TALLINN – Listed Estonian shipper Tallink Grupp announced on Monday that it will reroute its vessel Isabelle, which used to run on the Riga-Stockholm route, to operate on the Paldiski-Kapellskar route from Sunday, June 7, until the end of August 2020.
Currently, the company’s vessel Regal Star operates on the only route currently open between Estonia and Sweden, ensuring a vital transport link for cargo and supplies between the two countries. Regal Star has also been carrying passengers with vehicles during the emergency situation to offer a travel lifeline for those people who had unavoidable reasons for travelling between the two countries also during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tallink said.
As demand for cargo transport capacity and also for passengers with vehicles has increased in recent weeks and in order to ensure that sufficient space is available for all the passengers on board for social distancing, the company has decided to add another vessel to the route for the period June 7 – August 31. The vessel will still predominantly transport cargo between the two countries, but will also take passengers with vehicles, who need to travel between the two countries for reasons other than tourism and leisure.
"Adding Isabelle to the Paldiski-Kapellskar route will give those people who need to travel to and from Sweden or further in the Nordics additional options and also increase capacity for cargo transportation on this vital route. 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. 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 come to a point where Regal Star alone is not enough," Paavo Nõgene, CEO of Tallink Grupp, said.
"Similarly to all our other vessels, we have enforced extensive safety measures on Isabelle with reduced food and beverage and shopping services available on board to ensure everything is available for a comfortable journey. On Isabelle, there are well over 600 cabins, which means that all those currently travelling will have plenty of space to travel in safety and comfort," Nogene added.
Isabelle’s first departure from Paldiski to Kapellskar will be on June 7 at 6 p.m. local Estonian time. Starting from Monday, Isabelle's departures will take place from Kapellskar to Paldiski at 9 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays and from Paldiski to Kapellskar at 9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 6 p.m. on Sundays. There will be no departures on Saturdays.
The company’s vessel Regal Star will also continue to operate on the route according to its normal schedule.