Tag: stockholm archipelago

Vaxholm Dinner Cruise


The Travelin’ Man’s Overall Recommendation: VERY GOOD*
(surprisingly good, exceeding on some levels)

  • What did I like the most: sipping wine while watching the spectacular scenery of Sweden’s archipelago drift by
  • What is the biggest area for improvement: condition of the windows made photography a tad challenging in direct sunlight


The dinner cruise is hosted by Strömma, aboard the s/s Stockholm, with restaurateurs Maria Svensson and Jesper Taube handling the culinary aspects.

We got our tickets at Strömma Kanalbolaget Terminal, Nybrohamnen 4, 111 47 Stockholm. They were 200 kr per person and do not include food or drink.

The cruise goes non-stop from Strömma Kanalbolaget Terminal (ours was slot #15) to the beautiful Vaxholm. We left the dock at 7pm sharp, and the entire trip was around 3 hours. The menus were in Swedish and English, and there is no tour guide, it is strictly scenic.

The Boat

The name of the boat was s/s Stockholm, and she was classy and cozy. We sat up on the second deck. Each table is by a window. There were three of us in our party, and we had a table to ourselves, but I don’t know if couples share a table with others or not. Will find out, though, since Jana and I will definitely be doing this again.

The Dinner

As you might imagine, dinner is handled very much like a restaurant. You order whenever you’re ready. It is possible to book your food in advance, and have it brought in by course, but we opted for à la cart. I ordered the classic steamboat steak, and it was cooked exactly to order, served hot, and tasted delicious. Combined with the gherkin, it made a surprisingly good taste combination. I did bulldoze some of those onions off though, haha. They also offered lamb tenderloin, corn fed chicken breast, and various other seafood dishes. Overall a very good menu.

The wine list was very diverse, better than most restaurants. Stockholm leans more towards the French and Italian wines, and seldom if ever have any USA representation. But the cruise had not only French, Italian, and USA, but also some selections from Spain, Italy, Chile, and Africa. We also ordered some of the desserts, which were all very good.

You really can’t go wrong here, the dinner and drinks were excellent; we and everyone around us had a marvelous time.

The Cruise

The cruise was on par with the rest of the experience, very smooth sailing, and magnificent views of the archipelago.


The noise levels inside the restaurant were acceptable, and there was no boat or engine noise whatsoever. We were blessed with absolutely gorgeous weather. I will say we sat on the starboard (right hand) side. Folks on the other side seemed to have more sun coming in, which we wouldn’t have preferred.


There was a brief stop at Vaxholm before starting back. We saw enough of it to make us want to go out there for a weekend stay. There was a really nice looking hotel right on the water and this cool palace to discover.


I should mention that photography was a tad challenging at times. As you can see above, there is a lot of glare. There is really no controlling this, nor any way to really deal with it other than to  try different angles with the camera.


The other thing, which would be controllable, is that the windows could have been a little cleaner on the outside. Especially with the evening sun hitting them, any dirt becomes highly visible, which added additional challenges to photography, as you can see above. I know, first world problem, just sayin’.

But if you’re persistent and creative, you can work around these challenges. On the return trip, we got to experience a breathtaking sunset.


This was Brandi’s last evening with us. I can’t think of a better send off…..

* 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: 4
Overall execution and presentation: 4
Total score: 15
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)

Boat Trip to Skokloster

Boat Trip to Skokloster


The Travelin’ Man’s Overall Recommendation GOOD*
(met expectations, would recommend, would do again)

  • What did I like the most: Breathtaking scenery on the boat ride and at the destination
  • What is the biggest area for improvement: food on the boat


This is an all day event (8-9 hrs). It’s a boat ride from Stockholm to the Skokloster palace. The company that provided the boat ride was Strömma. We left the docks at 10am and got back at 6pm. We got our tickets from and left from Stadshusbron. Prices are seasonal; we did our trip at the peak of summer in July and paid 375 kr per adult. Food and drink are not included.

Breakfast is a pastry or choice of a couple of different muffins. Also have coffee and sodas. On board cafeteria serves only one selection for lunch, smoked salmon in our case. But there are sandwiches and paninis available at the snack bar.

The Boat Ride


There is a lot of time spent here on the boat. The boat ride out is around 3 hours, and it’s about the same going back. So if that’s not your scene, you won’t have fun here. It’s a big boat, and you’re free to walk around. It has multiple decks, including outdoor areas front and back, two bathrooms, and a cafeteria and bar. So if you do enjoy a good boat ride, which I do, then you will love this.


The scenery is spectacular. As you get further and further from Stockholm, you see the landscape morph from urban to rural. After you pass Hässely Strand, which is as far as the subway goes, you see the buildings get smaller and smaller until you suddenly realize you are in the northern rural countryside of Sweden. Standing out on the front deck with the wind blowing through my hair and the sun warming my face, I swear the air smells fresher, clean and crisp. Ok, the wine probably helped a little but I really felt I could smell the country freshness in the air.


As you push up and then down the Mälaren lake (3rd largest lake in Sweden), you get to see the country living of the citizens of northern Sweden. Don’t misunderstand though, living right on the lake is insanely expensive, so most of the houses are over-the-top nice with huge plots of land, and there are even several mansions as well. The trip includes an onboard tour guide who will call out noteworthy things along the way, including the really large mansions. It’s done first in Swedish, followed by English.


As you approach the palace, you will want to be on the front deck in order to get that beautiful photograph of the stunning baroque style palace. The palace is right on the lake and the photo potential here is fairytale quality. But if you missed it, it’s just as beautiful as you’re leaving.

The Palace and Grounds


The entire trip including the palace itself is just a photographer’s dream. Definitely bring your nice camera on this one. The outdoor areas around the palace and church are quite spectacular. I couldn’t stop snapping pictures the entire time.


The age of the place is a little deceiving. The outside is so well preserved that you forget it was built in 1676. So when you step inside, that’s when you go back in time. The internal archways and pillars, and the artwork tell the true age of the place. Take your time and follow the history of the owners through time.

Most of the plaques and documentation that describe the rooms and the antique collections are in Swedish. But we didn’t know that when we turned down the audio guide. I strongly recommend getting the audio guide.




We got to explore the first two floors for free. Some of them even had the original furniture and decor. And the ceiling artwork is rivaled only by the royal palaces. On the third floor is a Jane Austen presentation complete with some of the costumes from the movies. We didn’t opt for that since none in our group were familiar with her work. But if you are a fan, you should definitely opt for the 30 kr tour of that area.


The boat ride back was just as pleasant and breathtaking as the trip out. It was just a little cooler, so coming back we got a table by the window and enjoyed some wine and conversation as the beautiful scenery scrolled past the windows.

* 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: 3

Total score interpretation: 13
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)