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Turku to Stockholm ferry: Day or Night?

Montreal, Canada
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Turku to Stockholm ferry: Day or Night?

My wife and I are planning on visiting Helsinki and want to take the ferry to Stockholm at the end of August but aren't sure of the best way to do it. I've read that taking the ferry from Turku is a lot more picturesque then from Helsinki.

As I see it:

Option 1: Take train from Helsinki to Turku in the early afternoon, see the sights, and then take the night ferry, which leaves around 21:00. Pro: Save on a hotel room (which aren't cheap in TKU on a weekday)

Con: As the sun is already starting to set, wel won't be able to see much in the dark. Plus, we'll need to sleep, and the ferry arrives in Sweden around 06:00, just around sunrise!

Option 2 would require us getting a hotel room in Turku for the night and getting to the port for the 08:00 departure.

On a related note: can anyone explain the difference in cabin classes, and which ones are the better values?

Many thanks!

Oulu, Finland
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1. Re: Turku to Stockholm ferry: Day or Night?

If you decide to take the night ferry, why not take it straight from Helsinki? Timetable from Helsinki is much more convenient than that of the Turku ferries. Even if you'd miss the archipelago on the Finnish side, you'll have a splendid opportunity see the Stockholm archipelago which is also stunning. Both ferries (Helsinki and Turku) will make an en-route stop in Åland Islands, but in the middle of the night. Ferries from Helsinki and daytime ferries from Turku will stop in Mariehamn and night ferries from Turku in Långnäs.

I would probably opt for a Silja Line ferry from Helsinki. It will save you a night in a hotel + you'll have a more reasonable schedule (departure around 5 p.m. from Helsinki, arriving 9.30-10 a.m. in Stockholm). And further on the plus side ferries from Helsinki are bigger and somewhat fancier (especially on Silja Line).

Cabin classes:

Silja Line from Helsinki

Silja Serenade: tallinksilja.com/en/… & Silja Symphony: tallinksilja.com/en/…

Silja Line from Turku

Silja Europa: tallinksilja.com/en/… & Galaxy: tallinksilja.com/en/…

Viking Line from Helsinki

Mariella: www.vikingline.fi/onboard/mariella/cabins.asp & Gabriella: vikingline.fi/onboard/gabriella/cabins.asp

Viking Line from Turku

Amorella: www.vikingline.fi/onboard/amorella/cabins.asp & Isabella: www.vikingline.fi/onboard/isabella/cabins.asp

Notice that Gabriella and Isabella will change their routes on 23 Aug (Gabriella goes temporarily to Turku and Isabella to Helsinki until early October, in September Cinderella will replace Amorella in late September).

Cabin classes in short: floor plan of A-C is more or less identical, but A has a window to the sea (in Silja Symphony and Serenade there is also a similar Promenade class where the window is to the Promenade inside the ship). B is an inside cabin above the car deck and C (and Q) are inside cabins below the car deck. DeLuxe/Lyx/Lux are bigger cabins with a window (more or less like smallish hotel rooms) etc.

Edited: 7:13 am, August 15, 2010
Montreal, Canada
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2. Re: Turku to Stockholm ferry: Day or Night?

Hi Zam72,

Thanks for your advice. The Helsinki departure time does seems a lot more reasonable! :)

I was initially interested in Turku because I thought it would make a nice side trip from Helsinki (and avoid having to take the train back to Helsinki). It was also recommended that we visit Tampere. Since many travelers have written Helsinki can get "boring", I was trying to find somewhere interesting to explore. Any thoughts?

Since we are planning on visiting Estonia as well, I was wondering what your thoughts were on the ferry from Tallinn to Stockholm (the prices are the same, but it leaves at 18:00). I believe Tallink uses the Baltic Queen/Victoria ship for the route. Is there any difference between the routes?

Many thanks!

Edited: 11:06 am, August 15, 2010
Oulu, Finland
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3. Re: Turku to Stockholm ferry: Day or Night?

Tallink's vessels on Tallinn - Stockholm line are smaller, although newer. Baltic Queen is the newest ship on the Baltic, but still I prefere Silja Serenade and Symphony. They have more of cruise ship feeling than ships sailing under Tallink brand (Tallink owns also Silja Line). Also the ships from Tallinn will stop in Mariehamn. Other than that there is not much difference, except among Finns there is a rather large consensus that service aboard Silja Line is better than on Tallink (this is also a cultural difference which you will probably also notice in Tallinn ;) ). Also food is (at least in my opinion) better on Silja Line than on Tallink's "own" ships.

