Copenhagen, City of Spires
Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark, is situated on the large island of Zealand, some 150 miles northeast of the Danish mainland. The city is home to a population of over 1 million people, and is the biggest in the whole of Scandinavia.
The city has its roots in the mid 12th century when Bishop Absalon of Roskilde, the closest confident of King Valdemar I of Denmark, commissioned the construction of a stone castle and settlement fortified by moat and wall to keep watch on the strategic sea lane (now called the Oresund strait). Over the next 250 years trade and fishing brought great prosperity to the inhabitants, and in 1443 the settlement, which by now had grown into a small city, became capital of Denmark. King Christian IV, who ascended the throne in 1596, enlarged the city significantly by the addition of many impressive buildings, long streets and grand squares. The 18th century saw the birth of Copenhagen's historic Royal Danish Porcelain factory which began making porcelain with blue decoration in 1775. The first batches out of the factory served as dinner pieces for the monarchy.
Today Copenhagen has matured into a charming city, welcoming visitors from across the globe who arrive to experience its style, history and culture. The city is also an important departure point for cruises, thanks to its great air travel links and its location linking the Baltic sea with the Atlantic. Cruises from Copenhagen include the itinerary to the majestic Norwegian Fjords, or the trip around the magnificent cities of the Baltic.
Cruise Ship Terminals
Copenhagen's cruise ship facilities are operated by the Copenhagen Malmo Port authority. The city has 4 cruise ports, Ocean Quay, Freeport, Langelinie, and Nordre Toldbod.
Ocean Quay (OceanKaj in Danish)
Ocean Quay has 3 identical modern cruise terminals which boast a modern design with iridescent glass fronts and asymmetric roofs. The port handles mostly turnaround cruise ships. Parking facilities are managed by a independent operator at the port gate.
The Freeport cruise terminal is a tented structure in a section of the busy North Harbor (Nordhavn) commercial port. Like Ocean Quay, the terminal handles mostly turnaround calls. Nowadays Freeport is not as busy as it was, due to the opening of the more modern Ocean Quay facility.
Langelinie is not a cruise terminal as such, just a long quay backed by a linear stone warehouse now converted into tourist shops. The quay is only used by visiting cruise ships. A Welcome Crew meet newly arrived cruise visitors distributing Cruise Copenhagen Maps and dispensing practical information. Sightseeing buses, city buses and cabs wait for customers a short distance from the ship. Though Langelinie is within easy walking distance of the city center.
The Nordre Tolbod quay is just south from Langelinie. It's a relatively small dock, utilized occasionally by small cruise ships.
Cruises From Copenhagen
Denmarks's harsh winter restricts the cruise ship calendar to the summer and fall. The two most popular cruises from Copenhagen are a voyage around the Baltic or the sailing to Norway.
On a Baltic cruise attractive excursions include the beautiful Royal Palaces of Stockholm, the medieval alleys of Tallinn, the massive Suomenlinna fortress at Helsiniki and Peter the Great's architectural wonders in St Petersburg. On a Norway cruise the list would be the awe-inspiring Norwegian Fjords, the Art Nouveau town of Alesund, the grand landscape of Geiranger, the Old Town of Stavanger and characterful Bryggen harbor in Bergen.
Things To Do Near Copenhagen's Cruise Ports
The Little Mermaid
The beautiful Little Mermaid statue has been admired and photographed by scores of tourists from all across the world and has become an instantly recognizable symbol of Denmark. The bronze statue was unveiled in 1913 at the Langelinie waterfront promenade, a stone's throw from the Langelinie cruise quay.
Nyhavn, meaning New Haven, was originally a hard working commercial port where ships coming from all around the world would dock. It's now famous around the world for its beautiful town houses painted in a range of pastel colors backing the quayside. Hans Christian Andersen even lived here for a while. The harbor is home to the Veteran Ship and Museum Harbour and its collection of historical ships some of which are open to viewing by the public.
Amalienborg consists of an impressive group of four enormous palaces around one square: Frederick VIII's Palace (also known as Brockdorff's Palace, residence of the Crown Prince family), Christian VII's Palace (also known as Moltke's Palace, used as guest residence), Christian VIII's Palace (also known as Levetzau' Palace, used as guest palace for Prince Joachim and Princess Benedikte) and Christian IX's Palace (also known as Schack's Palace, home of the Queen and the Prince Consort). The palaces were actually built by members of the Danish nobility, but when a great fire wiped out the crown's Christiansborg Palace, the Amalienborg Palaces were secured by the royalty to take its place. Visit the Amalienborg Museum to see several grand royal salons decorated in the manner of the 19th century.
In the early years of the 17th century Christian IV authorized the construction of the magical Rosenborg Palace to act as a royal summerhouse. After the reign of Frederik IV, Rosenborg was only used as a royal residence twice, consequent to the fire at Christiansborg in 1794, and as a retreat during the time of the English attack on Copenhagen in 1801. Rosenborg Castle is open to the public all through the year, except Mondays during winter.
Statens Museum for Kunst
Art-lovers will enjoy the Statens Museum for Kunst with its superb collection which includes Danish and Nordic Art 1750-1900, French Art 1900-1930 and European Art 1300-1800. Many items in the museum's older collections originate from the royal palaces.
Walking Tour From Langelinie Pier
Being a compact city, Copenhagen is easy to tour on foot. A suggested route from Langelinie Pier which encompasses many must-sees would be:
Follow the waterfront south to
•The Little Mermaid
Continue along the waterfront to
Head inland to
Continue along Tolbodgade to
Head inland to
Walk back along Bredgade passing (and visiting if of interest)
•Frederiks Kirke (the Marble church)
•Den Russiske Kirke (the Russian Church)
•Medicinsk Museion (medical museum)
•The Design Museum
Turn right onto Esplanaden then left into the
Return to Langelinie Pier.
Traveling to the Cruise Terminals from the Airport
Passengers booked on cruises from Copenhagen can reach the cruise terminals by cab, or less expensively, by public transport.
The easiest way to travel from the airport to any of the cruise terminals is by cab.
By Public Transport
A cheaper alternative is to transfer by train and/or bus. For OceanKaj take the train from the airport station to Osterport, then bus #27 to OceanKaj. For Freeport take the train from the airport station to Kobenhavn H, then another from Kobenhavn H to Nordhavn St. Next walk 500m to the cruise terminal building.
Cruise Port Map
(click on image for larger image)
Cruise Port Location(s)
@ googlemaps.com Lagelinie Quay
Copenhagen Malmo Port
Copenhagen Malmo Port
Current Marine Traffic
@ marinetraffic.com Copenhagen Marine Traffic
Anything you'd like to say about Copenhagen as a cruise port?