Legendary Estonian Ferry Finds Sad End in Chinese Scrap Yard


The MS Georg Ots, which serviced the Tallinn-Helsinki line for over 20 years from 1980, and once hosted a meeting between Mikhail Gorbachov and Ronald Reagan in Reykjavik, has been dismantled in China.

The ship was constructed on Poland in 1979 and began service in 1980, ferrying Finnish tourists and construction workers to Estonia, who bought western goods to occupied Estonia.

Georg Ots, named after an Estonian opera singer, was one of the first ships to sail under Tallink, now one of Estonia's most famous companies. The ferry was modernized in 1993, but sold to Russia in 2002 to sail on the Kaliningrad-St. Petersburg line until 2010.

The ship then sailed to Vladivostok, in eastern Russia and was one of the first ferry boats without ice-breaking capabilities to sail around Russia from the north.

The ship was used as a floating hotel during a APEC forum in 2012, and a year later it was rented to a company for 7,500 euros per month and was sent it to China. Owners took the renting company to court, saying no rent was ever paid, Interfax reported today.

But the company had already sold the ship for scrap metal to a Chines scrapyard. The people behind the scam are still at large.

The 134-meter long boat has a top speed of 20 knots, could carry 150 vehicles and 1,200 passengers.

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