A Disney Cruise Line Port of Call Reviewby Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 04-06-2017
This summer, Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital, becomes the Disney Magic’s home port for a series of cruises, and last summer we were fortunate to stop off there for a day on a non-Disney cruise.
The picturesque Nyhavn.
As such, we weren’t fortunate enough to have additional time in the city to explore further afield, but we did have a full, and packed day seeing what Copenhagen has to offer.
Perhaps given the role that Tivoli Gardens played in the creation of Disney theme parks, it’s no surprise that many of the shore excursions are focused here. Options include behind-the-scenes tour with prices running into hundreds of dollars, but we took the cheapest possible option, and headed there on a hop-on, hop-off bus. Ironically, Disney actually offers practically the same thing with its Hop On Hop Off & Tivoli Gardens ($86/adults, $45/ages 3-9). If that sounds steep, frankly it is. Adults paying separately can get the bus for around $30, while admission to Tivoli Gardens is around $15, but that doesn’t include any rides, so if you want to add those in, it can be a lot more expensive.
So are either worth it? The bus tour certainly covers a lot of ground, and allows you to see the main sights of Copenhagen. It is wonderfully convenient, and literally picks you up from your cruise ship, and drops you back there, saving you a lot of walking. We really enjoyed the time we spent on it, although we did miss out a large chunk of the tour, as we found the traffic unbearable at some points, and figured it would be faster to walk, and frankly I think it was!
Tivoli Gardens is somewhere I’ve heard a lot about, and I’ve been wanting to go there for many years, so it really was a dream come true to finally visit it. You pay a fair bit just to go in, and then it’s extra for the various attractions, but that was fine with us, as we just wanted to explore, and see the gardens that inspired Walt so many years ago.
It first opened in 1843, and had just two attractions, one of which was a coaster, but the other was a carousel pulled by horses. Today, even though it’s right in the middle of the city, it’s grown to 20 acres, and you honestly wouldn’t know you were in Copenhagen, despite the fact you occasionally catch glimpses of landmarks from outside the park. It’s filled with trees, and flowers, and like the Disney parks, it’s divided up into different lands. However, they’re not named as such, but you just know you’re moving from one to another, when you change from an Indian palace to a snow topped mountain or a pirate ship to a Japanese pagoda for example. You won’t go hungry here, as one of the things that struck us was the huge number of restaurants, and counter service places. Do beware though, it’s easy to lose track of time, as there’s just so much to explore. We were amazed by how quickly time flew by when we were here.
If you’ve seen photos of Copenhagen, the chances are they’re of the Nyhavn, a canal lined with colourful houses on both sides, and this is a delight to visit. It’s one of those places that looks just as good in real life as you’d hope.
Probably the next big attractions for visitors to Copenhagen are the city’s palaces. There are three main ones, the Rosenberg Slot, which contains the Danish crown jewels, the Christiansborg Slot, whose rooms are still used for grand occasions, and the Amalienborg Palace, home to the Royal family. I couldn’t make up my mind which to visit, but ironically, we didn’t go into any during our day in the city. However, we did visit the tower of the Christiansborg Slot, and wow, what an amazing view from there. There may be a wait, as only 40 people are let through at any one time, but we found it was only a few minutes.
Just one part of Tivoli Gardens.
Of course, everyone wants to see the Little Mermaid, and I was impressed by the fact the hop on hop off service gave us five minutes to get off and visit it, which was a nice touch. She’s smaller than you’d expect, and be prepared for lots of crowds around her.
Something that probably isn’t very high up the list of things to do in Copenhagen, but frankly it should be, is the Rundetarn or round tower. It’s a hike to get to the top up a cobbled spiral ramp, which is nearly 700 feet long. You don’t think it will be that tough, but trust me, it is! However, the exertion is worth it for the views from up there.
And of course a visit to a city for any Disney fan isn’t complete with checking out the local Disney Store. Sadly, they have become more far and few between in recent years, but there is one just off Hojbro Plads, a cobbled square, and we picked up some nice Copenhagen specific items in there.
I’m not surprised Disney are using Copenhagen as a home port, as there’s certainly plenty to entertain any visitors for a good few days. I personally hope to get back one day to enjoy the interiors of those three palaces, take a canal tour… and lots more. You get the idea!
The Magic stops first at Copenhagen on its eastbound transatlantic from Port Canaveral, departing on May 13, then it’s the home port for the next four cruises. The first, leaving on May 28, heads around northern Europe, while the second on June 4 takes cruisers to the Norwegian fjords. On June 11, there’s another northern European itinerary, and the final cruise to depart from Copenhagen is a longer northern European cruise, which then finishes up in Dover.
Updated 04-06-2017 - Article #1387
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.
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