Overnight ship: Stockholm to Helsinki

After our lovely last morning in Stockholm, it was time to make our way to Finland for the last leg of our trip. So we found the most economical way to travel was by sea. This trip was very last minute so the flights were very expensive to Helsinki. Marco was also really excited to take his first overnight ship. It was also less stressful then flying because we didn’t have to go through customs and Octavia didn’t have to be constrained with a seat belt. We just took a 20 minute cab ride to the Värtahamnen port from Södermalm and boarded the boat.


We did looked at a few different travelling ship company before deciding on the Tallink Silja Line. We found this one within our budget and had good facilities on the ship. We took the luxurious cruise line, Silja Symphony, which deparates daily between Stockholm and Helsinki. We booked the B Class cabin, which wasn’t the pretty cabin, but we only used it for sleep. I would of prefered a window, but it was only one morning on this entire trip that I had wake up in complete darkness. They do offer quite nice rooms though if you prefer to wake up with the sunlight and want more room to walk around. This cabin it cost 204 Euro, which was a bargin compared to the flight prices at this time.

So the first thing we did was go up to the Sun deck. It was nice and breezy up here, but wasn’t exactly luxurious, as the tables were pretty dirty. We did order a couple of drinks and let Octavia play a bit. She got to meet the Harry the seal and there were some active toys to play with.

Next I wanted to check out all the shopping on the Prominade that we originally walked through (deck 7). There wasn’t that many stores, but they had everything you could need and plenty of souvieurs. Just below there is a large tax free superstore (deck 6), that was more like an airport store. We came across these crazy plant people who were striking poses and O got some photos with them. Back up on the prominade there was a clown, who was pretty entertaining as well.

We didn’t end up getting any snack before dinner. We were actually booked in for the grandbuffet for dinner and breakfast. This cost 38.50 Euro each for dinner and 23 Euro each for breakfast. Octavia was free since she was under 5 years. When booking we thought this would be better since the restaurants would be quite expensive to purchase three meals. However, the website didn’t have menus for the cheaper food stores and cafes. We didn’t even know their would be other options. So if you prefer to save a little and avoid the crowds you can always visit them instead. I just don’t know if you can book into the buffet if you change your mind on the day.

Next we explored the Silja Land on deck 5. This is only for kids and their parents. Octavia had so much fun down here. It gave us a chance to relax and chat.

By this stage the ship had started moving so these are some of the views from the window.

Later on we made our way to the Grand Buffet for a 7:30 dinner. It was not where near as calm as these photos seem. It was craziness when we first arrived. It was as if the passengers had never seen food before. We even noticed quite a few passenger were removed from their tables, after sitting on the wrong ones, possibly get a table sooner then their booking.

There was so much food. Hot, cold, ethnic, savoury and sweet. I tried many of the Scandiavian foods and found that I really love herring. There was a dedicated kids buffet that had fried foods and meatballs I tried to steer O away from that but it didn’t talk long for her to notice it too. The deserts were also nice and petit. We returned the next morning for breakfast, but I wasn’t as impressed with the spread.

After breakfast we packed our suitcases and stood out on the balcony to enjoy the views as we entered into the port of Helsinki. This is actually the perfect spot if you want to make a quick exit on arrival.

So I wasn’t that excited to travel by ship, since it took alot more time then flying. However, it an experience and I think it was alot more fun if you travelling with a child. It ended up being a lot cheaper then flying and the accomodation was also included. So I can recommend this mode of travel and I hope this post was helpful if you are considering ship. We now have 10 more days go in Finland and a day trip in Tallin, Estonia.

6# Life Update: home again, birthday and transit eats

I officially returned to Australia at the end of June after three weeks of travelling in Nordic Europe. It’s taken me a little bit to get over the jet lag since I was living in the lands of the midnight sun, with an 8 hour difference to my home timezone. I was only averaging about 4-5 hours sleep which is normal for me when I travel, since I am always on such a high. However, after having a child, my sleep isn’t as important as someone else, so I am not able to bounce back as quickly and get cankles from the aeroplane. The joys of age and responsibility. So anyway I am finally feeling like myself again the past couple of days.

 

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