Välkommen to Sweden

Hamlet's Castle In My Wake
Do you recognize the castle in the background? I’ll give you a hint. It was the inspiration and setting for one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays.

Think about it for for a few minutes while I introduce myself. I’m the guy in the photo. My name is Ralph Grizzle, and I am an American (from Asheville, North Carolina) living part time in Sweden, directly across from the castle, in fact.

I came here to be closer to the “Cruise Capital of Northern Europe.” That would be Copenhagen, Denmark, which will host more than 300 cruise ship calls this summer. Those cruises, of course, will explore Scandinavia and the jeweled destinations along the Baltic Sea.

My job while I’m living abroad is to inspire and inform you about one of the world’s most enchanting — and enriching — cruise destinations, Europe.

I’ll begin by filing reports from Scandinavia, covering Sweden in April; Norway in May; and Denmark in June. After that, I’ll move south to cover other cruise destinations in Europe.

I hope that you’ll comment and ask questions as I expose you to the best of Europe, virtually.

Did you guess the name of the castle yet? Here’s a closer look.

Hamlet's Castle

Actually, the castle, and the town where it stands, has a couple of names. I’ll give you some time to think about it. If you know the answer, click on the “Comments” link below.

Until next time, “Välkommen” to Sweden, Ralph Grizzle.


Join the Discussion


  1. shipcafe April 6, 2009 at 7:40 am - Reply

    I plan to visit Stockholm in September so this is great and I look forward to your updates!

  2. Ralph Grizzle April 6, 2009 at 9:10 am - Reply

    Thanks! And nice to see you here. I’ll have lots about Stockholm. Are you looking for anything in particular?

  3. Garth Liseth April 6, 2009 at 9:56 am - Reply

    I believe the castle to be the Kronborg Castle which inspired “Hamlet”

  4. shipcafe April 6, 2009 at 11:17 am - Reply

    Great to hear from you Ralph!

    I’ve been once before but just for a day call on the old Noordam. This time I’d like to maybe get off the beaten path, experience the night life, culture, cuisine, etc. I’ve been taking some Swedish as well.

    When you find any gems in the rough, I’ll be happy to read your thoughts!

  5. stevec April 6, 2009 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    Glad to meet you, Ralph! I look forward to your contributions to the Holland America blog.

    I believe that castle is Elsinore, am I right? I have a thing for European castles….

  6. Sharon April 6, 2009 at 2:49 pm - Reply


    The castle’s name is Helsingor Castle in the town of Helsingor, Denmark. My husband and I stayed a week in Copenhagen before our Cruise on the Rotterdam in 2007. We took a castle tour that included Helsingor Castle. Last year when in Copenhagen, again for another cruise on the Rotterdam, we took the train to Helsingor.

    There are so many wonderful cruises in northern Europe that start or end in Copenhagen. I can see why you have chosen to locate there. Enjoy your blog. Glad you encouraged Captain Albert to blog. Consequently, we now have a Holland America blog that I log onto everyday. Wish you could encourage a few more of the Captain’s to blog. I know that Captain Jeroen Van Donselaar and Captain John Mercer of the Eurodam contribute frequently. I thoroughly enjoy their blogging. I wish that Captain Hans Mateboer of the Nordam would blog. I really enjoyed his book, The Captain’s Log: Around the World with Cruise Captain Hans Mateboer.

    Also, enjoy your online magazine and daily blog, Avid Cruiser—which you could say that I am. An avid mariner on Holland America ships.


    Sharon Johnson

  7. […] ComicList: Shipping This Week added an interesting post today on Välkommen to SwedenHere’s a small readingDo you recognize the castle in the background? I’ll give you a hint. […]

Leave A Comment

Sign up for special offers and announcements

Related Articles