Discover the Beauty of Aland, A Perfect Summer Destination

Estonia, Aland and Stockholm are attracting Finnish holidaymakers this summer too. Familiar destinations offer travellers many new and exciting things; we’ve compiled a list of the hottest tips from travel agencies.

Viking Line’s booking figures indicate that nearby areas such as Estonia, Åland and Sweden will be especially popular with Finns this summer. Mariehamn and Stockholm are easy to get to by boat and have traditionally been popular summer destinations. People can easily continue their summer travels from there to places farther away, and this year, travellers are drawn not just to the two capital cities but also elsewhere in these neighbouring countries to a greater extent.

“The trend is for people to travel locally, but for a longer period. When it comes to holidays nearby, people also invest in good food and experiences. We can see this on board our vessels. For many people, a sea voyage is one part of their local travels that they really look forward to—perhaps even the highlight of their summer. For instance, Viking Cinderella, which is back in service on the Helsinki route, is attracting travellers, while many still want to experience the new Viking Glory vessel,” says Viking Line’s Commercial Director, Minna Tuorila.

Åland inspires visitors with a popular film and golf

“The film Stormskärs Maja, which has been a big hit, has clearly increased interest in Åland for Finns, and many want to experience the unique landscape in the film. Golfers also travel to Åland, – the seaside Slottsbanan was recently named Finland’s best golf course. I’m convinced we have a busy summer ahead of us on the Mariehamn route,” says Minna Tuorila.

Viking Line’s two climate-smart vessels, Viking Glory and Viking Grace, depart from Turku for Åland in the morning and evening. For people who want to travel to Åland during the summer season, it’s a good idea to book well in advance since, while the island offers many accommodation options, capacity is limited.

Double capacity to Estonia during peak summer

Meanwhile Estonia—not just the city of Tallinn – is increasingly part of Finns’ holiday plans. Finns who sail across the Gulf of Finland no longer just stop in Tallinn. A growing number choose Estonia’s summer capital Pärnu or Tartu, a 2024 European Capital of Culture, as their destination. Many then continue on from Estonia to Latvia, Lithuania or all the way to Central Europe.

“In order to provide space for everyone who wants to sail, we will double our capacity during peak summer. We have three daily departures to Tallinn, and four on Friday. Our big cruise ships, Viking Cinderella and Viking Gabriella, will make additional sailings, alternating in service every other day on the Tallinn route,” explains Minna Tuorila.

International tourists interested in Finland

Based on booking figures, Viking Line predicts that the number of international passengers will increase significantly this summer.

“After a couple of quieter years, Finland is drawing tourists again, and in particular, many people from Central Europe travel on the Helsinki routes to enjoy the Turku archipelago. Finland is no longer considered to be as expensive as before, and with the country now a member of NATO, our security situation has improved in the eyes of Europeans,” says Minna Tuorila.

Frontrunners for favourite destinations

We’ve put together a list of the best tips from different travel agencies for summer destinations by boat.

Aland TOP 3

  1. Stormskars Vardshus is a restaurant and the childhood home of Anni Blomqvist, the well-known writer of the classic Stormskärs Maja novels, and is located on the island of Simskäla. There are also cabins in the Åland islands where people can live on their own islet, like the character Stormskärs Maja.
  2. Slottsbanan golf course was named Finland’s most beautiful as well as best planned and maintained golf course in 2024. Åland is continuously being developed as a golf destination.
  3. Kobba Klintar Pilot Station is a popular attraction located 10 minutes from Mariehamn and is open to visitors every day during the summer. On the island, there is a pilot’s cabin from 1862 and a pilot’s house built in 1910.

Stockholm TOP 3

  1. Fjäderholmarna is a group of islands just outside Stockholm, located 20 minutes by ferry from the city centre. There are idyllic small shops here as well as the popular restaurant Fjäderholmarnas krog.
  2. Rosendal Palace on the island of Djurgården is a beautiful palace built in the European Empire style for King Karl XIV Johan. Rosendal fascinates visitors with its architecture and interiors, but also its lovely garden.
  3. Hammarbybacken offers activities for daredevils of every age. Children will be excited by the climbing tower, summer skiing on a grass slope or mountain tubing, riding in a giant inflatable ring.

Tallinn TOP 3

  1. Tall Ships Races Festival brings together tall ships from around the world to compete on the Baltic Sea in July. During the weekend, people can also admire historical sailing ships and enjoy a varied programme on the seashore.
  2. Seaplane Harbour (Lennusadam), part of the Estonian Maritime Museum, underwent renovation before re-opening in mid-May. The museum now serves families even better than before. For example, a brand-new experience area for children ages 1–3 is now open.
  3. The exhibit The Mystery of Banksy – A Genius Mind features the production of the iconic social critic and British street artist Banksy. The collection, consisting of 150 works, is on display at the pop art museum PoCo starting July 5.

Estonia TOP 3

  1. Muhu and Saarenmaa are two islands in western Estonia that are popular with tourists. On Muhu, there is a vineyard run by the Finn Peke Eloranta as well as beautiful Pädaste manor house. Vilsandi National Park is known for its wild orchids and seals.
  2. Tartu is the oldest city in the Baltic countries, with deep roots in European culture and the history of science. The Estonia National Museum is also located in Tartu, which is a 2024 European Cultural Capital.
  3. Eastern Estonia attracts visitors with its nature, culture and history. The new theme routes created especially for Finns run past beautiful nature spots and cultural attractions from the Gulf of Finland to Lake Peipus. Another new destination is the Aidu watersport centre, which opens in May.

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