For adventurous souls who wish to be in two different countries in one day, the Tallinn Helsinki Ferry is the answer. We wanted to enjoy some day trips from Helsinki and came to the conclusion that it would be pretty epic to explore Tallinn for a day. To do so, we needed to cross the Gulf of Finland (Baltic Sea) from Helsinki to Tallinn by ferry. Make no mistake though, the Tallinn Helsinki Ferry was, in fact, a huge cruise ship, with various facilities and entertainment to keep anyone occupied for the two hours trip. We later found out that the Tallinn Helsinki Ferry was also an icebreaker, which made our journey an unforgettable experience, whilst being at sea surrounded by large ice sheet floating everywhere around us. It was definitely not the same as our Seychelles ferry experience. So here is everything you need to know about crossing from Helsinki to Tallinn and back for a day.
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Tallinn Helsinki Ferry
The journey between Tallin and Helsinki is operated by Tallink & Silja Line cruises. These shuttles take just 2 hours from one country to the other. Shuttles Star and Megastar have up to 6 daily departures. We recommend taking the earliest cruise to Tallinn and the latest cruise back, so you can comfortably explore Tallinn for a full day.
Star is the cruise we took in the morning. Shuttle Star has three classes available: Star-class, Star comfort class and Star business.
Star class seats are unnumbered so you can freely pick the best spot for yourself. You can visit the restaurant, the bar, the shop or you can spend some time on the deck to enjoy some crisp, fresh air.
Star comfort offers seats in a separate area wish extra services including a choice of snacks and non-alcoholic drinks, newspapers, WIFI and power outlet.
Star business brings luxury to your cruise. The business lounge is located in the middle of the ship which makes it ideal for those suffering with motion sickness. During the cruise, you can enjoy unlimited food and drinks as the business buffet. There is also Premium fast wifi available for business passengers. The prices for the business lounge are 65 €/person/one way, 0-5-year old free of charge.
We travelled in business lounge and we very much enjoyed our experience. Because of the added comfort, our need to use fast wifi and delicious food and drinks (we had access to unlimited cocktails which was great) we absolutely recommend travelling in the business lounge.
Our Tallinn Helsinki ferry was called MegaStar which is the latest addition to the Tallink cruises. MegaStar was introduced in 2017 so we were super excited to see how can this shuttle be ever better than its sister, Star. MegaStar was incredible. Everything was new, the business lounge was incredibly stylish and the food and drinks on board were even more delicious than during morning. The chairs were comfortable and more scattered around the room for added privacy. In other words: we loved MegaStar.
MegaStar also has different lounges. It offers the Sitting Lounge, Confort Lounge, Business Lounge and Driver's Lounge.
Sitting Lounge is a totally new concept for the fast ferry service. It offers a quiet and closed area with armchairs. You can watch TV and you can access the luggage lockers.
The Confort Lounge is more private and comfortable, in a separate area with extra services such as snacks and non-alcoholic drinks.
The Business Lounge is the most amazing part of MegaStar. The business lounge is quiet and classy and of course, you have cold and warm dishes as well as a wide selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages included in the price.
Business Lounge customers travelling with a car have Priority Car service included in the ticket price, which allows them to be among the first to drive off the vessel at its destination.
The prices for the business lounge are 65 €/person/one way, 0-5-year old free of charge.
Helsinki to Tallinn
The check-in opens around one hour prior to departure. You can go to any self-check-in machine, insert your booking number and get your tickets. Make sure you keep them safe as you will have to scan them to enter the boarding area and you will have to show them again once you are on the ship. You will depart from Helsinki West Harbour Terminal 2.
To get to Helsinki West Harbour Terminal 2 you need to board tram number 8 from in front of the Helsinki central train station. From the tram stop, you need to walk 2 minutes to access the terminal. No shops or cafes are open so early in the morning in the terminal, so we recommend booking business lounge to get free access to coffee, breakfast and unlimited beverages during your 2 hour cruise.
We recommend boarding quick, so you can get the seats you like best. We boarded fairly quickly so we can get window seats in the business lounge. The views are epic, especially during winter, so you won't regret it.
Here is the timetable of the shuttles which go from Helsinki to Tallinn. As already mentioned, the journey takes 2 hours. We took the 7:30 Star, first thing in the morning.
07.30 - 09.30 everyday Star
10.30 - 12.30 everyday Megastar
13.30 - 15.30 everyday Star
16.30 - 18.30 everyday Megastar
18.30 - 22.00 everyday Silja Europa
19.30 - 21.30 everyday Star
22.30 - 00.30 Mon, Wed-Sun Megastar
23.30 - 01.30 Tue Megastar
You will arrive at Tallinn D-Terminal. From D Terminal you can walk to the historic centre (15 minute walk) or grab a cab from in front of the terminal. At the terminal, will find a shop, a locker for your luggage if you need to store anything, an ATM as well as a post box.
Tallinn to Helsinki
Same as in Helsinki, the check-in opens around one hour prior to departure. You can go to any self-check-in machine, insert your booking number and get your tickets. Keep the tickets safe as you will have to show them again on the ship.
Your shuttle will leave from D-Terminal, the same as the one you arrived at. To get to D-Terminal, you can walk from the historic centre or grab a cab. The walk from the historic centre is around 15-minute walk.
Here is the timetable of the shuttles which go from Tallinn to Helsinki. As already mentioned, the journey takes 2 hours. We took the 19:30 MegaStar, and enjoyed the business lounge with unlimited food, snacks and gin&tonics.
7.30 - 09.30 every day Megastar
10.30 - 12.30 everyday Star
12.30 - 16.00 everyday Silja Europa
13.30 - 15.30 everyday Megastar
16.30 - 18.30 everyday Star
19.30 - 21.30 everyday Megastar
22.30 - 00.30 Mon, Wed-Sun Star
23.30 - 01.30 TueStar
You will arrive at Helsinki West Harbour Terminal 2. From there, walk out of the terminal and towards the tram stop. Take the tram number 8 which will stop right in front of the Central Train Station.
Please remember that with every ferry there are some exception days where the timetable works slightly different. To best book your tickets and check the latest timetable, we recommend visiting the official Tallink website.
Thank you, Tallink for offering us complimentary tickets in your incredible business lounge so we can experience the beautiful city of Tallinn. We loved our experience on board and we can't wait to use your services again around Europe. As always, we are honest and transparent and all opinions are our own.
All pitures of the ship's exterior and interior have been taken by Marek Metslaid for Tallink. The pictures of the water and ice sheets belong to You Could Travel.