Vaasa, Finland

Introduction to Vaasa, Finland

Located at the narrowest point of the Gulf of Bothnia, Vaasa, the sunniest city in Finland, is situated just 50 miles away from the coastline of Sweden.

Vaasa is a city with many blends as history meets the present, culture meets nature and small boutiques mix with town markets.

For those interested in Culture, Vaasa provides the ideal location, boasting some twenty museums, from modern arts to motor engines. If Culture isn’t your thing you can relax in one of many quaint cafes and restaurants, or maybe treat yourself to some retail therapy in one of the busy shopping centres, specialist shops or market stools.

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ARCHIPELAGO CRUISE

  • Be enchanted by the Vaasa Archipelago on this delightful cruise
  • Sail between the UNESCO World Heritage listed islands
  • Glimpse the summer cabins and saunas along the shore line
Boat Tour
Price£60.00 - £70.00
Duration4 to 4.5 hrs
LimitationLimited capacity
Free time includedFree time included

You will cruise to the Vaasa Archipelago with a stop for refreshments on Kuusisaari Island.

A coach will take you to the inner harbour, where your boat MS Tiira will be waiting for you. During your cruise you will experience the beautiful scenery that the archipelago has to offer, as well as see typical Finnish summer cottages and saunas, displaying very unique styles of local architecture.

The cruise travels through part of the archipelago which has been included on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list since 2006 and is Finland’s first, and only, Natural World Heritage Site. The continuous land uplift is about eight millimetres per year and produces approximately one square kilometre of new land every year - which is as large as 150 football fields. Islands appear and unite, peninsulars expand, and lakes evolve from bays and develop into marshes and fens. On your journey you will also see the longest bridge in Finland - Raippaluoto Bridge, with a length of 1,045 metres.

You will land on Kuusisaari Island where you can enjoy coffee or tea and cake and have time to explore and admire the Finnish coastal scenery. The cruise then continues back to the harbour and you return by coach to your ship.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2013 SCANDINAVIA & BALTIC CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: There is little walking on this tour, however there are steps to get on and off the boat. The cruise duration is approximately two and a half hours. Toilet facilities are available onboard, and there is cover should it rain, but the boat is not air-conditioned – there is also limited outside seating. For information, the weather in Vaasa can be cool in June, so layers of clothing are best. Please note that the place of boarding may change.


PANORAMIC VAASA

  • Uncover the city of Vaasa from the comfort of your coach
  • See the mighty meteorite crater at Söderfjärden
  • Enjoy the sight of birdlife in this unique habitat
Panoramic Coach Tour
Price£35.00 - £45.00
LimitationApprox. 3 hours
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

This panoramic coach tour will show you the highlights of Vaasa, as you learn about the history of this lively town. A visit to the Meteorite Crater Visitor Centre is also included as it is a unique highlight of the area.

The current location of the city is about four miles away from the original location of Vaasa, after a fire in 1852 totally destroyed the mainly wooden and densely built town. The new town was designed by Architect Carl Axel Setterberg in the Empire style, and rose in order to improve the harbour. Pass such sites as the Lutheran Church, Town Hall, Marketplace, Rewell Centre, Acedemill, Inner Harbour, Court of Appeal, Vaasa Prison, impressive Barrack Square with its military buildings dating from the 1860’s to 1880’s and the Orthodox Church from the 1860’s. All of these will be viewed from the outside only.

The tour continues with a drive through the countryside to the visitor centre in the middle of the most beautiful impact crater in Finland - Söderfjärden. The centre is managed by volunteers in cooperation with the Astronomical society of Vaasa Andromeda. Today the crater is a large, fertile round open field with a diameter of four miles. There are ten other places in Finland known to have traces of meteorite impacts, but they are asymmetric water-filled lakes and no longer look much like craters now, and Söderfjärden is a unique place on earth as only approximately 180 meteorite impacts have been discovered.

In the visitor centre a short film is shown and you can see an interesting exhibition about the crater’s 520 million year history. The area is also a very important birdlife site. In autumn, over 10,000 cranes visit - this makes Söderfjärden the most important resting place for birds in Finland. Refreshments of coffee or tea and a pastry will be served here.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2013 SCANDINAVIA & BALTIC CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: This tour involves approximately 15 minutes of optional walking at the Visitor Centre – over gravel and uneven ground. Guests may remain on the coach if they prefer, but please note that the duration of the stop is over an hour. We can not guarantee what birdlife will be seen. For information, the weather in Vaasa can be cool in June, so layers of clothing are best. The order of the tour may vary.


VAASA PAST & PRESENT

  • Explore the city of Vaasa and the surrounding area
  • Discover the Open Air Museum with buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries
  • See the mighty meteorite crater at Söderfjärden
Price£40.00 - £50.00
DurationApprox. 4 hours
LimitationLimited capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Free time includedFree time included

This tour will show you the highlights of the town of Vaasa – both past and present – as well as travelling back in time at Stundars Open Air Museum.

Departing by coach, you will pass through Vaskiluoto – where the Wasalandia Amusement Park and the waterpark and spa at Tropiclandia are located. Arriving in the heart of the ‘new’ town of Vaasa your first stop will be made between the main Lutheran Church and the Town Hall. During the Civil War of 1918, the senate moved from Helsinki to Vaasa and held its meetings in the Town Hall. You will have the opportunity to visit the interior of this important building. Across the road, you will visit the main Lutheran Church of Vaasa, designed by architect Carl Axel Setterberg, who also designed the new town of Vaasa. Built in English neo-gothic style, the church – which was consecrated in 1869 – has the capacity for almost 900 people. Of particular note – inside the church is the altarpiece painting entitled Adoration of the Shepherds painted by Albert Edelfelt in 1894.

Your tour continues to Old Vaasa, situated some four and a half miles from the present town. On August 3rd 1852 the densely built and mainly wooden town of Old Vaasa was destroyed by fire. Only the Wasastjerna house, the Court of Appeal and some Russian guardhouses escaped the blaze. The ruins of the grey stone church, the belfry, the Town Hall and the school can also be seen in their original places. You will visit Korsholm Church, Mustasaari in Finnish, which was earlier the Court of Appeal founded by Gustav III in the 18th century. Explore inside and walk around the grounds.

Continue by coach to the village of Solf, approximately 12 miles south of Vaasa. Here you will visit Stundars Open Air Museum and Centre of Culture and Art. This is a living museum with a collection today comprising nearly 60 buildings from the last centuries. See examples of a village shop, a school, a farmstead and crofters cabins. There is a small shop with products from the region and also selling sweets and soft drinks.

You continue to Söderfjärden for a photo stop in the middle of the most beautiful meteorite impact crater in Finland. During the autumn this round field is a mass of birdlife and is the resting place for many thousand cranes. Relax on the return drive to your ship and enjoy the scenery, passing thorough the village of Sundom.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2013 SCANDINAVIA & BALTIC CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking at each stop – over mainly paved, but also cobblestone and gravel areas and includes approximately 70 steps in total to negotiate. Guests with limited mobility may stay on the coach at the stops if preferred. Entry to the Vaasa Lutheran Church and Korsholm Church may be denied due to religious functions. Entry to the Town Hall may be denied due to civic functions. In these cases, viewings would be external only. We may not be notified in advance if this is the case. We can not guarantee what birdlife will be seen. For information, the weather in Vaasa can be cool in June, so layers of clothing are best. The order of the sights visited may vary.


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