The Midnight Sun of Finland
Finland is a magical, fascinating, unexpected place, a land of contrasts with its midnight sun in the summer and only a hint of light during the daytime hours in winter.
An MSC Cruise ship will take you on a discovery of this country, disembarking in Kotka. With its name meaning “eagle”, this port town is not far from Helsinki, accessible on an excursion.
Overlooking the icy Baltic Sea, at first glance, Helsinki may seem like an icy, cold city, but this is not the case. The capital of Finland is a vibrant, active center with trendy restaurants and bars, and has a green soul with its lush parks. Its archipelago consists of over 330 islands which are home to campsites and beaches.
To get to know Helsinki, take a walk through the old neighborhoods of Katajanokka, Kruunuhaka, Eira and Kallio, where you can admire the Finnish Art Nouveau of the buildings.
Not to be missed is the Finnish National Theater in gray granite, the Railway Station and the square with the ancient market of Hakaniemi where you can buy vegetables, fruit, bread, and fish, but also jewelry and stamps.
St. Nicholas’ Cathedral dominates the city. The imposing white building, in Neoclassical style, was inspired by the Pantheon in Paris and was completed in 1852. Visited by over three hundred thousand people every year, the church overlooks the vast Senaatinori Square, the institutional and cultural heart of the city.
Another excursion will take you to Sapokka Water Garden. Admired by thousands of people from all over the world, this green oasis was renovated in the mid-1990s and is located near Kotka. The vegetation is lush and its colors change according to the seasons: in spring, it is a show of blooming azaleas and rhododendrons. The stream that runs through the park is composed of water from the sea.