Cruises & Ferries
photo © Tallink Silja
One of the most relaxing ways of seeing the great natural beauty of Finland is to take a cruise, whether through the myriad islands and skerries of its unique archipelagoes, or across the multitude of navigable lakes, canals and rivers, in a choice of canal boats, vintage steamers, and both large and small ferries. The m/s Brahe, for example, sails in Lake Saimaa, the Saimaa canal, and into the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland, following a route from Savonlinna through Puumala, Lappeenranta and Kotka to Helsinki. Other popular routes include Turku-Naantali, and Helsinki to Porvoo. In central finland, where most of the major population centres are built by lakesides, every town has a busy harbour, and most run small ferries and cruises locally.
Travellers who enjoy slightly longer cruises will discover that they can take a ferry from four Finnish cities (Helsinki, Naantali, Turku, and Vaasa) to the Swedish ports of Stockholm, Kapellskär, and Umea, as well as Rostock and Travemunde in Germany, Gdynia in Poland, Tallinn in Estonia, and to Mariehamn in the Åland Islands.
The main ferry operators are:
- Tallink Silja operate a fleet of 14 ferries on 6 routes In the Baltic Sea, serving more than 9 million passengers annually;
- Viking Line sail daily between Helsinki, Turku, Stockholm and the Åland Islands;
- RG Line operates 9 weekly ferries between Vaasa in Finland and Umea in Sweden;
- Finnlines offer regular connections between Helsinki and Germany
- Scandlines operate a ferry between Rostock and Hanko