After a most unforgettable Bruges canal tour just days ago, It was with great anticipation when we came to its equivalent in Copenhagen.
After all, we had heard some great reviews of this canal tour as well. Furthermore, what better way to get a snapshot of Copenhagen than on a boat ride that promises to show you the city’s key attractions.
Our Copenhagen cards entitled us to free boat tickets on both the Canal Tours’ Grand Tour of Copenhagen operated by Stromma and the blue boats provided by its rival The Netto Boats.
To maximise the cost of our Copenhagen cards, we chose the tour provided by Stromma as the price is higher than that by Netto. Do note that boarding is restricted to only from Gammel Strand (there is another boarding point at Nyhavn for paying customers).
We patiently waited as boats passed us by.
This is my version of bird-watching.
There is no fixed arrival timings for the Stromma boats, but the operator did promise 1-4 departures per hour. After waiting for what seems like donkey years, our boat with English-speaking guide finally arrived. But by that time, loads of people had already gathered for the same boat.
The tour was expected to take about one hour, and will cover amongst other things, the Copenhagen Opera House, Amalienborg Palace, Christiansborg Palace, the Black Diamond Library, and the Little Mermaid.
The ‘canal’ in Copenhagen feels much more like a huge river. At some parts, the water even starts to get choppy.
If there was something I’ve learnt on the canal cruise, it’s that the Danes sure love to sun-bathe. These are all quite common sights during the cruise.
Second thing I learnt was that the Danes must have an extremely good work-life balance, to be able to enjoy a good social gathering and other activities on a Tuesday afternoon.
And the last thing I learnt about the Danes was that some of them were probably very rich, for them to afford this kind of luxury homes and private yachts.
Perhaps one of the most prominent architecture to be seen on the cruise is the Church of Our Saviour – The Spire. With 400 steps to the top of the helix sphere, it promises fantastic views of Copenhagen city from 90 metres above ground level.
At some point, the boat ventures into the more open waters near to the ports, and we could even spot the Caribbean Princess parked there.
Somewhere around this area, we also spotted the Little Mermaid.
The Copenhagen Opera House and the Black Diamond Library ranks among the best known architecture in the country. These are the Danish equivalent of the Sydney Opera House, and our very own Esplanade, Theatres on the Bay.
The only similarity between the Copenhagen Grand Canal tour and the Bruges canal tour was that both tours consists of a lot of passing under bridges. In this tour, the guide had to keep a lookout and warn us to be careful of our heads because some of these bridges were so low. The taller ones can easily scrap their heads off if they were not careful. I think this is the only time I am grateful for being short.
Back to our starting point at Gammel Strand. After an hour of sun-exposure on the cruise, we found that the most beautiful place to take a picture was actually not anywhere during the cruise, but at its boarding place.
As expected, the entire tour took about an hour to complete, but unlike the Bruges canal tour where every single moment was exciting, this one falls a little short of expectations. Of course, if you are tired of exploring the city by foot (or if you simply want to enjoy a good suntan!), then this canal tour will be a good alternative. Otherwise, that one hour could have been better invested somewhere else.
Join us next as we explore Christianborg Palace, located very conveniently across the bridge from Gammel Strand.