Following our flight from Zurich Switzerland to Helsinki we connected through to Tokyo Narita airport on Finnair AY73 operated by an Airbus A350-900 our first experience in this model aircraft. Before boarding we spent time in the other Finnair lounge in Helsinki airport near gate 52, a photo of the self serve bar area is below.
We departed Zurich on a newer Airbus A321 with winglets, Finnair flight number AY1512 departing ZRH at 10:55am arriving HEL at 2:45pm, a scheduled duration of 2 hours and 50 minutes over a distance of 1107 miles. Seats feature thinner backs on the newer models and provide better support and a little more space. Food tasted better than it looks in the photo and drinks service was great. On arrival in Helsinki the aircraft parked away from any gates and all passengers were bussed to the terminal. Check in at Zurich airport was very smooth and the smallish Oneworld Lounge was excellent.
Following arrival from JFK at 10:00am in the morning on December 28 we had a little over 6 hours before our connecting flight to Zurich departed at 4:30pm. This arrival also meant we cleared immigration and spent most of the time waiting in the Finnair Lounge near Gate 22. There were shower facilities which were clean and well appointed. The range of food and drinks was not very extensive but there are plenty of options out in the main concourse.
We have flown this leg previously from JFK in New York to Helsinki in Finland the last time was in summer and economy class this time in winter and in business class. The aircraft this time once again was an Airbus A330 and the internal fit out was older style by today's standard. Inflight service was fine these seats are not as comfortable as the newer lay flat herringbone layout in newer Finnair A350 aircraft. Departure time was 7:05PM arriving just after 10:00AM the following day.
The scheduled flight time nine hours and 50 minutes Finnair 69 Helsinki (HEL) to Hong Kong (HKG) departs Helsinki at 11:40 PM local time and arrives at Chek Lap Kok Airport, Hong Kong at 3:30 PM Hong Kong time. The aircraft to used on this flight was an Airbus A340.
It was interesting watching the aircraft being de-iced to remove the buildup of snow and ice from the wings just before we pushed back from the gate.
Luckily most people kept their window blinds closed until closer to the end of the flight so a lot of the time was passed sleeping.
Hotel Haven is located very close to South Harbor and is only a short walk to the main train station or Mannerheimintie and the main city shopping areas.
This is a very nice hotel staff were extremely pleasant and friendly plus the included breakfast buffet was very clean with a good selection of food and drinks.
Although the main hotel entrance is on Unioninkatu there is a courtyard area which leads onto Etelaranta very close to the covered market and the adjacent markets along Esplanadi.
This Finnair flight was on an Airbus A321 from Rome to Helsinki. From the departure gate in Rome all passengers board a bus which transports everyone way around to the other side of the airport to board the aircraft via stairs.
Finnair aircraft are always clean and the decor light and bright. Flight time was approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes and an interesting feature is the nose camera feed into everyone's seatback LCD monitors during takeoff and landing.
The Finnair cabin crew were all extremely pleasant and happy throughout the entire flight.
Silja Symphony Helsinki-Stockholm
The non allergy berth we booked on this ship is a room with vinyl covered floor as opposed to a carpeted floor.
It is not possible to open a window in this berth which was on level 5 for fresh air. There are 2 single beds which are a good size, a wardrobe and dresser with drawers.
The WC is very compact with a toilet, wash basin and shower. There was a distinct stale urine smell in the WC.
This hotel was very central to the city center and not too far from the ferry terminals. It cost around 60 euro to get to the hotel from the airport by taxi.
Although the room was right out the back of the hotel it was large and had windows that could be opened. Breakfast was included each day and no one even asked which room we were from, we just went to the breakfast buffet, ate and left! The breakfast buffet had a selection of hot and cold food.