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TravelViking XPRS Review - a Ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn

Viking XPRS Review – a Ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn


Finnish flag on Viking XPRS
M/s Viking XPRS sails between Helsinki and Tallinn.

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Every year, we sail multiple times from Helsinki to Tallinn. This time, we took m/s Viking XPRS by Viking Line. It is not the newest ferry but still modern. You can have a drink, eat or enjoy entertainment onboard. There is also a tax-free store to do shopping. Read our review of Viking XPRS.

M/s Viking XPRS – a Ferry Built in Finland


Viking XPRS is a fast ferry, built in Finland in 2007. It operates between Helsinki, Finland, and Tallinn, Estonia. Unlike traditional ferries, it’s designed for quicker crossings, making multiple trips daily. The vessel can carry passengers (up to 2,800), cars, trucks, and cargo, making it a crucial link for transportation and commerce between the two countries. While also other ferries operate on this route, the Viking XPRS offers a swift and efficient travel option.


Our Viking XPRS Experiences


In April 2024, we decided to make a day trip to Tallinn by sailing from Helsinki to Estonia onboard Viking XPRS. We booked only oneway ticket because we wanted to sail back on Eckerö Line’s m/s Finlandia. This was not our first time on Viking XPRS but every year, we board this ferry at least once. The reason is natural: Tallinn is near to Helsinki and the sail takes only 2 and half hours. In this article, we share details of our latest experience onboard Viking XPRS combined with facts.


Viking Cinderella is another ferry of Viking Line sailing between Helsinki and Tallinn.


Viking XPRS
It takes only 2 and a half hours to sail between Helsinki and Tallinn.



Modern but a Little Worn Ferry


Viking XPRS offers a roomy, small cruise ship interior. It has 10 decks in total. The bottom 3 decks hold vehicles, the deck 6 is full of cabins and the decks 7 to 9 feature passenger areas with commercial services. The top two decks are outer areas.


Outer decks
The outer decks of m/s Viking XPRS offer a great place to enjoy your drinks under the sun.


Passenger count varies a lot. Our Friday morning trip had ample seating, but the ferry sometimes gets crowded. Weekdays are generally less busy than weekends, so consider planning accordingly.


Red Rose Cafe dining area
There were many free seats in Red Rose Cafe during our cruise.


During the summer, Viking XPRS allows passengers to relax outside on the decks. Keep in mind it can get windy, with only the sheltered area at the back offering protection. Still, enjoying a drink and the fresh air is a pleasant way to travel.



Fast – 2 and Half Hours to Tallinn


Viking XPRS lives up to its name, completing the journey to Tallinn fast, in 2 and a half hours. Embarcation and disembarkation are swift too, usually without immigration checks. Our spring cruise was on schedule as always.


Katajanokka Terminal
Viking Line ferries use the Katajanokka Terminal in Helsinki which can be reached easily by tram from the City centre.


The high speed comes with a caveat. The fast pace can be less pleasant in rough seas, especially for those prone to seasickness. Fortunately, the trip is short, with the roughest section lasting only about an hour. During our spring sail to Tallinn, the winds were only moderate but the journey still became a little unpleasant. The worst conditions last luckily only 30 minutes. As a tip, we recommend heading to the rear area on the outer deck to breathe fresh outside air to feel better.


Port of Tallinn
In Tallinn, Viking XPRS uses Terminal A. It is 15 minutes walk away from the city centre.



Cabins


For quick Helsinki-Tallinn crossings, cabins on Viking XPRS might not be necessary. For example, we have never booked a cabin on this ferry because the 2-hour journey would offer limited time to utilize the cabin space. If you’re catching the last evening ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn, cabins are more useful. The ferry docks overnight in Tallinn’s port, allowing passengers to stay onboard until morning. For this extended stay, a cabin becomes a valuable amenity, providing a comfortable space to rest before continuing the journey in Tallinn.


The cabins themselves are compact, featuring beds, a small table, and a private bathroom. Some cabins even have windows. For overnight trips, opting for a cabin can be a cost-effective alternative to booking a hotel.


Chimney of Viking XPRS
Viking XPRS was built in 2007 in Turku, Finland.



Restaurants, Cafes and Entertainment


While the journey is swift, there’s plenty to keep you entertained on Viking XPRS. Here are some ideas on what to do onboard breakdown of their enticing offerings.


The majority of passengers like to eat onboard. Grill & Steak indulges in a comprehensive buffet featuring salads, hot dishes, desserts, and drinks for a reasonable price (around 29 euros on the Helsinki-Tallinn route). À la Carte Restaurant Wine & Dine offers a more refined dining experience, perfect for a special occasion.


Grill
Grill & Steak is the full-inclusive buffet on Viking XPRS.


Buffet tables
The buffet is self-service with a peaceful dining area.


Deli Shop is for those who are looking for a budget-friendly option: You grab a quick bite and pay only for what you take. Deli Shop offer Finnish homestyle food like meatballs.


The panorama-style Red Rose Cafe situated at the bow of the ferry offers a laid-back atmosphere with beverages and alcoholic drinks.


Wine
Next to the buffet, there is Wine & Dine à la carte restaurant. The menu offered a fed budget-friendly options.


Red Rose Cafe
Red Rose Cafe was the largest cafe onboard.


There is also Robert’s Coffee, which is a well-known brand in Finland.


