Company story

Sharing the heritage and love towards the archipelago

There were two founders in this company. They were both islanders, and genuine lovers of the charm the archipelago was providing. The other one was more behind, originally a servant in a diplomat family, later working at the Naval Academy, and then waitress, and chef in restaurants. The other one was a son of a fisherman, mariner and engineer – a character with a vision and very high principles.

The Ihalainen family started its cruise operations as a very small boat transportation company, operating passenger traffic to the small islands in the Southern Helsinki.

As native islanders, and as descendants of a fisherman, the family truly knew the attractiveness of the archipelago, and the joy of relaxed boat trips on holidays, and the delicious taste of fresh fish – all part of the honest IHA-Lines Helsinki Cruises experience.

Today the awarded company has been a market leader and in the first phase of industry development for several decades, sharing the family values and heritage, and the unquestionable love towards the archipelago, to tens of thousands of cruise guests annually.


Before starting the company, the founder entrepreneur, a son of a fisherman, had been living on islands, and working in large shipping companies and in very dangerous oil tanker operations internationally, learning much of the importance of safety, and in smaller domestic passenger cruise line companies. The other founder entrepreneur was originally a servant in a diplomat family, then customer servant, waitress, and chef in restaurants, of which 10 years at the Naval Academy on the Suomenlinna island fortress, in the Helsinki Archipelago.

The Ihalainen family started its cruise operations as a very small boat transportation company, operating passenger traffic to the small islands in the Southern Helsinki, and then gained government contracts to the most remote military islands, to which the company operated daily traffic over two decades, in the very demanding outer archipelago conditions. In addition, all kind of private cruises, island trips, fishing trips, company events, and excursions for tourist groups were organized with the highest hospitality that was possible.

As native islanders, and as descendants of a fisherman, the family truly knew the genuine charm of the calming archipelago nature, and the joy of relaxed boat trips on holidays, and the delicious taste of fresh fish, served with hospitality – all part of the honest IHA-Lines Helsinki Cruises experience.

During the years, the company has grown, and build several masterpiece vessels, and many people have contributed to the development, with big hearts, enjoyment of guests’ pleasure, and passion for higher quality, and personal development. Also, the guests have been developing and challenging the company with their endless amount of stunning ideas.

Today the awarded company has been a market leader and in the first phase of industry development for several decades – sharing the family values and heritage, and the unquestionable love towards the archipelago, to tens of thousands of cruise guests annually. That is, today the quality cruises are reachable also for ordinary people, and the charm of the archipelago easily accessible for Helsinki people and business, and for every international visitor.

When you want to trust the best possible cruise line, with the highest principles, heritage, and profound quality, you are at the right place. Our old, original slogan determines well our highest top priorities: Safely, reliably and pleasurably since 1979. In addition, we trust in quality and learning, and value environment.

This is the story of IHA-Lines Helsinki Cruises – love and heritage, to be shared, and continued.