Silja Line cruise ship (c) by Andy Siitonen
Helsinki is conveniently located 43 km north of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. Historic buildings that date back as far as 1246 stand side-by-side with modern corporate headquarters in this bustling city. More than 400,000 people live in Tallinn, and thousands visit each year.
Many of Helsinki’s residents enjoy traveling to Tallinn for the nightlife, culture and dining. Another reason to visit Tallinn is the alcohol. Finland has an extremely high tax rate on alcohol products. This makes alcohol cheaper and easier to purchase in Tallinn.
There are four companies that offer ferry service between Helsinki and Tallinn. Passengers can choose to take a quick daytrip or spend an entire night on a ship. Some companies offer guests packages that include tickets to some of Tallinn’s entertainment venues. Ferries normally dock at the Reisisadam port, north of Tallinn’s city center. From the port, visitors can walk or take a bus to the city center.
The quickest route from Helsinki to Tallinn is the Linda Line ferry service. The Linda Line’s small catamarans only take an hour and a half to travel between the two cities. This company often offers special rates to families and seniors. One disadvantage of Linda Line’s service is that is only available when weather permits and the sea is clear of ice.
The Viking Line is renowned for its luxurious ships. The Viking XPRS combines a comfortable ride with the convenience of a car ferry. Amenities onboard the Viking XPRS include a tax-free shop, playrooms, dance area, restaurants and a business lounge. Passengers can expect this trip to last two and a half hours each direction.
Travelers who want the best price for a ferry ride to Tallinn should use the Eckerö Line. Their ship, the Nordlandia, takes around three hours to travel across the water. Eckerö Line usually has the best prices, partly due to the fact that their ship can carry 2,000 people at one time. There are restaurants, children’s play areas, meeting rooms and a dance bar onboard the Nordlandia. This large ship also has room for up to 450 vehicles.
Tallink Silja offers up to six departures each day on their Star and Superstar ferries. These rides take approximately two hours each way. Passengers who want to stay on the water longer can ride on the Baltic Princess. This ship’s route lasts for three hours, and cabins are available for those who wish to stay overnight. Children under five are free with Tallink Silja.
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