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Finland - or to give it its official title, the Republic of Finland - is situated in Northern Europe. Nestled between Sweden and Russia, it is known around the world for its enchanting, snow-capped landscapes and balmy, radiant summers.
Although they have a reputation for being reserved, the Finnish people are warm, inviting and possessed of a self-deprecating wit.
Despite its vastness, Finland has no shortage of travel options and is easily accessible. With direct crossings from Germany, Poland, Russia, Sweden and Estonia, one of the best ways to reach Finland is by ferry.
Helsinki is one of the busiest ports in Scandinavia and is where the majority of ferries to Finland arrive. Secondary ports include Turku and Naantali, both a little further along the south west coast.
There is also a daily sailing across the Gulf of Bothnia from Sweden to the Finnish port of Vaasa which provides a short cut to the alternative of driving hundreds of kilometres.
Some of the crossings between Sweden and Finland stop at the Aland Islands - an autonomous region of Finland. Not just a great destination but also exempt from EU tax regulations which allows the sale of duty free goods on board during the trip to mainland Finland.
The most popular and frequent crossing runs between the Estonian port of Tallinn and Finland’s Helsinki. Connecting one capital city with another, the biggest names in the region such as Viking Line and Tallink Silja operate the ferries with journey times as little as 2 hours.
Ferries in this part of the world are particularly luxurious with their decks stuffed with malls, eateries and bars. Many passengers book a mini cruise just to enjoy the on board experience without actually getting off the ship when it docks in port, before heading away from the country for the return leg of the journey.
Finland itself is criss crossed with railways, stretching from Helsinki all the way to Kolari in Lapland. Finland is also home to one of Europe's most comprehensive coach networks, covering more than ninety percent of public roadways, though of course it’s simple to explore with your own vehicle too.
I''ve been on the Serenade to travel from Helsinki to Stockholm and was very impressed: it''s like a real little city and the entertainment, food and cabin were great! Would definitely love to travel on it again...Read More Read Less
My friend and I travelled from Helsinki to Stockholm on the Symphony and from the moment we walked onto the gang plank it felt like more of a cruise, than a ferry crossing! From the massive themed atrium full of shops and "street" entertainment such as singers and jugglers, to the glass lifts which take you to your decks - it was very impressive. As cabins go they were pretty standard, had everything needed for an overnight trip and were comfortable with en-suite facilities. The staff were extremely friendly especially in the bars, they would engage you in banter whilst you waited for drinks. The buffet restaurant was amazing, had every type of food you could think of from salads, to curries to chicken fajitas and nachos! Even better than the food choice was that beer and wine was included, and was self-service! After dinner and a few cocktails in one of the bars, we went to watch the midnight show - which was fabulous, and thoroughly engaging. The disco bar goes on until dawn, where the youngster’s party continue their party! The ship was first class, had excellent facilities and I would not hesitate to travel again if I was ever back in Helsinki or Stockholm.Read More Read Less
"Hi from France"
I travelled on board the Symphony several times, everything is perfect on this beautiful ferry, many shops with professional and extremely kind staff, entertainment is high quality, cabins are very clean and well-appointed (mirrors, electrical outlets properly located, storage, very functional lighting). Everything is done to satisfy the customer and I wish to travel on board again soon. Thanks!Read More Read Less
"My first crossing"
I had been staying with friends near Helsinki who suggested going to Stockholm and staying on board the Symphony as it would be a wonderful experience. Wow! She was so spot on and on boarding I was staring open mouthed most of the time at the sheer grandure of this spectactular vessel. The cabin was great, simple but had everything we needed and the food and entertainment were great. I dont think I've ever eaten so much or enjoyed singing kareaoke so much either. I must admit I didn't get a lot of sleep but it is and experience I will never forget.Read More Read Less
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