Updated: June 2, 2017 (details may change) Questions?
IN SHORT: 1) Get to Stockholm Central bus station before 3 PM Sunday June 4. Or, get to the Viking terminal before 4PM
2) Take free bus, last one is 3 PM, to Viking terminal. Password for free bus is “Robot Conference”.
3) The only European money (cash) you need all week is 10 Kroner, or 1 Euro, to use the rest room in
the Stockholm bus station.
In more detail:
Where: Mariehamn, Finland.
(Nearest big city is Stockholm, Sweden.)
Fly to Stockholm Sweden, with plane actually arriving by 1 PM Sunday June 4, 2017. (If you clear Arlanda customs by 3:05 and are alert, you will make it. If not from Arlanda airport, check that you can get to the bus station or boat on time.)
Fly from Stockholm Sweden, with plane departure scheduled after 9 AM Friday June 9.
To Stockholm from Arlanda: Take the cheap bus (45 min travel time) or expensive train (20 min travel time) from the airport to the Central Stockholm bus station.
In a rush? On average the variance of travel times is less than the time saved by taking a taxi. Go left out of customs and run down escalators to train. Buy expensive ticket on train. Trains leave every 15 min (e.g. 1:35, 1:50, 2:05, 2:30, 2:35, 2:50, 3:05, and 3:20) and takes 20 min. If you clear customs by 2:55 and take the 3:05 train and then a taxi to the Ferry you will make it. If you clear customs by 3:15 and either take the 3:20 train or a taxi, and are lucky in traffic, you might make it.
To the boat from Stockholm center: The bus from the Stockholm Central bus station to the Viking Terminal leaves at 13:55 and 14:30 and 15:00, probably from gait 2 (check signs, ask). Say “Robot Conference” to get on the prepaid bus free.
In a rush? If you miss the bus, run downstairs, to the train station or to the Arlanda Express, and take a taxi (15 min ride). You have to be at the Viking terminal by 3:59:00 (strict).
If you miss the boat: Go to the Viking Line office in the Central bus station and get a ticket for one of these
a) The 5 PM bus (90 minute ride) to the 7 PM Kapellskär boat. When you get to Mariehamn, walk to hotel Cikada or wait for the rest of us at the Ferry terminal.
b) 6 PM overnight boat (Cinderella, get ticket first in central bus station if you can). Need to be at terminal by 5:30. Arrives in Mariehamn at 7:15. 10 minute walk to hotel Cikada.
c) The miserable 8 PM boat that arrives in outer Åland at 3:20 AM (then take the Viking bus to Mariehamn, then walk 10 min to hotel Cikada, arriving at about 5 AM).
Spending time in Stockholm: The two big tourist attractions in Stockholm are 1) The old city (a 20 minute walk from the Central bus station, and on the way to the Ferry terminal) and 2) The Vasa Museum, a brand-new 400-year-old-ship. In 4 hours you could get to the Vasa, look around, and get back to the bus station.
Be careful in Stockholm: Super-civilized socialized Sweden is safe all over, as far as mugging goes. But it has a bunch of crooks in the places you will be. I had a cell phone taken from my restaurant table. A friend had his laptop taken from next to him at a coffee shop. Another friend was with a friend who was swindled with a scheme that involves spraying shaving cream on your back, and then a supposed nice person helps you get it off and helps himself to your suitcase. Three of us had our passwords taken from the bus station internet. I guess that the expected (negative) value of your being harmed by the likes of the truck terrorist, who was a couple blocks from the bus station, is smaller. Check prices before using a taxi, rip-offs are relatively common and not totally illegal (taxis are unregulated).
Getting home: We are getting you to the Stockholm Ferry terminal at 6:30 AM Friday June 9. If you are not in a rush, we are also getting you the bus to the Central Station by about 7:15 AM. The 7:20 AM bus from Stockholm gets to the airport at 8:05 AM. If you are in a rush (e.g. 9:05 AM flight), be first in line off the boat and take a 15 minute taxi (4 downtown kilometers) to the train. Arlanda Express trains leave Stockholm at 6:50, 7:05, 7:20, and 7:30. They get to the airport in 20.0 minutes.
Want to stay after the meeting on Åland?: Arrange lodging with the Hotel Cikada. You can buy return Ferry tickets in the Stockholm bus station or once you get to the meeting (buying tickets on the internet is too confusing). From Åland to Stockholm takes 4-7 hours and leaves at 7:30, 12:45, 14:30, 18:30 and midnight.
Tourism before or after the meeting? Stockholm, Helsinki, Turku and Talin are all one boat stop away. Talin, Estonia is a two-day interesting trip; it's a beautiful small old-style European city (sort of a mini-Prague) --- accessible by boat from Stockholm, Mariehamn and Helsinki. All-night sun is a thousand kilometers further North, in Lapland in Northern Finland, Sweden or Norway --- accessible by train from Stockholm or Helsinki. Copenhagen is a few hours South of Stockholm by train or car.
Cash. Your only need for Swedish Kroner is for the bathroom in the central bus station. They will usually take Euros there. 10 Kronor or 1 Euro. In the bus station, look for nerds, one of them is one of us, and will lend you a Euro for the toilet. In the early afternoon a dynamic walking representative will have bathroom Kroner for you. Find him or her walking around the bus station with a Dynamic Walking sign. Otherwise, you can do everything with a plastic card. Finland uses Euros, but plastic is fine so there is no need to bring Euros. In an emergency, there’s an ATM machine a 5-minute walk from the meeting and hotel.
· What does the conference fee include?
Everything from Stockholm back to Stockholm: all conference fees, meals, snacks, shared-room lodging (Hotel Cikada), registration, facilities, the bus to the ferry, ferry tickets, some alcohol, feast on the ferry, bed on the ferry, some “fun” activities (Sailing ship to small island with sauna).
850 Euros ($900). 550 Euros ($600) for students (+100 Euros for late registration, +200 Euros for private room)
· What more, on top of the fee, will the conference cost?
Not included in the fee: your plane/train to and from Stockholm; the trip from the Stockholm airport to the Stockholm 'central station' (10-20 Euros each way); and paying extra for a single room at the conference. Also, extra for more than one drink at the Tuesday dinner.
· What clothes to pack?
A week of rain is possible. So is a week of sun. Likely temperatures 5C – 22C (40F – 72F). You need a jacket/sweater, a rain jacket and a bathing suit for swimming (if you are hearty) and for Sauna. You need that slick swimmer kind of suit, not the boxy American kind, if you want to use the pools, slides, sauna etc, in the nearby “bathhouse” on Wednesday evening. Or they will lend you a suit.