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If you’re looking to book a Helsinki to Tallinn Ferry then you have to choose Tallink ferries! Their ferry line is not only supersize, taking 2800 passengers a time, but effortlessly classy and they promise to get you there quickly and in style.
If you haven’t already heard, Helsinki in Finland is only a short ferry ride away from Tallinn in Estonia, so it’s the perfect place for a day trip. I mean, it’s not every day you can tick off a new city, right?!
The Tallink Star and Tallink Megastar are gigantic cruise ships that are almost like hotel resorts over the seas. They have supermarkets that cover two floors, bars, restaurants, a casino, a sun terrace, business lounge and even Burger King and Starbuck’s! So, we’re not talking any old ferry here.
In this post I’m going to cover in detail everything you need to know about the Tallkink Silja Helsinki to Tallinn ferry and things to prepare before you go.
First up let’s talk timetables as you will need to make sure that you’re booking a good time slot to go. Although the Helsinki to Tallinn ferry is only two hours and Tallink Silja have the most ferry options, they don’t run at all hours of the day. So, you’ll need to plan accordingly.
As I wanted to make the most of the day in a new country, I decided to get the 7.30am ferry which gets you into Tallinn around 9.30am. The following ferry is at 10.30am and this gets you in at 12.30pm. To me, that seems like a lot of time wasted. But, you may want a sleep in and think differently.
The Tallink star on the way out from Helsinki to Tallinn runs at 7.30am, 10.30am, then 13.30pm so if you’re doing a day trip, I’d say the earlier the better. Especially in winter, as you have limited daylight!
Heading back on the Tallinn to Helsinki ferry you can return at 16.30pm, 19.30pm and 22.30pm. As 19.30pm is the ideal peak time, this particular ferry is really busy. So, I’d make sure you book in advance of travel or secure a seat in their business lounge.
Here’s a whole timetable of the Helsinki to Tallinn ferries and Tallinn to Helsinki ferries below.
A round trip from Helsinki to Tallinn on Tallink Silja ferries is 36 Euro’s return on the route I took. This includes passage onboard both the Tallink Star on the way out and the Tallink Megastar on the way back. I booked the 7.30am ferry out and then the 19.30pm ferry back.
If you were to go on the 10.30am ferry this would cost slightly more as it’s a peak time at 39 Euro’s return. So, it depends on the times you want travel. Weekends are considerably more expensive, so I’d try to plan your day trip in the week.
That is just the basic passage fee on the ferry. If you want to add on their comfort lounge you will pay 24 Euro’s extra each way per person.
The business lounge (which in my opinion is well worth it) is spacious and roomy, comes with high speed WiFi, a scrumptious all you can eat buffet and a free pour bar that will set you back 65 Euro’s extra per person, each way!
FYI: these prices are on top of your basic ferry fee. So, if you did decide to upgrade to business you’d be splashing out around 160 Euro’s return. It does seem like a lot but keeping in mind the food prices in Helsinki, 65 Euro’s for all you can eat and drink, including alcohol, is a steal!
If you’re travelling with a car on board the Tallink Ferries you will also pay extra for this. See here for their full list of prices for your dates of travel. Prices fluctuate on the season..
The Tallink Silja ferry terminal can easily be accessed by taking the tram to Helsinki West Harbour Terminal 2. It’s the last stop on the number 6T and 7 tramlines.
As the check in finishes 30 minutes before departure, you will need to make sure you get an early enough tram. So, if you’re getting the first ferry at 7.30am this means an early start!
I was so thankful that I was on a business class fare so I pretty much flew through check in with their dedicated priority line. The queue for the regular ferry tickets was quite lengthy so I’d make sure you arrive in plenty of time before departure. If you’d prefer there are some self service machines in the terminal or you can save time with their app.
Access to the ferry is 40 minutes before departure, so if you’re on a business or comfort lounge ticket you can make the most of it!
YES, as you’re travelling to another country you will be asked to present your passport to the check in desk when you check in at the Tallink ferry terminal in Helsinki.
As I am an EU passport holder, I did not need a visa to enter Tallinn on this short visit but always check beforehand if this applies to your country before you book. You can check Estonia Schengen visa requirements here.
The Tallinn ferry will be parked where you left it at the harbour at Tallinn D Terminal. It has it’s very own Google Maps pin but it’s really easy to navigate from the Old Town as It’s only a 15 minute walk and is well sign posted.
The great thing about being on a day trip from Helsinki to Tallinn is that you should already have your return tickets with you from the Tallink terminal in Helsinki. So, you don’t need to queue in the Tallinn ferry terminal and you can just scan your tickets straight away to board the Tallink ferry in Tallinn.
This makes the process so much smoother and means more time to enjoy in the capital of Estonia! But, if you did need to queue you can go through the same process as you did in the Helsinki Tallink ferry terminal. Check in time again closes 30 minutes before departure.
Access to the ship begins 40 minutes before leaving, so you can make the most of that business lounge or grab a good seat for the journey.
1. It only takes two hours to sail from Helsinki to Tallinn so it’s the perfect day trip
In only two short hours, you will sail into a completely new country and city, how cool is that? Although two hours seems like a long time to travel, it really does fly by on Tallink ferries.
Not only do you get some amazing views of the Baltic sea but there’s a whole lot of distractions on board. You can order a drink at the bar, warm yourself on the sun terrace (although it was pretty nippy in April), grab a bite to eat or go shopping!
