The Travelin’ Man’s Overall Recommendation: VERY GOOD*
(surprisingly good, exceeding on some levels)
- What did I like the most: amount of original content in the castle
- What is the biggest area for improvement: more time slots for English tours
We got our tickets at the Stadshuset and Riddarholmen Boat Tours, Stadshusbron, Klara Mälarstrand 2, 111 52 Stockholm. They were 445 kr each.
The Boat trip is two hours each way, and the return time is fixed, meaning the boat leaves and then returns to pick you up at the specific time. We left the dock from Stadshuset at 10am sharp. It is a guided tour, meaning they will call out points of interest along the way over the speaker system.
The name of our boat was s/s Evert Taube. She is what I’ve come to expect from Stromma for cruises like this.
There’s a fairly large internal cabin, a large upper deck (exposed) and a smaller back deck that is outside but covered.
It has a snack bar in the main cabin that serves sandwiches, chips, and soft drinks. You can also get wine and beer at the bar.
There is also free wifi. Just don’t count on it always working. 😉
The cruise was excellent. Going out, we sat up on the outside deck and enjoyed an abundance of sunshine, fresh air, and good company. We even got some coffee and pastries from the bar and brought them up.
As I have mentioned on all Lake Mälaren cruises, the scenery here is just amazing. It’s great watching the landscape transform from city to country.
This is especially evident on the above shot, which is Hasselby Strand, the end of the green line. After that, no more big buildings. The guides will sometimes call that out, but other times they don’t. And this brings up my biggest gripe about the cruise; there is no speaker down in the main cabin. So if you want to hear the tour guide, you have to be on the top deck.
This is now one of my favorite Swedish palaces. It is just bristling with Sweden’s history, and so much of the castle contents is still original, including many rugs, tapestries, paintings, and furniture.
This was the palace of King Karl XIII before he was king. He was the younger brother of the famous Gustav III, who of course was assasinated at the opera and whose son was exiled.
Unfortunately, the only way to see the palace interior is by guided tour. But, the tour was very well done. She pointed out some of the more intimate details, like the hidden passage into the queen’s bedroom and the cool stairway from the king’s bedroom that led to his upstairs library. Fascinating stuff.
The tour was 100 kr, but certainly well worth it. As I mentioned earlier, this palace has a lot of original content and is very well preserved. Some of the rooms define majestic beauty and look exactly like you envisioned from novels you may have read.
If I have a complaint here, it is that the English tour only ran at 3pm, and we arrived at 12pm. On the other hand, that gave us plenty time to have lunch and tour the grounds on our own.
There were snacks and sandwiches on the boat. In the morning, we had coffee and pastries. On the afternoon cruise, there is a cooked meal available. I believe our offering was salmon, but we didn’t get it. If you want the afternoon meal, you should inform the staff prior to disembarking at the palace.
There is a cafe in the palace. It is very small and offers some salads and sandwiches, plus a selection of desserts. And of course wine and beer.
* Each area is rated on a scale 1-5, with 1 = poor, 3 = good, 5 = exceptional
How did this do compared to what I had expected: 4
How well were the logistics handled: 3
Was the staff helpful and friendly: 3
Overall execution and presentation: 4
Total score: 14
4 – 8 is POOR (was not at all what I expected and/or was not worth the time/money)
9 – 10 is OK (quality of the experience was a little low, but I enjoyed it)
11 – 13 is GOOD (met expectations, would recommend, would do again)
14 – 15 is VERY GOOD (surprisingly good, exceeding on some levels)
16 – 20 is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (outperformed my expectations, great value)