I'm gonna be doing the crossing around September the 11th. I have a very limited itinerary as I need to be in Helsinki by the 13th to catch ferry to St. Petersburg. Trying to keep things affordable hence why I chose the inexpensive Turku route. I'll try to keep the questions here simple:
Stockholm or Helsinki? Which should I spend more time in, I'm only talking like a day or two difference but I'd be coming from Copenhagen (arriving Stockholm) most likely the morning of the 10th via overnight bus or train. Any must-see's I should know about? This would help me decide which city I should prioritize.
Daytime or nighttime ferry? If I do daytime crossing I'm killing virtually a whole day in either city. However, I am VERY interested to see the archipelagos of Sweden/Finland and I'm concerned I'll not see much of them if I take the overnight (sunset/sunrise is within half an hour of departure/arrival times this time of year). How is the twilight hours for viewing the area? I'm leaning towards the overnight ferry since I don't need to see 12 hours of it lol it would also mean saving on hotel and I'm wondering if being stuck for that long on a ferry with no cabin or anything to crash or put your stuff is a good trade-off? (at least from what I can tell, there is no cabin for daytime crossing) This is my most important inquiry I'd like advice toward.
Viking Line or Tallink? (I know Silja is owned by them but this would be specifically a Tallink vessel). I'm curious which is better in terms of service, quality, cabins, food, pricing, types of people aboard. I've read so much conflicting information from different years, I'm curious which would be better for me as a young mid-20's guy traveling solo? Prefer younger crowd like you'd meet in hostels or whatnot. I don't mind rowdy passengers or party-goers but I'd be traveling on like a monday anyway. Affordability is preferred.
Thank you all of you for your help! I really do appreciate it!