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Ferry Stockholm to Helsinki

Is there a preference over the two ferry lines travelling between Stockholm and Helsinki?

The trip is for late October. At that time of year am I better off flying?

Posted by
4458 posts

I've taken the ferry in the offseason (March) and during high season (July, August) and the boats don't have as much going on in the offseason. In October, it will of course be dark for much of your journey and you won't want to spend time on deck because it will be cold. I'd still probably choose the ferry over the flight simply because it is a good value. For about the same price as a flight, you get your trip plus a place to sleep. I've generally slept well on the ferry.

With regard to the two ferry lines, I don't think there is a significant difference. Some people on this board think that Silja is more upscale and that Viking is the party line (that is what RS says), but I don't personally think the experience is that different. I've taken both lines multiple times over the years. I choose based on the line that has the best price. On my last trip (in 2014), I was able to get an A class cabin on VIking for less than on Silja, so I went with Viking. I would recommend that you avoid the C class cabins on both ships as they are below the car deck.

Silja's ships are newer and they have an open shopping arcade in the center of the ship so I find the layout slightly more impressive. Viking's ships are older, but they have been refurbished. Viking docks at Stadsgården which is more convenient than the Silja dock at Värtahamnen.

On both lines, I think the restaurants have much better food than the buffet, but some people like the novelty of getting a smörgåsbord. I had a really great meal at the Food Garden restaurant on Viking on my last trip.

Posted by
8908 posts

I did this Journey via Sija. Around midnight both boats dock at small island briefly. When the Viking boat pulled up alongside drunk passengers through beer bottles that our vessel. So for me that confirms Vikings reputation as a party boat. Go with Silja.

Posted by
4458 posts

Michael, How long ago was it that you took your trip? A number of years ago, Tallink bought Silja and I think some locals now feel there is not so much difference.

Friday and Saturday nights in the summer tend to attract more partiers. My last trip was on a Friday night in August 2014 and my cabin was quiet. There was no one throwing bottles when we docked in the middle of the night at the Åland Islands, so I would not necessarily assume your experience was the norm.

I’ve taken Viking twice and Silja/Tallink five times and I’ve never seen any bottle throwing. I have seen drunk people on both lines.