Unforgettable Sightseeing Cruises from Savonlinna
Finland is sometimes called the land of a thousand lakes, and with good reason. At the heart of Europe’s largest lake district, Savonlinna is at the centre of Lake Saimaa’s waterways, connected by boat to many of eastern Finland’s towns.
Lake Saimaa, as Finland’s largest lake, is vast and beautiful, surrounded by natural forest scenery and rock formations, with nearly 1,700km of marked shipping channels and an uncountable number of popular boat routes. Come the summer, Savonlinna’s sightseeing cruises and boat tours are a fantastic way to get out onto the water and discover Saimaa’s charms.
The sightseeing cruises of Savonlinna are an integral part of its summer. It’s impossible to think of Savonlinna during the summer months without imagining its nostalgic, sunny steamboat rides across Saimaa’s soft waves, or breath-taking cruises by motorboat at sunset.
Savonlinna’s sightseeing cruises leave from the harbour by the market square. The lengths of lake cruises vary but typically last for around one and a half hours with many departures per day, approximately one every half an hour. It is no need to book in advantage if not travelling with a big group.
Sightseeing cruises amongst Savonlinna’s archipelago or around the city
The steamships S/S Paul Wahl and S/S Punkaharju capture the romance of the past with traditional steamboat cruises from Savonlinna. The sightseeing cruises sail through the realm of Saimaa’s wonderful, though endangered, ringed seals, through beautiful narrow passages and past the lush, forested islands of Lake Saimaa.
The stalwart medieval fortress, Olavinlinna castle, sits upon its rocky foundations surrounded by water and is an island unto itself, controlling the waterways near the old medieval borders. Sightseeing cruises make their way through under the shadow of the castle walls before taking you out into the lakes and passages of Savonlinna’s labyrinthian archipelago.
The steamship cruises leave from the passenger harbour by the market squares and last for about one and a half hours. The cruises each have a café and can arranged organised lunch, reserved in advance, as well as themed cruises. The steamships make for a wonderful, unforgettable experience.
You’ll also find various other ship cruises and motorboat tours operating from Savonlinna, with options to suit your needs. Larger vessels will have coffee shops for drinks and snacks, and many boats, big and small, can offer themed cruises and commentaries in various languages. A cruise in Lake Saimaa is a wonderful, unforgettable experience.
Route cruises from Savonlinna to Punkaharju and Kuopio
Some ships will make also make longer trips to other towns along the waterways of Lake Saimaa. The M/S Puijo runs the longest cruise route all the way to Kuopio, leaving in the morning and arriving in the evening, but there are also routes to Punkaharju, and the cruises stop at many places along the way.
Many operators will happily give exclusive use of their vessels for chartered cruises. This is ideal if you’d like the boat to yourself and a few friends, or for larger events such as parties, dinner cruises following a night at the opera, or business meetings.
As long as the lakes are free of ice, there’ll always be a sightseeing cruise for you at Savonlinna.