Lines feature fast ferry service to Tallinn

TALLINN, Estonia -- Tallinn is a coastal city easily reached by ship from Helsinki, Finland.

The Finnish capital is only 50 miles away from Tallinn, and several lines run ferries between the two cities.

Two lines, Tal-link and Silja, have vessels that make the crossing in 90 minutes, and these ships run at least three times a day each way in the summer. The service runs less frequently in the winter.

Tallink, based here, operates a catamaran, and Finland-based Silja's new ship, introduced this year, is the SuperSeaCat Four, a yacht-like vessel with the speed of a catamaran.

It is recommended to purchase a ticket ahead of time, particularly on morning trips from Helsinki to Tallinn, when vessels are more likely to be crowded.

The Tallinn ferry terminal is about a 15-minute walk northeast of the Old City, which is the city's chief tourist attraction.

For more information, visit Tallink on the Web at www.tallink.ee/eng, or check out Silja's Web site, at www.silja.com/english.

U.S. agents can book Silja ferries by calling Norwegian Coastal Voyage, which handles Silja's American bookings, in New York at (800) 323-7436.

A roundtrip ticket on an express service with either line should cost around $25. The price will depend on the season and the strength of the dollar.

A handful of companies, including the two detailed above, offer ferry services from Tallinn.

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