Viking Line Plans to Restart Passenger Service
Ferry operator Viking Line said Tuesday it will restart passenger service for essential travel after the Finnish government annouced plans to gradually ease some restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Passenger service will be restricted to travel for work and other travel defined by the authorities until at least May 31, the cruise ferry operator said.
Four of Viking Line’s seven vessels will continue their service between Finland and Sweden, the Åland Islands and Estonia. People will be able to continue travelling as usual between the Finnish mainland and Åland. The new regulations enter into effect on May 14, 2020.
“We are pleased that the decision has now been made to partly ease travel restrictions,” said Jan Hanses, president and CEO of Viking Line. “It is extremely important to maintain vital social functions by allowing essential service between these countries. We look forward to resuming our normal service with the hope that this can take place in time for our peak summer season. We are working in close collaboration with the authorities in charge to ensure that all forms of travel are carried out in a safe and secure manner. Taking a holiday locally is something that we expect will be attractive going forward. We believe that trips to our destinations and, above all, to and through the Baltic Sea archipelagos will experience a renaissance.”
Cruises from Stockholm to Mariehamn with M/S Viking Cinderella will be suspended until at least June 15, 2020, and Viking XPRS, which normally operates between Helsinki and Tallinn, will be out of service until at least May 31, 2020.
While passenger service had been suspended, Viking Line was able to maintain freight transport, and last week reported volumes wer high despite the exceptional circumstances.