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Amazing day cruise to the Söderskär lighthouse

3.8.2020 Text: Helsinki This Week Photos: Header: Juho Kuva

Söderskär lighthouse is definitely one of the most beautiful places to visit in the Baltic Sea. Hop on a boat and take a day cruise through the amazing eastern archipelago of Helsinki to the outer archipelago of Porvoo.

At these barren islets in the Baltic sea, you can experience solitude and silence, as well as the beauty of wild nature and amazing open sea views. These islets are part of a nature reserve and you can visit the place only as part of an official Söderskär cruise.

The cruise towards the outer archipelago of Porvoo starts from the Market Square pier at 9:00. The M/S Söderskär heads first towards the harbour of Aurinkolahti and the route takes you to the eastern archipelago of Helsinki. The boat trip to Aurinkolahti takes a little over an hour and along the route you’ll first see the legendary Suomenlinna island on the far right, then the boat glides under the bridge of Hevossalmi. Actually, the bridge leads to Santahamina Island which is a military base, so don’t be alarmed if you hear explosions or shots firing, it’s just the Guard Jaeger Regiment that is training there.

The route runs pass the Villinki Island and the beautiful shores of Jollas. And before arriving in Aurinkolahti, there are many more picturesque islands and islets, some with the most peculiar names such as Butter tub, Virgin islands and Princess!

You can also join the cruise from Aurinkolahti, as many people do. The harbour is easy to find as it’s just next to the Aurinkolahti beach, a less than 10-minute walk from the Vuosaari metro station. The boat leaves this eastern harbour at 10:30.

Now, grab a cup of coffee or tea and some snacks; there’s a little café serving passengers on the boat. The trip continues now towards the lighthouse and it takes about an hour to get to the islets, depending on the weather.

Arriving to Söderskär, you’ll first notice the wild nature and the rocks and cliffs, the solitude and silence. Just a few red-painted cabins and then the lighthouse, quite alone but not forgotten. The lighthouse is over 30 metres high and it was built in 1862. Step inside and visit the exhibition with stories and photos of the lighthouse keepers and long lost sailors.

And for all you Moomin lovers out there: Author Tove Jansson was inspired by the Söderskär lighthouse when writing her Moomin story Moominpappa at Sea and you can see some of her sketches at the lighthouse. Climb to the top of the lighthouse and enjoy the views to the open sea.

On the cruise back to the city you can just sit and wonder the beauty of the Baltic Sea. The boat arrives back in Aurinkolahti around 14:30 and continues to the Market Square, arriving at 16:00.

Daily cruises to Söderskär lighthouse depart from the Market Square at 9:00 and the boat stops Aurinkolahti at 10:30. Return to Aurinkolahti at 14:30 and the Market Square at 16:00. There’s a café onboard. Daily cruises from Helsinki to Söderskär run between 1 June and 30 August.

Tickets from the Market Square 69 €/adults, 35 €/children 6-12 y, 0-5 y for free. Tickets from Aurinkolahti 67 €/adults, 34 €/children 6-12 y, 0-5 y for free.


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