You could make a day trip to Porvoo, Tampere or Turku, and of course Tallinn. Although I don't really think Helsinki can get boring in few days... Maybe if you'd stay there for weeks, you might run out of touristic sights. Also Helsinki Festival will be on 20 Aug - 5 Sep: http://www.helsinginjuhlaviikot.fi/en !

denver, co
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4. Re: Turku to Stockholm ferry: Day or Night?

I went to visit family in Turku last summer. We took the day ferry to Stockholm and then returned on the night ferry. We thought that way we would get both experiences. We also took a ferry from Helsinki to Tallin. The ferries were all very nice. FYI -- we were warned in advance that people like to party on the night boats. We were not bothered by any rowdy people. However, it is humorous to see the masses flood into the on ship store once you get out in the water to stock up on alcohol.

Montreal, Canada
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5. Re: Turku to Stockholm ferry: Day or Night?

Zam72,

Someone from another forum asked me what I was looking as a side trip from Helsinki, and after thinking about it a little, I realized it's would have to be something different from the usual tourist fare. Sure, Old Porvoo looks interesting, but how much different is it from visiting Tallinn?

Since we'll be in Finland, the idea of visiting somewhere more exotic, up north, seemed like a good place to start. A little digging revealed that Tornio might be worth visiting. The fact that it's a border town with Sweden doesn't hurt. Fincomm has a same-day return for 170EUR. Not cheap, but I'd be willing to spend it if it was going to be worth it. Of course, it would be even more interesting if it was during the Summer solstice....Winter photos look amazing, but that will obviously have to wait for another day! :)

If not Tornio, can you recommend something else exotic/unusual/not too expensive..if it exists?! :)

Many thanks!

Edited: 11:13 pm, August 15, 2010
Finland
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6. Re: Turku to Stockholm ferry: Day or Night?

Tornio, hmm. It is interesting; there's a huge shopping center (incl Ikea) on the border and a golf course where you golf in both coutries, but would I fly there for a day?

A more exotic alternative is to go to Lappeenranta (2-2,5 hrs train trip from Helsinki) and do a Vyborg (Russia) cruise. No visa needed. gosaimaa.fi/en/…cruises-to-vyborg

The Saimaa canal is worth seeing and Saimaa archipelago too.

Helsinki, Finland
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7. Re: Turku to Stockholm ferry: Day or Night?

Porvoo is VERY different from Tallinn. The old part of the Finnish city has more the feel of a medieval village than a prosperous town like Tallinn, so the atmosphere is entirely distinct.

If you're going to fly up north, Rovaniemi has more to offer than Tornio as it's the capital of Finnish Lapland. Although not a pretty city in itself, it has some worthy museums in addition to a lot of Santa Claus nonsense if you like that kind of thing. At the end of August you may be lucky and catch the autumn colours, though of course the exact timing of this is always problematic.

But if I were you, I'd pick a town farther south at that time of year. Savonlinna's breathtaking lake castle is certainly worth a look, and the lake scenery anywhere in that region is a sight to behold. Polarbear has already mentioned Lappeenranta at the southern end of the lakelands; I second his vote.

Oulu, Finland
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8. Re: Turku to Stockholm ferry: Day or Night?

I agree with Polarbear that Tornio, although maybe interesting due to its close ties with Haparanda in Sweden is interesting, but maybe not worth a 170 EUR day trip... Furthermore, you'd have to rent a car in order to be able to see and enjoy all the town(s) have to offer.

Porvoo and Tallinn are very different with different heritage and history. Tallinn's old town is a mediaval stone-built Hanseatic town where as Old Porvoo is mainly a wooden town (and has interesting history of being the seat of the diet of Porvoo in 1809 (the first diet of the Finnish Autonomous Grand Duchy of Tsarist Russia). In Tallinn you can also experience some remnants of the Soviet Union - although locals (including tourist guides) are not too eager to show them to tourists...

Kuala Lumpur...
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9. Re: Turku to Stockholm ferry: Day or Night?

We took the day ferry from Stockholm to Turku in Sept, and loved it. We spent a lot of time up on the 12th floor deck - cold and windy but well worth the stunning views and we got some brilliant photos.

We took the Silja Europa and it was only 10% full (by chance, we travelled in the 'tween season, right after the school hols)! So there were no crowds and we easily got window seats in the buffet restaurant. For lunch, we also headed there towards the end of the lunch hour and so experienced no long queues.

Thanks to all the advice on this post, we got a cabin with a porthole - very nice as we were tired and were able to snooze and wake up to nice views. Only thing is they change the linen at 3pm! We requested that our linen be changed later but miscommunication among their staff saw us woken up twice by housekeeping, who spoke no English.

Turku is interesting to explore for a day or so, and the train runs hourly from there to Helsinki.

10. Re: Turku to Stockholm ferry: Day or Night?

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