Hello, we have time on December 18 to do a day trip to Helsinki from Tallinn. I have already bought round trip tickets on the Linda Line, but hoping it does not cancel due to weather. I am wondering how much notice is given if they cancel, and if the tickets are easily refunded. Also, should I assume if they cancel the trip out, the trip back will also be cancelled? As a backup, I was thinking about buying round trip tickets now on one of the other ferries so we don't have to scramble at the last minute. I guess the worst case scenario is that we use our Linda Line tickets and end up not using the backups but can't get a refund. This is our one shot to visit Helsinki, so I would rather not play it by ear if possible. First time in these cities, so not yet familiar with the different ferry terminals, aside from my reading guide books/maps. What have others done in this scenario? Any suggestions would be great, thank you.
There is an email address for Linda Line at the bottom of their page. They would be best able to answer questions about cancellation and refund policy.
You can dig up an old Trip Advisor thread about the Linda Line by googling for "helsinki ferry linda line" - I just did. Sounds like they are kind of a shady company that cancels trips not infrequently - and because they use small ferry boats, they may be less able to handle poor weather than the big ferries. But clearly they still carry passengers daily; maybe your ferries will both go on schedule.
I took a Tallink ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki in May 2016 - one way, I was headed to St. Petersburg by ferry the same day. I booked the ferry the night before. Some of these are huge ferries; mine was. (I guess it never occurred to me to worry about the weather canceling the ferry in May - I guess I would have been in trouble.) The Tallink ferry used (probably still uses) the west terminal, which is a bit out of town though an easy tram ride in from there. West terminal was what I wanted because I was going from the same terminal on to St. Petersburg. I think if I wanted a scenic day trip I would have taken another ferry line (Viking) that goes into the main terminal - but in December, will it matter? I suspect the days will be so short by December 18 that most of your visit to Helsinki will be indoors? Museums? One can always explore cities in the dark I guess. I'd be curious to know how much daylight you can expect at that time of year; in late May it was just the opposite - it almost never got dark.
I doubt I would book a backup ferry now unless the prices are super cheap. Why not just wait until the day of departure? With such big ferries - and December not exactly high tourist season - I would be very surprised if the ferries sold out then. However, I'd probably bookmark the websites of the major ferry lines like Tallink, familiarize myself with their basic schedules and frequency of travel on that day, and perhaps plan to book tickets near the last minute with your phone or something - or plan to get to their office early when returning to Tallinn that evening if need be. Know when the last ferry leaves, which tram to catch to west terminal, what time you'd want to be there to book the ferry before it's too late, etc.
Still, I'd personally make backup plans in case you just can't get to Helsinki that day - e.g. a train to Tartu, Estonia's "second city," which I didn't have time to visit when I was in Tallinn.
I did a day trip by ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki 4 years ago, in mid-September. I chose the Tallink Silja line because the boats are enormous and thus less likely to have the crossing cancelled due to bad weather. It was a fairly cheap ticket and the entire experience was quite easy and efficient. I stayed in old town Tallinn and took a taxi to the dock and back, in Helsinki I boarded a bus outside the terminal that took me to Kauppatori esplanade as I wanted to see the market and also take the boat out to Suomenlinna--probably not something you'd do in December but it was a very interesting place to visit. I spent the remainder of my afternoon exploring downtown Helsinki, bus back to terminal. I agree with Andrew--at that time of year the bigger ferries aren't likely to be anywhere near full so if you have to make a last-minute change you should be fine. Keep in mind when planning your day in Helsinki that right now they get about 8 hrs daylight, probably even less in December. Still, very much worth visiting.
Hi guys, just thought I would update this thread. As suggested, I emailed Linda Line directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) and here is what they said:
"According to Linda Line terms and conditions the captain of the vessel reserves the right to cancel a departure no later than 1 hour before departure time. In case of a cancellation Linda Line ticket office staff will inform all passengers through text-message.
The tickets can be refunded, after cancellation notice you should contact us by e-mail email@example.com and let us know your reservation number. Money will be refunded in 10 days back to the original bank account.
Unfortunately we can not tell beforehand if the trip back to Tallinn will also be cancelled if trip to Helsinki is cancelled.
As a suggestion you could cancel your Linda Line tickets (at least 48 h before departure) through our website, our cancellation fee is 6 EUR and rest of your money will be transferred back in 10 days to the original bank account. And after cancelling your Linda Line tickets you can buy new tickets for other ferry company departures."
Hi all, just thought I would give an update. I did receive an email from the ferry folks on 11/23/17 letting me know that:
"due to worsening weather conditions on sea, the fast ferry season ends on November 26th. From November 27th are all the departures cancelled. We apologize to all who have already made the booking – if you confirm the cancellation, please send us your booking number, so we can send money back to your account."
I sent them my booking number and they replied that the refund has been authorized will be refunded within 10 days.
So I am buying tickets on one of the other ferry lines that run regardless of weather, albeit a bit longer trip since it's not a catamaran.