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Cruises to Tallinn

Tallinn (Photo:kavalenkava/Shutterstock)
Tallinn (Photo:kavalenkava/Shutterstock)

About Tallinn

Estonia's capital city is only 53 miles across the Gulf of Finland from Helsinki, but for nearly 50 years, as part of the Soviet Union, it was ideologically a world away. That ended in 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed and Estonia became the Baltic's smallest independent nation.

Today, thanks to its strategic position on the Gulf, Estonia's largest city is thriving. Tallinn, with a population of 451,000, is not only a major port but also a major industrial center. Timber, chemicals, electronics and information technology are all booming industries. Voice-over-Internet calling service Skype, of all things, was developed in Estonia. One of its creators: Jaan Tallinn.

The contemporary city of Tallinn is Scandinavian sleek mixed with Soviet-era concrete. But the attraction for cruise passengers is the remarkably restored, medieval Old Town, which despite a plethora of shops catering to locals and tourists, still feels a part of the 1400's because of the cobblestone streets and medieval architecture that has remained largely unchanged for over 600 years. Walk the winding streets, past ancient towers and the old city wall, and you'll feel like you're taking a step back into a medieval storybook. It is no wonder that the old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Tallinn is artsy and a delightful place to hang out and people-watch from one of the sidewalk cafes. The folks there are no longer restrained, and amid the fairy tale surroundings there is an "anything goes" ambience. The shops, especially the galleries and antiques venues, serve up interesting finds, such as elaborate weavings from textile artists and modern art from local painters; antique shops feature Communist memorabilia (Lenin paperweight, anyone?).

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DAY 1: Copenhagen

9 Night
Cruise to Tallinn

Leaving:
Copenhagen
Visiting:
Rostock, Tallinn ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Copenhagen

10 Night
Cruise to Tallinn

Leaving:
Copenhagen
Visiting:
Rostock, Gdansk ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Amsterdam

10 Night
Cruise to Tallinn

Leaving:
Amsterdam
Visiting:
Rostock, Tallinn ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Copenhagen

12 Night
Cruise to Tallinn

Leaving:
Copenhagen
Visiting:
Tallinn, St. Petersburg ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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53 Night
Cruise to Tallinn

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Bar Harbor, Saint John ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Tallinn

Leaving:
Copenhagen
Visiting:
Berlin, Tallinn ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Tallinn

Leaving:
Stockholm
Visiting:
St. Petersburg, Helsinki ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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10 Night
Cruise to Tallinn

Leaving:
Stockholm
Visiting:
Helsinki, St. Petersburg ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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Cruise Critic Favorite

12 Night
Cruise to Tallinn

Leaving:
Amsterdam
Visiting:
Berlin, Helsinki ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Tallinn

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Oslo, Copenhagen ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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12 Night
Cruise to Tallinn

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Gothenburg, Ronne ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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9 Night
Cruise to Tallinn

Leaving:
Copenhagen
Visiting:
Rostock, Helsinki ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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13 Night
Cruise to Tallinn

Leaving:
Amsterdam
Visiting:
Tallinn, St. Petersburg ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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9 Night
Cruise to Tallinn

Leaving:
Copenhagen
Visiting:
Aarhus, Gdansk ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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11 Night
Cruise to Tallinn

Leaving:
Stockholm
Visiting:
Helsinki, St. Petersburg ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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8 Night
Cruise to Tallinn

Leaving:
Copenhagen
Visiting:
Stockholm, Tallinn ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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59 Night
Cruise to Tallinn

Leaving:
Stockholm
Visiting:
Helsinki, St. Petersburg ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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8 Night
Cruise to Tallinn

Leaving:
Copenhagen
Visiting:
Rostock, Pionersky Port ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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27 Night
Cruise to Tallinn

Leaving:
Stockholm
Visiting:
Turku, Helsinki ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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26 Night
Cruise to Tallinn

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Azores Islands, Brussels ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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11 Night
Cruise to Tallinn

Leaving:
Copenhagen
Visiting:
Oslo, Berlin ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Tallinn

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Oslo, Copenhagen ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Tallinn

Leaving:
Amsterdam
Visiting:
Aarhus, Rostock ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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12 Night
Cruise to Tallinn

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Oslo, Copenhagen ...
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Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
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30 Night
Cruise to Tallinn

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Skagen, Klaipeda ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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Why go to Tallinn?

Pros:

Tallinn's Old Town dates to medieval times and is a sight to behold, especially in such a contemporary city

Cons:

Cobbled streets and a number of steep hills can make walking a bit of a challenge without the right shoes

Bottom Line:

This city's streets are as interesting to explore as its colorful and long history

Tallinn Cruise Port Facilities?

If you don't get your shopping done in town, there are a number of shops next to the cruise terminal that sell locally made souvenirs at competitive prices. The terminal, built in 2012, has a tourist information desk, a currency exchange and a bar. There's also free Wi-Fi.

Good to Know?

Wear comfortable shoes because the streets are mainly cobbled and quite uneven. Plus, there are a lot of steep hills. As with any tourist center, beware of pickpockets.

Getting Around?

Cruise lines typically run shuttles between the pier and the edge of Old Town; taxis also line up at the terminal. Taxis will generally take U.S. dollars as well as euros, but it's best to negotiate the price in advance. The hop-on, hop-off Tallinn City Tour bus service takes in most of Tallinn's highlights. Once in Old Town, the going is on foot; several of the streets are pedestrian only. In addition to the tourist booth at the cruise terminal, there is an information center at Kullassepa 4 in Old Town.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

Estonia has been a member of the European Union since 2004. It adopted the euro as its official currency in 2011. For updated currency conversion figures, visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com. The cheapest way to get money is to use your debit card at an ATM.

Language?

The official language is Estonian. Most tourist shop employees speak English, however. English is taught from first grade on, so it is widely understood by young people. Many buildings in Old Town have informational signage in both Estonian and English.

Where You're Docked?

Cruise ships dock at the commercial port, which is a 15- to 20-minute walk on flat pavement to the heart of Old Town. The cruise season lasts from mid-May to mid-September, with roughly 300 visits a year by cruise ships. The port can accommodate some of the industry's largest ships, thanks to new pier infrastructure. There is also a movement afoot to develop a Christmas markets season for cruise passengers, which would extend the cruise season from late November to the middle of January.


Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination

  • 2017 Top-Rated Baltic & Scandinavia Destinations
  • 2016 Top-Rated Baltic & Scandinavia Destinations
  • 2015 Top-Rated Baltic & Scandinavia Destinations

Tallinn Cruise Reviews

Norwegian Getaway
teng
Sail Date: Oct 2019
Aside from Copenhagen, Tallinn was an all-day rain as well. We made a huge mistake taking the taxi going to Old Town, driver immediately charged us 20 euros. We lately found out about the app, Bolt (you can also use... Read More
Norwegian Getaway
debbeck
Sail Date: Sep 2019
We took a tour we booked through a private tour company. Tallinn has a long history and is proud of their heritage. The Soviet years were difficult but they are not independent and doing well. The Medieval... Read More
Norwegian Getaway
Hayley N
Sail Date: Sep 2019
Really liked Tallinn. Very good tour guide.... Read More
TomCat2019
Sail Date: Aug 2019
Loved Tallinn. Had a great laid back sort of vibe.... Read More
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