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0 Shopping Spree at Helsinki

19 Jun 2016 | 11:00:00

Baltic Cruise (Helsinki) . 2015 . Aug 7


This post is part of our Baltic Cruise + Southampton 2015 Trip Report and Itinerary. Do check out the full itinerary and our reviews here

Shopping at Helsinki can be a tiny bit cheaper than the earlier ports of Copenhagen, Stockholm, and the fashion a little bit better.   After days of cutting back on shopping at these expensive places and days of sea days trapped on board the Caribbean Princess, it’s time to hit the streets of Helsinki for some retail therapy!


Helsinki’s main shopping streets are Mannerheimintie, Pohjoisesplanadi, Aleksanterinkatu and Fredrikinkatu. We found it incredibly difficult to pronounce the names of these streets, but fortunately, they are all downtown, and all within walking distance of each other.


Photos of the shopping streets of Helsinki.  That’s how walkable and shopper-friendly it is!


Kamppi Shopping Center was our first stop.  With shops and services spanning 6 floors and which houses the Helsinki Bus Station in the basement, it is a hive of activity.



With a design like that, it easily looks like another mall in Singapore!


Kamppi Shopping Centre was also where things were relatively cheaper.  I managed to snag a pair of jeans at a good discount here.  I am sure I would have more shopping bags in my hands if only we had more time to spare.


Decided to try some the Finland version of coffee here at Kamppi Shopping Centre, when we chanced upon a cafe called Beanie.  Actually we only wanted to come in for some free wifi after days of internet inactivity on board the Caribbean Princess.


Our first taste of Scandinavian coffee at Stockholm was not overly pleasant - I found the Swedish coffee much too dilute to hold any punch at all.  Therefore, we didn’t had much hope for this one until it was served - very robust and aromatic!  I give this full marks!


The cafe also serves a large selection of confectionaries, sandwiches and salads.  Looks very yummy, but too bad, we were not feeling too hungry after days of being so well-fed on the Caribbean Princess.


Stockmann is Helsinki’s version of Harrods, where things are more upmarket, and certainly way out of our league.


Another shopping mall worth visiting is the Forum Shopping Centre, with some decent shops and less brand names.


Souvenir shopping is a must at Helsinki, because the city offers a vast array of uncommon souvenirs, from folksy handicraft to functional Finnish design.



Who could resist these cute little things?



And of course, we could never miss seeing Finland’s most famous cartoon character - the Moomin jump off the comic strips into these cute little figurines.   But they are very expensive actually, at 15 euros each!



The fashion here at Helsinki is actually quite impressive, most of which are from the local designer boutiques which you cannot find anywhere else.


One of those things that makes the shopping street in Helsinki so unique is the straight tram line that cuts through the two sides of the shopping street.   While it offers a quick hop-on hop-off from one end of the street to the other, I still prefer to soak in the atmosphere by walking.


Not forgetting to stop and smell the flowers even as we hurry along to do our shopping.  Daisies are my favourite!


One of the absolute must-buy are these Baltic ambers.   We didn’t know it before this trip, but the Baltic is actually famous for its amber.  Here at this shop and many other jewellery shops in Helsinki, the amber are of superior quality, hence explaining its hefty price tag which could range from hundreds to thousands of euros, depending on its size, colour, consistency and clarity (sounds like buying a diamond?).   Perfect gift for the mother.



At the other less developed ports of call at the Baltic Sea, such as Tallin and Estonia, we could actually find amber jewellery ranging from 20-40 euros sold in the streets.  But those were of much more inferior quality and nothing compared to these beauties.


Join us next as we bring you to the Market Square for more shopping and fun.

This post is part of our Baltic Cruise + Southampton 2015 Trip Report and Itinerary. Do check out the full itinerary and our reviews here.


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2 Baltic Cruise + Southampton Trip Report and Itinerary

Baltic Cruise + Southampton . 2015 . Jul 29 - Aug 16

Baltic cruises may not be as popular as Alaska cruises, but they are definitely ideal cruise options for those who are looking for an unique cruise experience. Baltic cruises are filled with interesting destinations in Northern Europe to explore. On our trip on board the Caribbean Princess, we woke up every day - ready to explore a new and exciting destination.


On board this cruise, we visited Bruges in Belgium and tasted some delicious chocolates. Docked in the wonderful port of Copenhagen, we were welcomed by the world famous 'Little Mermaid'. We were amazed by the spectacular Vasa Museum in Stockholm and were fascinated by the unique Chapel of Silence and Rock Church in Helsinki.

In St Petersburg, the highlights of the Baltics, we visited the Hermitage museum, enjoyed a night of ballet and visited the Catherine Palaces and Peterhof Gardens.

Last but not least, the ports of Tallinn and Gdansk in Estonia and Poland also gave us some new insights to destinations that we might not have considered if we were travelling on land.

Here's our itinerary with some photos and links to our reviews for our trip.

