Boats & Ferries, Helsinki
Loads of people visit Helsinki for a day by boat from Tallinn (and vice versa) but there are many companies to choose from. Since I was flying home the next day, I had some qualms about choosing the Linda Line option since there seem to be frequent reports of the services being cancelled. For that reason I ended up choosing Tallink, which was just half an hour longer each way (i.e. two hours) and has departures throughout the day.
You can have as full a day as you want in Helsinki and they seemed to have the best variety of times. We ended up leaving at 10:30 and returning on the 19:30 boat so a leasurely start to the day, plenty of time to wander and back in time for dinner in Tallinn.
The ship itself (the Star) was very comfortable. It's a large vessel, also used for overnight journeys, and has several restaurants, cafes and shops so the time goes quite quickly. I did want to eat on the way back and found little choice for vegetarians (save the buffet, which is ludicrously expensive at 27 euros) but you can buy some food at the supermarket (really a duty free-style shop). No airline-style seats, but there is plenty of seating in the cafe areas. The crew were all professional, and there is some basic tourist information on Tallinn and Helsinki so you can plan your trip onboard.
The ticket purchasing, boarding and disembarcation ran smoothly at both ends, services were punctual and the ports have decent bars and waiting areas.
I was impressed by the service and will definitely use Tallink if I have cause to make this journey again. At just 40 euros per day return, I was very pleased.
We had a pleasant time doing this sightseeing tour by boat. It cost 22 euros and the journey takes 1 hour and 30 minutes. We saw the most beautiful shorelines in Helsinki and many fafulous sights, including the Soumenlinna fortress, Helsinki Zoo on Korkeasaari Island, the impressive fleet of icebreakers and Degerö Canal. Along the way we heard about Helsinki´s history in several languages. There is a café that offers soft drinks, sparking wine, coffee and pastries.
There are frecuent ferries to Suomenlinna from Market Square during all year, it cost about 2 euros and something and free with the travel card. On summer time there is a private company that runs from market square to suomenlinna. The journey takes about 20 minutes and is very nice.
We used the ferry from Stokholm to Helsinki. What a fantastic trip with that big lady making her aay through tge largest archipelago in the world. Entertainment on board was good. Food was fantastic at the buffet dinner. Cabin was nice with great sea view
Helsinki is a popular day trip destination while you are in Tallinn and fares from Tallinn to Helsinki and return on the same day are usually cheaper than taking the morning ferry from Helsinki. There are several ferry lines connecting the two cities, including Viking and Linda. For my travels I usually used Tallink Silja which links the two capitals several times a day. Day trip offers for 39,00 EUR (2012) are available, other packages (like staying overnight on the ship) and single trips can be booked on their site as well.
Departure is from Terminal D in Tallinn (Harbour area east to the old town), arrival at Länsisatama in Helsinki (west to the town centre). Other companies use other terminals, please check their respective sites for the.
Frequent and convenient ferries connect Helsinki and Estonia's capital city of Tallinn, allowing easy access either for a day-trip to Tallinn or an onward journey into the Baltics. You have the choice of the slower, more stable car ferries, and the fast hydrofoils -- the former take about 3 1/2 hours, while the fast boats can take as little as 90 minutes to make the crossing. The main disadvantage of the hydrofoils is that they have a tendency to be canceled due to high seas (in which case you're re-booked onto a slower ferry), and that there are weight restrictions to the luggage you're allowed to bring. Since I was packing light and traveling in August, I decided to take my chances and book with Linda Line, the fastest of the hydrofoils, online. The website is in English, and it is easy to print out your own ticket from your computer. Fares vary depending on demand; the cheapest fares sell out quickly, just like they do for budget flights. The ferry ride itself was exciting and quick, and just a bit bumpy. Seating is not as cramped as a typical airline, but not as roomy as a train or long-haul coach.
The two ferry choices making the most sense for tourists without a car are the aforementioned Linda Line, which departs from the Makasiini Terminal on the west side of the main harbor; and Viking Line, which departs on the east side of the main harbor from the Katajanokka Terminal. Other, less convenient options (for tourists) include Tallink-Silja's service to Tallinn, which departs from the West Terminal (as opposed to the Olympia Terminal, where their service to Stockholm departs); this terminal is not convenient to public transportation. Also departing from the West Terminal is Eckerö Line, offering daily service to Tallinn. Compare the services and prices, and choose the best option for you.
There are many different companies that run routes to and from Helsinki and other international destinations. There are daily ships that go to Tallinn and weekly boats that run to either Stockholm or St. Petersburg, as well as several other locations.
