We are now a week back from our vacation – and quite honestly: I would like to go back again. Back to Sweden and Finland. Back to the lazy vacation life, to these beautiful Nordic landscapes. I would like to go to Travemunde (20 minutes by car from here) and take the next Finnlines ferry to Sweden. Or to Finland. They both depart here. With the Sweden ferry from Travemunde to Malmo our journey started (one month ago and it seems to me that there is more time in between).
Across Sweden we drove from vacation cottage to youth hostel or hotel until after 11 days north of Stockholm in Kapellskar we boarded the Finnlines ferry to Naantali (right next to Turku). And there followed another two weeks in the archipelago of Turku, where the Finnish part of my family has a summer house on a small island. Back home it went from Helsinki to Travemunde. Once around the Baltic Sea we went in our summer holidays – and in the coming weeks I would like to write down some travel reports about Sweden and Finland for you. Today we start with our three ferry trips with Finnlines. There is no more relaxing way to start and end your vacation than a ferry ride (especially if you live so close to the ferry port, hehe ;-).
Last year I had already written about the ferry trip from Travemunde to Helsinki with Finnlines. In 29 hours the ferries travel comfortably across the Baltic Sea. For children there is a great play corner with ball pool, slide, table soccer, crawling tunnel and other toys – for us grown-ups a beautiful view, a cafe, a restaurant, a sauna with whirlpool and even a gym.
All this is also available on the ferry lines Travemunde-Malmo and Kapellskar-Naantali. The playgrounds are a little smaller, but the journey times are also a little shorter: from Travemunde to Malmo takes 9 hours. Three times a day the ferries drive on this route from Germany to Sweden and back. We prefer to take the night ferry – it leaves at 10 p.m. and arrives in Malmo at 7 a.m. for breakfast. But this time we took the ferry at 10 o’clock in the morning, which arrives in Malmo at 7 o’clock in the evening. What meant: We had a lot of time in the play corner. A lot of time. Even though the sun was shining, the Baltic Sea was slippery and there was only a gentle breeze: My boys couldn’t get out of the ball pool. We had actually also a cabin – but that did not interest them further.
And this is the ball pool on the Travemunde-Malmo line.
From Germany to Sweden by sea
At least we were able to lure them outside to do laps on the upper deck. The reason: The ferry has to pass through the archipelago on the way to Malmo oresund Bridge. A centimeter work, which I would not like to take from the captain and his helmsman. The bridge that connects Copenhagen and Malmo can be seen from afar. And the first thought: We’ll never fit through there. Even though we have driven this route so many times, this thought always comes back to us. And then miraculously it fits! Scarce! But it fits!
Just to see this bridge crossing is worth the day drive. Which, by the way, is also cheaper (and also goes without a booked cabin, which makes the price even cheaper). But for those who have few vacation days available, a night trip is the best: you arrive at your destination well-rested in the morning and can continue to your vacation destination right away.
If you arrive like us in the evening at 19 o’clock and would like to look for an accommodation nearby, I would like to recommend the small town of Lund, which is not half an hour drive from Malmo. Malmo is also great – but Lund is nice! A student town with a cute old town. And the accommodations are cheaper here than in Malmo. My tip for a comfortable overnight stay not far away from the highway: the Scandic Lund, where we spent our first vacation night. Scandinavian chic furnishings, spacious family rooms and a delicious breakfast buffet!
Kapellskar-Naantali as an alternative to Stockholm-Turku
A little more than 1000 kilometers of sailing lay ahead of us – from Malmo to Kapellskar, past beautiful Swedish countryside. You could theoretically do it in a day – but you’d be missing out big time. The small harbor Kapellskar is located in the northern part of the Stockholm archipelago near the really pretty town Norrtalje (which is worth a visit – if you want to cross from Kapellskar to Finland, you should plan a stop in Norrtalje!) and is really only a port. The funny thing: next to the harbor is a small beach, where you can shorten the waiting time for the ferry. The nearest cafe is in the small town Graddo, about 10 minutes drive away – very nicely located on an archipelago, this little detour is worth it if you get to the harbor too early!
This little cafe is about a 15 minute drive from the port of Kapellskar and a good place to while away the waiting time.
The ferry from Kapellskar to Naantali takes eight to nine hours and is the cheaper alternative to the ferries that run between Stockholm and Turku. By the way, Naantali is a very nice little town right next to Turku – and worth a stopover! Not only because it is very pretty. But also, because there on an island the Moominwelt is! But I will tell you about that
By the way, the ferry makes a stopover in Langnas at the Aland Islands. Where I would definitely like to get out and spend more time too. But this time we drove overnight – leaving in the evening and having breakfast in Finland in the morning. We got nothing from the mooring on the Alands. You sleep very well on a ferry – the low hum of the engines makes you pleasantly sleepy. On this ferry there is of course also a play corner – even a small mini playground outside on the sun deck.
I stayed up extra late and got up early to enjoy as much of the view as possible: Because the driving route is one of the best on the Baltic Sea. Only a short distance you can see open sea. Otherwise: Archipelago. 50 000 there are between Stockholm and Turku. Only small rocks for a change. Mal rocks with crooked jaws. Times gnarled trees and small wooden summer cottages. Small sailing ports. Because the Stockholm archipelago goes almost to the Aland Islands. And behind the Aland Islands the Finnish archipelago begins, stretching in front of the city of Turku. This ferry trip from Kappellskar to Naantali is also worthwhile as a day crossing, the view is magnificent!
With Finnlines from Helsinki to Travemunde
What you can do in the archipelago in front of Turku, I write down for you also again. From there, after two incredibly beautiful weeks with my father, we drove on to Helsinki. (By the way, what you can do there with children, I wrote down here) And from there we went, unfortunately much too early, on the ferry to Travemunde. A cozy way to end a vacation: eating, playing games, enjoying the view. Leisurely home with 20 knots.
Well, and here we are now back to our Round trip around the Baltic Sea. All the crossings can of course be booked separately – just Sweden-Germany or Sweden-Finland or Finland-Germany. If you want to make a round trip around the Baltic Sea like we did, it is worth booking a package – because then the total price is cheaper (our round trip costs with car and for us as a family of five with outside cabins about 1200 euros at peak season, inside cabins are cheaper by the way, if you choose day trips from Travemunde-Malmo or Kapellskar-Naantali, you also save). Another tip: It’s worth booking the meal package in advance, because it’s a bit cheaper than paying directly on board for the buffet in the restaurant. Smaller snacks are also available at the bar or in the cafe, but to be honest I find that eating out is always such a nice way to pass the time… is it the same for you??
Most of all, as I said, I would like to get back on the ferry and head north right away. Every time we walk in Travemunde and I see the Finnlines ferries passing us, I have wanderlust to Sweden or Finland…
*For transparency: This text is marked as advertisement and press trip, because Finnlines supported us with the research. Thanks for that!
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