Conference dinner

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We're excited to offer a special dinner and excursion rolled into one – join us for a ferry ride to the Suomenlinna sea fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in use since the 1700s and owned by Sweden, Russia, and finally by independent Finland. Our dinner will be served at the historic Suomenlinna Officer's Club, which has been in continual use as a clubhouse for nearly 200 years.

The dinner will be held at 19.30 on June 11, the second evening of the conference. A three-course meal with fish or vegetarian entree is offered for 65 €, which includes two glasses of white wine and a round-trip ticket for the ferry to Suomenlinna. Click here to see the full menu offering.

The Officer's Club website is only in Finnish, but here's a gallery of links to photos from their site:

Aerial view of Suomenlinna sea fortress
The Suomenlinna sea fortress is a short ferry ride from the city centre
Source: Photo archive of the Governing Body of Suomenlinna / Lentokuva Vallas Oy

Transportation & schedule

Suomenlinna island is reached by a municipal ferry ride lasting 15 minutes (run by HSL, or Helsinki Region Transport). Ferries depart regularly from the Market Square (Kauppatori) docks, just a few minutes' walk from the conference venue (click to see a walking route from the Main Building to the ferry). The second conference day ends at 17.00, well before the 19.30 start time for dinner. Participants can leave for Suomenlinna at any time, but group departures will also be organised from the university Main Building entrance. Groups will leave for the docks at 18.20 and 18.40, and we will lead you to the Officer's Club.

What if you miss the boat? Ferries depart every 20 minutes, and an organiser will stay at the Market Square docks to help out if you're late. Also, even if you don't attend the dinner, you should still come to the island to enjoy the scenery, cafes, or a picnic. Meet this "late-bird" organiser at the Market Square docks at 19.30 if you'd like to join a casual picnic group.

Shoe advisory: there are two types of walking surface on Suomenlinna – dirt and very uneven cobblestone. This is not the place to try out your new designer shoes, and high heels are strongly discouraged. If you plan to walk around the island, think comfort before fashion.

Weather advisory: a chance of light rain is forecast for Monday and Tuesday. You can see the latest forecast from the Foreca weather site. Click on "details" to see an hourly forecast for each day.

The ramparts of Suomenlinna
The ramparts of Suomenlinna
Source: Photo archive of the Governing Body of Suomenlinna / Ilmo Valtonen

Ferry tickets

The dinner fee includes a 12-hour round-trip ticket for the Suomenlinna ferry. Those who have signed up for the dinner will receive a pre-paid ferry ticket in their conference pack. This ticket will be valid for 12 hours after you board the ferry, and the same ticket will therefore get you back to the city centre (don't lose it!). You can then choose when you'd like to return after the dinner.

After dinner

The sun won't set until 22.45, and there are several options for enjoying the evening. The Officer's Club bar will be open until 23.00 for inspired linguistic discussions, and there are other nearby bars on the island if you're looking for a livelier scene. If you intend to boogie all night, there's a vibrant nightlife back in the city centre.

We'll put some informal groups together for walking around the island, but you're free to make your own adventure. By having your own 12-hour ferry ticket, you can head back to town whenever you like. Ferries depart from the island every 20 minutes until 22.20. Departure times then get further apart until the last ferry leaves at 2.00. The ferry timetable will be included in the conference pack.

Ferry in transit to Suomenlinna
The ferry en route to Suomenlinna
Source: City of Helsinki Tourist & Convention Bureau / Sakke Somerma

This page last updated: 7.6.2013