Travelling across the Baltic Sea by ferry is a fresh alternative to flying. Cruising on the sea is a relaxed and practical way of travelling. Read from our detailed ferry guide on how to travel from Finland to Sweden or vice-versa by ferry.
Covered in the Article
- Finland and Sweden - Nordic Neighbours
- Ferries from Finland to Sweden
- Helsinki to Stockholm
- Turku to Stockholm
- Naantali to Kapelskär
- Vaasa to Umeå
- Comparison of the Routes
- Stopover at the Åland Islands
- Ticket Prices
- Ports in Finland
- Ports in Sweden
- Bottom Line
Finland and Sweden - Nordic Neighbours
Finland and Sweden are Nordic neighbours. Both countries are members of the European Union and the Schengen agreement. Both countries also share a common history. These are the reasons why the political and cultural environments in Finland and Sweden are similar.
Finland and Sweden have a border on the sea and land. The capital of Finland, Helsinki, is located in Southern Finland while Stockholm, Sweden's capital, is located in the eastern part of the country. The distance between these two Nordic city capitals is only 496 kilometres but sailing and flying are the only practical ways to travel between these metropolia. The Gulf of Finland is between Sweden and Finland and there is a land border only in the north.
Ferries from Finland to Sweden
Taking a ferry is the most comfortable and recommended way of travelling from Finland to Sweden or vice versa. Flying is another option for people who do not feel comfortable cruising on the sea or for those who are in a hurry.
It is possible to take a ferry to Sweden from Helsinki, Turku, Naantali and Vaasa. The route from Vaasa to Umeå is the shortest and then comes the routes from Turku and Naantali to Stockholm and Kapelskär. The route from Helsinki to Stockholm is the longest. Ferry tickets from Finland to Sweden may be slightly cheaper than the routes back.
In Sweden, Ferries to Finland leave from Stockholm, Kapelskär and Umeå. From Stockholm, it is possible to travel to Helsinki and Turku, from Kapelskär to Naantali and from Umeå to Vaasa. There are also ferries cruising from Sweden to Tallinn in Estonia and back.
Ferry or Aeroplane?
Passengers travelling between Finland and Sweden are often departing from a capital. Driving the route would become extremely long because there is no land connection between Finland and Sweden in the south. Taking a ferry or flying are the only reasonable options to travel between Helsinki and Stockholm.
Flying between Helsinki and Stockholm is fast and inexpensive but not the smoothest option. Stockholm Arlanda Airport is located far from the city centre. If you still choose to fly, book a ticket for Finnair flight from Helsinki to centrally located Stockholm Bromma Airport is a better choice.
The most comfortable way to travel between Finland and Sweden is to take a passenger ferry from one city centre to another. Ports are near the centres and the journey time varies between 4 and 18 hours. Luckily, the ferries are comfortable so spending a day or a night on a boat won't make a passenger bored. Especially for first-timers , you may even feel like taking a luxury cruise.
Helsinki to Stockholm
Two ferry companies serve the route from Helsinki to Stockholm. Both companies have two huge ferries that can accommodate almost 3,000 passengers and in addition, a lot of cargo. The duration of a one-way journey between Helsinki and Stockholm is about 18 hours.
Tallink Silja operates two ferries from Helsinki to Stockholm: M/S Serenade and M/S Symphony which are identical to each other. Even though the ferries have already been built in 1990, they are still modern since they have been renovated multiple times.
The ferries can carry many cars and a lot of cargo. Still, they are more like cruise ships offering entertainment services suitable for children and adults, a variety of cabin classes for sleeping, numerous bars, cafes and restaurants including one that caters to morning and dinner buffets. You can do tax-free shopping or try an authentic Finnish sauna and spa. The boats have also big floating discos and some people prefer partying the whole night.
Normally on the route between Stockholm and Helsinki, the ticket price includes a private cabin with a bathroom.
Tallink Silja ferries depart every day at 5 pm from both ends and will arrive at the destination the next morning at about 10 am local time (Swedish time is one hour behind Helsinki time). In Helsinki, Tallink Silja uses the central South Harbour but in Stockholm, passengers need to take a metro from Värtan Terminal to the city centre.
In Stockholm, a metro ride from Gärdet station to T-Centralen is only a few stops.
Viking Line operates only one ferry between Helsinki and Stockholm: M/S Gabriella. We have travelled multiple times on it and based on our experiences, wrote a review of Gabriella. Gabriella is a little smaller than Tallink's ferries but still comfortable. It offers the same services as Tallink Silja's ferries but the premises are a little smaller.
