Ferry company Tallink Grupp announced on Tuesday it will suspend the operation of its vessel Victoria I on the Tallinn-Helsinki and Tallinn-Stockholm-Riga-Stockholm-Tallinn routes from January 1, 2021 due to impact from coronavirus.
The vessel has been operating on the two temporary routes since this autumn, providing additional cargo capacity between Estonia and Sweden and the only maritime transport route between Stockholm and Riga on a temporary basis.
Since October it has also provided weekend cruises on the Helsinki-Tallinn route without disembarking in Tallinn for the Finnish market.
The company said in a statement the decision comes as the operation of the vessel between Estonia, Sweden and Latvia has become financially unfeasible in the current pandemic situation and due to tightening travel restrictions once again in Estonia, Finland, Sweden and Latvia, making passenger numbers plummet.
"We are sorry to suspend another vital maritime travel routes between our neighbouring countries, but with passenger numbers dwindling and the travel restrictions expected to last for some time as a result of the worsening coronavirus pandemic situation in our countries, it is impossible to continue to operate these routes without significant losses," Paavo Nõgene, CEO of Tallink Grupp said.
The company will contact any customers impacted by this decision at the first opportunity.
During the time when Victroia I is suspended from the Tallinn-Helsinki route, it will be possible to take a 5-hour mini-cruise without disembarking onboard Megastar and Star every day and it will be possible to travel to Sweden on Tallink Grupp ferries from Estonia and Finland via the ports of Paldiski and Turku respectively.
According to current plans, the vessel will return to the Tallinn-Helsinki route during weekends from February 19, 2021. The company will notify of operations resuming on the routes between Tallinn and Stockholm and Riga and Stockholm at the first opportunity when such decisions are made.
Editor: Helen Wright