cruise back to the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 90-minutes of moderate walking plus any additional walking at the guests’ discretion during free time. There will be elevated gravel walkways to negotiate on Kungsholmen Island. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and may not be suitable for those with mobility concerns who are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate comfortable clothing; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

  • Tastes of the 18th Century

    Discover what life was like in 18th-century Karlskrona by visiting a cultural museum, sampling traditional Swedish delicacies, and exploring a colorful centuries-old neighborhood.

    Depart from the pier and drive to the Blekinge County Museum which is located in a row of historical houses near the ferry dock and fish market. After being met by docents dressed in traditional costumes from the 18th century, you will embark on an interactive adventure through Blekinge County’s cultural history. You will discover how life in Karlskrona has changed since the naval town was founded in 1690. Part of the story is told through the local cuisine, examples of which are prepared for you from centuries-old recipes. Following your guided tour, you will have some free time explore on your own and you’ll be sure to want to walk through the baroque gardens here.

    Next, you will re-board your coach for a panoramic tour of a working-class neighborhood on Björkholmen, a hilly little island known for its small, brightly colored wooden homes from the 18th century. The origins of the neighborhood date back even further, when the workers from the shipyard lived here. You may notice that many of the streets are named after types of boats and Swedish admirals, yet another example of Karlskrona’s inextricable link to the sea.

    Finally it’s on to Brändaholm, a meticulously kept area that developed on a nearby island in the 1920s. Almost every building is a red wooden cottage trimmed in white, and many of them have a Swedish flag flying outside. After a guided walking tour here, you will return to the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 1 3/4 hours of easy to moderate walking, plus any additional walking at the guests’ discretion during free time. There will be some gravel and cobblestone surfaces to negotiate. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach, and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned only to participate to the extent of their personal stamina and ability and may make arrangements with the guide to not participate in some of the walking portions of the tour. Weather appropriate comfortable clothing; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

  • Naval Museum & Boat Tour

    Delight in Karlskona’s long association with the sea by cruising around the archipelago and then visiting the Naval Museum, a treasure-trove of rare maritime objects.

    After a short walk down the pier, you will board a boat and cruise around the archipelago of Karlskrona, which consists of dozens of small islands. This is one of the few ways to see many of the islands because they are controlled by the Swedish military and off limits.

    As you skirt the coastline, your guide will point out the most notable landmarks. Founded in 1690, Karlskrona is a planned naval town with a baroque flair complemented by neoclassical architecture that resulted from a massive rebuilding after a late 18th-century fire. Fortunately, many of the baroque buildings were spared, including the churches in Stortorget, one of the largest squares in Northern Europe. Most of the Naval Shipyard was unscathed, as well.

    At the conclusion of the cruise, you will walk to the Naval Museum, whose roots go back to 1752 when the king ordered a special chamber to be built to preserve detailed ship models that were used to test various construction techniques. Today, the collection has grown to include wooden figureheads from Sweden’s most illustrious warships, a wooden shipwreck that you can view from an underwater tunnel, and displays devoted to the Cold War. Another exhibition focuses on navigation at sea in the years before compasses and GPS.

    After visiting, you will have some free time to stroll about the museum and nearby jetty on your own before returning to the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hours of moderate walking, plus any additional walking at the guests’ discretion during free time. Guests must be able to make their own way on and off the tour boat with limited assistance. There will be some gravel and cobblestone surfaces to negotiate. Those who suffer from motion sickness are cautioned to take the necessary precautions. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Weather appropriate comfortable clothing; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

  • East Coast Drive to Kristianopel

    Venture into the spectacularly scenic countryside in southeastern Sweden and explore the country’s first Renaissance town of Kristianopel, which was founded in 1603.

    Depart from the pier and begin a picturesque drive east into the countryside, stopping along the way for photos of the lovely town of Tornham. You will then continue up the coast to Kristianopel, which was founded almost a century before neighboring Karlskrona. In its earliest years, the town served as a remote frontier fortress, which the Danes often attacked and burned.

    Considered the first Renaissance town in Sweden, Kristianopel was eventually rebuilt in that style with broad streets that intersected at right angles, allowing soldiers to quickly reach the protective town walls. Once peace reigned between Sweden and Denmark in the mid-1600s, Kristianopel lost its strategic importance and the town slowly faded into relative obscurity.

