Mariehamn, Finland Cruise Port
For a true immersion into another culture, cruising to the Baltic seaport of Mariehamn, Finland will fulfill that desire. Just a baby in terms of history, Mariehamn was founded in 1861, with Russian Empress Maria Alexandrovna (the first wife of Emperor Alexander II) giving the town its name. Today it's the capital of Åland, part of a group of islands that make up the smallest region of Finland. While Mariehamn is fewer than 12,000 residents, 40% of Åland's population lives here. A well-preserved area, there are wooden houses that date back to the 19th century. Mariehamn's two harbors are important in terms of trade and tourism; that they stay ice-free all year long and have almost no waves creates a perfect area for docking, and there's daily traffic to mainland Finland, as well as Sweden and Estonia. Here some of our favorite experiences for the cruise port of Mariehamn, Finland:
- With the town is centered around maritime history, one of its most popular attractions is the Aland Maritime Museum. With exhibits, photos, and ship paraphernalia, you'll not only learn about shipbuilding, but can also try your hand a being a ship's captain on the museum's simulator.
- A logical extension to the museum is a visit to the Pommern, a windjammer built in 1903. Originally constructed in Glasgow, she was later used by Gustaf Erikson of Åland to transport grain to England and Ireland until the outbreak of World War II. Not only functional but artistic, it's a beautifully well-preserved museum ship to explore.
- About 16 miles north of Mariehamn, you'll find the Swedish-built medieval Kastelholm Castle. Created to reinforce the Swedish presence on Åland, the castle is surrounded by a nearly 10 foot wall. Here you'll see excavated items exhibited in the hall; each July, a medieval festival takes place here, complete with jousting and food.
- After all the walking, tourists enjoy relaxing on Kobba Klintar. A small island within the Mariehamn Harbor, it's easy to reach by rental boat to have a picnic or eat at the café. Then sit back, relax, and watch all the boats sail by.