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Huge Baltic Cruise Ferry Glasgow Bound

A huge Baltic ferry is set to make its way to Scotland next month following an agreement brokered between the organisers of a climate change conference and a specialist cruise services company.  

SILJA EUROPA, which at one time was the world’s largest ferry, will provide accommodation during the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).  Approximately 1,500 personnel and guests will be accommodated onboard the ship during the conference.  Owner AS Tallink Group will supply a full technical and service crew as part of the agreement.  SILJA EUROPA will be berthed in Scotland from October 21 to November 14.

One of SILJA EUROPA's executive suites. Image: AS Tallink Grupp
One of SILJA EUROPA’s executive suites. Image: AS Tallink Grupp

The charter agreement, which was brokered by Landry and Kling Global Cruise Services, runs for the period 17 October to 17 November 2021.  As bookings for sailings on the ferry’s regular Tallinn – Helsinki route have already been taken, Tallink is contacting customers to offer alternative travel options as most of her trips in this period are now cancelled.  One of that company’s other ships, VICTORIA I, will cover SILJA EUROPA’s departures between October 29-31 and November 11-13.  SILJA EUROPA will resume normal service on the route from November 18.  The COP26 conference itself runs from October 31 to November 12.

The Fast Lane restaurant, SILJA EUROPA. Image: AS Tallink Grupp, photographer Marek Metslaid.
The Fast Lane restaurant, SILJA EUROPA. Image: AS Tallink Grupp, photographer Marek Metslaid.

VICTORIA I and her sister-ship ROMANTIKA are currently on a 100-day charter from Tallink to a company related to the Moroccan Government. The ferries are being used on Intershipping services between Morocco and France/Italy.  This is required as Spain has been excluded from the Government’s annual summer travel plan, officially due to Covid-19.  These charters expire at the end of September, however, when the ships are expected to return to The Baltic.

VICTORIA I. Image: AS Tallink Grupp.

This will not be the first time SILJA EUROPA has been used as an accommodation vessel in UK waters. Earlier this year, the 59,991 gt ferry provided accommodation for police officers at the G7 summit in Cornwall.

About Silja Europa

SILJA EUROPA was delivered in 1993 by the famous Meyer Werft Yard in Papenburg, Germany.  The 202m-long vessel currently has capacity for about 3,100 passengers and has more than 3,600 beds onboard.  

Part of the lobby, SILJA EUROPA. Image: AS Tallink Grupp, photographer Marek Metslaid.
Part of the lobby, SILJA EUROPA. Image: AS Tallink Grupp, photographer Marek Metslaid.

Despite SILJA EUROPA’s huge size, her vehicle capacity is much smaller than the large ferries commonly in use around the UK, with only 932 lane metres of freight capacity available. 

SILJA EUROPA was the largest cruise ferry in the world from 1993 until the delivery of P&O’s PRIDE OF ROTTERDAM in 2003.  The current largest cruise ferry in the world is Color Line’s COLOR MAGIC which comes in at over 75,000 gt.

Steven Tarbox

Steven is a former retail professional and a ferry writer and photographer. He created NI Ferry Site as a web design project in 2014 to be a news and information source for everyone with an interest in ferries, with a particular focus on Northern Ireland. Steven is the editor of the website and looks after all of the technical aspects.
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