The route between Sweden (Stockholm and Kapellskär), Åland (Mariehamn, Långnäs) and Finland (Turku, Helsinki) is a popular entertainment cruise. Routes Tallinn—Stockholm and Riga—Stockholm, both operated by Tallink, are popular.
Baltic routes are mostly trafficked by new ships purpose-built for the routes. Older cruiseferries from the Baltic serve as ferries on other seas, or in some cases, as cruise ships
Generally GTS Finnjet of 1977 is considered to have been the first cruiseferry, she was the first ferry to offer cruise-ship quality services and accommodations, and the first generation of cruiseferries operating from Finland to Sweden were highly influenced by Finnjet's interior and exterior designs. After the fall of the Soviet Union the route connecting Helsinki to Tallinn became highly lucrative, which led to Estonia-based company Tallink to grow and rival the two long-established companies (Viking Line and Silja Line). Eventually Tallink purchased Silja Line in 2006.
The size of Baltic cruiseferries is limited by various narrow passages in the Stockholm, Ålandian and Turku archipelagos, meaning ships not much in excess of 200 meters cannot traffic on these routes. The single narrowest point is Kustaanmiekka strait outside Helsinki, although ships making port at the city's west harbour do not have to pass through the strait. Viking and Silja Line have wished to keep their terminals in the South Harbour however as it is located right next to the city center. The largest ships to maintain scheduled service through the Kustaanmiekka strait are M/S Finnstar and her sisters with a length of 219 meters. The largest ship to have ever navigated though the narrows past Suomenlinna sea fortress was M/S Oriana (260 meters), but that was only possible due to extremely good weather conditions.
The ferries have been criticised because of the low prices of alcoholic beverages encourage passengers to become drunk and act irresponsibly. Due to the relatively cheap price of the cruises and availability of duty-free alcohol (which makes it considerably cheaper than on "land" as both Finland and Sweden have a relatively strict taxation of alcohol) many big parties involving vast amounts of alcohol drinking are held on the ships, one such party is the Finnish university students' party GOOM.