Penelope says that cruising to neighboring countries is a huge thing in Finland. In fact, some people take a cruise before they host a party, just so they can stock up on liquor at the duty-free store. She suggested we take a 16-hour, overnight ferry to Stockholm and I was so in. But since I was only in Europe for 9 days, we took an absurdly cheap, absurdly fast flight back from our Stockholm adventure. The cruise-flight combo worked out great. And I got the whole ferry experience.
We drove to Helsinki and set sail!
Our cabin was tiny but perfect for one night. The sofa flipped down to become a bed and a bed flipped down on the other side.
I wish I had taken more photos of the boat. I think this "youth lounge" was an attempt to prevent underage drinking, but it was totally empty.
Besides the expansive duty-free shop, the main attraction was the nightclub. We walked in and Penelope said, "Ohh, karoake!" But no, that off-key warbling was the band. I grew to love them. They really knew their way around a Pitbull song. Finns seem like a quiet lot, but they really lose their inhibitions on the dance floor.
And at midnight, there was a tap dance show. I started off on the skeptical side, but these kids' enthusiasm won me over. A Finnish tap dance crew dancing their hearts out to Pharrell's "Happy"? Or Michael Jackson's "Beat It" while wearing Lakers jerseys? I am glad I witnessed this. Talk about life-affirming. There's a lot about life I don't know, but I think if part of your time on earth included tap-dancing on a Finnish ferry, it would be a life well-lived.
Then we woke up and we were in Stockholm!