Eckerö Line and m/s Finlandia ship in autumn 2020 + video

Blog collaboration: The trip was sponsored by Visit Estonia, Visit Tallinn, Tallink | Silja Line, Eckerö Line and Viking Line

What do Eckerö Line and Indivue have in common? – Despite of their names, they are both Finnish. And they both like to travel.

I had the pleasure of traveling from Tallinn to Helsinki on the Eckerö Line m / s Finlandia ship in September 2020 and getting to know this third shipping company, which has sailed between Helsinki and Tallinn. Eckerö Line has been sailing that trip for more than 25 years. Attached is a video of one recent by Eckerö Line –

Despite of the fierce competition between companies traveling in-between Helsinki and Tallinn, Eckerö Line, the only company under the Finnish flag, has managed to increase its amount of passengers year after year. M / S Finlandia started operating in 2013 and in the autumn of 2016 the ship already carried its 5th millionth passenger. In 2019 alone, Eckerö Line had about 1,890,000 passengers.

Last year, at the beginning of summer 2019, Eckerö Line acquired another vessel, Finbo Cargo, for its Helsinki-Tallinn route. The difference was that when m / s Finlandia departed from Länsisatama in Helsinki, Finbo Cargo travels from Vuosaari, Helsinki, to Muuga, Tallinn, carrying not only cargo but also car passengers.

Since boat cruises and sea tourism are so visible, one does not immediately think that at the same time almost 80 per cent of all consumer goods imported to Finland are transported by sea, and exports by sea account for about 90 per cent of total exports. Those figures include e.g. spare parts needed by industry and products made by them, as well as food and pharmaceuticals.

At this moment, however, the situation of ferry traffic between Finland and Estonia seems uncertain for the rest of this year. According to Eckerö Line, travel restrictions because of covid19 have made a deep dent in the business and customer numbers have reduced as much as 90%. Even if freight passes and business travel is allowed, it is not enough to secure a profitable business for shipping companies. In the worst case, without special measures, Finland could lose its national fleet and the country’s security of supply will deteriorate.

Corona protection measures on board in autumn 2020

Although there were no travel restrictions between Finland and Estonia in September 2020, m / s Finlandia looked quite deserted, as you can see in the video. Perhaps partly because of this, but also because of the safety measures taken by Eckerö Line for corona virus, I felt safe on board as a passenger.

Ships and terminals had intensified cleaning practices and surface disinfection. Security announcements reminded customers of the importance of keeping distance throughout the trip and when the ship arrives in port. In addition, digital displays on ship reminded of the importance of hand washing, and infographers on the same displays reminded of keeping a distance and the right way to cough up on one’s sleeve. The ship’s service points and checkouts had also tapes on the floor that were reminding to keep distance, and hand sanitizer was available at the service points.

At the check-in and on board, the customer could only pay by card and could not use the cash. Customer service points and checkouts had drop shields, and in addition, ship also had face masks for sale. Paper hand towels were found in the toilets for drying one’s hands.

In the Buffet restaurant, the customer was able to put on protective gloves, which made it much more hygienic to grip the buffet food.

Eckerö Buffet autumn 2020
Eckerö Buffet autumn 2020

From sea to city

The theme of M / S Finlandia’s buffet in September was From sea to city and it had, for example, Skåne potatoes, roasted root vegetables, beetroots and Aura cheese, trout fillet, shrimps and fennel butter sauce and cheese pie. Eckerö Buffet’s menu changes six times a year. You can see their full menu from September in the video attached.

All foods served were clearly marked, whether they were gluten-free and lactose-free or not, and in addition, gluten-free breads and other gluten-free products were also found on a separate serving table. The dessert table offered for example chocolate mousse, salted nuts and caramel, cloudberry pannacotta, lingonberry parfait with caramel syrup and always-so-delicious vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce. All foods were presented with their Finnish and English names.

Last year, Eckerö Line was awarded the most organic company in the Organic Championships of Finland. The use of organic in m / s Finlandia had increased by 70% during 2018. This competition was arranged for the sixth time and it is part of the Stairs to Organic program, which aims to promote the use of organic products in restaurant services. The program is maintained by the EkoCentria expert team belonging to the Savo Education Consortium. And even though I didn’t see any green organic stamps in the buffet menu, Eckerö Line does offer organic filter coffee on board, and in addition, organic porridge and organic rye bread are served for breakfast.

