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Helsinki airport to cruise port

We're planning to take the St. Peter's line ferry from Helsinki to St. Petersburg. Our flight from Stockholm will arrive at Helsinki airport at 3:20pm and the boat departs at 6:00pm. What are the chances of flight delay or traffic that may cause us miss the ferry? There're also flight options that arrive at 8am or 9am but that may be on the conservative side.

Posted by
274 posts

I would book an earlier flight, for sure. If the boat leaves at 6 pm, I assume you have to be on board no later than 5:30? That leaves you with two hours in which everything has to go right, and mid-afternoon flights are often delayed. Helsinki is a very nice city in which to kill a day. You may be able to store your luggage at the ferry terminal, and I know for sure the you can do so at the central train station. The city is pretty compact and easy to wander.

Caroline

Posted by
12040 posts

Remembering how long it took me to get from the airport to my downtown hotel on the shuttle bus, that seems like just slightly too tight for my level of comfort. 9 times out of 10, that's probably enough time. Throw in a problem at either airport, and supposing you just miss the bus and have to wait 30 minutes for the next one, you'd be pushing it. I'm also assuming that you need to be on the ferry well before 6.

Posted by
8293 posts

You could probably board your ship around noon so why not take the 9:00am arrival flight. No stress at all and you can have lunch on board.

Posted by
52 posts

Thank you for the suggestions. Our ferry is round trip and we'll have one day to spend in Helsinki after we come back. We're also open to the option of taking taxi if that saves some time, however no idea about the traffic situation around 4-5pm from airport to ferry terminal. The afternoon flight will give us another half day in Stockholm which is preferred over Helsinki.

Another consideration is the 3:20pm flight is only $30/person, while the flight arrives Helsinki at 9am is $100/person and the flight arrives at 11am is $150/person which departs from BMA (much closer to city than ARN).

Posted by
5784 posts

You may consider paying the cost of a taxi from the airport. Something like 40-50 EUR and a half hour in usual traffic.

FinnAir bus is cheaper but makes several stops and you would still need to get from the central train station to your ferry port. Train service started recently and would avoid traffic, but you would still need to get to the ferry.

http://www.finavia.fi/en/helsinki-airport/to-and-from/train-buses-and-taxis/

You can check typical Helsinki traffic using one of the live traffic information websites. Just check 4pm to 5pm local HEL time.
https://maps.here.com/traffic/finland/helsinki
Helsinki is in the informtion age.

Posted by
4693 posts

No one can predict whether or not the flight will be delayed. However, even with ontime arrival and no traffic, you will be cutting it very close. While the boat departs at 6pm, you have to be checked in, pick up your paperwork for entry to Russia, go through Finnish passport control, and be ready to board at least 30 minutes (maybe more ... check the St Peter Line site) before departure. The St Peter Line departs from the West Harbor, so you will likely want to take a taxi from the airport.

Taking an earlier flight would be safer. You could take the Finnair bus to the main train station and stow your bags in a locker there. In the afternoon, take a tram from in front of the train station to the port.

My first choice would be to take the overnight ferry from Stockholm and spend the day in Helsinki. This can work out to be cheaper than a flight as you get overnight accommodation and save on the price of getting to the airport in Stockholm, plus you get a beautiful journey through the Stockholm archipelago. The ferries from Stockholm arrive at a different port than the ferry to St Petersburg.

Posted by
4693 posts

Even though Bromma is closer to the city than Arlanda, the high speed Arlanda Express from the Central Station to Arlanda is faster than any transit option to Bromma.

Posted by
52 posts

Laura, thank you for the overnight ferry suggestion. I did look into the St. Peters line ferry from Stockholm to St. Petersburg which stops at Tallinn for a night, and the timing doesn't work for us since we'd like to do the 72 visa free trip. I probably should look into some other overnight ferry options if we have to take an early morning flight anyway.

Thank you for everyone's input, looks like we should play on the safe side.

Posted by
4693 posts

Jamie, when we visited in 2014, we did the following:
- Helsinki for 2 nights
- St Peter Line to and from St Petersburg (2 nights on ferry, 2 nights in one of the hotels offered by St Peter Line)
- On return, spent a short day in Helsinki (it took quite a while to get back through immigration in Helsinki since we are not EU citizens ... the ferry was mostly Russian citizens).

- Took tram to central station and stored luggage in locker. Spent the day in Helsinki. Took tram to Viking line port in late afternoon
- Took the Viking line from Helsinki to Stockholm.

I've taken both Viking and Silja/Tallink between Helsinki and Stockholm over the years. While Silja ferries are marginally nicer ships, Viking has the more convenient port in Stockholm. I choose based on price. As I recall, we got a cabin with a window on Viking for about 100 EUR total (2 people). We had a fantastic meal in the Viking "Food Garden" restaurant.

The boats between Stockholm and Helsinki have a lot more amenities and better food than St Peter Line. On St Peter Line, we were warned off the buffet and ended up choosing their Italian restaurant. We had pretty decent pizza and pasta there.

Posted by
52 posts

Laura, thanks for the information again. One thing I was a little concerned about is that I get motion sickness easily and therefore tend to avoid bus or boat ride. For the ferry trip between Stockholm and Helsinki and St. Peters Line between Helsinki and St. Petersburg (this one we have no choice though), is the ride fairly smooth? I'll probably have to stock up the ginger capsules.

Posted by
438 posts

Jamie, the ferries are like cruise ships. There are multiple decks, restaurants, bars, duty free shops,etc. You won't feel
anything.