Viking Line's ferries depart almost at the same time as Tallink's ferries. In Helsinki, Viking Line uses South Harbour like Tallink Silja does but in Stockholm, Viking Line has a more central harbour called Stadtsgården situated near Stockholm's Old Town.
A cabin with your bathroom is included in the ticket price. We have written a story what is cruising from Helsinki to Stockholm by Viking Line like.
Turku to Stockholm
The best ferries between Sweden and Finland depart from Turku. Turku is a small town located 160 kilometres from Helsinki but the Port of Turku can be reached directly by train from Helsinki within 2 hours.
Because the journey time from Turku to Stockholm is less than 10 hours, it is possible to travel in the daytime without a cabin. Travelling without your cabin significantly reduces the ticket price.
M/S Baltic Princess by Tallink Silja has started operating in 2008. The ferry is modern and it can accommodate about 2,200 passengers and many cars. The ferry is smaller but offers better quality than the ferries between Helsinki and Stockholm.
The other ferry, M/S Galaxy, is just like M/S Baltic Princess. The ferry is just a few years older.
These ferries depart every morning and evening from Turku and Stockholm. The journey time is less than 10 hours. Both of them have a strict turnaround time so you need to leave the ferry fast after arriving at the destination. That is also the reason why cleaning the ferry starts already before arriving at the destination.
Undeniably, M/S Viking Glory is the most modern ferry between Finland and Sweden. It started operating in 2022. This ferry is also more environmentally friendly as it operates with natural gas.
The ferry is big having a capacity of 2,800 passengers. Travelling on M/S Glory feels like being in a luxury floating hotel with many entertainment services.
M/S Grace is a few years older and almost similar ferries also on the route from Turku to Stockholm. Both the ferries are of high quality so it does not matter which one of them you choose to board.
M/S Viking Grace and M/S Glory have together two departures from Turku and Stockholm every day. The journey time is less than 10 hours.
Naantali to Kapelskär
There is a ferry traversing between Naantali and Kapelskär. Naantali is 15 kilometres from Turku and Kapelskär is 89 kilometres from Stockholm centre. Because you need to take a taxi or a bus to reach these distant harbours, we can't recommend having this route. However, the route may be more inexpensive and a good option for people who are driving a car.
Finnlines carries mainly cargo but there are passenger cabins on the ferries. M/S Finnswan travelling between Naantali and Kapelskär has a capacity of 500 passengers. Even though the ferry has been built in 2007, it is still more like a cargo ship. The cruising experience is not at the same level as on Viking Line's and Tallink Silja's ferries.
You can board this ferry only in a car. No walking passengers are allowed.
Vaasa to Umeå
Travellers visiting Finland's western coast may wish to take a cruise from Vaasa, Finland to Umeå, Sweden. That is the most practical way to cross the Gulf of Bothnia from Finland to Sweden. The journey is short, taking only less than 4 hours.
M/S Aurora Bothnia is a brand new small ferry. It has been built in Finland and the capacity is 800 passengers. The ferry offers a comfortable and fast ride from Vaasa, Finland to Umeå in Sweden.
Comparison of the Routes
|Route||Companies||Journey Duration||Daily Departures|
|Helsinki - Stockholm||Viking Line
|Turku - Stockholm||Viking Line
|Naantali - Kapelskär||Finnlines||8 hours||One|
|Vaasa - Umeå||Wasaline||4 hours||One|
Stopover at the Åland Islands
The Åland Islands or simply Åland is an autonomous region belonging to Finland. Almost all the ferries from Finland to Sweden have a stop there. While cargo is being unloaded during the stop in Åland, ferries have the right to sell tax-free products onboard. This means cheaper shopping for passengers. For example alcohol products, cigarettes, chocolates, candies, souvenirs and branded clothes among others.
You may have a stopover in the Åland islands. In that case, it is possible to continue to Sweden from Mariehamn, Långnäs and Eckerö. Eckerö Line operates a route to Grisslehamn, Sweden; Finnlines, Viking Line and Tallink Silja to Kapelskär and Stockholm.
Ferry tickets are inexpensive. The route from Helsinki to Stockholm is more expensive than the route from Turku to Stockholm. Also, tickets for weekend departures are pricier than tickets sold for departures on weekdays.
On weekdays, a one-way ticket from Helsinki to Stockholm costs about 60 euros per cabin and during weekends much more. A cabin can normally accommodate 4 persons. From Turku to Stockholm, prices are more affordable. Especially, tickets for morning departures are inexpensive.
The cheapest option is to have a 2-way cruise. That means, you travel to a destination and come back immediately on the same day. If you plan just to cruise on the sea, it is recommended to start the trip from Finland to get cheaper tickets.
