Helsinki Partners, the destination marketing organisation for the Finnish capital, hosted Australian and Kiwi travel advisors on a city tour on the final day of Hurtigruten APAC’s first familiarisation to Norway, which concluded last week.
Helsinki is a city of art, sea and urban experiences, which Aino Mellais, Account Manager – Meetings and Travel Trade at Helsinki Partners’ and her colleague, Sanna Salonen, showcased on a whirlwind sightseeing trip that included a stop at the architectural landmark Oodi (Helsinki Central Library) as well as the unique sauna restaurant, Löyly, positioned on the city’s picturesque waterfront.
Next up the troupe were welcomed aboard MS Silja Serenade, a luxury overnight cruiseferry that sails the Baltic Sea between Finland and Sweden, departing from Helsinki and Stockholm every other day. After lunch on board the vessel famil participants had site visits of the Virtuoso Preferred Hotel Kämp in the heart of the city, and the Scandic Grand Central Helsinki, set within an art nouveau building, housing nearly 500 rooms.
The city exploration was capped off with a traditional Finnish feast at Restaurant Savotta where only Finnish ingredients are sourced from the forests and lakes of local suppliers. The restaurant is positioned adjacent and beneath the mesmerising Helsinki Cathedral.
Helsinki is also the home hub of Finnair, which provided the travel advisors with an extremely comfortable ride back to Australia, via Singapore, aboard the airline’s flagship Airbus A350, configured with the brand new Business Class cabin.
Captured by LATTE, pictured outside Restaurant Savotta and beneath the Helsinki Cathedral, from left are: Alean Penaflor, Hurtigruten APAC; Daniel Denham, Imagine Holidays; Richard Muff, Main Beach Travel; Stacey Lyons, Home Travel Company; Natalie King, Hurtigruten APAC; Mark Spurway, MTA – Mobile Travel Agents; Aino Mellais, Helsinki Partners; Debbie Collins, Spencer Travel; Laura Martino, Phil Hoffmann Travel; Jeff Leckey, Hoot Cruises; Darin Warburton, Travel Associates; Athena Franks, Clean Cruising and Arnaud Michelin, Finnair.