an afternoon cruise in finland’s archipelago with steam boat s/s ukkopekka

Finland ms Ukkopekka Cruise

Hello from Norway! Visiting this northern country has made me feel nostalgic towards my own motherland, Finland, and I wanted to share one of the unique treasures of Finland: the archipelago of thousands of little islands scattered along the coastal line. There are few ways to discover the archipelago such as biking or driving a car from island to island using little local ferries (the Archipelago Trail being a very popular route), sailing around the archipelago or taking an authentic steam boat cruise.

These photos actually trace back almost ten years to the City of Turku (but it still looks the same) where we took an evening cruises along the coast with one of the last remaining steam boats, called S/S Ukkopekka.
Finland M/S Ukkopekka Cruise

Unless the weather is very warm this experience can be a bit chilly even in the summertime as the wind normally blows quite a lot on the sea and the island where the boat makes a stop for a traditional archipelago-inspired buffet (with ingredients sources locally)  is out in the open with no trees or shrubs providing cover. The secret weapon to warm up in the island is to join in to some tango dancing to warm up after the meal!

It might be hard to believe judging from the photos, but the cruise we chose is an evening cruise to Airisto area with a stop in the island of Loistokari, but the country is up north and this time of the year it was still close to the midsummer and the nightless nights! Ukkopekka cruise Finland 2Along the route you’ll see the beautiful island of Ruissalo with its old wooden villas and golden beaches, little wooded islands with picturesque summer cottages perched by the water and wild, bare islets with birds. Pretty, unspoiled nature so close to the city and Finland at its best – the only way experience the whole archipelago to my opinion is taking the cruise ship to Åland or Sweden and biking the Archipelago route back, or vise versa. {see my posts here about Åland: cruise ships to Åland and Sweden, Thinking of Åland pt.1 and  Thinking of Åland pt.2}.

NOTE that the these cruises only run in the summertime from mid-May to late August from the centre of Turku at 7pm.

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