Karlskrona, Sweden Cruise Port
Within the Baltic Sea is the cruise port of Karlskrona, Sweden which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its vast collection of naval architecture that goes back several hundred years. Along with the Swedish Coast Guard and Sweden's last remaining naval base, there's little wonder that Karlskrona appeals to travelers who love maritime history. Once the Royal Swedish Navy made their home here in 1680, the town’s population began to increase; many of the baroque buildings of the period are still standing, and it's this architectural contribution that makes it Sweden's only baroque city. While there’s a strong economy based around technology jobs, it’s also a place where festivals are extremely popular. Not surprisingly, one of the favorites is called “The Sail,” which takes place in the harbor and involves a lot of boats. Here are some of our favorite experiences when cruising to Karlskrona, Sweden:
- One of the most popular places in a naval city? The Marinmuseum (Marine Museum), of course. Sweden's Museum of the Year in 2015 features model ships, an underwater tunnel where you can view an 18th-century wreck, and museum vessels such as the HMS Västervik. A must-see is Figurehead Hall with striking wooden statues that once graced Sweden's warships.
- For more military and maritime history (and unique architecture), visit Kungsholms Fort. Belonging to the Swedish Navy, it was established in 1680 to defend Karlskrona. You need to take a boat or water taxi to reach it, but its fantastic circular shape and informative tour are worth the effort.
- The Amiralitetskyrkan or Admiralty Church was consecrated in 1685 to take care of the spiritual needs of sailors. The gorgeous red building is Sweden's largest wooden church; inside, the pristine white walls and gold decor are breathtaking.
- When it's time for an outdoor stroll, visit Wämöparken on the outskirts of town. Along with historic buildings and lovely flowers, there's a flea market on Saturdays during spring and summer. There's also a small zoo and a café for refreshments; while a popular place to just hang out, guides can show you around.