Tallinn City Ferry, from Helsinki, Ferry Operators Tallinn

Tallinn City Ferry

Until independence in 1991 it was all but impossible to visit Tallinn by ferry. A few foolhardy souls escaped communist rule by windsurfing across the Baltic, but marine traffic was closely controlled and this seafaring nation essentially became landlocked. However, today things are different and Estonia has once again discovered its ‘sea legs’.

Tallinn is just 50 miles from Helsinki and ferries regularly plough the route between the two capital cities. As a result Tallinn has become a popular day trip for Finns who find that their money goes considerably further than it does back at home. Daily ferries also depart from Stockholm and there are seasonal services from Rostock and St Petersburg.

Tallinn’s popularity as a maritime destination is borne out by some impressive statistics. In fact, today the port handles more than six million passengers each year; making it one of the busiest ports in the Baltic. Besides ferries and cruise ships the port (or more precisely collection of four harbours) also acts as a mooring for private sailing vessels.

Ferries between Helsinki and Tallin make the voyage in just less than two hours, although you save a further 30 minutes by booking passage on a catamaran. The larger ferries can carry up to seven hundred passengers at speeds of almost 42 knots. Ferries operate in daylight hours (7.30am 7.30pm) and prices depend on month and time of travel, although it’s generally cheaper to start early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Advanced booking is recommended, but not essential. Vehicles can be taken on all catamarans and most passenger ferries.

Competition is fierce and you currently have six ferry operators to choose from: Eckerö, Finnlines, Nordic Jet Link, Silja Line, Tallink and Seawind. Tickets can be bought online by visiting one of the ferry operator’s website or through your local travel agent.