The Saimaa Canal

The Saimaa Canal runs from Lake Saimaa, via the city of Vyborg, to the Gulf of Finland and is the most historically important canal in Finland. The Canal opened in 1856 and significantly influenced the overall industrialisation of Eastern Finland. The Canal is 43 km long and has eight locks, three on the Finnish side and five in Russia. In 1968, the canal was inaugurated in its present-day form. Please come join us on a two-hour canal cruise or cruise all the way to Vyborg!

Visa-free visits to Russia

You can take a cruise from Lappeenranta to Vyborg or from Lake Saimaa to the Gulf of Finland through the Saimaa Canal. Saimaa Travel (Saimaan Matkaverkko) travel agency organises popular, visa-free cruises to Vyborg and Saint Petersburg. The visa exemption applies to all citizenships. You have to book the visa-free cruises a few days before the trip.

    There has been traffic between Lake Saimaa and the Gulf of Finland since 1856.
    The old “Imperial Canal” had 28 locks.
    There are 8 of them in the Saimaa Canal, today.
    The trip to Vyborg takes about 5.5 hours on the Canal.
    You can learn more about the history of the canal at the Saimaa Canal Museum, which is open in the summer.