This post likely contains affiliate links. By booking through these links I may make a small commission (which I am very grateful for!) at no extra cost to you.

When I asked the owner of my hostel for directions to the port he drew a quick route on my map. “Ten minutes max” he promised me, “Twenty if you get super lost. But you won’t; the ships are huge so you will see them a mile away.”

I gave myself the 20 minutes figuring that I am the kind of traveller who gets ‘super lost’. Besides, I didn’t quite believe him about seeing the ship from a mile away. Turns out he was right though, because only a blind person could miss it.

It was early morning at the end of March. I had just arrived in Tallinn, Estonia the night before but was headed to Helsinki, Finland for the day. When originally researching destinations for my trip I was told that I really only needed one day in Helsinki as it was relatively small. At first it sounded great; I loved the idea of Scandinavia but the hated the price tags associated with it, so being able to see pretty much everything in a day sounded like a fantastic budget-friendly compromise. But the more I looked into hostels and flights, the less sense it made to visit for only one day- it was just too expensive.  I had nearly given up on seeing Finland when I came across Tallink Silja; a ferry line that would allow me to go from Tallinn to Helsinki for a day trip.

The more I looked into this Tallinn to Helsinki day trip option the more excited I got. The route was offered by three separate ships with a varied timetable and a promise that the transfer between cities would only take approximately two hours.  The ships were large enough that I didn’t have to worry about any weather restrictions, and offered plenty of services on board to pass the time. A day in Helsinki and my first real ferry ride? Sounded like a great plan to me!

DSC_0369

My trip from Tallinn to Helsinki was aboard the Star with a scheduled departure for 10:30am. As requested, I arrived thirty minutes early and breezed through the check-in and boarding.  My Star Class ticket didn’t come with specific seating arrangements but allowed me to wander and explore the ship and take advantage of any of the free seating I found along the way. I spent the majority of my time exploring what the Star had to offer; perusing through the perfumes, watches, and jewellery, in the shop, watching fellow passengers test their luck at the onboard slot machines, and lounging for a while on a comfortable seat with my book.

Slot machines available for your on board entertainment

When I was hungry I had my choice between an a-la-carte restaurant, a pizza or hamburger spot, the grocery store, or a buffet. I took advantage of the buffet and for 11.50 euro had my pick of breakfast type foods such as scrambled eggs, potato wedges, and porridge, or lunch options including salads, bread, cold meats, smoked salmon and cheeses. Coffee, tea, juices, and soft drinks were included in the price, while alcoholic beverages such as beer, cocktails, and spirits could be purchased at an additional cost. Although food and drink had to be consumed in the dining area, there was plenty of space for everyone. I grabbed a seat an open table by the front window and relaxed for the remainder of the journey, watching as the skyline of Helsinki came into view.

View from the buffet: Helsinki skyline coming into view

To ensure I got the most out of my 1 day in Helsinki I took the second last ferry back to Tallinn, this time on the SuperStar ship. Departure was at 7:30 though since most things in Helsinki close by 6pm I got there pretty early. As such, boarding wasn’t yet open but it didn’t bother anyone as we were all preoccupied with the absolutely stunning sunset out the windows.

DSC_0431

Like the Star, the Superstar offers a shop, a grocery store, and a variety of dining options.  Many were content with grabbing a sandwich or salad from the cafeteria, while those looking for more of a meal headed to the a-la-carte restaurant, or dinner buffet (25 euro a person). The most popular spot, however, was the Dolce Vita Bar. Located at the bow of the ship this was the perfect place to grab a drink and watch the world go by.

DSC_0433

After exploring this new ship I took advantage of my Comfort Class pass and headed the lounge. I was greeted by a friendly staff member, who after quickly checking my ticket, led me inside and pointed out the free snack bar. Non-alcoholic beverages such as juices and sodas were free, along with a variety of light snacks including vegetables, crackers, and biscuits. We also had the use of a coffee machine to make espresso, lattes, hot chocolates, or teas. For those looking for something more, alcoholic beverages and meal options were available for purchase at the bar.

DSC_0438

Relaxing in the Comfort Class lounge was the perfect way to end a busy but exciting day in Helsinki. And though, by this time, it was a little too dark to see outside, the TVs were showing an ice hockey game; the perfect entertainment for this Canadian girl!

Comfort Class: A great place to unwind after a busy day

To plan your own trip from Tallinn to Helsinki, or to learn more about Tallink Silja and their routes please visit their website at: http://www.tallinksilja.com/

This post was written in collaboration with the Tallink Silja Ferry lines, but as always, all opinions are my own.

 

28 Comments

  1. Margherita @The Crowded Planet on April 28, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    I remember seeing that ferry when I visited Tallinn and wondering where it went. I wish I looked into it! Another excuse to go back, thanks for the tip!

    • hannahlogan21@gmail.com on April 28, 2014 at 9:47 pm

      They go all over- definitely worth checking out next time!

