After a fantastic tour through Scandinavia it was time to continue our European road trip in the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. This required crossing the Baltic Sea on an overnight ferry from Stockholm, Sweden to Tallinn, Estonia.
This was our second overnight ferry since our trip began; our first was a voyage from Newcastle, UK to Amsterdam on a DFDS ship. You can read our review of that sailing here.
The Tallink terminal is not far from central Stockholm and there were plenty of street signs to help us find the way as we approached the terminal. We arrived at 15:00 for the 17:30 departure (passengers with vehicles are required to check in at least an hour early).
After a short queue we checked in and were given boarding passes that doubled as room keys. We then joined another queue and waited for the instruction to drive aboard.
About a half hour prior to the scheduled departure time we were waved on board the Victoria I. The lanes on the car deck were a bit wider than on the previous ferry which made the process of getting out of the car and grabbing our overnight bags a bit more pleasant.
After dropping our bags off in our cabin on level nine we went out on the deck to see the scenery as we cruised away from Stockholm. The ferry route passes by countless islands and several narrow passes, some of which are guarded by fortresses.
After a while we headed inside to check out the amenities. The Victoria I has numerous dining and options. The pub is right next to the child’s playroom, in fact it was close enough that we could drop them off and keep an eye on them while we enjoyed a drink.
During the summer months there’s a larger play area set up in the conference center on deck 6 that was a bit more suitable for our older kids.
A crew member led activities for the kids, including games, face painting, and balloon animal making.
For dinner we grabbed at bite in the ‘fast food’ restaurant where the kids were pleased to find some pasta carbonara. There are also pizza slices that are microwaved on request (unfortunately we can’t recommend these).
The ship has a large duty free store and prices seemed somewhat reasonable. The Stockholm to Tallinn route has a reputation as a sometimes rowdy “booze cruise” since many Swedes make the trip to Estonia to stock up on cheap alcohol. Fortunately we didn’t see any unruly behavior, maybe because we were traveling on a Sunday evening, or maybe because we didn’t stay up late in the clubs!
After a bit more playtime we retired to the cabin for bed. Our cabin was B-class, inside (no windows) with four bunks. Children under five don’t need their own bunk so our youngest had to double bunk (but at least he was free)! The beds were comfortable enough and we got a good night’s sleep.
We arrived in Tallinn right on schedule at 10am. About 15 minutes before 10am the car passengers were called down to the car deck. We had a bit of trouble catching an empty elevator down to level 3 and the stairways were extremely clogged! Eventually we did find an empty elevator and got back to our car a few minutes before the ramps were lowered for us to drive off the ship.
After exiting the ship it was a short drive to central Tallinn. There were no immigration or customs checkpoints to deal with since both countries are in a common immigration and customs area.
Our voyage on the Victoria I was a good experience overall. As with our prior cruise on DFDS, we wished there had been drop-off childcare available so that we adults could have enjoyed one of the nicer restaurants and some of the grown-up entertainment options. All in all, we felt the 226 Eur we paid was a good value for an on-time voyage in a clean cabin with comfortable beds.
Next time join us as we begin our journey through the Baltics!