Travelling to Estonia by sea is very popular with tourists – no wonder, as Tallinn is the closest capital to Helsinki and Stockholm and travelling by ferry enables you to combine the fun of cruising with efficient transportation.
The main ferry operators are Tallink, Viking Line and Eckerö Line:
- Helsinki port in Finland is 80km from Tallinn and it takes less than 2 hours on a ferry. During the summer season (from May to September) boats sail every few hours.
- Stockholm ports in Sweden are 380km from Tallinn and boat travels once a day in both directions (you spend the night at sea).
- St. Petersburg port in Russia is 360 kilometres from Tallinn and an overnight cruise ship departs once a week throughout most of the year. Visitors will have the opportunity to visit St. Petersburg visa free up to 72 hours before returning to Tallinn.
Travel time varies on different ferries – in general, the larger the boat, the longer the time. You have several dining options on each, cruise ships also include children playgrounds, beauty services, night-clubs and tax-free shops to ensure you have a fun trip, whether travelling with kids or enjoying a weekend getaway.
To catch a ferry you will need a passport or ID-cards (for European citizens).
Transportation to/from the Port of Tallinn:
Port of Tallinn uses four different terminals – the longest distance is between terminal A and terminal D, around 1km.
The port is only 10 minutes walk from the Old Town and city centre.
Tram: closest stop to Tallinn port is “Linnahall” and trams 1 and 2 will get you there. It is about 600m walk from the tram stop to terminals A, B and C (and around 1km to terminal D). Tram no 1 travels from Kadriorg, tram no 2 starts from Lasnamäe and drives past the international bus station. Find the suitable times from the tram schedules.
Bus #2 (Mõigu–Reisisadam) takes you from the port to the city centre. It stops at Terminal A, Terminal D, the A. Laikmaa stop (next to Viru Keskus shopping centre) and then continues on to the airport.
View the timetable of bus #2 here.
See also the map of this route.
Bus #3 (label: Veerenni-Randla) takes you closest to the port, stop “Linnahall” - it travels through the centre and stops by the Viru center, at Hobujaama stop. It is about 600m walk from the bus stop to terminals A, B and C and slightly more to terminal D. Schedule for bus no 3.
Most Eurolines international bus lines have an “on-demand” stop in the Tallinn Port – in front of terminals A and D, also some bus lines from the city Pärnu (please ask for the “Tallinn Port” when booking a ticket).
Taking a taxi:
- Taxi ranks are located right in front of the terminals B and D.
- Choose a clearly marked taxi.
- According to Estonian law taxis are required to publish their full price list on the passenger’s side of the window and all customers are allowed to choose whichever taxi they prefer, regardless of their position in the line.
Useful ferry facts:
- Most of the Baltic Sea is within mobile coverage areas – though you may be required to go on deck, if trying to call from the Stockholm ferry while it is anchored for the night. Estonian networks are EMT, Elisa and Tele2 and they may overlap with Finnish networks – Telia Sonera and Elisa.
- Sweets, special treats, handicraft and alcohol are cheaper in Tallinn than in tax-free shops on boats. Perfumes and cosmetics are, in general, within same price range or cheaper on boats.