Northern Europe Trip with Kids (June 2017) – Our Itinerary

The idea for doing a fly-cruise trip to Europe has been in my mind since 2010.  That year, hubby and I went on a Greek Island cruise.  I fell in love with cruising immediately after that.  It was such a great feeling to go to sleep every night and wake up in a new destination each day.

Disney Magic ship docked at St Petersburg, Russia

Disney Magic ship docked at St Petersburg, Russia

I realised that Europe was the PERFECT destination to go cruising.  If we were to fly all the way to Europe from Singapore, we want to cover more than one country.  Or at least more than one city (or in the case of Greece, more than one island).  It’s not like Asia, where we can afford to fly to Japan over and over again to cover different parts of Japan slowly.   Air tickets from Singapore to Japan are relatively cheap, and I don’t consider a 6-7 hours flight long.

But Singapore to Europe is almost twice as far as Singapore to Japan.  Air tickets are also twice as expensive.  We can’t possibly keep flying to Europe, one holiday to visit Denmark, next holiday to visit Sweden, and next holiday to visit Finland.  We want to fly there once, and go to Denmark AND Sweden AND Finland.

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden

But there’s the logistics.  When we were young backpackers, we could hop onto trains and cheap budget flights and country-hop.  No problem.  But now that we’re past our mid-30s and have two young kids in tow, we prefer to enjoy the finer things in life.  Vacations are supposed to be relaxing.  Not a mad scramble of flight after flight.

Cruising solves many of our problems.  We don’t need to change a hotel every other day.  We cut down on the number of flights we need to take (and hence the number of “my ears are painful” cryings).  It takes away the most mundane part of travelling, the transport from point to point, and turns the transport into a vacation in itself.  And we still get to visit multiple countries!

Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki, Finland

Of course, some people don’t like to cruise.  Because they feel that it’s too touch-and-go.  You’re in a country for only a couple of hours. “That’s not the way to travel!”  they say.  Whatever.  To each his own.  Sure, I would love to spend 5 days in Santorini rather than 5 hours.  But given a choice, I would rather use that 5 days to see Santorini AND Mykonos, Rhode, Crete, Ephesus… You get the idea.

St Petersburg, Russia

Coming back to our Northern Europe trip.   So after our 2010 Greek Island cruise, I started looking up the internet about Europe cruises.  It was at a time when I found out I was pregnant with my first child.  I think the pregnancy hormones played a part.  Because immediately something caught my attention.


Disney Magic cruise ship

Disney Magic cruise ship

At that time, I haven’t heard of Disney Cruise Line before.  It was intriguing.  I found out that Disney Cruise Line had a ship that sailed in Europe – Disney Magic. Back in 2010, Disney Magic was sailing the Mediterranean from Barcelona.  I’ve always wanted to go to Barcelona to see Gaudi’s works!  It was like my dream placed in front of me on a computer screen – Barcelona AND Disney Cruise! I immediately KIVed it and told myself, “I need to do this at least once in my lifetime!”

Kids pool on Disney Magic cruise ship

Kids pool on Disney Magic cruise ship

Fast forward to 2016.  Somehow the realities of having 2 kids and mid-life crisis make people lose sight of their dreams.   I can’t remember the exact sequence of events.  I think it had to do with me stumbling into the scene of the infamous Holland Village ‘armed’ bank robbery (which turned out to be unarmed) and being surrounded by armed police officers.  Thoughts of being held hostage at gunpoint ran through my head briefly.  And I realised I can’t die yet, I haven’t gone for my Disney Cruise in Europe.

So I picked up this idea again, went onto the internet and realised Disney Magic was not sailing from Barcelona.  It was sailing from Copenhagen! WTF?

Disney Magic ship docked in Copenhagen

Spot the Disney Magic ship docked in Copenhagen! Lol…. #DaysYouWishedYouHadAZoomLens

But somehow I decided it was now or never.  Half my dream come true was better than nothing.  My kids were growing up fast.  Barcelona could wait.  But Disney was something I wanted to enjoy with little kids who were still full of dreams and fantasy, not angsty teenagers.  So to Copenhagen we went, and onto Disney Magic we cruised.

