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MORE THAN just cool air drifts in from the Baltic Sea through Helsinki’s harbour during the summer months. After the Caribbean and Mediterranean, the Baltic Sea is the most popular cruise destination in the world.

As one of the capitals of the Baltic Sea, the City of Helsinki will be expecting to dock 256 international cruise ships with more than 350,000 passengers flocking the city by the end of the cruise season in September.

The cruises ship in a mixed crowd of international visitors from retirees to gays to characters from Disney World. “Mickey Mouse is one particular visitor who will be visiting Helsinki for the first time,” declared Deputy Tourist Director Tuulikki Becker. On 20 June, Disney Magic Cruise Line will be making a stop here for the first time. One can only wait and see whether Donald Duck will be allowed to step onshore after the rumors of being banned in Finland for not wearing pants!

The city has prepared the necessary steps in order to accommodate the desires of these tourists who often have only a single day to take in all that Helsinki has to offer. Cruise passengers will be greeted by Helsinki Helpers who will guide them wherever they want to go. Tourist information services also provide a “Welcome to Helsinki” brochure specifically for cruise passengers.

Liisa Sahamies