Coordinates: 59°26′39″N 24°45′18″E / 59.444197°N 24.754971°E
Tallink building in Tallinn.
Tallink (Estonian pronunciation: [ˈtɑlʲˑiŋk]) is an Estonian shipping company operating Baltic Sea cruiseferries and ropax ships from Estonia to Finland, Estonia to Sweden, Latvia to Sweden and Finland to Sweden. It is the largest passenger and cargo shipping company in the Baltic Sea region. It owns Silja Line and a part of SeaRail. Tallink Hotels runs four hotels in Tallinn and one in Riga. It is also the co-owner of a taxi company Tallink Takso.
It is a publicly traded company, that is listed in Tallinn Stock Exchange. A major shareholder is an investment company AS Infortar, that also has ownership in several Tallink subsidiaries and a natural gas company Eesti Gaas.
The history of the company known today as Tallink can be traced back to 1965 when the Soviet Union-based Estonian Shipping Company (ESCO) introduced passenger ferry services between Helsinki and Tallinn on MS Vanemuine. Regular around-the-year passenger ferry services began in 1968 on MS Tallinn, which served the route until it was replaced by the new MS Georg Ots in 1980.
In May 1989 ESCO formed a new subsidiary, joint venture (Estonian: ühisettevõte) Tallink, together with the Finnish Palkkiyhtymä Oy. In December of the same year ESCO and Palkkiyhtymä purchased MS Scandinavian Sky from SeaEscape, and the ship began servicing the Helsinki–Tallinn route on 8 January 1990 as MS Tallink. During her first year in service the Tallink carried 166,000 passengers.
Later in the same year the freighter MS Transestonia joined the Tallink on the Helsinki–Tallinn route and Tallink was established as the name of the company as well as the main ship. At the same time ESCO still operated the Georg Ots in the same route, essentially competing with its own daughter company. This conflict was resolved in September 1991 when the Georg Ots was chartered to Tallink. In the early 1990s passenger numbers on Helsinki–Tallinn traffic were steadily increasing, and during winters between 1992 and 1995 Tallink chartered MS Saint Patrick II from Irish Ferries to increase capacity on the route.
, chartered from EstLine in 1995, introduced a blue hull colour to the Tallink fleet.
Tallink became a fully Estonian-owned company in 1993 when Palkkiyhtymä sold its shares of both the Tallink company and MS Tallink to ESCO. At this time other companies were establishing themselves on the lucrative Helsinki–Tallinn traffic, including the Estonian New Line, owned by the Tallinn-based Inreko. ESCO and Inreko saw no sense in competing with each other and in January 1994 Tallink and Inreko Laeva AS were merged into AS Eminre. Tallink remained the marketing name for the company's fleet. Later in the same year Inreko purchased MS Nord Estonia from EstLine (a daughter company of ESCO and the Swedish Nordström & Thulin), renamed her MS Vana Tallinn and placed her in Helsinki–Tallinn traffic for Tallink. Inreko also brought with them two fast hydrofoils, HS Liisa and HS Laura which began serving under the Tallink Express brand. In 1994 Tallink also attempted traffic from Estonia to Germany for the first time, with two chartered ferries MS Balanga Queen and MS Ambassador II that were placed on the route Helsinki–Tallinn–Travemünde.
In September 1994 AS Eminre's operations were divided into two companies, one that took care of the traffic to Germany (which was soon closed down) and AS Hansatee which took the Helsinki–Tallinn traffic and the Tallink name. ESCO was the dominant partner in Hansatee, controlling 45% of the shares, whereas Inreko owned only 12.75% (the remaining 42.25% belonging to Eesti Ühispank, Estonia). In 1995 Hansatee brought the first large ferry into Helsinki–Tallinn traffic when they chartered MS Mare Balticum from EstLine and renamed her MS Meloodia. Following various disputes between ESCO and Inreko (most notably about the charter price of Vana Tallinn), Inreko sold their shares of AS Hansatee to ESCO in December 1996. At the same time Inreko sold the Tallink Express hydrofoils to Linda Line, Estonia, and begun operating the Vana Tallinn on Helsinki–Tallinn traffic under the name TH Ferries.
