If you’re in Stockholm, it’s surprisingly quick and easy to get to the Estonian capital of Tallinn by ferry.
A fun overnight boat trip takes you to the attractive Baltic capital, with its medieval Old Town and attractive cobbled streets and squares.
You can of course get a one-way trip then head off to explore the other Baltic States.
But it’s becoming increasingly popular to take a mini cruise from Stockholm to Tallinn, which includes two nights accommodation plus breakfast on the ferry and gives you a whole day to explore the delights of Tallinn.
Whichever option appeals, we give you the lowdown on all you need know about the Stockholm to Tallinn ferry, including practical tips, information for travellers, prices and schedules.
What are the main ferry options between Stockholm and Tallinn?
Two companies run ferries on the route between Stockholm and Tallinn – the Estonian Tallink / Silja Line and the Finnish Viking Line (summer-only). Both are overnight trips that go via the Åland Islands.
How long does the journey to Tallinn take?
Generally the journey on Tallink / Silja boats takes between 16 hours 30 mins and 17 hours 30 mins. Viking Line ships take around 20 hours.
Where do the ferries depart from and arrive into?
Tallink / Silja Line ferries leave from the Värtahamnen terminal at Hamnpirsvägen 10 in Stockholm and arrive into the Tallinn D-terminal, located at Uus-Sadama 24 in Tallinn.
Viking Line ferries depart from the Vikingterminalen in Stadsgården, Stockholm and arrive at A-terminal, Sadama 25-2 in Tallinn.
Is the journey scenic?
As the ferries leave Stockholm, they weave between the islands of the Stockholm archipelago, giving views of wooded islets and coastline.
All ferries stop at the pretty port of Mariehamn, the capital of the Åland Islands archipelago that lies between Sweden and Finland.
This semi-autonomous island group belongs to Finland but is Swedish-speaking, and most of its 6,700 islands are uninhabited.
From the Åland Islands to Tallinn, ferries cross the Baltic so there’s not much in the way of scenery but due to the timings of the crossings, this stretch of the journey is most likely to be in the dark anyway.
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How frequent are the sailings?
Tallink / Silja Line’s Baltic Queen ferry runs year-round every other day from Stockholm to Tallin, returning every other day from Tallinn to Stockholm.
The ferry leaves Stockholm around 5.30pm and arrives in Tallinn about 10.15am the following day.
The return trip leaves Tallinn at about 6pm and arrives in Stockholm at 10.15am the next day.
Viking Line ferries run daily (approx 29 June to 6 August) leaving Stockholm at 4pm and arriving into Tallinn at 1.15pm the following day. The return ferry leaves Tallinn at 2pm and arrives in Stockholm at 9.50am the following day.
How much do the tickets cost?
Ticket prices vary depending on how far in advance you book and which day of the week you travel. Viking Lines tend to be cheaper at around €170 return, compared to around €270 return on Tallink / Silja Line.
On both companies the ticket price includes a basic indoor cabin sleeping four, so if you are travelling in a group of four the price is not much more than it is for a single traveller.
Both companies use dynamic ticketing so the price will depend on how popular the sailing is.
It’s definitely worth checking companies such as Get Your Guide too. They sell tickets for the Tallink / Silja Line ferry, but sometimes offer cheaper fares than you can get by going directly to the ferry company.
They also include a breakfast buffet and a sea view cabin as standard.
Tips on getting the cheapest Stockholm to Tallinn ferry tickets
- Book as far in advance as possible (check rates here)
- Avoid travelling in peak holiday season
- Be flexible: mid-week fares tend to be cheaper than weekend fares
How to choose the right ferry company
If you’re travelling in the winter, the only option is the Tallink / Silja Line, but in summer you have greater choice. It’s definitely worth checking the fares on both companies as they do vary.
Viking Lines tend to be cheaper but their journey time is longer. In terms of facilities, there’s little to choose between the ferries: both have restaurants, bars, shops and entertainment.
The ferry vs flying
Ryanair is usually the cheapest, with fares starting at around £60 return.
Flying, of course, is quicker and can be cheaper if you book in advance and fly midweek off-peak. However, if you’re travelling in a group of up to four people or in peak season, the ferry will almost certainly cost less per person.
