Isosaari island: autumn colours and winter excursions through ice

Isosaari is a former military island that was closed to the public until the summer of 2017. A regular ferry connection from the Helsinki Market Square made the island available to everybody over the summer months. The island will be available to the public again in the winter: regular ferry service to the island starts at the beginning of December.

Prior to the launch of regular winter service, cruises to the island to admire its autumn colours will be organized on the Saturdays of the 14th, 21stand 28thof October. The autumn colour cruise package includes rides on the M/S Kajava, an autumn colour-themed tour of the island guided by the Helsinki islands expertsJarmo Nieminen, salmon soup with Finnish archipelago bread, and an opportunity for sauna and a swim in the bone-chilling sea. Tickets cost 49 euros for adults and 25 euros for children aged 7–16 - writes

An old military vessel to carry visitors in winter

Visitors will be carried to Isosaari over the winter season by an old military vessel, now in private ownership and use, which was designed to carry military staff and troops between the mainland and the island in ice conditions. From the beginning of December, the vessel will serve the island on four days of the week: Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Restaurants, saunas and a caravan park

A caravan park will open on Isosaari in October–November. Bookings can already be made, and the first shipments to the caravan park will be made at the end of October. The park will open officially on 1 December. The park can accommodate about 30 recreational vehicles and travel trailers. The vehicles will be taken to the island on a ferry. Only seasonal sites are available.

In addition to the archipelago nature and sights, visitors to Isosaari are served by the Upseerikerho (officers’ club) restaurant, three saunas, sand beaches and the Rikaman Sali restaurant, which serves by special arrangement during the no-ice season. Upseerikerho is open throughout the year and also serves groups by special arrangement.

“The mere sea journey through ice on the former military vessel is an unforgettable and unique experience. As night falls, you can see the starry sky from the island, for example, when ice swimming,” says CEOTomi Ståhlbergof the island ferry company Suomen Saaristokuljetus Oy.

The company leased the Isosaari buildings and land in the spring from the governmental real estate management enterprise Senate Properties. The first summer season was so encouraging that the company decided to expand to year-round operation.

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