During my trip to Tallinn the capital of Estonia, I could not resist doing a day trip to beautiful Helsinki on a weekend to take advantage of the exciting ferry crossing and explore a bit of Helsinki. All possible in a day as the 76 km ferry ride takes only 2 hours and there are plenty of ferries servicing between these two capitals every two hours interval.

Leaving Tallinn early morning by 7:30 am Tallink Silja Ferry. 

Tallinn Ferry Terminal
Tallinn Ferry Terminal, Estonia

For 10:30 departure they close the boarding gate at 10:10 sharp (strictly enforced), otherwise you risk of missing your ferry. 

Tallinn to Helsinki
I was at the boarding gate a few minutes past 7:10 for a 7:30 ferry but the gate was closed so I am waiting now for the next at 10:30

There is a range of ferry operators making the crossing from Tallinn to Helsinki every day, I took the Tallink Silja Ferry scheduled to depart at 7:30 am. Even though I was staying in Tallinn Seaport Hotel right across the ferry termini but still I missed the 7:30 ferry by few minutes, as they close the boarding gate 20 minutes before departure. Did not pay attention to the display board, s0 don’t make the same mistake just wondering around the terminal like I did. 

Ferry to Helsinki
The shaded observation deck a favorite place at the back of the ferry

Early morning view of Tallinn from the observation deck

Toompea hill and fortress wall, tower of Russian Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral all look so beautiful in a clear and Sunny morning. 

The ferry is on the move now and the City of Tallinn is behind us

Booking a cabin may be a good idea especially if you are taking the 7.30 ferry and you want to sleep. I did not book a cabin, instead, I dropped my luggage at the storage facility and spend my time in the observation lounge and restaurants. 

Beautiful early morning view of Tallinn from the ferry observation deck

The observation deck at the back of the ship is usually pretty crowded as it got the shade and some tourists need to stay away from the Sun, whereas the upper deck is almost completely open and empty. Sometimes in the sea at the speed of 40 km per hour, it gets quite windy and cool.

Ferry to Helsinki
A popular place for the passengers as the Scandinavian cool sea breeze is not so intense at the back of the ferry

Approaching Ferry Terminal, Helsinki – Finland

After 2 hours of the exciting cruise, our ferry slowly approaching Helsinki terminal. 

View of Helsinki from the Tallink Ferry

Return Trip from Helsinki to Tallinn 

Later in the day, I took the 4:30 pm ferry on my returns from Helsinki and arrived in Tallinn at 6:30 pm that left me with plenty of time to experience Tallinn nightlife. Prices start from 22 euros depending on what type of ferry your talking but it could add up if you purchase additional services like business or comfort class seat. 

Tallink Ferry
Observation decks (lower and upper) at the back of the ferry

Onboard Food and Drink – Tallink Silja Ferry

Tallink Silja Ferry was quite large, and there was no shortage of places to eat onboard. There was á la carte restaurants as well as a huge buffet restaurant located on deck 8. If you are traveling in the morning it’s a good idea to check out delicious Scandinavian hot breakfast buffet unless you already loaded up with complimentary breakfast from your hotel in Tallinn. On your end of the day return trip, I would highly recommend trying their incredible buffet dinner – a perfect way to enjoy the food and drinks while admiring the beautiful scenery. 

Tallink Silja Ferry
One of the many restaurants on Board Tallink Silja Ferry heading towards Helsinki

In Finland, they have strict regulation on alcohol and it’s expensive too. So, while the ferry is in international water between Finland and Estonia, passengers allowed to buy duty-free alcohol and usually, it’s a popular event of loading up booze especially among the Finns. 

Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes and Beer, at the restaurant!

My Opinion and Tips

Have you taken the ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki? Any additional tips to share?

Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge. 

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Hasan Mahmud

Traveler, Blogger, and Travel Photographer!

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