I hope everyone had a great Christmas and holiday season! We have just finished our annual "Christmas in Stockholm" tour and we are already planning for next year! It is always sad to leave, but we are excited to return. From Stockholm we are traveling to Tallinn, Estonia for our new, New Year's Eve tour. The historic downtown of Tallinn is a quaint, medieval stone walled village and a great place to ring in the new year. If you are interested in the New Year's tour for next year, please contact us.
Here is more info about the Stockholm Christmas trip:
We have a very special trip planned for our Christmas tour 2020. This tour is a combination of birding and experiencing traditional Swedish Christmas customs. Stockholm has fantastic museums and we will be visiting a few of the best. We are only taking a small group of 5 people and so if you are thinking of joining the trip, now is the time to sign up. Click here for more info:
Stockholm Christmas 2020
Stockholm is city of islands, which makes it especially convenient for boats, sightseeing, walking and birding year-round. The city is full of great history, art, music, museums and restaurants. There are palaces, cathedrals and many historic buildings to visit. The Stockholm subway is considered the longest art gallery in the world at 68 miles in length.
Stockholm stretches across fourteen islands where Lake Mälaren flows into the Baltic Sea. The original old town, known as Gamla Stan, is in the heart of the city and is a charming, picturesque historic neighborhood. Just outside the city and along the Baltic Sea coast is the island chain known as the Stockholm archipelago, which includes approximately 24,000 islands and islets. The area has been settled since the Stone Age and was founded as a city in 1252.
Weather on Winter Solstice:
Sunrise 8:43 am, Sunset 2:48 pm, 6 hours of sunlight. High temperatures during the day are often in the mid to high 30’s and low temperatures are high 20's - low 30's.
On this tour, the lodging will be aboard permanently moored boats and yachts in the Stockholm waterway. On all the boats, the rooms are small and “cozy”, like most ships, but all the rooms have beds “on the floor”, meaning no bunks.
The first two nights will be on the
The Rygerfjord was built in 1950 at Mjellem & Karl’s shipyard in Bergen, Norway. After 45 years of passenger service within Scandinavia, Rygerfjord docked at its present position at Söder Mälarstrand in 1995 and has been slowly converted and upgraded over the years to accommodate over-night lodging.
The next two nights will be on
Den Röda Båten (The Red Boat)
: The Red Boat is a wood and steel tugboat boat; built in 1914 it was previously a working boat that served the Göta Canal. There are two sister boats moored next to each other to accommodate travelers.
The last three nights, including Christmas Eve and Christmas day will be on the
The history of the Mälardrottningen is very interesting and it is always a special treat to stay on the yacht. Here are a few paragraphs copied from the hotel website: "The ship was built in 1924 for C.K.G Billings, a millionaire from New York, and the ship at that time was the world’s largest diesel driven yacht.
The ship was later bought by the Woolworth-millionaire Frank W. Hutton. Barbara Hutton, the Woolworth heiress received it as a gift from her father on her 18th birthday. Barbara lived an extravagant life among royals and movie stars and in the 1940’s she was married to Cary Grant. During the fifties the ship was used as a passenger ferry between Stockholm and Åbo in Finland. Since 1982, Mälardrottningen has been at her current location and only leaves the dock for maintenance every fifth year”.
There will be three very special dinners on this tour
: The first dinner event will be a winter solstice afternoon cruise and traditional Swedish Smörgåsbord aboard the
M/S Waxholm III
, which is a classic archipelago ship from the maritime golden age; built in 1903.
: After a great day of birding at the
very special dinner at the historic
which was built in 1911 as a residential palace. During the 1940’s and 50’s, the building housed the embassies of Romania, Chile, Persia, Hungary, Italy and Canada and in 1966, was converted to a hotel. Elements from the former state apartments have been carefully preserved for the now 130 rooms of the Diplomat Hotel.
3) Christmas Day
: Traditional Swedish Christmas Smörgåsbord, also known as Julbord, will be at the
. Built in 1874, the Grand Hotel has been a center piece for important events in Sweden and it is truly an opulent, grand old hotel. Similar to the Mälardrottningen, when you step into the lobby of the Grand Hotel, you are walking in the footsteps of royalty, presidents and movies stars. From 1901 – 1929 the Nobel Laureate Banquet was held at the Grand Hotel.
It is a tradition to have one dinner at Michelangelo’s Italian Restaurant and another one of our favorite spots for dinner is "Sjatte Tunnan", the medieval cellar.
Depending on the local schedule there will be some evening events such as concerts. If you have special interests such as opera or theater, please let us know in advance so we can get tickets for you. Both the Royal Swedish Opera House and the Dramatic Theatre House are extremely beautiful and opulent!
Every day there will be time to visit a museum and there are a lot of museums in Stockholm. We highly recommend the Vasa, National Museum, Asian Art Museum, the Medieval Museum and a visit to the Royal Palace, just to name a few.