Before you know it you’ll be pulling into harbour and ready for your next adventure.
The Tallink Siilja ferry line have huge ships which carry a maximum of 2800 passengers at a time and 45 vehicles!
They are almost like a resort on the water, so there’s lots of space to move around. The main ferries in operation for the Helsinki to Tallinn route are the Tallink Star and the Tallink Megastar.
The Tallink Star shuttle has undergone some huge renovations and it has a brand new shiny makeover! Some new additions are the classy A la carte restaurants on board.
This ship has a delight buffet, pub seaport, casino area, Burger King, Starbuck’s café and sun terrace at the back. There is also a supermarket, perfume and trend shop so there’s no limit to the amount of things you can do on board.
You can book three classes;
- The Star Class: this is the normal ticket which gets you access to public areas and you buy food from the restaurants on board
- Comfort Lounge Class: which allows you a comfier seat, snacks and non-alcoholic drinks.
- Business Class: The best part is the roomy business lounge which includes WiFi, newspapers, tax free menu and all you can eat buffet with drinks including alcohol.
The Tallink Megastar is a beautiful ship and the newest addition to the Tallink Silja line. It’s 2122 metres in length and has a supermarket superstore on two floors covering 2800 square metres. The shops are endless and you can buy alcohol, sweets, souvenirs, perfumes the lot.
Some of their restaurants were designed by Vertti Kivi a highly revered Finnish designer. There is lot’s of food choices on board including a delight buffet, chef’s kitchen, fast lane and Burger King. You can also have a drink in their café and two bars on board.
Their business class lounge is super chic with a contemporary design. Although the 19.30 ferry was peak time and crowded in the general areas, it was incredibly roomy in business. There was so much space!
If you have enough cash to splurge on Tallink ferry business class, I would highly recommend you do so. As the Helsinki to Tallinn ferry gets quite busy with as many as 2800 passengers, you may be struggling for space and to find a seat. But, if you upgrade, you’re guaranteed to have a seat in Tallink business lounges with room to spare.
You also get priority check in which was a life saver with an early ferry time to skip the long queues and you’re welcomed on board with a refreshing towel and mints.
Tallink ferries really speak your language in the lounges. They provide newspapers, all you can eat food and snacks, unlimited coffee, free pour alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks should you choose. On the Megastar there was even wine on tap!
On the way to Tallinn I had a really filling breakfast to set me up for the day and a scrumptious dinner on the way back. There were salads and a wide range of international dishes, including the quintessentially Finnish elk meatballs. As we sailed at 19.30pm and we didn’t pull into port until 22.00pm, it was great to get dinner included.
They also had FREE high speed WiFi, so it’s perfect if you need to work or to keep in contact while you’re sailing.
I absolutely loved my experience in Tallink business class and it made the whole journey relaxing. At an extra 65 Euro’s per person over the standard ferry fee, it’s a steal for all that’s included.
4. You will see the most spectacular views of the Baltic sea
The thing I love most about cruising is the amazing views you pass along the way and the Helsinki to Tallinn ferry route did not disappoint. Because Helsinki is an archipelago of 330 islands you can see many of them as you’re passing through the strait.
In business class I had a booth with a window so I could see them all from the comfort of my table while eating breakfast. But, there is also a sun terrace to enjoy the incredible views as you sail away. On coming back from Tallinn, we were treated to the most epic sunset which set the sky on fire.
In Finland I was always amazed at how long their sunsets lasted and the pink skies which remained. Even at 10pm, two hours after the sun set, it was still going strong.
I loved the wide range of shops on board the Tallink ferries, the Megastar is even nicknamed the shopping cruise as their traveller superstore covers two floors at 2800 square metres, the equivalent of 11 tennis courts! Here you can shop til you drop with clothes, jewellery, perfumes, souvenirs, alcohol and sweets.
They have food for all budgets ranging from a Burger King and Starbucks, to your delight buffets and the classier a la carte outlets. There’s also bars, arcades and even a sun terrace if you just simply want to take in the view.
You’ll definitely never say you’re bored on board, that’s for sure.
Two hours seems to fly by on board the Tallink Star ferry and you’ll soon leave the shores of Helsinki and dock into Tallinn in Estonia! From here it’s a short 15 minute walk to the Old Town square.
If there was a city of my dreams, Tallinn would really be it. The skyline looks like it’s straight from Grimm’s Fairy Tales, with towers, cobbled streets, ramparts, church spires and colourful old buildings.
What to do while in Tallinn
You can wander around and simply take in the viewpoints here or visit their many museums and climb some of the walls and towers.
Climb to the top of Olaf’s tower for a spectacular view of the whole city. The market square is at the heart of the old town and, from here, you can explore all the cute streets surrounding it.
They also have fun free walking tours by Tales of Reval, where the guides tour in medieval dress.
If you want to explore some of the museums and attractions I would highly suggest you buy a Tallinn Card which will get you FREE access into many of the cities highlights and public transport for the day.
Don’t forget to try some of the hot wine while you’re here, it’s almost essential! Pop into Olde Hansa for some Medieval fun with their tasty mead or grab some lunch in the Rataskaevu district.
There’s so much to see and do with a day trip to Tallinn, you’ll be spoilt for choice. But don’t forget to keep an eye on the time, you’re heading back to Helsinki remember!