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Sailing across the Baltic Sea by ferry is a fresh alternative to flying. Cruising on the sea is a practical way of travelling between Nordic countries. Read from our detailed ferry guide on how to travel from Finland to Sweden or vice-versa by ferry.
Finland and Sweden – Nordic Neighbours
Finland and Sweden are neighbour countries in the North Europe. The countries are members of the European Union and the Schengen agreement. This means that you can visit both countries with the same visa.
Finland and Sweden have a border on the land and sea. The capital of Finland, Helsinki, is located in Southern Finland while Stockholm, Swedish capital, is in the eastern part of the country. The distance between these Nordic capitals is only 496 kilometres. Because the Gulf of Finland separates Finland and Sweden, flying or taking a ferry is the only practical way to travel between the capitals or other southern cities.
Travelling by Ferry between Finland and Sweden
Taking a ferry is the most comfortable and recommended way of travelling from Finland to Sweden or vice versa. Flying is an option for people who do not feel comfortable sailing 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, the routes from Turku and Naantali to Stockholm and Kapelskär are a little longer and the route from Helsinki to Stockholm is the longest.
Why not Flying instead?
Passengers travelling between Finland and Sweden depart often from a capital. Driving the route would take a long time because there is no land connection between Finland and Sweden in the south. Flying between Helsinki and Stockholm is fast and inexpensive but still not the easiest option, since Stockholm Arlanda Airport is located far from the city centre.
We think, that sailing by ferry is the most comfortable way to travel between Finland and Sweden. Ports are near the centres and the journey time varies between 4 and 18 hours which is not too long. The ferries are also comfortable so spending a day or a night on the boat won’t make you bored. Especially for first-timers, the ferries have much to experience.
There are multiple ferry routes between Finland and Sweden. We introduce the most important options.
Helsinki to Stockholm
Viking Line and Tallink serve the route from Helsinki to Stockholm. Both companies have 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 Silja Serenade and m/s Silja 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 or bus from the Värtan Terminal to the city centre.
In Stockholm, a metro ride from the 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, written a review of Gabriella. Gabriella is a little smaller than Tallink’s ferries but still comfortable. It offers almost the same services as Tallink Silja’s ferries.
Viking Line’s ferries depart almost at the same time as Tallink’s ferries. In Helsinki, Viking Line uses the South Harbour like Tallink Silja does but in Stockholm, Viking Line has a more central port 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. They are also operated by Tallink and Viking Line. 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 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.
Turku-Stockholm ferries depart every morning and evening from Turku and Stockholm. The journey time is less than 10 hours. The ferries have a strict turnaround time so you need to leave the ship 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. It is almost similar to Glory and also it sails on the route from Turku to Stockholm. Both the ferries of Viking Line 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 are two ferries traversing between Naantali and Kapelskär operated by Finnlines. 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 ports, 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 on this ferry is not at the same level as on Viking Line’s and Tallink Silja’s ferries. Finnlines has also a newer ferry, m/s Finnsirius. This ferry is a little bigger having a capacity of 1,100 passengers and it offers more modern services than the older ferry.
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
|Helsinki – Stockholm
|Turku – Stockholm
|Naantali – Kapelskär
|Vaasa – Umeå
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 stop there. Since 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 are cheaper onboard.
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 are advised to evaluate prices carefully. We recommend comparing them 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.
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 the 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 Terminal in Stockholm
Värtan Terminal 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 Tunnelbana.
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 Port is 15 kilometres from the 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/a 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. There is also a bus connection from Turku to the Port of Naantali.
During a journey to the Baltics and Fennoscandinavia, sailing by ferry from one city to another is the most comfortable and practical way of moving from one city to another. 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 beautiful. For couples, why not make this a part of romantic journeys? Also for families, we 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!