the best ways to travel the baltics
the baltic capitals are a natural (and increasingly popular) place to visit
coming from scandinavia. there are so many different ways to do this area, but
today i’m sharing the way we recommend: travel with TALLINK & LUX EXPRESS!
first, to connect the cities by the sea – let’s talk tallink. this company has
an answer for everything in the baltics – from transportation between
cities, to hotels in the cities, they connect the dots & make things so simple.
we had two different friends who had recently traveled the baltics and
made us so excited to see this area, and when tallink offered to
show us some of their services, we were excited to experience it all!
first things first: major cruises through scandinavia and the baltics are some of the
priciest. ranging in the thousands, these cruises can cover the main cities but you
will pay a lot, you won’t get as much time in each place, and you’ll be in the tourist
rush in each city during the hours of the cruise ship being docked. it’s less than ideal.
tallink, on the other hand, offers simple one-way versions of a cruise between these
cities at a much lower price point, and on your own schedule. the ship is comfortable,
and it allows you to plan your own itinerary in the cities and make it work for you!
we used we used silja line to go from stockholm –> to helsinki overnight, which made
the best use of our time to travel while sleeping and arrive in the morning!
this was a tip from our friends david & mckelle to go overnight, so i was
happy when tallink offered this option … it’s the smartest use of time!
we then stayed in helsinki a few days, and hopped on another tallink
ship to connect helsinki to tallinn, estonia (a short two hour cruise). tallink
has a hotel in tallinn where we were invited to stay, and it was so convenient
being right next to the ferry terminals and a 10 minute walk from old town.
lastly, we went to riga with lux express (more on this below), but tallink has a
hotel there as well, which again simplified things so much. i told you they
have the answer for everything! :) we had a great experience with this company.
the overnight cruise may not be the highest end like a luxury cruise line, but it was
great for us and had all of the restaurants and entertainment of a basic cruise. we
had fun sipping (virgin) pina coladas, exploring the ship, and dancing of course!
(if you have my snapchat you saw chase’s moves on the dance floor.. haha!)
a one-night cruise is about the perfect amount of time if you ask me.
another benefit of taking the stockholm –> helsinki route is that you get about 3 hours
of sailing through stockholm’s archipelago and viewing the thousands of pretty islands
before reaching the open baltic sea. this provides another experience of seeing these
islands of stockholm, which is a must! we left on a warm evening so everyone was up
on the rooftop deck enjoying the sun and views for hours before going in. bonus!
^^ in the morning we woke up as we pulled into helsinki – amazing!
it’s such a nice way to travel, not even feeling like you are traveling!
(more coming from finland in the next post!)
following our time in helsinki which i can’t wait to share,
we took this nice ship over to tallinn to begin exploring the baltics.
it was so smooth, quick, and we had a really great lunch on it!
^^ hello, tallinn! (i also can’t wait to post about this city!)
the best part of tallink’s hotel is that it felt like a big cruise ship on land!
they are right at the port and have a huge swimming area, smoothies, etc.
the rooms are also so nice and modern, and SO reasonable since you’re
now in estonia! everything is a lot cheaper than you can even think.
we even had a sauna in our ROOM … what?! only in the baltics!
*adding in a quick vlog, now that chase finished it:
thank you to tallink for partnering with us! all opinions are
our own, and we fully recommend them as the way to connect
scandinavia and the baltics. now, for connecting the baltics:
we LOVED lux express! we’ve ridden a lot of budget buses in our
travels, and nothing compares to this company – anywhere!
we enjoyed these rides so much that we were always surprised
when we were at the destination cities. normally i am counting
the seconds of bus rides waiting for them to be over! not here –
we had clean & comfortable seats, a good selection of movies
and entertainment to choose from, (even TEDtalks!) and solid
wifi. they honestly made these long travel days feel like a breeze.
here’s chase enjoying the morning paper, and me choosing a TEDtalk! ^^
this company took us from tallin –> to riga –> to vilnius. the rides were
smooth, comfortable, reasonable, + simple. what more could you want?