Tallink Grupp has today announced that it has made decisions regarding its autumn traffic, resulting in vessel changes on some routes from September.
On the Helsinki-Riga route the company has decided to replace Silja Serenade with the company’s vessel Baltic Queen from 16 September 2020. Silja Serenade will be suspended from traffic after it arrives in Helsinki from Riga on 13 September 2020 at the Port of Helsinki until further notice from the company. The vessel’s return to traffic will depend on the future developments of the pandemic situation, changes in travel restrictions between the countries and any decisions regarding government support for maritime transport services.
This change also means that the company’s recently reopened Tallinn-Stockholm route as well as the Riga-Stockholm route, will be operated with the company’s vessel Victoria I from 6 September 2020. Victoria I will depart from Tallinn to Stockholm on Sundays, from Stockholm to Riga on Mondays, from Riga to Stockholm on Tuesdays and from Stockholm to Tallinn on Wednesdays.
The company has also decided that it will suspend the operations of its vessel Isabelle from 1 September 2020 and Romantika from early October until 31 March 2021 or until further notice from the company. The company’s vessel Silja Symphony will be suspended from regular traffic from early October, while the company continues to identify opportunities for special cruises for the vessel and other company vessels.
“We are forced to make this vessel change on the Helsinki-Riga route as it is not economically viable to continue to operate this route with a vessel the size of Silja Serenade, now that the high season is over and passenger numbers for the autumn-winter season ahead are much lower than in the summer,” Paavo Nõgene, CEO of Tallink Grupp said.
“The current passenger numbers forecast for the route indicates we will be able to effectively operate the route with a smaller vessel, still ensuring more than adequate social distancing opportunities for everyone on board,” Nõgene said.
“We regret having to make this decision, particularly as it means that we will have to suspend the operations of Silja Serenade for the time being and commence lay-off proceedings with the vessel’s crew in Finland as there is no economically viable route for us to operate with a vessel this size in the current travel restrictions situation and no government support for its operations,” Nõgene added.
„We would like to thank the Estonian, Finnish and Swedish maritime workers’ unions for constructive cooperation and understanding during this crisis,“ Nõgene said.
Tallink will contact passengers with bookings for Silja Serenade on the Helsinki-Riga route at the first opportunity to make the necessary amendments to their bookings.