Finnish shipping line Viking aims to join forces with another carrier to provide cruise trips between Stockholm, Mariehamn and Visby, from next spring.
Mariehamn/Maarianhamina is the capital of the autonomous Finnish Åland/Ahvenanmaa islands, while Visby is the capital of the Swedish island of Gotland.
Viking, which also provides Tallinn-Helsinki ferries in competition with Tallink and Ecekrö, is forming a joint stock company with Swedish line Gotlandsbolaget for this purpose, and hopes to also provide special cruises on the Baltic Sea.
The new line is planned to go online in spring 2024, while the initial cooperation agreement is for a five-year term, with an extension option.
The joint venture is also subject to the approval Sweden's Competition Authority.
The joint stock company's headquarters is set to be based in Stockholm, with Susanne Kaarnimo-Knight as CEO.
Gotlandsbolaget purchased cruise liner the Birka Stockholm in March, at a price-tag of €38 million, while it has now agreed to sell 50 percent of its stake in the vessel to Viking Line, for half of that, ie. €19 million.
The Birka Stockholm will ply the Stockholm-Mariehamn and Stockholm-Mariehamn-Visby lines, the company says, while the Viking Cinderella, which currently services the first of these routes, will be transferred to the Helsinki-Mariehamn-Stockholm route from spring 2024.
Editor: Andrew Whyte