Tallink (and Silja Line): http://www.tallinksilja.com/en/
Eckerö Line: https://varaamatka.eckeroline.fi/en/
Viking Line: http://www.vikingline.fi/index.asp?lang=en
Eteläsatama /Linda Line:
* terminal is in Eteläsatama harbour next to Kauppahalli. 100-200 meters from market square.
* a catamaran, fare ca. 40 € if I recall correctly
* trip to Tallinn takes an hour or so (1-1.5 h)
* harbour in Tallinn is located near city center. Ca. 10 minutes walk to the old town
* I used to travel with Eckerö Line, but nowadays I prefer this option (used it twice last year). It's quicker and IMO there is nothing special with Eckerö Line's ships.
* Their season will begin on the 4th of April
Länsisatama (next to lauttasaari Island)
* There is a frequent bus connection (bus 15A) from railway station to the terminal. Timetable: http://aikataulut.hsl.fi/linjat/fi/h15a.html
* During a morning rush hour the traffic near the terminal can become jammed. So don't leave too late.
* Eckerö Line (ca. 3.5 - 4 hours trip to Tallinn, fare around 20 €)
* Tallink Silja: have never used their services. Both a ship and a shuttle connection I think
Suomenlinna is an Island that is only accessible by water. It is very easy to reach, as there is a regular Ferry service running to and from the Island.
We had our Helsinki card, so could travel for free, if not, buy your ticket from a Ticket Machine, or the Market Square Ticket Booth which is open from 9 am to 6 pm (special opening hours apply during Midsummer).
The crossing is only 2kms, and took about 15 - 20 minutes. Brochures are available on the ferry telling about what to do on Suomenlinna Island.
In Helsinki, the ferry departs from the eastern side of Kauppatori, opposite the President’s Castle.
At Suomenlinna, the ferry departs from the main pier on Iso Mustasaari island. The ferry is part of the city transport network and all HSL tickets are accepted.
As has been pointed out there are several ferry/boat routes to the surrounding islands. Helsinki city publishes a yearly guide there timetables and other useful information (e.g. departure points, contact info) of these routes can be found.
Here is a pdf version of the guide and some abreviation translations.
Liikennöintikausi = season
ma = monday
ti = tuesday
ke = wednesday
tu = thursday
pe = friday
la = saturday
su = sunday
joka päivä = every day
arkisin = on weekdays
viikonloppuisin = on weekends
aikuiset = adults
lapset = children
meno-paluu = two-way ticket
From Tallinn to Helsinki you can easily go by ship! Also from Tallinn to Stockholm, from Helsinki to Rostock and so on. Ships goes daily many times. This is company called Tallink and its ships like Superstar, Baltic Queen, Baltic Princess, Superfast and so on. Difference - size, travel time and cost.
You can easily buy on sale cheap tickets.
As regards us, we went to Helsinki from Tallinn on Superstar and back from Helsinki to Tallinn by Baltic Queen. Road back takes more time than road there because B.Q. is a cruise ship while Superstar is engaged in passenger transportation and is faster.
As regards ships, there you can found shops, restaurans, casinos, sleep cabins and so on. Also at the evening there are concerts!
Silja is one of the main ferry operators in the Baltic Sea. I took a SuperSeaCat ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki -- and then back to Tallinn. They also have much larger cruise ships that go to Stockholm, Sweden. You can obtain more detailed information about Silja, its ships, and schedules on its web site. Just to be safe, I purchased my tickets in advance from a US travel agency specializing in Baltic Sea travel -- and everything worked out great. However, you can also purchase ferry tickets at the ticket window in the port.
is by the catamarans, boats and ships that sail from Estonia, Sweden and Germany.
The photo is taken from m/s Nordlandia on a day cruise to Tallinn.
The ferry a fifteen-minute ferry journey from Kauppatori or Hakaniemi to the Zoo takes fifteen minutes.
You can also try the Zoo Line Bus number 11 from Herttoniemi metro station to the Zoo.
If you are going with your own car, there's limited parking available in Mustikkamaa and Kulosaari.
Check the map from the website.
The Port of Helsinki is Finland's most important passenger port. There are connections to Stockholm, Tallinn and Travemünde. At the height of the summer season, there are over 40 departures to Tallinn daily.
The South Harbour is one of the most beautiful passenger harbours in the world. This has not gone unnoticed: luxury cruise ships make more than 160 visits every summer. Ocean-going cruise ships bring more than 100,000 tourists to Helsinki every year.
These pages show how to best get to the passenger terminals. Print the maps and you'll find your way easily. The pages also show where to find parking.