Highlights of Helsinki
Duration: 3 1/2 hours
Tour Code: hel-001
This panoramic driving tour provides the definitive overall view of Finland's capital. It starts at the harbor and follows a coastal road past Embassy Park, an open-air market, and expansive Senate Square, dominated by an elegant Lutheran Cathedral. (Its steep steps are where director Warren Beatty shot scenes for his film "Reds," substituting Helsinki for St. Petersburg.)
Your drive then continues down the chic Esplanadi, a boulevard lined with designer shops, and along Mannerheim Street, Helsinki's main thoroughfare. Its landmarks include the imposing Parliament Building, the National Museum, and Finlandia Hall, a concert hall designed by renowned Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. Further along, you will see the stadium that hosted the 1952 Olympics, the new Opera House on Töölönlahti Bay, and the highly unusual Rock Church, an underground house of worship blasted out of native granite and capped with a copper dome.
Lastly, at Sibelius Park, you will stop at the amazing, stainless steel tube monument to the great Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. At the end of the tour, you may return to ship or remain downtown to explore on your own.
Please note: This tour is mostly panoramic with optional walking at the stops. It is a 20-minute walk in each direction from the coach to the Rock Church;however, guests may make arrangements with the guide to not participate in this portion of the tour. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned only to participate to the extent of their personal stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested. Guests should be prepared for the possibility of rain. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.