Although much nearer to Sweden, the island of Bornholm has been a Danish possession since 1522 and was once an important Baltic trading port. Today, the islanders make their livelihood from fishing, farming and, increasingly, tourism. Visitors from Scandinavia and Germany flock to Bornholm and the town of Rønne each summer to enjoy the scenic beauty.
The south features a coastline of white sand beaches, while the north boasts rugged cliffs; the wooded interior is crisscrossed by hiking trails. Visitors and residents alike have come to appreciate the freshly smoked herring prepared in special smokehouses - a great source of income to boost the local economy.
This intriguing, unusual island is especially known for its round churches, which were constructed centuries ago as fortifications against attacks by pagan invaders and pirates. At the northern tip of the island, on one of Bornholm's steep seaside cliffs are the remains of the 13th-century Hammershus Castle, boasting fine views over the coast.
The island's main town is Rønne. With 15,000 inhabitants, it is a busy place where ferries arrive daily from Copenhagen. Many of Bornholm's attractions are scattered throughout the island. Rønne is an ideal starting point for exploring the lovely countryside dotted with idyllic farms, ancient churches and rustic herring smokehouses. The island is only about 18 miles (29 km) across, making it easy to get around. In nice weather, biking may be the most enjoyable way to explore charming Bornholm.
In recent years, the island has also become known for the Bornholm Golf Open, one of Europe's largest golf tournaments. It is held each August in the beautiful setting of the island's three varied golf courses.
The ship will either dock or tender to Rønne's Cruise Pier. The centre of town is a 20-minute walk or 5-minute taxi ride from the port. Taxis have to be pre-ordered for pickup pier side.
Shop for local handicrafts, especially ceramics and glassware produced in local glass-blowing factories. The main shopping area is along St. Torvegade. The daily shopping hours are 9:00am - 5:00pm. On Saturdays, most shops are open only from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The local currency is the Danish kroner.
Smoked herring and beer are a popular snack, especially at one of the typical smokehouses. Restaurants frequently feature fresh fish and seafood on their menus. Baltic salmon is widely regarded as one of the best in the world. Quaint cafés serve delicious pastry and coffee.
Rønne's Old Town
Take a stroll along the cobbled streets and admire the half-timbered houses.
Visit Rønne's Main Square, formerly the drill ground for Bornholm's militia. A busy commercial centre for the entire island, it is the location of the old town hall and the courthouse.
St. Nicolai Church
Most of this distinctive landmark dates from the early 1900s; older remains still show well-preserved ancient Roman masonry.
Outside of Rønne
Hammershus, once the largest ancient fortress in northern Europe, stands 240 feet (74 metres) above the sea. From the remaining walls, one has splendid views of the area.
This small centre is well known for its handicraft workshops, featuring the island's pretty glass and ceramic wares.
Private arrangements for independent sightseeing may be requested through the Shore Concierge Office on board. They are available in very limited supply and tend to be expensive.