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Which ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn?

The web site Direct Ferries shows several different ferry lines going between Helsinki and Tallinn. Seems like some boats are bigger than others (so less subject to bad weather), and one line may now be out of business. I need to get from Helsinki to Tallinn on June 28 or 29. Don't have a hotel yet in Helsinki, but intend to stay in, or close to, city center. So any suggestions of which ferry line to take? (Seems it's necessary to reserve early, or no spaces will be available.)

Also, from Tallinn we go to Riga and then Vilnius. Alter Vilnius, we need to get back to Helsinki. Flights from Vilnius to Helsinki seem to be inconvenient and over-priced. We could take a bus from Vilnius to Riga (where flights are more convenient and reasonable priced), then take a flight from there to Helsinki. Any suggestions?

Posted by
2092 posts

I took the Tallink Silja line from Tallinn to Helsinki and it was an enormous boat on the order of an ocean liner, very spacious and comfy seating areas and plenty of food options. I reserved my ticket prior to leaving the US. I was there in mid-Sept and chose a big boat because some don't run during bad weather, which you probably won't have to worry about as much in June.

I am making a return visit to Tallinn in May, and from there will take a bus to Riga, bus to Vilnius and then fly Air Baltic to Budapest. I also encountered inconvenient flight options, so my flight from Vilnius goes to Riga first then to Budapest, approx. $130 US booked last November. I think you have to weigh the cost/inconvenience factor, but otherwise your thought to bus back to Riga then fly to Helsinki makes some sense. Unless it's possible to just fly home from Vilnius?

Posted by
4686 posts

My Baltic trip (late May/early June 2016) was in the opposite direction (Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Helsinki). I flew into Vilnius (airBaltic from Amsterdam), train to Kaunas, bus to Siauliai (Hill of Crosses), "bus" (more of a big van or mini-bus) from there to Riga, then a bus to Tallinn. Ferry to Helsinki and (after detour to St. Petersburg and back) flew back to Amsterdam from Helsinki.

I took the Tallink ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki. I booked near the last minute (when I was already in Tallinn), and this was the cheapest option at that point for the time I wanted (I was taking another ferry directly to St. Petersburg a few hours later). The Tallink ferry arrives in the "west" ferry terminal, a larger terminal than the main one (called "Olympia" I think) close to the city center and the market. My ferry to St. Petersburg left from the same terminal, so it was perfect for that - but if you start in say the center of Helsinki, you'd need to get a tram down to the west terminal. Perhaps you could even walk to the the main terminal (or another shorter tram ride). Some ferries use one terminal, some the other. The one difference you might care about is that the ferry out of the main terminal is probably more scenic than the one out of west terminal.

Other than the view and figuring out the tram connection to the right Helsinki ferry terminal, I'd probably go by price and convenience. In June, I'd think weather will probably be good and may not be a factor.

Posted by
2765 posts

We took the ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn and chose the fastest crossing boat. It was more expensive but we were in a hurry with short time in Tallinn. Turned out that the weather was real bad and the water was real rough. Our faster boat was much smaller than the other choices we could have made. Due to the conditions of the water, our smaller boat had to slow down and it took the same time to get there as did the bigger boat. Next time we take a bigger boat.

Posted by
16769 posts

Finnair and Nordic Regional airline are code-sharing direct Vilnius-Helsinki flights for $175 one-way. On Skyscanner.com, it's not the cheapest option nor the first to load on screen, but they have 3 or 4 convenient, direct departures per day in early July. It seems like you're paying $100 more for a convenient schedule and I would do that.