In 1997 a second large ferry was brought to Tallink's traffic when the company chartered MS Normandy from Stena Line. To replace the lost hydrofoils, Hansatee purchased a new express catamaran in May 1997, which was named MS Tallink Express I. At this time it was clear that two large ferries were needed for traffic between Helsinki and Tallinn, and when the Normandy's charter ended in December 1997 Tallink purchased MS Lion King from Stena Line, which entered traffic in February 1998 as MS Fantaasia. In July of the same year Tallink purchased the freighter MS Kapella which opened a line from Paldiski to Kapellskär, Tallink's first route to Sweden. In October the original MS Tallink, which no longer conformed modern safety regulations, was sold. Two months later Hansatee purchased their first fast ferry capable of carrying cars, HSC Tallink AutoExpress.
The sister ships Romantika
and Victoria I
(pictured) were Tallink's first new builds, delivered in 2002 and 2004, respectively.
By the year 2000 ESCO had become the sole owner of EstLine, and in December 2000 EstLine's two ferries MS Regina Baltica and MS Baltic Kristina were chartered to Hansatee, and the line between Tallinn and Stockholm began to be marketed as a part of Tallink. A few months earlier, in August 2000, Hansatee had ordered their first newbuild the 2500-passenger cruiseferry MS Romantika from the Finnish Aker Finnyards. This was the first ship in a new building programme that between 2001 and 2010 cost €1.2 billion. In June 2001 Tallink purchased HSC Tallink AutoExpress 2, while next month EstLine was declared bankrupt.
In 2002 AS Hansatee changed its name to AS Tallink Grupp, and in May of the same year the company took delivery of the MS Romantika, which was placed on Helsinki–Tallinn traffic. In November of the same year the classic Georg Ots was sold to the government of Russia. In 2004 three news ships joined Tallink's fleet, HSC Tallink AutoExpress 3 and HSC Tallink AutoExpress 4 alongside the Romantika's sister MS Victoria I which was placed on Tallinn–Stockholm route, replacing MS Fantaasia which in turn started a new route from Helsinki to St. Petersburg via Tallinn. This route proved unprofitable and was terminated in January 2005. Later in 2005 Tallink ordered a sister ship of the to-be delivered MS Galaxy and a fast ropax ferry from Aker Finnyards as well as another ropax ferry from the Fincantieri yard in Italy. On December 9, 2005, Tallink was listed at Tallinn Stock Exchange.
In 2006, Tallink purchased the Baltic Sea operations of Superfast Ferries from Attica Group, opened a route between Riga and Stockholm (with MS Fantaasia, which was within a month replaced by MS Regina Baltica), took delivery of the new MS Galaxy which replaced Romantika on the Tallinn–Helsinki route, transferred Romantika to the Tallinn–Stockholm route, and withdrew AutoExpress from service. A few months later, the company purchased the rival Finnish passenger line Silja Line from Sea Containers. The purchase of Superfast and Silja cost €780 million. In October 2006, the company expressed an interest in making an offer to operate ferries on the state-subsidized routes between the Swedish island of Gotland and the Swedish mainland between 2009 and 2015.
, the second Galaxy
-class ship, was delivered to Tallink in 2008. The Galaxy
-class ships are in essence lengthened versions of Romantika
and Victoria I
From the beginning of 2007, the former Superfast ships were moved under the Tallink brand and their route changed to Tallinn–Helsinki–Rostock. In April of the same year, Aker Yards delivered the fast cruiseferry MS Star that had been ordered in 2005. With the delivery of the Star, Meloodia was chartered to Balearic Islands, Spain for ten months and later sold, while AutoExpress 3 and AutoExpress 4 were also withdrawn. During April 2007 Tallink also ordered a third Galaxy-class cruiseferry from Aker Yards.
Two new ships followed in 2008, with the fast cruiseferry MS Superstar delivered from Fincantieri and the second Galaxy-class ship, MS Baltic Princess, delivered from Aker Yards. Both ships were placed in service between Helsinki and Tallinn With the delivery of the former, the last AutoExpress fast craft, AutoExpress 2, was withdrawn from Helsinki–Tallinn service. Baltic Princess, meanwhile, replaced her sister ship Galaxy, which was transferred to the fleet of Silja Line. With the arrival of Galaxy MS Silja Festival was left without employment in the Silja fleet, and she was in turn transferred to Tallink's fleet, joining Regina Baltica on the Riga–Stockholm service. In November 2008, MS Superfast IX, one of three ships purchased from Superfast Ferries in 2006, was chartered to the Canadian Marine Atlantic ferry operator for five years. In April 2009, Tallink took delivery of its last newbuilding (as of 2010), when MS Baltic Queen was delivered STX Europe (the former Aker Yards). The new ship was placed on the Tallinn–Mariehamn–Stockholm service alongside Victoria I. Romantika, that had been Victoria I's running mate since 2006, was in turn transferred to the Riga–Stockholm route, where she replaced Regina Baltica that was in turn chartered out to Acciona Trasmediterránea.
