Cruise your way to Finland

3 minute read

Credits: GroveMedia

Finland is easily reachable by sea

If you're looking for an alternative to flying, a Baltic Sea cruise is a great way to reach Finland. Not only is it a means of transportation, it is also the favourite pastime of many Finns themselves. 

There is something about ferries and cruise ships that other means of transport can’t quite level up to – as soon as the boat sounds its horn to signal departure from the port, passengers enter a world of its own. Hop on a cruise ship to have fun, relax, refresh and reinvent yourself.

You can travel to Finland on a passenger cruise from other Northern European countries like Sweden, Estonia, and Germany.

One way, round-trip, and day cruises

It’s possible to see cruise ships as serving two different functions: as a convenient, comfortable, and affordable way to move from one place to another, or as an activity with stand-alone value. 
Cruise ships and ferries to and from Finland operate around the year on a regular basis. You can reach destinations in Sweden, Estonia, and Germany, as well as the popular Åland Islands. Your options range from one-way tickets to roundtrips and day cruises. It’s possible to tailor your cruise experience according to your needs. Maybe you want to book a cabin to ensure privacy, have a fine dining experience, or bring your car and caravan for a road trip in Finland – it's all possible.

One of the best ways to spend time on a cruise ship is to enjoy a nice dinner and the sea views, here on board Viking Glory.
Credits : Sara Terho
The essentials of a cruise to Finland are stunning archipelago views, breeze from the Baltic Sea, and fun activities for passengers of all ages.
Credits: Tallink-Silja
A variety of cabins are available from more modest ones to luxury suites.
Credits: Sara Terho

From Helsinki and Turku to Stockholm – and back

Both of the biggest passenger cruise companies operating to and from Finland, Tallink-Silja and Viking Line, have daily round-trips from Helsinki and Turku to Stockholm, Sweden.

On these cruises, travellers are given the chance to spend two nights on board and stop in Stockholm, or go one-way and stay longer in the Swedish capital. An essential part of these routes is experiencing the beautiful Finnish archipelago. Keep your eyes open for equally breathtaking views when arriving to Stockholm. If you're looking to spend more time in the Finnish Archipelago, hop off the boat in Mariehamn and explore the Åland Islands.

If you want a greener option with a touch of luxury, consider Viking Line’s newest ship Viking Glory, that started sailing in 2022. With the handprint of a Swedish design agency, this cruise ship promises smooth sailing in a modern atmosphere – you can even spot contemporary art on-board. Viking Glory is one of the world’s most climate-smart vessels.

Credits: Viking Line

Viking Glory, sailing between Turku and Stockholm, is one of the world’s most climate-smart passenger ships.

From Helsinki to Tallinn – and back

The capital of Estonia, Tallinn, is one of the most popular places to take a cruise to from Finland. Tallinn offers its visitors a mix of culture and taste experiences at reasonable prices. You can reach the vibrant capital of Estonia from Helsinki with a shuttle boat as fast as in two hours, or take the time to enjoy the scenery and onboard services on an overnight cruise. 

Operating from Helsinki to Tallinn are Eckerö Line, Tallink-Silja, and Viking Line.

Credits: AS Tallink Grupp

Where else can I cruise on the Baltic Sea?

Helsinki, Turku, Stockholm, and Tallinn are undeniably the most popular Baltic Sea cruise destinations. However, there are other options available as well.

Finnlines operates daily ferry connections from Germany's Travemünde to Helsinki. The travel time is about 30 hours and there is entertainment, dining options and shopping available on the ships. You can also exercise in a gym and even pop in a sauna!

The city of Umeå, situated in eastern Sweden, can be reached from Vaasa in western Finland. In addition to regular cruises over this stretch of the Baltic Sea, the shipping company Wasaline organizes themed cruises, everything from tango to ice hockey, to keep its passengers amused and active.

Looking for ways to pass the time on a ferry? Try a sauna, like the one on a Finnlines' ship.
Credits : Finnlines
Wasaline operates a daily connection between Vaasa and Umeå, Sweden.
Credits: Wasaline
Shopping is a quintessential part of any cruise experience. We suggest scouting for local treasures.
Credits: Wasaline

Most importantly, what can I do on a Baltic cruise?

Depending on the cruise ship and duration of the trip, there is a variety of activities to choose from. Here are the top 5 tips.

1. Visit the buffet
A must-do on almost any cruise is to visit the buffet. In line with the sea theme, buffets often offer a wide range of sea food delicacies. Nowadays, vegetarians and vegans are also taken into consideration. On the most popular cruises, like the ones in the peak summer months as well as during the weekends and holidays, it is advisable to book a seat in the buffet before the cruise.

2. Play, play, play – plenty of things for kids
You will often see many families travelling with kids on cruise ships. Hence, there are lots of activities for children of all ages. These include early-evening discos, various play areas, and tons of videogames. On Tallink Silja's boats, the Moomins will entertain you, and there are Moomin cabins available. 

3. Explore duty-free shopping
You can spend a good while of your cruise wandering between the aisles of duty-free shops. The offering is extensive ranging from cosmetics, perfumes, and alcohol to clothes, toys, and candy. Onboard shopping is also a wallet-friendly option since tax-free prices can be up to 40% cheaper than in inland. 

4. Relax in a spa
Many Viking Line and Tallink Silja ships, especially the ones operating between Helsinki, Turku and Stockholm, have spas on board. Relax in a jacuzzi, visit a sauna, or go for a massage – they are all available for a small extra fee.

5. Take on the karaoke stage and party the night away
According to the karaoke etiquette, anyone brave enough to grab the mic deserves a round of applauds. Therefore, you don’t have to be a great singer to hit the stage on a cruise ship. For even the shyest of people singing from the bottom of their hearts, the karaoke stage is a place of full acceptance. After belting out a song or two, a visit to the nightclub and a cocktail (or mocktail) are a must! You might even get carried away, like some Finns do.

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