Overnight Cruises Between Helsinki and Tallinn

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Around 80km (50 miles) of the Baltic Sea separate Finland’s capital of Helsinki with Estonia’s capital of Tallinn. There are two options to cover this distance: plane and ferry. Since there is a lot of extra time associated with going to the airport, checking in, sitting on the runway, etc., it is generally accepted that ferry is the best method of transport between these two cities. For full coverage of the ferry options between Helsinki and Tallinn, refer to our write-up done earlier. Here we would like to cover the overnight options between Helsinki and Tallinn.

Looking onto the city center of Tallinn from its largest passenger port.
Looking onto the city center of Tallinn from its largest passenger port.

What are the overnight ferries between Helsinki and Tallinn?

All the major ferry operators between Helsinki and Tallinn offer night onboard options. With Tallink-Silja, you can get night onboard from Helsinki to Tallinn and from Tallinn to Helsinki. Viking Line offers a night onboard options only on the Helsinki-Tallinn route. Eckerö Line offers a night onboard option for the Tallinn (Muuga) to Helsinki (Vuosaari) route, but it is only available for passengers travelling with a vehicle.

The usual ferry is 2-3 hours, so why go any slower? More than anything, these ferries are for repositioning, which means moving them to prepare for the next day. As a result, fares are generally quite low and this can attract budget-conscious travellers looking to make the crossing. If you are only passing through Helsinki or Tallinn, it may be cheaper just to book an overnight onboard, compared to in the city. Hotels in Helsinki can easily be 100 euros, whereas a night onboard might only be 30 or 40 euros.

Furthermore, those making longer car or cargo drives between Finland and Estonia can use the overnight option as a way to refresh for a new day of driving. Depending on your travel plans, an overnight ferry might be just what you need.

Note: You have to purchase a dedicated night onboard ticket in order to stay on the ships overnight once they arrive. On FerryScan you will see two options, one for a regular ticket and another for the regular ticket plus night onboard.

Option 1: Tallink Silja - Star and Tallink Silja Europa

From Helsinki to Tallinn, the Silja Europa departs Helsinki each day at 18:30, arriving in Tallinn 3.5h later. You have the option to stay on board for the night and depart in the morning from 8:00. The Silja Europa is part of Tallink Silja’s 22h cruise, although it is possible to book it as a one-way trip.

In the other direction, from Tallinn to Helsinki, you can book Tallink Silja’s Star ferry each night. The Star’s departure time from Tallinn is generally 20:30 or 22:30, arriving in Helsinki three hours later. Again, here you have the option to stay on board for the night.

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Option 2: Viking Line - XPRS

From Helsinki to Tallinn, it is possible with Viking Line to book a night on board the XPRS ferry. On most nights, the XPRS ferry departs Helsinki at 20:30, arriving in Tallinn at 23:00, and allowing passengers to stay onboard until 06:00 the next morning. Due to COVID Viking Line scaled-down their Helsinki-Tallinn routes, however it is likely that they will increase the trip departures in the future.

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Option 3: Finbo Cargo (With Vehicle Only)

With the introduction of cargo (vehicle) ferries between Helsinki (Vuosaari) and Tallinn (Muuga), it is possible to book a trip overnight between Tallinn and Helsinki with Finbo Cargo (part of Eckerö Line). Currently, an overnight is possible on departures at 23:30 for each day except Friday. To book this ferry, you need to bring along a vehicle (truck, car, motorcycle etc). Note that Vuosaari Port and Muuga Port are both more than 10km from the centers of Helsinki and Tallinn, respectively.

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