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Tallink: Night boat happiness

The Baltic Sea is an ancient highway connecting east and west, goods and people for thousands of years. The mystery and romance of the Hanseatic League, privateers and Vikings floats over this expanse like a timeless fog. There is something special about boat travel on this great body of water.

Tallink continues in the tradition of sailing the Baltic Sea for business and pleasure. Tallinn Arts was lucky enough to recently experience the night cruise from Stockholm to Tallinn on Tallink's Baltic Queen. This magnificent vessel has everything to make your trip comfortable and exciting.

Having enjoyed the cozy pleasures of Stockholm's Old Town, we reached the Tallink ferry terminal easily on the metro. Here boarding was smooth and we were met with a friendly smile from the boat's staff. The Baltic Queen set sail at 17.30.

There are many options for accommodation on the Baltic Queen depending on your needs. For those seeking luxury or for a memorable occasion the executive suite cannot be beat. The executive suite is located on deck 9 and is spacious coming in at 31 square meters, including a double bed, sofa, armchairs, frig, telephone, flat screen TV, special breakfast and a private balcony. Here you can sip a drink with someone special and watch the sea go by.

The ship is loaded for dining options as well. We enjoyed the grand buffet which is aptly named. Here there is an endless array of food choices from salads and starters to main courses and deserts. Beer, wine and soft drinks are included. The seafood dishes were especially delicious for our meal.

After dinner it is time to unwind with a drink or two. The Baltic Queen hosts a number of bars for all tastes. If you want a mellow drink in a homey bar, the Sea Pub is the right choice for a great craft beer accompanied by live music, usually a talented singer with a guitar.

To step up the party theme, head for the night club Ibiza. This is where the real fun can happen. Dancing and drinking till dawn is de rigueur.

The Starlight Palace is where the big shows happen. Vegas style entertainment covers two levels with a large center stage and dance floor. If you want something a little more intimate, head for the Manhattan Piano Bar and chill. This can be a good spot to wind up the evening with a quiet drink or coffee.

Shopping is a big part of the experience on the Baltic Queen which offers duty-free purchases on everything from cognac to cologne. Need a new watch? You can get one here. How about a Swiss Army knife? Also available. High end fashion brands are on offer as well as candy and all manner of food from the shops.

But one of the best things about the Baltic Queen is just to sit, relax and watch the sea. The leisurely pace of the journey allows enough time to do all of the activities Tallink offers. Because the boat sails in late afternoon, it is the perfect time to start your adventure with dinner. You then have all night to shop, party and recreate. The next morning there is plenty of time for a nice breakfast before the famed silhouette of Tallinn comes into view. The breakfast buffet is amazing with everything you could want from traditional eggs and sausages to fish, cold meats, cheese, muffins and cereals. By the time you arrive at the Port of Tallinn, you will feel the warm glow of contentment with plenty of nice memories and probably at least a few bags of well chosen items.

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