Saimaa is the biggest lake in Finland with nearly 15 000 km of shoreline, over 13 000 islands, endangered animals, and rich cultural history. No wonder it’s often referred as the treasure of Eastern Finland.
There is no better way to experience Saimaa archipelago than from onboard a cruise ship.
Karelia Lines runs two daily cruises from Lappeenranta during the summer season. The 3-hour dinner cruise doesn’t only take you to Suur-Saimaa, but also allows you to try some of the region’s best delicacies while enjoying the views of endless shorelines and clear blue waters of the Lakeland. All you have to do is to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.
Idyllic M/S Camilla
M/S Camilla was built in France in 1987. However, in the summer of 1990, it moved to its new home port in Lappeenranta, where it has been operating ever since. This idyllic cruise liner is the biggest inland water cruiser in Finland. The ship features à la carte restaurant with seating for over 150 guests. The menu is inspired by local dishes accompanied with great wine selection.
The upper deck of the ship features a bar with large beverage sections and snacks and of course, spectacular views. Those who love the breeze can enjoy the sun on the ship’s large sundeck.
Cruise tickets can be bought from Lappeenranta port before departure. More information about timetables and tickets can be found here: www.karelialines.fi/eng/
Dinner Inspired by Local Delicacies
The à la carte restaurant on the lower deck makes a perfect venue for dinner while enjoying the views of Saimaa archipelago. Wide selection of local delicacies, seafood dishes, meats, burgers and vegetarian options ensure there is something for everyone. The kids menu includes children’s all-time favorites like Fried Frankfurters and French fries.
If you are up for a local starter, Fish Platter à la Camilla is a must! Fried vendace, cured salmon, smoked roach and skagen is a combination to die for. Treat yourself with a glass of sparkling wine or local lager.
There is nothing better than fresh fried vendace. This is one of the most popular summertime dishes in Finland. Accompanied with mashed potatoes and dill pickled cucumber, this is Finnish summer food at its best.
If you wish to go for something a little bit lighter, try Fried Whitefish with dill barley risotto accompanied with seasonal vegetables.
Meat lovers will enjoy the delicious Overnight Cooked Brisket accompanied by summer cabbage, roasted potatoes and topped with red wine sauce.
If you have any questions about the menu, the ship or the Saimaa archipelago in general, don’t hesitate to ask the friendly staff for more details.
Spot the World’s Rarest Seal
During the 3-hour cruise, you will get to see some of the most beautiful views of Lake Saimaa. If you are lucky, you might spot one of the world’s rarest seals, Saimaa Ringed Seal. This endangered species can only be found at Lake Saimaa and currently there are only around 400 individuals living in the region.
Sunset at Lake Saimaa
When cruising back to Lappeenranta, climb up to the upper deck to have a glimpse of Lappeenranta Fortress and the port at sunset. There is no better ending for your Saimaa experience.
By Kaisa Suojanen