Jump to content

Tallink: Helsinki-Tallin return January 2020 *pre-covid*


Recommended Posts

Apologies for posting this late but I wanted to get it uploaded before I do write up my recent trips.  This is my voyage report for Helsinki-Tallin which I 'did' earlier this year in January with Tallink during pre-covid times.

Helsinki - Tallin, Fri 10th January 2020.

On the morning of the trip I had arrived from Stockolm on the overnight service on-board the Silja Symphony. I had a few hours to explore Helsinki on what was (by Baltic standards) a mild winters day at around 1 degrees. I didn't particularly find Helsinki particularly interesting and spent the day walking around the many department stores. I was booked on the evening service from Helsinki on-board the 'Star' for a 2.5 hour crossing. I had tried to book myself on the overnight 22 hour Silja Europa cruise but it was fully booked which seemed strange given the time of year.

Check-in was typically prompt and I was one of the first people on the vessel and I spent some time exploring the vessel. Star weighs in at just under 37000 tonnes and she has clearly been specifically built for here route, designed for a short crossing with a lot of space given for bars, cafes etc and the large duty free which many passengers make the most of. As we departed at 4pm as the sun was setting and leaving the Europa behind after she arrived from Helsinki it is clear the vessel was absolutely packed. There was nowhere to sit inside the vessel and I spent most of my time sat on a  staircase, sadly deckspace was limited to the rear of the ship which was really frustrating - I have no understanding why operators don't open side deck space anymore.Sea conditions were favourable given the time of year, with no sea ice to break through, however, there was a thick fog and the captain repeatedly blasted the horn for the majority of the crossing which was interesting.

Once I had walked around the duty free i did not have the patience to queue for food and drink and there was nowhere to sit so I was glad when we arrived in Tallin.

Tallin - Helsinki, Mon 13th January 2020.

My return trip was initially booked on the Europa but I had to be on-board the Helsinki-Stockholm service that evening and there was limited time for me as the Stockholm vessels depart from another dock in Helsinki. It was easy to re-book my crossing and I was booked on the 13:00 service on board Megastar. Megastar is a newer and larger vessel in comparison to the Star and you do feel this on-board Check-in was typically quick and the vessel was nowhere near as busy, meaning  there was time and space for me to eat, drink and enjoy the crossing. Deck space again was limited to the rear of the ship however it was larger and more open in comparison to the Star. The . Sea conditions once again were hospitable and the being daylight I could enjoy the views as I spent most of my time relaxing in the lounge. We overtook the Europa, she does the crossing at a slower pace and departs earlier and arrives later than Star/Megstar. Disembarkation again was quick and I got my ridiculously expensive taxi to the other part of Helsinki for the return trip to Stockholm on the Serenade. A voyage report is on this forum.

Summary:

In all I have to say that the Helsinki-Tallin services from Tallink are excellent value for money. Ekeroo and Viking Link offer cheaper fares but I wanted to stay loyal to Tallink particuarly with the points scheme. These services are a completely different a offering to the long-distance services out of Stockholm - they serve a purpose from what it seems mostly to commuters, freight or people making the most of the duty free. In the future I would try to avoid the busier sailings as the Friday service was uncomfortably busy, and also the Megsastar is a superior vessel to the Star so if I do the route again I will make sure It is on her.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Le Quiberon said:

Apologies for posting this late but I wanted to get it uploaded before I do write up my recent trips.

Thanks Le Q, excellent image of Europa!

She headed back into dry dock during January for yet another upgrade, new carpets, new ceilings and a total renovation of restaurants and shops. She was also given a technology upgrade too which included the ability to Cold Iron.

Since she returned from Australia Tallink have invested around €50m on her... BF take note.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, jonno said:

Thanks Le Q, excellent image of Europa!

She headed back into dry dock during January for yet another upgrade, new carpets, new ceilings and a total renovation of restaurants and shops. She was also given a technology upgrade too which included the ability to Cold Iron.

Since she returned from Australia Tallink have invested around €50m on her... BF take note.

Thats interesting.... I have heard rumours Tallink have her up for sale? It was a shame I could not get on her that evening, hopefully I will be able to this winter! She is an incredible looking vessel.

Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Le Quiberon said:

Thats interesting.... I have heard rumours Tallink have her up for sale? It was a shame I could not get on her that evening, hopefully I will be able to this winter! She is an incredible looking vessel.

I think the sale or charter option was pre her Baltic return, many of the brokers still have her on their lists but they're not accurate... A bit like the GNV vessels.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...