Sweden’s vibrant capital city Stockholm
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Sweden’s vibrant capital city Stockholm is surrounded by water and has a fantastic position at the heart of a beautiful, natural archipelago which contains more than 30,000 islands and islets. The city was founded around 1250 BC and today has grown to a population of just under a million people, making it Sweden’s most populous city.

Stockholm

Stockholm’s archipelago is wonderfully expansive and is peppered with thousands of islands – some large, containing entire villages and communities and some very small. Some of the smallest islets are uninhabited, but a number of them have one or two holiday homes that the inhabitants of Stockholm use in the summer months when Stockholm becomes too hot. I definitely think having a little holiday home on a private island sounds like my idea of a great time!

I loved exploring more of Stockholm and it’s archipelago by using one of the many hop-on hop-off boat services that are offered here. With a city surrounded by water it’s a really quick and easy way to get around and is also surprisingly inexpensive.

Stockholm Boats

Services like this allow visitors to get to some of the more remote islands within the archipelago easily and if you’re travelling with kids (or are just a big kid yourself!) you’ll love being able to get to Gröna Lund’s Amusement Park.

A hop-on, hop-off boat service is also a perfect way to see the city if you’re visiting as part of a cruise holiday and so have limited time ashore. It’s easy to see many different parts of the city and it also affords you great views as you travel between the points of interest within the archipelago.

Another great place you can get to by boat, or on foot in Stockholm is the Vasa Museum. The Vasa Museum is housed in a pretty unique building, which has the sails of a ship protruding through the roof, it’s hard to miss it!

Vasa Museum

The Vasa Museum displays the only almost completely intact 17th century ship that has ever been salvaged and is said to be the most visited museum in Scandanavia. Kids and adults alike will love learning about the Vasa ship, the people who sailed on it and their life on board.

My favourite part of Stockholm is the Gamla Stan, the most well preserved medieval city centres in the world. In this area you’ll find The Royal Palace, where you can watch the impressive parade of the soldier as part of the daily changing of the guards. I’d advise you to get there early though as it’s quite popular and gets very crowded, especially in the summer months.

Royal Palace

I think one of my favourite parts of visiting Stockholm on a cruise holiday is sailing into or away from port through the beautiful, natural archipelago. It’s a wonderfully enjoyable sail with some wonderful scenery that you’ll love. Grab your camera and head onto deck to snap some amazing photographs!

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Three Cruise Destinations to see in 2013
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Kotor, Montenegro

Sailing down the magnificently dramatic ria towards the charming city of Kotor remains one of my favourite cruise moments ever. The beautiful, natural scenery is reminiscent of a Norwegian fjord and is utterly breath-taking.

The city of Kotor is quaint and welcoming. The cobbled streets and narrow archways are perfect for exploring and shopping in some of the adorable boutiques that are dotted around. If you prefer to really stretch your legs you can walk the historical city walls, built to protect Kotor from potential invasions, all the way up in to the hills and enjoy the view of the city and the ria from above.

Another reason Kotor is so hot for 2013 is that the prices of food, drinks and clothes are all dramatically lower than the majority of other European destinations. Perfect!

Kotor Montenegro

Stockholm, Sweden

The Swedish capital is a perfect cruise port no matter what the weather or the time of year. The city has many wonderful attractions including the Vasa Museum, the imposing city hall building (which I highly recommend you venture inside), and The Royal Palace. Gamla Stan is one of Stockholm’s best attractions as it is one of the most well preserved medieval city centres in the entire world. The buildings are cute and colourful and it’s the perfect place to get lost wandering the streets.

In summer a boat trip around the archipelago is a must. Stockholm’s archipelago contains a staggering 30,000 islands and islets, many of which have beautiful summer homes for the people of the city.

Stockholm Sweden

Scotland

There are many reasons why you should visit Scotland, and 2013 is the perfect year to do so. 2013 is the Year of Natural Scotland, celebrating all of the stunning scenery and places that Scotland is blessed with. Scotland was also named as CNN’s ‘top destination for 2013’ and there’s so many reasons why.

There are many different cruise ports in Scotland suitable for ships of all sizes. If you stop in Greenock you can enjoy the beauty of nearby Loch Lomond, or the vibrant city of Glasgow only 25 minutes away. If you dock in Leith on the east coast of the country you’re within easy distance of Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh where you can visit the wonderful old town which contains the imposing Edinburgh Castle atop an extinct volcano.

Edinburgh Castle

2013 is the perfect year to embark upon a cruise holiday, all you need to do is decide where!

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