Cruises: 2500

Marstrand, Sweden Cruise Port

Lying close to Gothenburg in southwest Sweden is Marstrand, an idyllic port and popular yachting resort. Brightly coloured houses and hotels line the shore on this summery island locale, where the solid fortress of Carlsten crowns the hill overlooking the bay.

Sightseeing in Marstrand

Marstrand's small size makes it easy to navigate on foot, and its summery, picturesque appearance – coupled with the fact that no cars are allowed onto the island – makes it the perfect place to see the sights when taking a shore excursion. Stroll around town while yachts glide in and out of the harbour, taking in the sights and sounds of a destination that really celebrates its nautical heritage.

Carlsten Fortress

Be sure to take a guided tour of the imposing Carlsten during your time on the island – the best way to see everything that Marstrand's distinctive historical attraction has to offer. The fort's weapon house, kitchen, battery hall and hall of knights have been turned into dining spaces for local functions, and reaching the upper levels of the fort affords visitors some fantastic views over the town and the surrounding sea. The fort's traditional festival gives visitors a great impression of life in the 18th century, featuring historical re-enactments of prisoners in chains, and soldiers firing the fort's cannons.

Pater Noster Lighthouse

Standing on the rocky island of Hamneskar off the coast of Marstrand is Pater Noster, a bright red lighthouse built in the mid 19th century. The lighthouse has since had to undergo extensive repairs due to the weathering of its iron construction, but in 2007 the distinctive landmark was shipped back from Gothenburg to its island and reactivated. Day tours are available to visit the lighthouse, where you can enjoy the views and wander its adjoining buildings, which are often booked locally for functions.

Art galleries

The spectacular maritime scenery and culture of Marstrand has bred a rich artistic tradition, and the town boasts a wide selection of galleries for visitors to browse. Agaton Gallery displays varied arts and crafts by local artists, exhibiting everything from clothes to glass sculpture; felt toys to paintings. The Hembygdsförening exhibits old photographs of life in the town in bygone times, while a clutch of other galleries specialise in maritime oil paintings, watercolours and silverware.

Shopping in Marstrand

There's a wide choice of boutiques on the pedestrianised streets of Marstrand, making this the ideal place to pick up a souvenir or two. Cast your eyes over the fresh produce on offer, treat yourself to some new cosmetics or pop into a designer bric-a-brac store to pick up something unusual. The town also boasts shops offering huge collections of marine literature and memorabilia, perfect for a nautical memento of your time in the port.

Eating Out in Marstrand

There are some fantastic restaurants in Marstrand for seafood, and some relatively simple fish dishes on the menus are only testament to the flavour and freshness of the ingredients. Dine in style on locally caught oysters and lobster, naturally accompanied by a glass of champagne and surrounded by views of the yachts in the harbour.

Cruise Lines

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