Kids Club on Disney Magic cruise ship

Kids Club on Disney Magic cruise ship

And at the end of the trip, I think I owe Copenhagen, or Denmark in general, an apology.  I’m sorry for not making you my first choice and choosing Barcelona over you.  I’m glad I visited while my kids were still kids.  Because if there was a “Most Kids-Friendly Country” award, Denmark would win hands down.

Givskud Zoo, Denmark

Givskud Zoo, Denmark

I think the Danes are obsessed with making sure kids are happy.  Take for example cycling.  You know how they love cycling? No? Now you do.  People in Denmark love cycling.  So they built a bike that could transport the kids comfortably.  One where kids could eat, sleep and shi. … okay not that.  But I think you may be able to do a quick diaper-change inside if desperate. 

Cycling a Christiania bike in Amalienborg Palace, Denmark

Cycling a Christiania bike in Amalienborg Palace, Denmark

We went to Givskud Zoo.  They felt a zoo alone would be too boring for the kids.  They built playgrounds.  Yes, plural.  Many playgroundS.  They threw in dinosaurs.  They provided free wagons.  They even put a log over a pond to make crossing over a pond oh-so-fun.

Givskud Zoo, Denmark

Givskud Zoo, Denmark

They had a 460 year old castle.  They built playgrounds ALL AROUND IT.  Who on earth builds playgrounds all around a 460 year old castle??? Most people would be more concerned about preserving the natural environment and heritage and stuff that don’t concern kids.  But not in Denmark.  It’s okay to have playgrounds around a castle in Denmark.  Because the kids will love it.  And yes, wagons too.  Follow our blog.  I’ll tell you all about Denmark and their wagons.

One of the MANY playgrounds at Egeskov Castle, Denmark

One of the MANY playgrounds at Egeskov Castle, Denmark

If you’ve never been to Denmark before, you should make your first trip there one with kids.  Otherwise you may feel left out of all the fun.  I’m glad Disney Magic moved to Copenhagen.  Maybe this is exactly why Disney Magic went to Copenhagen.


As with all our long trips, let us start off with photo spam an outline of our itinerary.  Later on, we will write more to fill you in on the details of each leg of the trip, part by part.

Day 1: Helsinki - Copenhagen

 Kauppatori Market Square

Allas Sea Pool

Uspenskin Cathedral

Senate Square



Torvehallerne Market

Amalienborg Palace

Copenhagen Street Food (Paper Island)


Freetown Christiania


The Little Mermaid




Givskud Zoo



Legoland Billund


Vikingemuseet Ladby
(Ladby Viking Ship Burial)



Egeskov Castle


Aboard Disney Magic


Stockholm City Hall Clock Tower

Gamla Stan (Old Town)

Royal Palace

Vasa Museum



Sibelius Monument

Rock Church

Esplanadi Park

Boat Sightseeing Tour



Peterhof Park

Catherine Palace

St Isaac’s Cathedral

Church of the Saviour on Blood


Old Viru Street

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Toompea Castle & Tall Hermann

St Mary’s Cathedral Bell Tower

Kohtuotsa viewing platform

Patkuli viewing platform

Town Hall Square

Pikk Street

Fat Margaret


Copenhagen Canal Tour

Christiansborg Slot

Round Tower

Superkilen Park


Copenhagen Experimentarium

Visit Carlsberg

Tivoli Garden (Yes, again)

Check out the activities, facilities, dining and our stateroom on board Disney Magic!
Read More
Find out how much it cost and how to book a Disney Cruise!
Read More
Find out how we saved money on shore excursions during our Disney Cruise!
Read More
Find out how to plan your own cycling tour of Copenhagen - with kids!
Read More
How to spend 5.5 hours in transit in Helsinki
Read More
Northern Europe with Kids - Itinerary for our two weeks trip to Denmark and Disney Magic Cruise - Bumble Bee Mum


  • janjan says:

    Hi bumblebee mum, your new site looks nice and brighther. thumbs up!
    I’m sure your boys had great & fun trip…i need to save more money to fly these places too!
    Btw, is your photos taken during this trip with wide angle lens? with sony A6000? Mind to share your photography gears that bring along this trip? Thanks in advance.