Finnish and Swedish residents have a good understanding of what is a good price for a cruise between Finland and Sweden. If you follow the market intensively, you may find a great bargain.
Foreigners and travellers should compare prices more carefully. We recommend comparing prices on Ferryscanner. By a single search, you get all prices. For example, we are using this service also while looking for ferry connections in foreign countries as we did for our cruising in Rhodes, Greece.
How to Book a Ferry Ticket?
For easier booking, follow our simple checklist:
- Compare prices on Ferryscanner.
- Choose the most suitable connection and travel class.
- Fill out the passenger (and vehicle) details.
- Decide if you need a Cancellation Protection.
- Double check all the details CAREFULLY before the payment.
Ports in Finland
South Harbour in Helsinki
South Harbour or Eteläsatama in Finnish is in the city centre just a short walk or a tram ride away from the Helsinki central station. Viking Line and Tallink Silja use this port. However, the companies have their terminals opposite each other so be ready to head to the right side of the port.
Port of Turku
There is only one passenger harbour in Turku. It can be reached within 30 minutes by walking from the centre or in about 10 minutes by bus. There is also a train connection from Helsinki and Tampere to Port of Turku. In Turku, there are no commuter trains inside the city.
Port of Naantali
The city of Naantali has 20,000 inhabitants and its port is located 15 kilometres from Turku. There is no passenger train connection to the port but you can take a bus from Turku. Arriving by car is easy.
Port of Vaasa
Port of Vaasa is located 4 kilometres from Vaasa centre. There is a bus connection from the centre to the port 1 hour before the ferry's departure. Taking a taxi is also possible.
Ports in Sweden
Värtan Harbour in Stockolm
Värtan Harbour is a few kilometres from Stockholm's centre. The easiest way to reach the centre is to walk 10 minutes to Gärdet metro station and have a metro ride to T-Centralen. Metro in Sweden is called Tunnelbanan.
Stadgården Harbour in Stockholm
Stadtgården Harbour is in Stockholm's centre. However, to reach the old town and the shopping area, you need to walk 20 to 30 minutes. Taking a bus is also possible.
Umeå Harbour is 15 kilometres from Umeå centre. There is a bus connection about 1½ hours before a ferry departure. No train connection is available.
- How to travel from Helsinki to Stockholm?
- The easiest way is to take an overnight ferry (18h) by Tallink Silja or Viking Line.
- How to travel from Turku to Stockholm?
- The easiest way is to take a ferry in the morning or evening (10h).
- Where can I book tickets for ferries between Finland and Sweden?
- We use Ferryscanner to find the best ferry deals. You can book tickets right away after finding a good fare.
- How long does a cruise from Helsinki to Stockholm take?
- The cruise takes 18 hours.
- What is the newest ferry between Finland and Sweden?
- M/S Viking Glory travelling between Turku and Stockholm and M/S Aurora Bothnia between Vaasa and Umeå are the newest ones.
- How much does a cruise from Helsinki to Stockholm cost?
- A one-way ticket is 50 - 200 euros / per cabin. A cabin can accommodate max. 4 persons.
- How to reach South Harbour in Helsinki?
- You can take a tram from the central railway station or walk in 20 minutes.
- How to reach the Port of Turku?
- You can walk from Turku centre in 30 minutes or take a bus. There is also a long-distance train from Helsinki and Tampere to the Port of Turku.
- How to reach Port of Naantali?
- The best way is to drive in a car because you can't board a Finnlines ferry without a car.
During a journey to the Baltics and Fennoscandinavia, sailing by ferry from one city to another is the most comfortable and practical way of travelling. You may start by visiting Tallinn first and then continuing by ferry to Finland. From Finland, it is inexpensive to take another ferry to Sweden.
Flying between Finland and Sweden may be the fastest option, but we recommend trying a ferry instead. Especially during summer, the archipelago is extremely beautiful. For couples, why not make this a part of romantic journeys? Also for families, we strongly recommend taking the ferries while visiting these different cities for sure a memorable experience.
Have you taken a ferry from Finland to Sweden yet? How was your experience? Comment below!
About the Author
Niko is one of the founding members of Finnoy Travel. He does not only handle the technical operations of the Finnoy Travel, but also generates content, both independently and in collaboration with others. His content primarily focuses on reviewing travel services, providing information about Finland, and sharing useful travel tips.
Niko's passion for aviation complements his vast global travel experience. When crafting articles, he devotes substantial amounts of time to thorough research on his subjects. His pieces are not only enlightening but also encompass his individual experiences.