Eckerö Line cabin
Eckerö Line cabin

Recent information from the end of September says however, that Eckerö’s buffet will be closed during October 2020, but e.g. organic porridge in the ship will still be served. It is good to know that although there are currently changing leisure travel restrictions and quarantine requirements when you travel to Estonia, one can also enjoy sea views at the windowsill in the form of a day cruise in Eckerö Line. Such a day cruise does not involve landing in Tallinn and thus there are no quarantine requirements for passengers from Finland. In addition, a private cabin guarantees a safe and peaceful travel during the cruise.

In the video you can see what a standard cabin in m / s Finlandia looks like, what the themed buffet From sea to city was like in the autumn of 2020 and how great the m / s Finlandia’s performance stage looks like. One can comfortably enjoy the seascapes behind the stage while enjoying one’s drink.

You might also be interested in INDIVUE – Trip to Europe – it contains authentic photos and travel tips for both Finland and Estonia as well as the rest of Europe.

You can also read more Tallinn-themed posts directly here!

Read this post also in Finnish here.

Spa hotel near the port of Tallinn

Blog collaboration: The trip was sponsored by Visit Estonia, Visit Tallinn, Tallink | Silja Line, Eckerö Line and Viking Line

Have you been looking for a good spa hotel in Tallinn, close to the ship terminal, but still within a reasonable walk from the city? And maybe with a breakfast in the morning sun? If so, do check my next video –

Today’s video tells about the Tallink Spa & Conference Hotel, which is located near the D-terminal in the port of Tallinn.

The entrance to this hotel by the street is guarded by topless mermaids and the hotel is very clean and decorated with earthy colors and with modern touch. A distinctive feature of its overall look is its swimming pools and hot tubs, with direct view from glass windows from both the lift corridors and the hotel rooms.

I’ve never been comfortable in hotel rooms without a window out, but I found that if a glass-roofed pool peeks out from behind the window curtains, it helps the situation.

In the end, however, I only had time to sleep in my hotel room, so I can’t tell you more about the features of this spa, but in terms of sleep, this Tallink Spa & Conference Hotel got full points . The bed was comfortable, the room was pitch black, and there were no nocturnal distractions, at least in the middle of the week. So the customer did not need earplugs, which is very rare in many hotels. However, rumors say that the rooms on the top 5th floor would have had some air conditioning or something producing a little extra noise.

Maybe to compensate that, the guests of the 5th floor were able to enjoy their breakfast at their own stylish tables which were reserved for the customers on the 5th floor alone. They were bathing in the lovely morning sun while enjoying window views outside.

Yet there was another window table in that large and bright breakfast restaurant, and in fact it was an entire windowed corner with view of green trees and rays of the morning sun among the trees, and even a TV if you wanted to watch that. At 7am those tables in the restaurant were free, and otherwise also one was able to find plenty of space at that time. The buffet was nicely edible, meaning enough meatless, cake-free and gluten-free options, though I don’t remember seeing gluten-free bread. Still, it was a 4-star breakfast buffet. There were no visible corona protection measures, unlike in my previous hotel in Tallinn in July.

My hotel room was simply and elegantly decorated and stress-balanced in color. A blue-toned abstract acrylic painting enlivened my room and reminded me of the swirls of water, and the spa in where I was. The only problem in that room, and in fact in the entire hotel, during this short stay of mine, was that the floor of the small bathroom could have been vacuumed a little more carefully after the previous guest.

Otherwise, I left the hotel with very good memories. The answer to the question of whether I would stay overnight at this hotel again is yes. And that time it would be nice to test the hotel’s pools and the pool bar, as in the room there was only a small and separate clean shower area, where a bathtub did not fit in.

Breakfast table for the 5th floor customers
Breakfast table for the 5th floor customers

Spa-hotel reservation from Tallinn, Estonia

(Ad: The following paragraph contains 2 affiliate links marked with * an asterisk)

From the following link * Spa hotel in the port of Tallinn you will find more information about this Tallink Spa & Conference Hotel. You can also find hundreds of other accommodation options in Tallinn * here, if and when you are looking for a hotel or other accommodation in the capital of Estonia.

Note: By booking the hotel via these starred affiliate links, you are supporting the blogger, photographer and vlogger, but you will not pay any extra for your room.

INDIVUE – Trip to Europe contains inspiring and guiding travel experiences from all over Europe. More posts are on their way and you’ll be among the first to read about them through subscribing to this blog and following it in the social media!

You can read this post also in Finnish and more about Estonia here.