    • Queen Bee says:

      Thank you!

      Neh, the wide angle shots for this trip were taken with a Nikon D750 + 20mm f1.8 lens which I picked up from the second hand market just before the trip.

      Wah, I brought a lot of things in my camera bag for this trip. Coz I figured I paid so much money to be there, I better have what I needed to take photos of what I wanted to take photos of, otherwise very gek sim. For the Nikon D750, I brought a 20mm f1.8 lens and 85mm f1.8 lens. For the Sony, I brought a 50mm f1.8 lens and a 35mm f1.4 Sigma lens. I brought 2 cameras because I didn’t think I would have time to keep changing lenses. And I’m just not a zoom lens person, I love my prime lenses. Most of the time, I was using the Nikon + 20mm for wide-angle and Sony + 50mm for zoomed in.

      But hor, I wouldn’t really recommend bringing so many things to Europe lah. Coz theft is a very real problem. My camera bag was stolen during the trip (though not my cameras thank goodness). Long story. So yah, don’t do what I did. Forget everything I said.

  • Madeline says:

    So fun!!!! Envy!!!! I shall bookmark the Disney Cruise for my future Europe trips! Was deciding between Europe and Hokkaido for my epic trip next year and let’s just say this put one more point in favour of Europe haha!

  • Mjling says:

    How much for the trip?

    • Queen Bee says:

      Ermmm…. If we look at the big ticket items, this was what we paid:

      Air tickets for 2A 2C from Singapore to Copehagen = Around SGD3200
      Disney Cruise for 2A 2C in one stateroom = Around USD7000
      Cruise Expenses (Final gratuities, alcoholic drink package and other random stuff like popcorns, souvenirs and laundry) = Around USD900
      Shore Excursions during cruise (Helsinki & St Petersburg) = USD400
      6 nights of accommodation in Denmark (mostly Airbnb) = Around SGD1500
      Car Rental and toll fees in Denmark = Around SGD300

      On top of these, there were the dining and attraction costs. But these can vary a lot depending on where you visit and what you eat lah. Like for a meal, you could eat a DKK10 (SGD2) burger from Burger King or a DKK1000 meal at a fancy restaurant. We did a mix of both. So all in, we spent about SGD20k for this trip.

  • MummyEd says:

    Wow!! Can’t wait to read more about the Disney Cruise..my friend suggested going for the Alaskan one, but I am afraid the kids might like the ship so much they won’t be interested in sight seeing 😆

    • Queen Bee says:

      Isn’t that great? Leave them on the ship and go sightseeing with the hubby. (We did that in Tallinn. *oops*) You get family time and couple time, you get to see Alaska, the kids are happy – win win win!

  • Emily New says:

    Hi Queen Bee,
    Wow! It’s such a fantastic cruise vacation! I love cruising too and I’m so tempted to go on this cruise too! Will show your post to my hubs tonight and hope that I can go on this dream cruise too! 🙂

    P/S: Your photos are so amazing!

    • Queen Bee says:

      Thanks! Cruising is just so awesome. I totally love cruising. Just that it’s a bit expensive to keep doing. HAHAHA…. Hope you get to go for your dream cruise one day too!

  • Angie says:

    You make me so wanna book Disney Cruise Line to go back Scandinavia again 😀 I agree Denmark is the MOST kid-friendly place on earth! Lovely lovely snapshots of the places you visited, can’t wait to read more of your cruise experience.

