|Finlandia and Explorer|
On a side note, as I was enjoying my time on board the newest ship in the Eckerö Line fleet, her ex-fleetmate Translandia ended her final journey at a beach in India. She was still here much after my interest started, leaving the Baltic Sea only a little bit more than a year ago. Farewell.
|<moment of silence>|
I've also determined that travelling solo may as well be the best kind for me, because when it turned out that I'd be doing the trip alone, I felt a burden fall from my shoulders. No need to take account of anyone's needs and endless possibilities and ability to do whatever I feel like, and I usually feel like either taking ridiculously long and aimless walks or getting in touch with locals and/or fellow travellers. Long before this trip I had a feeling that I won't be alone during the trip, and the feeling was justified. Hardly an hour after my departure from Tallinn I met the person who ended up accompanying me during most of my stay in Helsinki. Briefly, I was hanging out with someone from the other side of the gulf for a big part of the trip. I dare say it was the best option for me because I really don't feel like a tourist in Helsinki anymore. I spent the night at Stadion hostel, which is a good place to consider if you're not seeking luxury.
But when it comes to Finlandia, based on my experience, the timetables really are the only con. The price-quality ratio is definitely by far the best. As I boarded, I immediately noticed that the design of the interior is quite interesting compared to any other ship I've been on. The ship is also very simple; there are no dead ends and it's impossible to get lost because there are signs and deck plans everywhere on the walls and floors, neatly complementing the design. That made getting around the ship enjoyably easy.
In addition to that I saw the sundeck being washed before the departure and adding the fact that most information was freely available in four languages, I think I'm right to say that visible effort is put into making the ship a pleasant environment for everyone.
|First thing I saw after boarding|
|Funnel and.. what a surprise, another sign.|
There was always live music at least in one place on the ship and the general atmosphere was very nice. Something that probably applies to all ships of her class (adding Superstar of Tallink and the Moby Line ferries) is the great view from the large windows at the bow and stern.
Of course I couldn't let go of a chance to take lots of photos at sea, especially since the traffic is quite heavy nowadays. In fact, as we were approaching Tallinn I didn't really get a chance to go inside between the passing ships.
|A tugboat towing a barge|
|Explorer, Balmoral and L'Austral in Tallinn|
|Ryndam, Princess Anastasia, Star and Norwegian Star in Helsinki|
|Silja Europa arriving in Helsinki|
|Explorer near Tallinn|
|Superstar passing Eurodam|
|Viking XPRS leaving Tallinn|
|HSC Merilin doing the same|
|The gorgeous AIDAbella, also outbound|
|Celebrity Infinity in Tallinn|