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Finland to St. Petersburg

Delfin Driver

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We are at the planning stages only but would be grateful for any advice on our summer trip to Scandinavia. We drove as far as Tromso last summer, spending six weeks in total driving through Norway, Sweden and Denmark and loved the ease of the whole trip.

We have booked a return trip from Harwich to Esbjerg but we really want to get to Helsinki, leave the van for a few days and travel either by train to St. Petersburg or go by boat. Any advice on the best way to do this would be much appreciated. Any advice on which line we should use to get from Stockholm to Turku or Helsinki? We know that the caravan Club has a tour in May where the vans are left on a site in Helsinki. We are insured with the Caravan Club so hopefully we would be able to sort that out.

We also intend to visit Tallin on a day trip- any pointers?

Many thanks for any help.

Cheers, Susan

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I know you looked in on my slightly tongue-in-cheek write-up of our trip to Finland this year. It may be worthwhile just running though it again for tips.




I can add only a little to that which answers your specific questions, but here goes:


I don't think there's much to choose between TallinkSilja and Viking for the crossing from Stockholm to Finland, but my research suggested travelling via the Åland islands, and that the evening cruise down the Stockholm Fjord could be spectacular. As we had a booking at Rastila Camping in Helsinki which we expected to take up about midday, the overnight sailing to Turku via TalinkSilja, and a drive to Helsinki on which we could stop and re-provision, suited us well (and the trip was indeed, spectacular).


Two tips on this; avoid weekend crossings if you want to save money, and get a bit of P&Q; If you online book TallinkSilja, make sure your Credit Card is OK for Estonian billing - mine initially bounced and left a booking "hanging" which took me a bit of time to sort out.


You've noted the potential insurance problems of leaving your 'van unoccupied for a few days, so no more on that. Rastila Camping in Helsinki are good over email, and have decent English. You could enquire as to the possibility of leaving the van there (I suspect they get a few enquiries along those lines) though I suspect they may want to charge the full fee.


Trips to St Petersburg can be arranged without a Visa on certain carriers, an example being:




AFAIK there are no opportunities yet for Visa-free travel by train (being mooted though) and Visas are quite expensive.


Tallin is a fairly easy day out from Helsinki, and I supspect you would find it easy to book once you were in Helsinki if you wanted to hedge your bets. Both Viking and TallinkSilja do crossings which take about two hours (and also do arrangements whereby you can overnight on one of their late boats, to give a full day in Tallin).


I can recommend our route to Helsinki (with a stop at Kobe, and particularly the very attractive "aire" at Vadstena).


Happy to converse via pm if any other questions.

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