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Kotka, Finland - Getting Around


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I will hopefully be in Kotka, Finland for the day from a cruise at end of August. Is it easy to do Kotka on your own from the cruise pier? How do you get to the main tourist attractions in Kotka from the pier and how far is it? What is the main attractions here?  Any help would be great!! Thanks!!

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Ah, I see that NCL offers both Helsinki and Kotka as ports.  This is quite an interesting itinerary assuming that the cruise comes to fruition.

Reading online, I find that you will dock at HaninaKotka. You can check out the location on Google maps.

https://www.haminakotka.com/

I've not been to Kotka but, hopefully, our local Finnish expert will chime in with the information that you want.

Edited by dogs4fun
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1 hour ago, meliss35 said:

I will hopefully be in Kotka, Finland for the day from a cruise at end of August. Is it easy to do Kotka on your own from the cruise pier? How do you get to the main tourist attractions in Kotka from the pier and how far is it? What is the main attractions here?  Any help would be great!!

This year? I would be bit pessimistic about that, there might be still pandemic related restrictions that make cruising impossible (or at least limit certain nationaties' chances to enter some countries).

Now, Kotka is quite nice small city. I haven't been there on a cruise ship, but I have been there on other methods of transport now and then. I believe there are two piers which cruise ships have used: one is Kantasatama in the heart of city, while the other is Mussalo, which is primarily a cargo port little further from the city centre and I assume that if your ship goes there you certainly will be offered bus transfer to the city centre (or other suitable destinations).

Then what to do there? In the centre of the city, the sights include the Maritime museum centre Wellamo and museum ice breaker Tarmo (these are located in Kantasatama area), Maretarium aquarium for Finnish fish, Haukkavuori sightseeing tower and there is also some beautiful parks. Little further away there is Langinkoski Imperial Fishing Lodge and architechture fans might want to visit Sunila area where many buildings are designed by well-known Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. And then the neighbouring city of Hamina can also offer some interesting sights like the fortications and circular city plan, but of course to go there you will need to have some sort of vehicle transportation (bus, taxi). The joint tourist information site of Hamina-Kotka region https://www.visitkotkahamina.fi/en/ can provide more hints what you might want to do there.

 

37 minutes ago, dogs4fun said:

Ah, I see that NCL offers both Helsinki and Kotka as ports.  This is quite an interesting itinerary assuming that the cruise comes to fruition.

Reading online, I find that you will dock at HaninaKotka. You can check out the location on Google maps.

https://www.haminakotka.com/

I've not been to Kotka but, hopefully, our local Finnish expert will chime in with the information that you want.

HaminaKotka is just the name used for the joint projects (like the port company) of the neighbouring cities of Hamina and Kotka and there quite a few harbour areas operated by this port company.

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16 hours ago, Hezu said:

HaminaKotka is just the name used for the joint projects (like the port company) of the neighbouring cities of Hamina and Kotka and there quite a few harbour areas operated by this port company.

Yes, I saw the information on multiple harbours on the link to the port that I provided above. Unfortunately, the port website does not list the ships that will call in 2021 nor does it list the harbor or quay (or am I missing something?). I did find the transport ships currently scheduled for March here (with arrival and departure times):

https://www.haminakotka.com/transport/arrivals-and-departures

Do you know if information on scheduled cruise ship arrival in future months will be added to the port website when the pandemic ends? Is there a site where one can find this information as this would be most helpful to guests arriving by cruise ship?

Thanks in advance.

 

@meliss35 - Further reading leads me to believe that cruise ships will dock at Kantasatama - you can read the following on the port site (there is also a printable map of the harbour): https://www.haminakotka.com/about-port/harbours/kantasatama

The only information that NCL provides is that the ship will dock at the port of Kotka - this does not tell me anything at all.

I also agree with Hezu regarding the probability that your 2021 Baltic cruise may not occur. Also, cruises that are starting in the Caribbean & Meditteranean allow only cruise excursions - you can't get off the ship to DIY and you can't book with independent tour companies. Because of the pandemic, I believe that it will take awhile for things to return to normal - or at least for cruising to return to what it was in the past.

 

 

Edited by dogs4fun
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1 hour ago, dogs4fun said:

Yes, I saw the information on multiple harbours on the link to the port that I provided above. Unfortunately, the port website does not list the ships that will call in 2021 nor does it list the harbor or quay (or am I missing something?). I did find the transport ships currently scheduled for March here (with arrival and departure times):

https://www.haminakotka.com/transport/arrivals-and-departures

Do you know if information on scheduled cruise ship arrival in future months will be added to the port website when the pandemic ends? Is there a site where one can find this information as this would be most helpful to guests arriving by cruise ship?

