Estonian-based Tallink Grupp suspends route between Turku, Finland and Tallinn, Estonia

   August 25, 2020 ,   Cruise Industry

Estonian-based shipping company Tallink Grupp announced it is suspending its route between Turku, Finland and Tallinn, Estonia due to a COVID-related decline in passenger numbers.

The cruise company's ticket sales were significantly down because of passengers' fears over possible travel restrictions, Tallink Grupp's CEO, Paavo Nogene, said in a release.

"As a direct result of significant information noise and mixed messages circulating in the Finnish media regarding the latest travel advice, the ticket sales of ferry companies have significantly reduced as passengers are confused about the travel advice and nervous about purchasing tickets for fear that they will face the possibility of a quarantine at very short notice if they do travel," Nogene said, adding that "great numbers" of customers had been cancelling trips.

"The tourism sector will be under significant pressure until at least until next summer. Decisive action by our governments is vital and requires swift action for the survival of our sector in this pandemic situation," Nogene said.

On Monday, Finnish shipping company Viking Line announced it had begun co-determination talks that could end in up to 200 job cuts and that its business had been dramatically affected by the pandemic. In its half-year financial report, Viking said its turnover was less than 50% of what it was during the first 6 months of 2019.

Earlier in August the firm's subsidiary company, Tallink Silja unveiled plans to temporarily suspend ticket sales for sailings between Stockholm and Turku on the Baltic Princess ship, due to COVID-related travel restrictions.

Tallink's ship Baltic Queen commenced shuttling travelers between Turku and Tallinn on a temporary basis early July and was due to continue sailing the route every weekend until at least the end of 2020.

The company said it would contact all travelers with future bookings on the route.