In December 2009, it was reported that the company was struggling to repay its debts of €1.1 billion. The fiscal year ending in August resulted in an operating loss, and the company had to re-negotiate with its 15 funding banks debt repayment schedules for the years 2009–2011. The banks took a more controlling role in the company: it could no longer pay dividends, make investments, or sign new contracts without its creditors' approval. Tallink also had to pick up the pace in debt repayments if conditions were to improve, and had to look for options to sell or rent some of its ships. Most of its debts were incurred for purchasing Silja Line for €470 million and Superfast Ferries for €310 million.
In November 2009, due to the competitive pressure of larger rivals and higher fuel prices Tallink temporarily withdrew MS Superfast VII and MS Superfast VIII from the Germany–Finland service. The ships spent the winter of 2009–2010 laid up in Kopli, before re-commencing service between Helsinki and Rostock in April 2010.
In March 2011, it was confirmed that the MS Superfast VIII and MS Superfast VII have been chartered to Stena Line for a period of three years, with the option to extend the charter for another year. Stena Line will use these ships for Scotland-Northern Ireland service. The vessels will be delivered after the end of the high season in August 2011. Until then they are operated on their current route by Tallink. The prospective charter will improve the result of these vessels so that they will be generating a profit.
In February 2015 the company signed a building contract for the construction of its first liquefied natural gas fueled ship, the MS Megastar which began from January 2017 providing a six times a day Tallinn-Helsinki-Tallinn service.
In 2018 during the course of over 10,000 voyages the company carried 9.756 million passengers, 1.25 million vehicles and 384,958 cargo units.
In 2019 the company carried 9.763 million passengers and 385,000 cargo units.
In 2019 Tallink reached a franchise agreement with a global fast-food company, Burger King to open restaurants in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, and according to the agreement, Tallink will have exclusive rights for running Burger King eateries in the Baltic states for 20 years. The company plans to open the first restaurant in each Baltic state in the first half of 2020. The enlargement of Burger King will employ around 800 people in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
Ignored man overboard
In April 2006 Tallink's ferry MS Regina Baltica, en route from Tallinn to Stockholm, ignored when multiple passengers reported that a passenger had fallen overboard. The crew refused to stop the ship to search for the passenger and the 21-year-old Estonian male perished in the incident. Tallink later accepted no responsibility for the accident, emphasizing that none of the passengers confirmed actually seeing the man falling overboard or in the water.
|MS My Star
||Will replace MS Star|
construction started on 6 April 2020.
||Status as of 2018
|Scrapped in Alang, India, 2005.
||Scrapped in Alang, India, 2006.
|MS Saint Patrick II
||Since 2002 MS C.T.M.A. Vacancier for Coopérative de transport maritime et aérien.
|MS Georg Ots
||Scrapped in China in 2014.
||Since 2000 MS Apollo, owned by Labrador Marine.
|MS Balanga Queen
||Since 1994 MS Discovery Sun for Discovery Cruise Line.
|MS Ambassador II
||Sailed 1999-2010 for Sterling Casino Lines - Scrapped in New Orleans in 2011.
||Since 2007 MS ARV 1 Equinox Offshore Accommodation.
|MS Tallink Express I
||Since 2008 MS Panormitis, owner unknown.
||Since 2008 owned by Equinox Offshore Accommodation.
||Laid up at Sandefjord, Norway since 2008 as MS Kongshavn.
|HSC Tallink Autoexpress
||Since 2006 HSC Alcantara Dos, owned by Acciona Trasmediterránea.
|MS Baltic Kristina
||Since 2007 MS Rigel for Ventouris Ferries.
|HSC Tallink AutoExpress 2
||Since 2007 under charter to Consolidada de Ferrys until September 2009.
|HSC Tallink Autoexpress 3
||Since 2007 HSC Queen Nefertiti for Arab Bridge Maritime Co.
|HSC Tallink Autoexpress 4
||Since 2007 HSC Speedrunner II for Aegean Speed Lines.
||Since 2008 sailing for Silja Line.
|MS Vana Tallinn
||Sold to Allferries SA in 2011.
|MS Baltic Princess
||Since 2013 sailing for Silja Line.
|MS Silja Festival
||After being replaced by MS Isabelle on the Stockholm-Riga route in May 2013 she was chartered as an accommodation ship to Kitimat, British Columbia She was then sold in early 2015 to Corsica Ferries.
|MS Regina Baltica
||After being replaced by another ship she was chartered to several other companies and then laid up in Tallinn. She was sold in early 2015.
||Sold to Corsica Ferries Group. New name Pascal Lota under Italian flag.
|MS Stena Superfast VII
||Sold to Stena Line.
|MS Stena Superfast VIII
||Sold to Stena Line.
