Helsinki joins the ranks of big-wheel cities Tuesday with the opening of the 460-foot SkyWheel. Technically, it’s called the Finnair SkyWheel, and its placement on Katajanokka harbor in the central city marks the spot where its namesake airline in the 1920s first located its flight operations, according to the carrier.
“We are proud to be associated with Helsinki’s newest landmark, which also has a special connection to our own history,” Finnair’s vice president of marketing and product development Jarkko Konttinen said in a statement Monday.
The giant observation wheel has 30 blue-and-white gondolas where visitors spend 15 minutes gazing at panoramic views of the city. There’s also a VIP cabin that serves Champagne and offers a more leisurely 25-minute ride.
Hard to believe it has been only 14 years since London debuted its now-famous Eye in time for the millennium. Since then, others have followed, including what for the moment is the world’s tallest, the 550-foot High Roller, which opened in April at the LINQ in Las Vegas.
But back to the SkyWheel. It’s taller than London’s Eye and will be open year-round. A spin costs $16, unless you want to take the four-seater VIP cabin for $265. Members of the airline’s Finnair Plus frequent-flier program ride free on Sundays.
Info: Finnair SkyWheel