Bus to begin taking passengers from Tallinn port directly to alcohol stores on Latvian border
Operator Raihan Group OÜ is set to begin operating regular, once-weekly bus services from Tallinn Passenger Port directly to the Alko1000 stores located on the Latvian side of the Estonian-Latvian border opposite Valga and Ikla beginning on Saturday.
"This is actually being done in collaboration with the Alko1000 store; we cannot comment on this fully right now," Raihan Group board member Hannes Lehtoja told BNS when asked about an ad on the Raihan website stating that the first buses will deport from the Tallinn Passenger Port's D Terminal on Nov. 19.
Tickets to the 240-kilometer trip to the Valga-Valka border and 195-kilometer trip to the Ikla-Ainaži border can be purchased on the company's website for 45 and 55 euros, respectively. Both buses are scheduled to depart from Tallinn at 10:15 a.m. on Saturdays.
The Tallinn-Ikla-Tallinn bus is scheduled to return to the D Terminal by 6 p.m. and the Tallinn-Valga-Tallinn bus by 7 p.m. at the latest. The buses will make no stops en route to the destination. Passengers will be given one hour for shopping once at the store, and an additional hour on the return trip will be reserved for lunch.
The manager of the Alko1000 chain has said that 99 percent of their customers in Latvia are Estonians crossing the border to stock up on drinks that are cheaper in Latvia as a result of the lower alcohol excise duty there.
"We expanded the Valka store, creating some 300 square meters of additional space," Meelis Reiljan, manager of the Alko1000 store in Valka, told BNS. "We also introduced foodstuffs — oils, different sauces and chips — so that people could buy something to eat while on the road."
Reiljan confirmed the plan to introduce a regular bus service between Tallinn Passenger Port and the Alko1000 outlet in Valka.