The ferry features a nightclub called Club X. This nightclub transforms into a daytime venue featuring a live band and singer, creating a lively atmosphere. Adjacent to Club X, Viking Inn offers a more intimate setting, sometimes hosting karaoke or troubadour.


Club X
Club X is the nightclub of the ferry. During our cruise, Janina Lehtonen and her band performed.


Viking Inn
Viking Inn is a small and dark pub on Viking XPRS. Sometimes, there is a troubadour or karaoke.


Because we had planned to dine in Tallinn, we did not eat during our journey. We only enjoy drinks at Club X.


Tax-Free Store


Like most ferries departing Finland, the Viking XPRS boasts a tax-free shop. This store offers a variety of items, including sweets, alcoholic beverages, clothing, and souvenirs. While we opted to skip it this time, focusing on exploring Tallinn upon arrival, the tax-free shop is a convenient option for last-minute shopping or grabbing souvenirs before disembarking.


Outer deck
Why not buy some snacks and drinks from the tax-free store and enjoy them outside?


The tax-free stores on the Helsinki – Tallinn route are affordable.


Entertainment


While Viking XPRS is known for its quick sailing between Helsinki and Tallinn, it also features some live entertainment for its passengers like the bigger cruise ships. Some passengers do not have the intention to leave Tallinn at all but they return immediately. This gives them plenty of time to enjoy the ferry’s services.


On our latest trip, we were pleasantly surprised by a talented Finnish band with a great singer performing in Club X. Even though the band was new to us, their vocals were fantastic. Despite the ferry’s primary function as a fast ferry link, Viking XPRS offers a surprisingly fun atmosphere. On our earlier trips, we also enjoyed karaoke and live music (troubadour), making it a great way to spend your time onboard.


Children play area
There was a children’s and teens’ play area in Red Rose Cafe.


Coffee & Seat Lounge


Even though we are fans of airport lounges, we have not tried Coffee & Seat Lounge on Viking XPRS. It is a similar concept that airports have. You pay a small fee and get complimentary services in a closed area.


The lounge costs only 12 euros/way and. It includes a peaceful sitting area with coffee, tea, cookies and fruits. It is also possible to purchase more snacks. There is Wi-Fi so Coffee & Seat lounge is especially suitable for people who need a peaceful area for working together with simple complimentary snacks.


Rating











Viking XPRS offers an enjoyable ferry experience between Helsinki and Tallinn. While it’s a modern vessel, frequent use means it shows some wear and tear. It might not be the newest ferry on the route, but it makes up for it in other ways. In our opinion, Viking XPRS is a solid 3.5-star option for travellers looking for a fast, affordable, and comfortable ferry experience.


Red Rose Cafe
Red Rose Cafe is at the bow of the ferry. In addition to delicious products, its window seats provide a great sea view.


We list 4 reasons why boarding Viking XPRS is a good choice:


  • Fast and Affordable: Viking XPRS boasts quick crossing times and competitive ticket prices compared to other ferries.
  • Amenities: Passengers have access to a variety of dining options, cafes, entertainment venues, and a tax-free shop.
  • Convenient Schedule: The ferry’s schedule allows for flexibility in planning your trip.
  • Friendly Crew: The service onboard is friendly and helpful.


Where to Buy Tickets


There are two equally good options to buy tickets for Viking XPRS.


You can visit the Viking Line website and buy tickets there. By joining Club Viking, you can get a few euros discount.


Another option is to compare ferry prices on Ferryscanner. You can see the prices of many ferry companies with a single search and place a booking there. This is perhaps the fastest way to get a good overview of the prices.


Rear of the outer deck on Viking XPRS
On the way to Tallinn, there are no islands but by being outside, you can spot many other ferries.


Prices


Setting sail between Helsinki and Tallinn is easy on your wallet. One-way tickets and day cruises start at a budget-friendly €15 and go up to €40. Keep in mind that day cruises require returning on the same day. If you want more flexibility and plan to return on a different day, expect to pay roughly double the price. Just like flights, prices tend to be a bit higher on weekends, holidays and during peak season.


Consider staying overnight on the ferry and booking a cabin. While it adds a bit to the cost of your trip, it’s often still cheaper than staying in a hotel in Tallinn. This will also turn your journey into a mini-cruise.


The Buffet
The buffet is an affordable and good choice if you are really hungry.


How to Book a Ferry Ticket

Browsing between the offerings of various ferry operators on a single route can be a daunting task. Our suggestion is to use Ferryscanner for an overview of different fares available via one quick search. Remember to follow these crucial steps when booking:

  • Search ferries for your intended route.
  • Select the desired ferry service. Fill and double-check all booking information.
  • Understand the terms for cancellation.
  • Add any additional services you may require. The same service may cost more later.
  • Finalize your booking using a payment card.

Head to Ferryscanner and book your sail.


Bottom Line


Our Viking XPRS journey from Helsinki to Tallinn was pleasant even though the sea became a little rough. Based on our experiences, Viking XPRS is always a good choice and affordable. It is operated by the Finnish company Viking Line.


Viking XPRS offers a budget-friendly option with their day cruise tickets (meaning both outward and return journeys happen on the same day with Viking Line), we skipped this option this time. For our return trip, we wanted to try a different experience and sailed back on Eckerö Line’s m/s Finlandia.


Have you sailed onboard Viking XPRS? Did you like it? Comment below.

Tags: review, tallinn, cruise
Destination: Finland, Estonia

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