Helsinki – Tallinn Ferry with Kids
We view all forms of transportation as part of the fun of travel, particularly with kids. If we can get somewhere on a boat, we jump at the chance. The ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn (or vice-versa) is an easy way to combine these two cities into one trip.
We boarded our ferry in Tallinn. We used the Viking Line, but there are several companies available (Tallink Silja, Eckero Line, Linda Line and Viking Line). Each makes the roughly 80 km crossing in 2 to 3 hours, depending on the line. The process is streamlined but prepare for quite a walk to the boat. We were glad to have the stroller for our entire time on the boat. Once you get on board there are small lockers (coin operated, 2 Euros on Viking Line) to store your luggage or you can use one of the luggage rooms on board. The luggage rooms are locked for the journey so you won’t have access to anything you leave there. Accordingly, would-be thieves won’t have access either!
The Viking Line ferry boat was an old cruise ship and there was plenty going on around the ship. There are lounges with karaoke, music and even a casino. Despite the variety of lounges the seats go fast.
We headed up to the kids area. The seating here was occupied by a variety of people, but the staff was trying to help families get seats first. We grabbed a table by throwing a few things on it and then explored a bit. There is a coin operated arcade area that seemed to be occupied mostly by teens. There was also an area with spinning chairs and a tv for older kids. It was showing standard European kids cartoons.
Our kids were the perfect age for the play area. The kids play area is full of toys and even a ball pit. The crowd in here was constantly changing. There are little mirrors so you can see into the area from the seating area. Jeff ended up having to sit in there though as there were a few older kids who were a bit rough and our middle little ended up as a casualty a few times. There were a few other parents in there policing as well.
There is a cafeteria and buffet onboard. Jeff booked a table at the sit down restaurant. You can do this when you book your crossing tickets. It was well worth it. It was a great way to spend our dinner and the food was delicious. Everyone on the boat was having a drink, so we figured we should as well.
We happened to be on the boat during the 2017 Presidential Inauguration. The boat has great wifi, even better if you are club members like these folks at the table next to us. They were able to stream the whole event from their table.
The lounges all have TVs in them as well. So this whole room was watching the Inauguration as well as we made our way across the Gulf of Finland.
After dinner we headed down to the section of the ship with the rooms and found a quiet hallway to settle into. There our little ones had some quiet time while Jeff and our big little did their schoolwork.
We had no idea when we booked, but you can actually get a room on the ship. If we had it to do again with our group we likely would have booked a room. It would have given us a place to congregate, other than the hallway.
We arrived into Helsinki quite late but there were plenty of taxis available to grab into town. There’s also a tram option, but it was cold in January and there was quite a queue for the tram. The ferry is an easy and fun way to extend your trip.
If your looking for something a bit more luxurious on your trip between Tallinn and Helsinki check out the Tallink Megastar. Megan Star writes all about her experience, which was a bit more relaxed then our trip.