The ferry also has the advantage of being much more fun with better views, and it includes two nights’ accommodation. If you book via Get your Guide, you get two buffet breakfasts included too.
One further advantage of taking the ferry is that the terminals are much closer to the centre of town than the airports. In the case of Tallinn, ferries dock within easy walking distance of the main city centre.
What’s the actual ferry journey like?
The journey is fun. All the boats have loads of entertainment options, comfy cabins and good restaurants. Or, you can just relax and enjoy the views as you sail past the islands and coastline of the Baltic Sea.
What’s it like onboard?
Two Viking Line ferries run the route on alternative days in summer, the Viking Cinderella and the Gabriella. Both have restaurants and bars, shops, a range of cabins, a night club, casino games and a spa (with sauna, of course!).
The Cinderella is considered more a party boat, with a three-story night club, themed cruises, live music and party nights.
Tallink / Silja Line’s Baltic Queen also has a range of bars and restaurants, a night club and disco plus a sauna, pool and beauty salon.
All the boats have ensuite cabins that sleep between one and four people. The cheapest are inside, while the priciest are luxurious, spacious suites with balconies.
Tips on how to make the most of the ferry journey
- Enjoy the views
- Have a sauna – this is a Sweden to Estonia ferry, after all!
- Dance the night away at the disco
- Eat a Scandinavian meal
- Do some karaoke
Getting to the ferry terminal in Stockholm
Tallink / Silja Line’s Värtahamnen terminal is just north of Stockholm’s central Östermalm district.
The quickest way to get there is to take the metro line #13 from T-Centralen T-bana station Gärdet T-Bana, from where its a 15-minute walk to the terminal.
The best way to get to the Vikingterminalen on Södermalm (for Viking Line ferries) is on the Viking Line transfer bus with departures from the Stockholm Cityterminalen timed to meet all ferry departures.
The journey takes around 30 minutes and costs 65 SEK.
Essential items to pack for the ferry journey
- Your passport
- Warm clothing: it can get very chilly on deck
- Sea-sickness tablets: the sea can be choppy
- Your dancing shoes – don’t forget the disco!
- A swimming costume: there’s a pool on board the Baltic Queen
- Money: there are plenty of shops, bars and restaurants on-board
Information on required documents
Both Estonia and Sweden are EU members, so EU citizens can freely cross between the two countries without a visa and stay for an unlimited amount of time.
Brits and US citizens need just a passport and can stay in Sweden and Estonia for up to 90 days without a visa.
Suggestions for travel insurance
It’s always a good idea to buy travel insurance before any trip to cover you in case of emergencies. We recommend World Nomads, whose policies can be bought even if you’ve already started your trip. You can get a quote below.
Arriving in Tallinn
Estonia’s capital city, Tallinn is an attractive city, whose Old Town enjoys Unesco Heritage status for its medieval timbered buildings and cobbled streets.
You can climb the town hall tower for impressive views of the city, visit the Toompea Castle or simply chill out in the cafés and restaurants in the medieval streets of the Old Town.
Suggestions for what to see and do in Tallinn during your stay
The best way to get to know the city in a short time is to take a guided walking tour around the city’s main sights, including Raekoja Plats, the main town square, the town hall and the impressive domed Aleksander Nevksy cathedral.
Alternatively, this bike tour takes in all the main sights as well as the sandy beaches along the Gulf of Finland.
Where does the ferry dock in Tallinn?
Tallink / Silja Line ferries dock at the Tallinn D-terminal (the street address is Uus-Sadama 24), very close to the centre of Tallinn. It’s just a 20-minute walk from the terminal to the main old town square.
Viking Line boats dock nearby at the A terminal, AS Tallinna Sadam, Sadama 25, a 15-minute walk from the main square.
So, is it worth taking the ferry from Stockholm to Tallinn?
Most definitely yes. If you’re planning a larger trip from Sweden down through the Baltics and into central Europe, taking the ferry to Tallinn is a great way to start off your trip.
And if you’re in Stockholm for a while and fancy seeing what Estonia is like, this mini cruise makes for a really fun weekend away.