Christmas boat cruises with Swedish julbord

One sure sign that the Christmas season has started here in Sweden is when restaurants start serving the traditional "julbord". Julbord is basically a Christmas version of the Swedish smörgåsbord... a buffet filled with Swedish holiday delicacies like different flavored pickled herring, cured & smoked salmon, cold cuts, sausages, Swedish meatballs, ham, salads, shrimp, stewed cabbages, cheeses and much more. Each julbord starts with a mug of glögg (hot mulled wine) and ends with a visit to the dessert table which is filled with delicious local favorites.
Many restaurants serve julbord in the four weeks leading up to Christmas and Swedes will eat at, on average, at least two of these meals during this time (with friends, office parties, visiting relatives, etc.), not counting the actual Christmas dinner on the 24th. As Swedes can end up getting a bit tired of these dishes, year after year, several of these restaurants will do julbord with a twist. For example, Italian at Trattorian (ate there last night- yum!), an Asian fusion at Berns or East, vegetarian at Herman's or even julbord with more wild game dishes like at Tyrol
If you are visiting Stockholm during these weeks, one great option is to try one of Strömma's boat cruises with julbord. This is a nice way of combining Swedish holiday cuisine with some sightseeing in the majestic Stockholm archipelago. The cruises take place on one of Strömma's fleet of modernized, turn of the century steamer boats and the cruises take you through the inner archipelago. Generally speaking, these julbord are of the traditional variety. I was invited to the season's first julbord cruise yesterday on the boat M/S Enköping.
They have cruises daily for lunch, in the afternoon and for dinner so you have a few options. Keep in mind that it gets dark a bit early here during the winter (around 3-4pm). This means that the scenery from the boat is very different depending on which cruise you take. You see more of the islands and nature during the day while the Christmas lights can be seen better in the evening. The archipelago is especially beautiful if there is some snow covering the islands. Unfortunately, it was a little grey and rainy yesterday but it was still a beautiful ride. The last day these julbord cruises are available is December 23rd!
A variety of herring
Sometimes I get asked if the boat goes through rough seas. The answer is no... you are never in open water. The archipelago is made up of more than 24,000 islands and the water is pretty flat and sheltered. You can book these julbord cruises directly on their website or, if you are staying at the Rival Hotel, you can contact me directly for any help. These cruises are popular so I would recommend advance booking to be sure.
Strömma is the main sightseeing company in Stockholm so, besides the julbord cruises, they offer other boat tours as well as bus tours and more. Winter is the low season here, but you still have options like the Panorama bus tour, the Archipelago boat tour or Winter boat tour (among others) this time of year. 
Leave room for dessert.
...sailing... the archipelago. 


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