International shipper Tallink Grupp announced that it will reroute the MS Isabelle to operate on its Paldiski-Kapellskär route from Sunday, June 7 through the end of August, the company announced Monday.
Currently, the MS Regal Star is operating on the only route currently operating between Estonia and Sweden, ensuring a vital transport link for cargo and supplies between the two countries, Tallink said in a press release. The Regal Star has also been carrying passengers with vehicles during the emergency situation in order to offer a travel lifeline for those who had compelling reasons for traveling between the two countries during the pandemic.
As demand for cargo transport capacity as well as for passengers with vehicles has increased in recent weeks, and in order to ensure that sufficient space is available to maintain social distancing for all passengers on board, the company has decided to add the MS Isabelle to the route for the summer. This second vessel will predominantly transport cargo between Estonia and Sweden, but will also carry passengers with vehicles as well for reasons other than tourism or leisure.
"There are many people in Estonia who work in Sweden and Norway and for whom the only way of getting to work and back home is with our vessels," Tallink CEO Paavo Nõgene said. "The Regal Star has been a real crisis hero for the last few months, ensuring people and cargo keep moving between our two countries, but we have reached the point where the Regal Star alone isn't enough."
According to the CEO, extensive safety measures will be in place on board the Isabelle, which will offer more than 600 cabins and limited food, beverage and shopping services to ensure that passengers can still travel in safety and comfort.
The Isabelle's first departure from Paldiski to Kapellskär will be on Sunday, June 7 at 6 p.m. local time. Ticket sales for the Isabelle launched on Monday.
The Isabelle's schedule for summer 2020 is as follows (all times listed in local times):
-Mondays: Kapellskär-Paldiski at 9 p.m.
-Tuesdays: Paldiski-Kapellskär at 9 p.m.
-Wednesdays: Kapellskär-Paldiski at 9 p.m.
-Thursdays: Paldiski-Kapellskär at 9 p.m.
-Fridays: Kapellskär-Paldiski at 9 p.m.
-Saturdays: no departures
-Sundays: Paldiski-Kapellskär at 9 p.m.
The Regal Star will also continue to operate on the Paldiski-Kapellskär according to its regular schedule.
Editor: Aili Vahtla