    Today, it stands as a fine example of Renaissance town planning with strong ties to its past. Remnants of the original protective walls still stand, and there is a charming church that the Danes finished building in 1624 when they still controlled this part of Sweden. After a brief but enlightening guided tour of Kristianopel, you will have time to explore on your own.

    While absorbing the historical atmosphere of this quaint town, you may wish to sample the cuisine so reflective of southern Sweden. Leave room for dessert, especially pastries filled with fresh berries. After approximately 1-hour, you will re-board your coach and return to the pier in Karlskrona, making a photo stop at Bryggareberget en route.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hours of travel by coach with walking mostly at the guests’ discretion at the stops. The guided tour of the Kristianope is approximately30-minutes and the surfaces are gravel. Arrangements can be made with the guide to not participate in this guided portion of the tour. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned only to participate to the extent of their personal stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested.

  • City Highlights With Old Naval Shipyard

    Delve into the extraordinary naval history of Karlskrona, a planned 17th-century town that was purpose-built to be a naval stronghold when Sweden was a major power.

    Depart from the pier and drive to the top of Brewer Hill, the highest point in Karlskrona, for a sweeping view that includes the 17th-century brewery that gave the hill its name. Founded in 1680, Karlskrona still retains much of its original layout and earliest buildings, as you will see during your guided tour at the Naval Shipyard, a key part of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    After passing the clock tower that has stood in Admiralty Park since 1699, you will view some of the distinctive architecture and specialized installations that once made Karlskrona a hub of military technology. The most noteworthy structures include the 18th-century Wasa Shed, which was large enough to accommodate the construction of a 70-gun warship, and the Polhem dry dock, which was built in 1724 using advanced techniques that other nation’s soon copied. The dock is still operating today.

    The Rope-walk is another fascinating purpose-built structure from the 1690s and remains the longest wooden building in Sweden. Its length was necessary to effectively manufacture long ropes. In fact, you will see how it was done through an enlightening demonstration.

    Continuing on, you will enjoy a panoramic tour through an historical neighborhood where dockworkers have always lived before reaching the city center. Participate in a guided walking tour of the city center that showcases its many baroque buildings before having some free time to further explore on your own. Later, you’ll rejoin your coach and make the short transfer back to the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 90-minutes of moderate walking/standing plus any additional walking at the guests’ discretion during free time. There will be some gravel and cobblestone surfaces to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and may not be suitable for those with mobility concerns who are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate comfortable clothing; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. As this tour enters a military area, you will be asked to provide your passport number in advance of the call and all participants must bring their passports with them on the tour.

  • Guided Walk With Naval Museum

    Travel on foot past the baroque landmarks of Karlskrona, a town built on dozens of islands, and then explore its rich maritime history in the Naval Museum.

    Enjoy a guided walk directly from the pier to Karlskrona’s elegant baroque-influenced city center, where several key landmarks stand tall, clustered around the town’s sprawling main plaza. There is the Admiralty Church, which was built in 1685 and still has the distinction of being Sweden’s largest wooden church. A few years later, the fortified Aurora Bastion was constructed to protect the naval harbor, and the regional governor’s mansion in its shadow.

    Following some free time in this historical area, you will rejoin your guide and walk to the nearby Naval Museum. Incredibly, its roots go back to 1752 when the king ordered a special chamber to be built to preserve detailed ship models that were used to test various construction techniques. Today, the collection has grown to include wooden figureheads from Sweden’s most illustrious warships, a wooden shipwreck that you can view from an underwater tunnel, and displays devoted to the Cold War.

    Another exhibition focuses on navigation at sea in the years before compasses and GPS. The collection includes a sea atlas from 1693, rare navigational instruments and a display that explains terms such as “Jacob’s staff,” which was a 13th-century tool used for measuring distances and heights. You may also discover how seamen knew they were approaching certain landmasses just by smell. Afterwards, you will have some free time to stroll about the museum and nearby jetty on your own before returning to the pier.

    Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hours of moderate walking that covers approximately 2 miles, plus any additional walking at the guests’ discretion during free time. There will be some gravel and cobblestone surfaces to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Weather appropriate comfortable clothing; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

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