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Itinerary advice please - Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn, St. Petersburg

Itinerary advice please - Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn, St. Petersburg

Old Apr 11th, 2012, 07:04 AM
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Itinerary advice please - Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn, St. Petersburg

We are planning a trip to these cities in August. Based on reviews here that say the ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki is a great experience, I thought we would fly into Stockholm, spend 2 nights, take the overnight ferry to Helsinki, spend the night, and then take the ferry to Tallinn and spend a night. The problem is getting from Tallinn to St. Petersburg. Because the St Peterline ferry does not run from Tallinn to St Petersburg on the day we would need it, we would have to take the ferry back to Helsinki and then take the train (I think there is one at 3pm) to St Petersburg. To avoid this backtracking, I looked into doing the trip: St Petersburg, train to Helsinki, ferry to Tallinn and ferry from Tallinn to Stockholm but again, the St Peterline ferry from Tallinn to Stockholm doesn't run on the right day and we would miss out on the Stockholm- Helsinki ferry that is supposed to be so good. Is the backtracking through Helsinki really so bad? Does anyone have any other thoughts on how to do this itinerary? Thanks in advance.
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Old Apr 11th, 2012, 07:33 AM
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Your original route is indeed backwards. You need to fly/get to your easternmost destination and work your way westward from there. Get to St. Petersburg first, then ferry over to Helsinki, ferry to Tallin, ferry to Stockholm.
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Old Apr 11th, 2012, 07:46 AM
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Why do you recommend this itinerary? I did find that the Tallink line does have ferries from Tallinn to Stockhom (and vice versa) every day so I could do this without backtracking but it would mean missing the Stockhom- Helsinki ferry that other posters have recommended. The Stockholm - Tallinn ferry is long. Is it pleasant? Thanks for your advice.
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Old Apr 11th, 2012, 01:42 PM
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>>>...we would have to take the ferry back to Helsinki and then take the train (I think there is one at 3pm) to St Petersburg
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Old Apr 11th, 2012, 06:07 PM
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You'll be visiting some wonderful places, but I'm confused by your itinerary.

> I thought we would fly into Stockholm, spend 2 nights, take the overnight ferry to Helsinki, spend the night

So only a day or 2 in Stockholm? Will you need to spend any part of that time recovering from jet lag? Even if not, that doesn't sound like enough to me. And only the better part of a day for Helsinki? You might want to consider giving it more time than that.

Hope that helps.
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Old Apr 11th, 2012, 08:25 PM
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Thank you for your replies. Right now I'm thinking of going Stockholm, ferry to Tallinn, ferry to Helsinki, train to St Petersburg. However, I will look into the possibility of going directly from Tallinn to St. Petersburg by train or plane. (I've read that the bus is 6-7 hours which does not appeal to me). If we can go directly to St Petersburg from Tallin, we might go Stockholm, ferry to Tallin, then direct to St Petersburg, skipping Helsinki which would give us an extra day for either Stockholm or St Petersburg. I realize we are a little tight on time and I am just trying to juggle seeing as much as we can in the time we have. I know we won't be able to see everything. From reading posts here, it seems most would say to skip Helsinki if we can only give it a day.
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Old Apr 11th, 2012, 11:13 PM
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Maybe I've missed it, but I don't see a reference to how long you will have in St. Petersburg, information that would seem pertinent to suggestions about how to plan your time in these cities.

For what it's worth, when deciding which city/cities to skip, or where to cut, I suggest taking future trips into consideration. For example, are you likely to travel to Moscow or Oslo or Copenhagen or ...? I try to maximize my time in cities that I don't think I will visit again and that aren't near other locations I expect to see. Conversely, I'm more willing to knowingly give myself too little time in a city that I am reasonably certain I might visit again.
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Old Apr 12th, 2012, 04:39 AM
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Right now, it looks like we will have 4 nights in St Petersburg and 2 in Stockholm. If we skip Helsinki, we can add an extra night. I have actually already been to Moscow, Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki on a previous trip many many years ago so in a way, this is a trip back to see some of what I missed the first time. The trip is complicated because we decided to add 3 nights in Amsterdam because that is a city I have always wanted to see and for some reason the airfare is practically the same if we fly back to the US direct from St Petersburg or if we stop in Amsterdam.
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Old Apr 12th, 2012, 06:45 PM
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So this is your first trip to St. Petersburg? Then you might do well to consider adding at least 1 day there, maybe more.
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Old Apr 13th, 2012, 07:36 AM
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Thanks for the info on Stockholm and thanks for the advice on St. Petersburg. If we skip Helsinki, we might add a day there but our flight to Amsterdam is in the evening so we essentially have 4 full days as it is. I have not yet decided on Helsinki because my DH prefers the idea of taking the ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki and then the train to St Petersburg rather than flying direct on Estonian Airlines from Tallinn to St Petersburg even though flying is cheaper and much shorter (assuming no flight delays). Hoping to decide this today so that I can book the tickets before the fares go up.
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Old Apr 17th, 2012, 02:02 AM
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Hi,

In my opinion the highlight with the ferry between Stockholm and Helsinki or Tallinn is the cruise through the amazing Stockholm archipelago. In this case it doesn't really matter which destination you choose.

If you need information about the TallinkSilja ferries on these routes you can check out this site: http://www.tallinksilja.com/en/

Baltic Queen and Victoria operate between Stockholm and Tallin. Silja Serenade and Silja Symphony operate between Stockholm and Helsinki.

Travel times Stockholm - Helsinki/Stockholm - Tallinn are more or less the same.

Baltic Queen is the newest ship in the fleet and according to their web site you can choose between exotic venues as the Ibiza disco, Sevilla bar, Cigar Club, Manhattan Piano Bar, the Tango lounge. For more local experiences you have the sauna, the Russian a la carte restaurant and the buffet (smorgosbord) restaurant. If you are on a budget there is a cafeteria and a supermarket.

In my opinion it is worth the money to book a sea side cabin.

Bon voyage!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 01:31 PM
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Remember you need a visa for St. Petersburg. Very expensive.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 11:03 PM
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If you buy a cruise with St. Peter Line from Helsinki, Stockholm or Tallinn you can stay in St Petersburg up to 72 hours without a visa. You can enter from one port, e.g. Helsinki and leave to another port, e.g. Tallin. Accomodation must be prebooked and a hotel voucher must be presented at immigration. You can find the exact rules for a visa free visit on St Peter Line's web site.
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Old Jul 1st, 2013, 09:15 AM
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Alicefe, how did your trip go? My wife and I are thinking about doing the same itinerary. Do you have any advice for us?

Thanks.
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Old Jul 15th, 2013, 09:01 PM
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Raglandttiger,
We had to postpone our trip and are going in a few weeks. I don't know when you are planning to go but I am happy to report or answer questions when we return later in August.
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