Tallink Grupp has confirmed that a second of its ferries, ROMANTIKA, has been chartered to support the COP26 summit in Glasgow. The charter has been secured less than three weeks since a similar agreement was reached for another of the company’s vessels, SILJA EUROPA.
ROMANTIKA has been chartered from October 15 until November 12 but has already arrived at Glasgow. The ship sailed direct to Scotland from a previous charter in Morocco, though was seen to adopt a holding pattern off the west coast of Cornwall on Saturday (October 9). ROMANTIKA had been expected to return to Estonia after her Summer charter in the Mediterranean.
Hotel Room Shortage
The charter was arranged by Landry & Kling Global Cruise Services, as was also the case with SILJA EUROPA. Like her fleet-mate, ROMANTIKA will provide accommodation and catering services to her charterer’s personnel and guests. According to The Scottish Sun, there are 30,000 hotel rooms required for the summit but Glasgow only has 15,000.
Commenting on the charter agreement, Tallink Grupp’s CEO Paavo Nõgene said:
“This charter request and agreement came at a very opportune time, as Romantika had just finished operating in the Mediterranean region between Morocco and France as part of its previous charter agreement and the vessel was en route back to Tallinn, due to arrive here this Wednesday, 13 October.
“The charter is helpful again at a time when our passenger numbers and operations are under continuing pressure due to the COVID situation and will enable us to offer work for our employees as Romantika would otherwise remained suspended in Tallinn after its return home with no immediate work in sight for the vessel at present. So, it is a great boost for the company and the employees, although of course it is also a huge challenge for us all in terms of the extremely short time we have for preparations and I know such last-minute agreements put our staff under extreme pressure for delivery. I am sincerely grateful to everyone for the valiant effort made and the level and quality of the service me manage to provide regardless of the immense pressure.
“I think it is great testament to our vessels and, more importantly, to our crew and shore staff that we are able to secure contracts for such high profile and significant international events and we hope to make our home countries proud by making a vital contribution to the successful organisation and delivery of such important global events in 2021.”https://www.tallink.com/press-releases?1&article=161868011#161868011
Latvian-flagged ROMANTIKA would normally be allocated to the Riga (Latvia) – Stockholm (Sweden) route. That service has been suspended since March 2020, however, due to the impact of Covid-19 travel restrictions. From early July, ROMANTIKA sailed on Intershipping’s Tanger Med (Morocco) -Sete (France) route. The ship is expected to return to her normal route in April 2022.
ROMANTIKA was completed in May 2002 by Aker Finnyards at Rauma (now Rauma Marine Constructions). She is 192.9m long with a gross tonnage of 40,803 gt. ROMANTIKA has a passenger capacity of 2,500 people and provides 2,172 berths in 727 cabins.
As would be expected on a Baltic cruiseferry, ROMANTIKA has many bars, shops, restaurants and other facilities. Further information on ROMANTIKA’s facilities, including a virtual tour of the ship, can be found on the Tallink website here.