    • Queen Bee says:

      You want to go Scandinavia AGAIN??? I can understand why.. When I first stepped into Copenhagen, I was thinking, wow… I could live here. But then hor, after my bag got stolen in Helsinki, I decided for someone as scattered-brained as me, I better stay in Singapore. Denmark is really awesome I must say… I miss Copenhagen and Funen already. (Don’t really miss Helsinki though.. Bwahaha!!)

  • Belinda Chow says:

    I’m so excited to read more about your trip especially the Disney Cruise. We have recently booked our Disney Cruise for June 2018 sailing from Barcelona! I thought it wasn’t common for Singaporeans to do this. We started having this idea more than 4 years ago

    • Queen Bee says:

      Oooo… you’re going for my original dream cruise!!! Come back and share with me more about it after your trip! It took me 6 years to book the trip, you only took 4 years, yay! hahaha… Disney Cruise is still mostly sailed by Americans. It is indeed not so common for Singaporeans, but we did see at least 3 other Singaporean families during our cruise. So I doubt you’ll be the only Singaporeans on board. They actually arranged for us to sit at the same table as another Singaporean family during our cruise, which turned out to be a great arrangements coz we made new friends. You’ll be in for a great time, so excited for you! 🙂

      Btw, I heard that you can request for a specific server to serve you during dinner times, like let’s say I go for a Disney Cruise and love the guy serving me, I can make a request to be served by him again when I go on a Disney cruise again and they will arrange for that if the server is on your ship. If you want, you can request for our server Joe (from Thailand) to be your server. He’s mad awesome and he really loves kids and kept them super entertained during meal times. Dinner times will be super fun if you’re served by him.

      • Anonymous says:

        We’re planning to tour around Barcelona first before we start cruising. We bought the Disney Vacation Club membership in 2010. That’s how we got to know about Disney Cruise Line. So when we started looking up on the cruise dates and itineraries 4 years ago, we couldn’t find a suitable one, sail dates cannot coincide with school holidays here.

        Now that we’ve finally booked the cruise, we’re all excited and looking forward to it. Will definitely share with you our experience after our trip! 😀 Hope to meet fellow Singaporeans on board as well! Cheers!

        I will keep in mind your recommendation of Joe and check closer to the date.

        • Queen Bee says:

          Ah… You’re a Disney Vacation Club Member! No wonder.. Then yeah! You should totally go for the cruise. Yah, it’s hard to find a cruise that coincides nicely with our school holidays. That’s why when the dates for this Northern Europe cruise was right smack in the middle of the June hols, I was like mai tu liao, just go.

          I’m so excited for you! You’re going to have a great time on board. But please be careful with your belongings in Barcelona, heard a lot of scary stories about snatch thieves and other forms of thefts. Barcelona is particularly notorious!

          • Anonymous says:

            Haaa… we too, found new cruise schedules for 2018 that can coincide with school holidays so….we got ourselves booked! If we wait any longer, my kids would be out growing all the Disney excitement.

            Oh dear, safety and thefts are indeed what we worry most. My cousin has been living in Barcelona for several years so I’ll find out more about that from her.

            • Queen Bee says:

              I know right?? After a certain age, the kids are just not as excited over Disney stuff anymore.

              Great that you have a cousin who knows Barcelona well! Bet you can get lots of travel tips from her. 😉

  • Kirsty says:

    looks gorgeous! I’ve never been to Denmark but I’d really love to go. The cruise sounds fun too – although I have two teens so not for us (although one is Disney mad so she’d probably like it!)

  • Kang says:

    Hi, I am bringing my daughter to denmark next year. May I check with you on the car rental in denmark? As I am planning to drive from Copenhagen to billund and go to Legoland Billund and Givskud Zoo.. TIA

  • Ad says:

    HI Bumblebeemum, thanks for all the sharing. Your site is always my go to when thinking of trip with my 4 kids.
    Can you share with me your itinerary for the full Denmark trip please?
    Thank you very much!

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