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Finland`s Wonderful Waters A Visitors Guide

Apr 11, 2008
There is no better way to enjoy the Finnish summer than from a boat. The options are endless; you can take inland or shoreline cruises going through the vast Lakeland labyrinth, archipelago, locks or rivers.

The coastline of southern Finland provides a unique cruise route taking you from Mariehamn in the western land archipelago, through the past and present capitals of Turku and Helsinki, to the town of Kotka in the east.

Lakeland adventures in Finland range from short expeditions lasting a couple of hours to leisurely tours with cabin accommodation that may last several days. The choice of vessels includes quaint lake steamers and open-top motor cruisers ideal for sightseeing.

One popular option is to take a three night- cruise on Lake Saimaa with stopovers at some of Lakeland`s most charming towns. Alternatively, why not explore the Czars` route along the beautiful coastal line and visit one of the many beautiful islands scattered along the way.

In just one day you can experience the joys of the century old Heinvesi route, take a riverboat to a reindeer farm or embark on a sunny cruise along the West coast. If you fancy going further afield, there is an entire fleet of stylish, fast and safe cruise ferries to Stockholm and Tallinn.

If you`d rather explore the Finnish waterways by yourself, there are plenty of opportunities to hire sailing or motorboats. Finland`s coastline and vast network of inland waterways provide endless opportunities for boating of every kind. However, the rugged nature of the islands and the irregular shorelines present challenges for sailors, and you need to make various preparations if you are planning an expedition by sea.

If you need help, you can always contact the Finnish Maritime Administration, which produces charts for all different types of sailing. Once you set off, throughout Finland, you`ll find a wide range of guest and nature harbours. One particularly spectacular route takes you along the Saimaa canal and through eight locks, all the way via Russia to the Gulf of Finland.

Finland is a fantastic place to visit and I would highly recommend a trip out there for anyone wishing to sample a true European city. I for one love Finland and encourage everyone to visit this wonderful country at least once, you will be surprised. If you do visit, then perhaps you could stop by and say hello, there is always a warm welcome here in Finland.
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