Updated 19 Jun 2016


Day 0  Singapore -> London (Jul 29)

2100 - Check in at Singapore Changi Airport
2330 - Flight to London Heathrow Airport

Visiting London? Check out the best London Hotel Deals, Compare Rates, and Read Hotel Reviews on TripAdvisor

Day 1  Southampton F & E  (Jul 30)

0555 - Arrive at London Heathrow Airport Terminal 2
0700 - Clear Customs
0800 - National Express Coach FK203 to Southampton Coach Station
1015 - Reach Southampton Coach Station
1045 - Check-in Ibis Southampton Centre
1130 - Early Lunch
1300 - Visit West Quay Shopping Centre & IKEA
1600 - Walk around Southampton City
1730 - Early Dinner @ Chicago Rib Shack
1830 - Back to Hotel


Visiting London? Check out the best London Hotel Deals, Compare Rates, and Read Hotel Reviews on TripAdvisor

Day 2  Southampton F & E (Jul 31)

0800 - Rise and shine
0830 - Breakfast @ Mc Donalds
0900 - Visit Toy "R" Us
0930 - Visit Sea City Museum (Titanic Story), Dino Fest / Gateway to the World
1300 - Lunch @ Sprinkles Gelato
1400 - Shopping @ Marlands Shopping Centre
1600 - Shopping @ Primark
1500 - Walk around Southampton City
1900 - Early Dinner @ TGIF
2000 - Back to Hotel


Visiting London? Check out the best London Hotel Deals, Compare Rates, and Read Hotel Reviews on TripAdvisor

Day 3  Baltic Cruise starts (Aug 1)

0900 - Rise and shine
0930 - Breakfast
1045 - Check out Hotel
1115 - Taxi to Cruise Terminal
1200 - Embark on Caribbean Princess
1400 - Lunch on Board
1600 - Cruise departs London (Southampton)
1630 - Explore Ship
2200 - Bedtime

Day 4  Bruges - Belgium (Aug 2)

0800 - Arrive Bruges
0845 - Princess Cruises Shore Excursion (Bruges & Time On Your Own)
0915 - Walking Tour of Bruges + Church of Our Lady
1100 - Bruges Canal Cruise
1130 - Time on Our Own in Bruges
1300 - Chocolate Shopping @ Walplein
1430 - Souvenir Shopping
1645 - End of Excursion
1800 - Depart Bruges
2100 - Bedtime

Day 5 At Sea (Aug 3)

0900 - Rise and shine
1000 - Explore Ship
2100 - Bedtime


Day 6  Copenhagen - Denmark (Aug 4)

0800 - Arrive Copenhagen
0840 - Visit Little Mermaid
0911 - Walk around Rosenborg Castle Garden
1000 - Explore Rosenborg Castle
1030 - Explore Rosenborg Castle Treasury
1045 - Visit the Round Tower
1116 - Canal Tours' Grand Tour of Copenhagen (from Gammel Strand)
1230 - Visit Christiansborg Palace
1330 - Shopping @ Stroget (Shopping Street)
1544 - Walk back to Cruise Ship
1700 - Depart Copenhagen
2200 - Bedtime

Day 7  At Sea (Aug 5)

0900 - Rise and shine
1000 - Explore Ship
2100 - Bedtime

Day 8  Stockholm - Sweden (Aug 6)

0900 - Arrive Stockholm
0954 - Visit Vasa Museum
1126 - Visit Royal Palace
1310 - Shopping with Lunch
1525 - Walk back to Cruise Ship
1700 - Depart Stockholm
2100 - Bedtime

Day 9  Helsinki - Finland (Aug 7)

1000 - Arrive Helsinki
1051 - Visit Chapel of Silence
1201 - Visit Rock Church (Temppeliaukion Kirkko)
1253 - Visit Senate Square and Surroundings
1400 - Shopping
1556 - Walk back to Cruise Ship
1800 - Depart Helsinki
2100 - Bedtime

Day 10  St Petersburg - Russia (Aug 8)

0630 - Arrive St Petersburg
0900 - Princess Shore Excursion (Hermitage Museum & St Petersburg On Your Own)
1600 - End of Excursion
1845 - Princess Shore Excursion (Evening at the Russian Ballet)
2315 - End of Excursion
0000 - Bedtime

Day 11  St Petersburg - Russia (Aug 9)

0630 - Rise and shine
0730 - Princess Shore Excursion (Catherine & Peterhof Palaces)
1715 - End of Excursion
1800 - Depart St Petersburg
2200 - Bedtime

Day 12  Tallinn - Estonia (Aug 10)

0800 - Arrive Tallinn
1000 - DIY Walking Tour
1400 - End of Excursion
1700 - Depart Tallinn
2200 - Bedtime

Day 13  At Sea (Aug 11)

0900 - Rise and shine
1000 - Explore Ship
2100 - Bedtime

Day 14  Gdansk - Poland (Aug 12)

0700 - Arrive Gdansk
0800 - Princess Shore Excursion (Gdansk On Your Own)
1500 - End of Excursion
1600 - Depart Gdansk
2200 - Bedtime

Day 15  At Sea (Aug 13)

0900 - Rise and shine
1000 - Explore Ship
2100 - Bedtime

Day 16  At Sea (Aug 14)

0900 - Rise and shine
1000 - Explore Ship
2100 - Bedtime

Day 17  London -> Singapore (Aug 15)

0700 - Arrive London (Southampton)
0730 - Princess Shore Excursion (Stonehenge - Disembarking Heathrow)
1345 - Reach Heathrow Terminal 2
1245 - Lunch at Airport
1730 - Check in Flight @ Heathrow Terminal 2
2050 - Board Flight to Singapore

Day 18  Reach Singapore (Aug 16)

1655 Arrive Singapore



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