Why year-round cruising is becoming popular in Denmark

Quieter attractions and discounts on port fees are some of the perks for cruise lines

Why year-round cruising is becoming popular in Denmark

Niclas Jessen

Guests visiting Denmark’s 12 cruise ports can enjoy a range of excursions

By Rebecca Gibson |

Famous for being the ancestral home of the Vikings, the epicentre of hygge and the country with the world’s happiest citizens, Denmark has almost 7,300 kilometres of coastline, over 400 named islands and multiple navigable fjords, coves and bays.

Numerous cruise lines visit the country’s 12 cruise ports throughout the spring and summer, but business-to-business network CruiseCopenhagen is now encouraging expedition operators to call during the off-peak season to benefit from quieter attractions, discounts on port fees, and easier access to berths.  

“We work with over 50 local tourism partners to help cruise lines plan successful itineraries throughout the year,” says Helene Mølgaard Bæk, manager of CruiseCopenhagen. “Our website – cruisecopenhagen.com – provides information about facilities, services and attractions at each port, as well as the benefits of off-peak cruising. We also have a new brochure outlining excursions for expedition cruise guests.”   

Many of these active tours enable guests to explore Denmark’s natural environment. For example, those visiting Skagen can cycle along the coast or join a guided hike from the port to Grenen, a sandbank connecting the North and Baltic Seas. Guests docking in Aarhus can visit Mols Bjerge national park and Kapenjøj Nature Center for a campfire cooking experience. And those calling at Aalborg can take a bus safari in Lille Vildmose to see the ‘Nordic Big Five’ – moose, red deer, wild boars, cranes and eagles. 

Meanwhile, cruise guests can learn about Denmark’s history by visiting the Unesco World Heritage site of Kronborg Castle in Helsingor, or touring castles, churches, museums and five Viking ships during a call to Kalundborg. Sønderborg, which is located on both Als island and mainland Jutland, is also home to castles, war trenches, Dybbøl Mill, and an old gendarme patrol path on the Danish-German border. Denmark’s former capital and royal town Nyborg also has a castle, an old town centre and several other historical sites to explore. 

Elsewhere, cruise visitors can participate in activities that benefit the local environment or community. Highlights include working in Lindley Winery’s vineyards or helping with marine conservation at Naturpark Lillebælt in Fredericia, and collecting trash during a kayak tour in Copenhagen.  

Guests wanting to immerse themselves in Denmark’s culinary scene can forage for seaweed, visit a vineyard and tour an eco-community in Hundested, or participate in a chef-led experience at the Michelin-starred restaurant at Dragsholm Castle in Zealand. Meanwhile in Roenne on Bornholm island, they can sample delicacies and cocktails made from sea buckthorn, or join a traditional cooking workshop.  

“There’s something for everyone at any time of year,” says Bæk. 

This article was first published in the 2023 issue of Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. Subscribe to Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning for FREE here to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox or your door.

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