Helsinki Highlights & Finnish Food Tasting: In Partnership with Food & Wine
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Approximately 4 Hours
Experience the bustling harbor city of Helsinki, with its large ferries and picturesque islands. A short coach ride brings you to the city center -- a fascinating mix of East and West, old and new. Yet, despite a myriad of influences, you'll note that a distinctive Finnish flavor still pervades this unique city.
Your first stop is the Sibelius Park, where you'll have time to photograph the monument of approximately 600 steel pipes honoring the great Finnish composer Jean Sibelius.
Visit the famous Rock Church -- an intriguing modern-day structure built entirely into bedrock and of quarried stone
You'll pass City Hall, the President's Palace, the Opera House and the Parliament House. Take note of the location of Esplanade Street, famous for its shopping and open-air restaurants.
After an atmospheric tour of the city center, you will stop at Senate Square -- the historic heart of Helsinki that dates back to 1778.
Nearby is Restaurant Savotta, which celebrates Finland's culinary heritage in a thoroughly modern way. Food & Wine describes Savotta as 'one of the city's greatest gems'. Everything inside, from the decor to the menu to the antique china, is inspired by Finnish nature and traditions. Ingredients are foraged from the country's pristine forests and lakes, and carefully curated from select small suppliers. Enjoy a tasting menu here, so that you're eating what the Finns of the 21st century eat.
You'll have some free time at Market Square before heading back to the ship.
Not advisable for guests using a wheelchair or for those with mobility limitations. Participants will encounter cobblestone surfaces at Senate Square. It is a 400-yard walk uphill from the coach parking to the Rock Church; if a special function is being held here, an inside visit will not be possible. There are gravel pathways at Sibelius Park surrounding the Sibelius Monument. Water is included on the tasting menu; wine and spirits are available at an extra charge (at your own expense).