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Table of Contents
- Ferries between Helsinki and Stockholm
- Our Ferry to Stockholm: M/S Gabriella
- Ticket Price from Helsinki to Stockholm
- What to Do in Stockholm?
- Where to Book Ferry Tickets?
- Bottom Line
Ferries between Helsinki and Stockholm
Visitors to Finland get surprised when they realize how many ferry connections there are between Finland and Sweden. These ferries are not small boats but huge ships that can accommodate even more than 3,000 passengers and in addition, they carry cars and trucks. Having a ferry from Helsinki to Stockholm is as common as having a train trip between cities.
There are two daily ferries from Helsinki to Stockholm and vice versa. We took a cruise by Viking Line. The other option would have been to take a ferry operated by Viking Line's close competitor, Tallink Silja Line. However, we ended up chosing Viking Line as their travel tickets were more affordable than Tallink Silja Line and this is often the case. Both companies operate also two daily ferry connections from Turku to Stockholm.
It is common for Finnish people to have a weekend getaway to Stockholm while some passengers are travelling on the sea just because of the work. The combined passenger capacity of the ferries is so high that there are often many affordable deals available. This time, Viking Line had the best offer so we decided to grab it.
Schedules of Helsinki to Stockholm Ferries
Our ferry left from Helsinki to Stockholm at 5pm on a Saturday afternoon from the Helsinki South Harbour. The cruise took overnight and we arrived to Stockholm next morning about 10am. We spent the night in the ferry. The ferries have a lot of free entertainment and a cabin is always included to the ticket price.
The ferries between Finland and Sweden stop almost always at the Åland Islands. There are two practical reasons: Cargo between the Åland islands and mainlands and these islands are tax-free area; By stopping at Åland, the ferries are allowed to sell tax-free products to passengers. For you, it means cheaper shopping.
If you take Tallink Silja Line from Helsinki to Stockholm instead of Viking Line, the schedule is almost the same and it is departing from the same harbour in Helsinki. The only exception is that Tallink Silja Line arrives to a different harbour in Stockholm. Viking Line's terminal is almost in the centre of Stockholm but Silja's terminal is a few kilometres out from the city centre needing a metro ride.
Schedule of Stockholm to Helsinki Ferry
The schedules back from Stockholm to Helsinki are almost similar as Helsinki to Stockholm schedules. There are only minor differences.
Safety and Comfyness Onboard
The gigantic size of the ferries will make you easily forget being on the sea. Even though Baltic Sea isn't that big, there are sometime high winds and waves. The sea may also be frozen during a winter.
Even rough conditions are not dangerous for big ferries - they can operate safely in any weather, even when there are storms. However, the ride during bad weather may not be comfortable. High winds and waves while cruising may cause you feel seasick. Rough weathers are more common on the route from Helsinki to Stockholm than on the route from Turku to Stockholm. If you tend to get seasick easily and there is high winds forecast, we advise you to take some anti-vertigo pills. These medicines usually contains dimenhydrinate and meclizine.
Finnoy Travel tip: Pack with you anti-vertigo pills as treatment for motion sickness especially when you are sensitive for seasickness while cruising or travelling.
Our Ferry to Stockholm: M/S Gabriella
Our ferry from Helsinki to Stockholm was called M/S Gabriella. The ferry had been built in 1989 but it had been renovated many times. Of course, you can notice it is not anymore the most modern ship but it is still comfortable and clean inside.
M/S Gabriella has capacity for 2,420 passengers and it can accommodate up to 400 personal cars and trucks. There are 11 decks (floors) on the ship.
Helsinki to Stockholm cruises always include a cabin in the ticket price. Actually, the price is being calculated by cabin number no matter how many people there are inside. Usually one cabin is meant for 2 to 4 people.
We had booked a ticket for the cabin class B2. The cabin B2 is an inside cabin above the car deck whose maximum capacity is 2 people. The cabin is small, it has 2 separate beds and a small bathroom. Cabin class B is usually an inexpensive choice that is worth the money.
Just before our departure, we got an offer from Viking Line to be able to upgrade our cabin class from B2 to A4T for only 10 euros extra fee. Cabins in the class A have window.
Cabin class C is the cheapest class. They are located on the lower floor, below the car deck and that is why they are noisy. Especially if there is ice on the sea, we recommend not to choose the cabin class C. Sleeping below the sea level isn't a nice thought either - it would mean a rough night.
