Cruises to Tallinn

1,036 Reviews
Tallinn (Photo:kavalenkava/Shutterstock)

About Cruising to 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?).

  • More about Tallinn

  • Why Cruise to Tallinn?

  • Tallinn Cruise Port Facilities?

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MSC Poesia
MSC Poesia

11 Night
Europe - Northern Cruise

501 Reviews
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Norwegian Dawn
Norwegian Dawn

12 Night
Europe - Baltic

3,012 Reviews
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MSC Poesia
MSC Poesia

10 Night
Europe - Northern Cruise

501 Reviews
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Nieuw Statendam
Nieuw Statendam

13 Night
Jewels Of The Baltic

267 Reviews
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MSC Cruises

12 Night
Best Of Scandinavia

2,099 Reviews
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12 Night
Europe - Baltic

3,012 Reviews
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12 Night
Best Of Scandinavia

2,099 Reviews
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10 Night
Europe - Baltic

3,012 Reviews
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14 Night
Baltic & Scandinavian Capitals: Lithuania & Latvia

109 Reviews
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Cruise Critic Favorite

13 Night
Best Of Scandinavia

2,099 Reviews
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10 Night
Europe - Northern Cruise

282 Reviews
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11 Night
Kiel Canal & The Baltic Sea

166 Reviews
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14 Night
Jewels Of The Baltic

109 Reviews
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7 Night
Europe - Northern Cruise

282 Reviews
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9 Night
Europe - Baltic

3,012 Reviews
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More about Tallinn

Why Cruise 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.


Tallinn Cruise Reviews
The port of Tallinn is located at the foot of the medieval town. Wifi is free at the port. The city can be visited on foot, since almost all the attractions are in the medieval town and it has many pedestrian streetRead More
Roxane1
Tallinn was another highlight of the cruise, it was extremely picturesque. Again, it was an easy walk from the ship and everything is contained within the city walls. It was the cheapest of the cities we visited so IRead More
Billynick
It was very hot the day we visited Tallinn. Nice city but no real outstanding landmarks.Read More
ElTeeCruise
There was a lot to see that was walkable from this port - markets, churches, etc. There were many pure linen items at nearby shops, which I thoroughly enjoyed. This was a clean, safe port. Read More
Enjoying the Journey

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