Thanks in advance.

I presume that list on the above link would include also cruise ships when they visit Kotka, the field "Terminal" on the list denotes which harbour (and possibly area there) the ship is going to and "Berth" field then tells the exact location there. I doubt there is information much further in the future anywhere, especially as the pandemic is causing much uncertainty.

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I see these excursions listed for my cruise that stops in Kotka in summer 2022.  They are obviously preliminary, but intriguing:

TREKKING IN VALKMUSA NATIONAL PARK

Hike through beautiful Valkmusa National Park, following a circular trail through a natural bog that is teeming with wildlife. The Western Oasis trail loops around what is known as an ombrotrophic bog, a type of bog that contains few nutrients, making it difficult for most plants to grow. As a result, many of the plants found there are carnivorous and feed on insects that they trap. 

KOTKA & HAMINA HIGHLIGHTS

Take in the natural and architectural beauty of Kotka before delving into Finland’s military history in Hamina, the country’s oldest garrison town. A leisurely walk through Sappoka Water Garden will offer a delightful respite from the urban atmosphere, as the popular park is extraordinarily serene. In contrast, the 19th-century Kotka Church enchants through its neo-gothic architecture.

 

RELAXING RIVER KUMIJOKI

Cruise down the free-flowing Kymijoki River in an open raft for an outdoor experience that will be spectacularly scenic and immensely pleasurable. The longest river in Finland, the Kymi as it is known more familiarly flows through the beautiful, forested countryside before emptying into the gulf near Kotka. 

IMPERIAL LODGE & HAMINA

Visit the imperial fishing lodge that Tsar Alexander III built on the outskirts of Kotka and then explore Hamina, a fortified town founded in 1653. After falling in love with the natural beauty of the Kymijoki delta toward the end of the 19th century, the tsar ordered the construction of a lodge befitting Russia’s imperial family on the river at Langinkoski.

EXTREME RAFTING ON THE RIVER KYMI

Race down the rapids of the wild Kymijoki River for an exhilarating, adrenaline-pumping adventure like no other. The guide will brief you on what to expect before you start rafting on the Kymi, as it is known locally. Being the longest river in Finland, it runs through all sorts of terrain, the majority of it heavily forested and undeveloped.

EXHILARATING RIB ARCHIPELAGO ADVENTURE

Zip through the Gulf of Finland in a Rigid Inflatable Boat and then relax on a beach-blessed island. The vessel, better known as a RIB, is fast but stable so it can tear through the water at speeds up to 40 knots yet still offer a remarkably smooth ride. From this unique perspective, you will enjoy sweeping views of Kotka and the coastline, as you race toward an island that Russia owns.

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  • 1 year later...

Did you stop in Kotka after all?  We are on a cruise in August with the same excursions offered in Kotka.  We are wondering what to choose.  Any feedback/recommendations?

 

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1 hour ago, tohone said:

Did you stop in Kotka after all?  We are on a cruise in August with the same excursions offered in Kotka.  We are wondering what to choose.  Any feedback/recommendations?

 

Our cruise hasn't sailed yet, it's July 2022.  I'm wondering about feedback as well on this port.

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As someone who is more familiar with the region I can give few comments on those tour offerings:

- Valkmusa: despite the description above, I would not say it that place is teeming with wildlife, at least not the larger animals, insects you can see for sure and some birds. Eg. couple years ago there was a pair of ospreys nesting in Valkmusa. And worth a note: the trail is for most parts duckboards since the bog is rather wet.

- Kotka & Hamina Highlights and Imperial lodge & Hamina seem to be two different basic sighseeing tours, the second one might concentrate more on the historical sights.

- Relaxing river Kumijoki (I couldn't resist to rewrite the spelling mistake, since in Finnish Kumijoki would mean rubber river!): that might be quite ok offering, although the description is bit vague on what sort of vessel is used and the exact route.

- Extreme rafting: this probably takes place further upriver where there is still few free flowing rapids (most of these on river Kymi have been turned into locations of water power plants that has been powering the pulp and paper industry), obviously white water sports is not for everyone's taste.

- Rib archipelago adventude: the archipelago around Kotka is nice, but assuming this uses one of those fast rib boats I do question if the fast speed spoils the viewing.

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