  2. Shannon Elizabeth on April 28, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    Sounds like fun! How did you like Helsinki? Is it a nice city to visit for just a day, or do you recommend more time there? I’d love to go to Finland!

    • hannahlogan21@gmail.com on April 28, 2014 at 10:58 pm

      I looooved Helsinki! Easily walkable, pretty and clean, and absolutely lovely people! I saw a lot in my day but if you had time I would recommend two. I went out to the sea fortress for a couple hours as well but easily could have spent longer. Helsinki is great place to just wander, and lots of different shopping. I would absolutely go back and would love to see more of Finland one day.

  3. Tim on April 28, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    I have never been that far north but would love to and the boat across to Finland sounds like a mini-adventure inside a bigger one. Would love to hear more about you Scandinavian travels.

    • hannahlogan21@gmail.com on April 28, 2014 at 11:30 pm

      Keep the option in mind for when you visit! And I have plenty of stories to come to help inspire you! 🙂

  4. Samantha @mytanfeet on April 29, 2014 at 2:14 am

    Ooh looks quite nice! That must have made for a lovely first ferry ride, not too shabby I might say!

    • hannahlogan21@gmail.com on April 29, 2014 at 11:57 am

      Sure was! Zero complaints from me 🙂

  5. Lindsay on April 29, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    I had a similar trip planned. I wanted to stay in Tallinn and take the ferry over to Helsinki for the day. I ended up canceling my trip, but this is probably exactly what I would have done!

  6. Sarah Ebner on April 30, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    This does sound like a great trip. I understand your fears about the cost of Scandinavia though – my kids are desperate to go, but it just seems so expensive.

    • hannahlogan21@gmail.com on April 30, 2014 at 11:26 pm

      It definitely was pricey, however I’m so glad I went and would absolutely go back. I know weekend and short cruises, like those offered by Tallink Silja, are really popular and supposed to be a budget friendly(er) optio. If you stay though just be near a grocery store-eating out is insane!

  7. Globalmouse on April 30, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    I would love to visit Helsinki – we were in Lapland in December and that was amazing. And the ferry looks great – I always love travelling by boat, such a romantic way to arrive!

    • hannahlogan21@gmail.com on April 30, 2014 at 11:22 pm

      Loved taking the boat! Would absolutely do it again. Lapland sounds fantastic! It’s on the list for one day 🙂

  8. Sharon on May 1, 2014 at 9:21 am

    That looks great! I look forward to reading what you did in Helsinki and whether a day trip is really worth it 🙂

    • hannahlogan21@gmail.com on May 1, 2014 at 10:03 am

      Stay posted 🙂

  9. Rachel on May 3, 2014 at 4:02 am

    Nice site! I like the background. Wow, Scandinavia, so foreign to me. I can’t imagine what it would be like.

    • hannahlogan21@gmail.com on May 3, 2014 at 12:33 pm

      Thank you Rachel 🙂 I loved my short time in Scandinavia- would absolutely recommend a visit. Just save lots first! 😉

  10. Elena on May 4, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    What a great adventure and use of time! I have always wanted to travel from Italy to Greece by ferry– one of these days I hope.

    • hannahlogan21@gmail.com on May 5, 2014 at 1:46 pm

      That’s on my list too now that I have a taste for ferry travel!

  11. Victoria Dovaston on May 6, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    I haven’t visited Scandinavia yet, but it is high up on my list. It sounds like you had a great trip though!

  12. […] ← A Day trip to Helsinki with Tallink Silja […]

  13. […] Of course, being on the water, Stockholm is also home to several ports in which you can find ferry and single of multi day cruise services throughout the Scandinavian and Baltic areas. Multi-day cruises are on of the most budget friendly options for the Scandinavian area (even the locals use them and refer to them as ‘party boats’).  If you plan on only going one way, do yourself a favour and check the return price as well before you book; it just may be cheaper.  *If you are interested in Baltic cruise lines check out my review for  the Tallink Silja line here* […]

  14. Karisa @ Flirting with the Globe on March 12, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Fantastic Advice. This is exactly how I plan to get to Helsinki from Tallinn in May! 🙂

    • Hannah Logan on March 12, 2015 at 10:22 pm

      It’s SO easy and a really comfortable way to travel 😀

  15. Jeannie on January 15, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Hi Hannah – we meet again! I first connected with you while I was researching for my Ireland trip. Now, I’ve come across your blog again when looking into planning Helsinki to Tallinn! You are a wealth of information 🙂 We are headed there in mid-February and I can’t wait! Just wanted to say hi and thanks for your great blog!

    • Jeannie on January 15, 2017 at 9:37 am

      Oh and ps, I live in Iceland and that’s what my whole blog is about, so if I can return the favor with any help for your trip planning I’d be happy to 😀

    • Hannah Logan on January 15, 2017 at 2:16 pm

      HI! haha glad to be of help 🙂 Enjoy Helsinki and Tallinn- loved them both!

Leave a Comment