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The only way to cross the Baltic Sea – Silja Line

Silja Line Serenade

Silja Line Serenade

Travelling on a ferry across the Baltic Sea between Finland and Sweden is always like a mini getaway. Many of the Finns and Swedes are used to this journey, often an overnight voyage, and do it either for the sake of the cruise itself or perhaps to spend a day in the neighbouring capital.

We, our family of 2 adults and 3 children, had our car packed to its every inch with three bicycles aboard plus a roof box. The headlights were pointing more towards the solar system than the road ahead. In other words, our journey would continue after the ferry crossing from Helsinki to Stockholm towards a more southern destination and a winter escape.

We were all looking forward to our start of the journey aboard of M/S Silja Serenade. We drove to the harbour and almost without stopping at the check-in gate (the clerk had got all our travelling information from our car number plate when we had been approaching the check in and printed everything ready!) we had our boarding passes and cabin keys in our hands and were ready to drive the car onto the ferry.

For the family of 5 we had booked a family cabin – a more spacious alternative with 4 bunk beds and a sofa bed. The cabin also had a TV and a fridge with beer and cool drinks provided. We left our belongings (didn’t unpack the whole car!) into the cabin and left to explore the small floating town with its promenade, shops, many restaurants and entertainment.

The youngest of the children were keen to find the children’s play area, which has got Play Station and TV areas, as well as a ball pool with a octopus slide. There is a separate section for the smaller children, too, with a ball pit and a slide, however in a slightly smaller scale. There one can also find baby changing facilities. Our kids easily slotted into their cruise entertainment and on top of the PS games and ball pool they were busy making paintings to enter the drawing competition. Our daughters were over the moon excited when Moomin character and his friend Little My appeared outside the play room the next morning. They were entertaining the young ones and drew the winners of the drawing competition. Our youngest one was one of the lucky ones!

There seems to be a lot going on entertainment wise on these cruises: live music, shows and dancing – something for everyone. We saw a thrilling air-acrobatic show on the ship’s promenade but unfortunately missed the Rock’n’Roll Party show as we had booked a late table on one of the restaurants.

We dined, I presume, in one of the most popular restaurants of the ship – the buffet. The buffet has got everything you can think of and even more! There is a table for starters, cold meats, fish, salads, warm dishes, desserts, cheese, bread, kids table, Tex Mex, and all the drinks are included. They serve beer, wine, soft drinks, tea and coffee. They have such variety of beautifully presented food that it is amazing – a heaven for us food lovers! You just need to be prudent when collecting your food – you only take the smallest amount of everything you want to taste. That way, you will manage all the way to the end – the dessert table. This was definitely the best part of my cruise!

After the meal the family was content and almost ready to go back to the cabin to prepare for good night’s sleep. We wandered around the duty free shops looking at all the beautiful things they sell on board, bought sweets for the car trip and wasted a few coins in the slot machines, before we made our way to the cabin deck.

We were left with a feeling of having had a real luxury evening onboard of M/S Silja Serenade.

Next morning we had breakfast in one of the ship’s cafeés. At 9:30 local time on Stockholm side we drove our car off the ship and directed the bow towards South.

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