Viking Line has also a few premium cabin classes. If you wish to have the best cabin quality, you will surely find your preferred choice but the price will be higher. In the case you end up travelling with Tallink Silja Line, they have similar cabin classes but they are named differently.
Dining in the Ferry
The ferry tickets may be affordable but we can't say the same about the food in the ferry. When you are inside the ship, you are restricted to the ship's services. Even though there are many restaurants, all of them are expensive.
The best value for money is to buy a dinner and a breakfast buffet like we did. The dinner buffet cost 38 euros and the breakfast buffet 12 euros. The prices may sound quite expensive but the food selection is really good. The dinner buffet has also complimentary drinks including beer and wine. You will get a few euros discount if you pay online before the journey.
Finnoy Travel Tip: Book your dinner or breakfast buffet together with your tickets to save a few euros rather than paying them walk-in at the restaurant.
Time flies fast in the ferry. There are many kind of entertainments, for example dance music, karaoke, contests etc. Ferry companies have often entertainment for children too. If you prefer relaxing peacefully, you can visit Finnish sauna on the ferry while enjoying the sea view straight from the sauna bench.
Ticket Price from Helsinki to Stockholm
Ferry companies are using dynamic pricing like airlines. During weekdays, the cheapest cruise may cost only about 20 euros per cabin but during a weekend, the cheapest price may be almost 100 euros. The ticket includes cabin but all other services like food must be bought separately.
It is good to notice that if you prefer buying only one-way ticket, it will be much more expensive. The terms of cheap tickets state that your cruise must start and end at the same location.
What to Do in Stockholm?
A cruise to Stockholm and back gives you about 7 hours time in Stockholm. It is a short period so you need to plan carefully how to spend it. We have a few suggestions.
Abba is probably the most well-known Swedish band and it has been one of the biggest Swedish export products. They have made great pop music. We recommend visit ABBA Museum and learning interesting facts about this band. And the museum isn't boring; there are so many interactive things.
Mall of Scandinavia
Shopping isn't maybe the most interesting activity in Stockholm but if you prefer relaxing by shopping, visit the Mall of Scandinavia. The Mall is the second biggest mall in Nordic countries and it can be reached easily by a commuter train from the Stockholm centre. A ride takes less than 10 minutes. Stockholm's public transport tickets are valid on a commuter train.
Old Town or Gamla Stan like Swedes say is definitely worth the visit. There is no old town in Helsinki so visiting one in Stockholm is a good alternative.
Where to Book Ferry Tickets?
You may book ferry tickets by visiting every ferry companies but if you wish to save valuable time, head to Direct Ferries where you get the prices of all companies by a single search. Placing a booking is also possible right away without leaving the sire.
Booking extras like delicious buffets is wise to do at the same time with a ticket. Usually, their prices are lower and there is no need to queue in the ferry anymore.
How to Book a Ferry?
For easier booking, follow our simple checklist:
- Compare prices on Direct Ferries.
- Choose the most suitable connection.
- Include extras, like a buffet. Paying services separately on the ferry costs usually more.
- Decide if you need a cancellation cover.
- Double check all the details CAREFULLY before the payment.
There also other ferry routes between Finland and Sweden. See our Finland to Sweden Ferries article.
Having a ferry from Helsinki to Stockholm or from Stockholm to Helsinki is affordable and practical. When planning a holiday in Helsinki, we recommend reserving enough time to visit Sweden too. Find some interesting activities form GetYourGuide. Reserve at least two free days for a return cruise to Stockholm. Another option is to to visit the beautiful Tallinn. Check out a separate article about Tallinn ferries.
Have you travelled between Helsinki and Stockholm? Comment below!
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Tips For Your Next Journey...
Book hotels from a reliable booking site
It is wise to book hotels on a reliable booking site. We recommend European booking.com that has good booking conditions, excellent customer service and offers the best prices.
Ensure your booking payments refundable
While there is always a risk that flights can be cancelled anytime by airlines, you should ensure your booking payments to be refundable in case of such cancellation. We use a reliable payment card which gives additional security and savings while travelling and so we recommend you getting your own Curve Card.
Don´t miss unforgettable activities and tours
Whether you are travelling near or far, make your trips more memorable by attending organized activities and tours. On GetYourGuide, you will easily find after sought sight seeings and tours at your destination.