A few weeks ago I decided to cruise from Turku to Mariehamn on the Åland Islands for a short weekend brake and to explore the city a little bit. Was it worth to visit Mariehamn? Well, taking one of the ferries (in my case Viking Line) from Turku to Mariehamn is already worth to do the trip.
It’s actually also possible to do some sort of picnic cruise – meaning you will be on the ferry for 12 hours and enjoy a breakfast, lunch or dinner buffet. As I planned to stay one night in Mariehamn I decided to have a lunch buffet (costing around 30 EUR) on each way with Viking Line – highly recommended. The food tastes good and you have tons of food options to choose from.
Here you can see the Viking Grace – the latest addition to the Viking fleet and one of the first ships which runs on gas rather than diesel oil. The interior of the Viking Grace is also splendid and there are even chcolate bonbons waiting for you in your cabin (in case you have booked one). There is also some sort of compass projected from the ceiling of the cabin to the bed which gives a really nice impression.
On board of Viking Grace, I enjoyed a nice view towards the castle of Turku which is also worth a visit. Having left the harbor of Turku the journey through the Baltic sea started. There are plenty of islands on the way to Åland. For me the Åland Islands are the Carribean of the North.
Arriving in Mariehamn I immediately spotted the museum ship Pommern which I was visiting the next day. Once you arrive in Åland you will come accros this Welcome sign. Then I passed by the Saint George’s church and the Tourist Office in Mariehamn where I got a city map and some advice on what to visit.
Unfortunately, it seemed that I chose the wrong day to come to Mariehamn as the main shopping street was completely empty on this Saturday.
On a signpost at the end of the shopping street were some indications about the distances to other cities in the world from Mariehamn. New York for example is 3721nm away. Then I also passed by the high school of Mariehamn and strolled along the shore of Mariehamn. There was a nice sailing ship next to the Maritime Quarter of Mariehamn waiting for it’s crew to return. The Maritime quarter of Mariehamn which is a museum and also sells local handmade products. Unfortunately, it was closed on this Sunday. The sailing boats contributed to a nice atmosphere at the maritime quarter how it was in old times to sail.
My next stop was the Åland Maritime Museum which I found excellent and which I would recommend to visit anyone coming to Mariehamn and where I explored the ship museum Pommern.
To conclude, it was a nice weekend trip. I was a bit disappointed however that all the shops were closed in Mariehamn on Saturday.
Fortunately, there were some interesting museums to visit. Next time when I am going to visit Aland I am planning to explore the area outside of Mariehamn including a visit to the castle and some hiking or biking.