- ^ a b c d e "AS Tallink Grupp Audited Annual Report of the 2019 Financial Year". Tallink. April 20, 2020. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
- ^ Tallink homepage
- ^ SeaRail: Information about SeaRail (archived), retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ (in Finnish) FCBS Forum: Re: Tallinkin, ESCO:n, Inrekon jne. suhteista, retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Svanetiya (1960)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 29 July 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ a b "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Georg Ots (1980)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 1 August 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ a b c d e f g Pagni, John (January 2020), "Tallinn Ho!: Tallink at 30 Rules the Baltic", Ships Monthly: 20–21CS1 maint: date and year (link)
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Tallink official website: Company history Archived 2008-01-07 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Arona (1972)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 30 July 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Aurella (1973)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 3 August 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ a b c d (in Finnish) FCBS Forum: Tallinkin, ESCO:n, Inrekon jne. suhteista, retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ a b c FCBS Forum: Tallinkin, ESCO:n, Inrekon jne. suhteista, retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ Simplon Postcards: Tallink, retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ a b "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Dana Regina (1974)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 9 December 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ Tallink brochure, summer 1994
- ^ "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Freeport (1968)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 1 August 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Prins Oberon (1970)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 2 August 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ a b (in Swedish) Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Diana II av Slite (1979), retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Prinsessan Birgitta (1981)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 1 August 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Sleipner (1989)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 31 July 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ a b c (in Swedish) Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Turella (1979), retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Duke of Yorkshire (1974)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 31 July 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Svea Regina (1972)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 2 August 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ a b (in Swedish) Fakta om Fartyg: HSC SuperSeaCat France (1996), retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ "Fakta om Fartyg: EstLine" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 3 August 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ a b c d "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Romantika (2002)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 31 July 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ a b "Fakta om Fartyg: HSC Boomerang (1997)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 26 May 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ a b (in Swedish) Fakta om Fartyg: HSC Pegasus Two (1997), retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ a b (in Swedish) Fakta om Fartyg: HSC Pegasus One (1996), retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Victoria (2003)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 24 May 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ a b Asklander, Micke. "M/S Baltic Princess (2008)". Fakta om Fartyg (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
- ^ a b "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Star (2007)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 31 July 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ a b "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Superstar (2008)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 1 August 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ a b "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Viking Song (1980)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 20 December 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Galaxy (2006)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 31 July 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ (in Swedish) Gotlandska.se: Tallink visar intresse för Gotlandstrafiken Archived 2012-08-01 at archive.today, retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ a b "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Superfast VII (2001)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 30 July 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ a b "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Superfast VIII (2001)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 1 August 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ a b "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Superfast IX (2002)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 3 August 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
- ^ Tallink Stock Exchange release 2007-11-14: Sale of Meloodia Archived 2007-12-22 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 2007-11-16
- ^ Aker Yards press release 2007-04-11, retrieved 2007-08-23
- ^ Asklander, Micke. "M/S Wellamo (1986)". Fakta om Fartyg (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 4 August 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
- ^ Asklander, Micke. "M/S Baltic Queen (2009)". Fakta om Fartyg (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 29 July 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
- ^ (in Finnish) Turun Sanomat: Ylivelkainen Tallink joutuu lykkäämään velanmaksua Archived 2011-07-17 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 2009-12-15
- ^ "Burger King fast-food joints to open in Estonia". Estonian World. 29 September 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
- ^ "Burger King and Tallink Grupp to open locations in three Baltic states". Verdict Food Service. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
- ^ "Burger King coming to Estonia". Eesti Rahvusringhääling. 27 September 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
- ^ (in Swedish) Expressen: Tallinks vd: "Det är kaptenen som tar besluten", retrieved 2007-08-23
- ^ "Tallink's cruise ferry Romantika starts on Riga-Stockholm route". Tallink. 2008-05-08. Archived from the original on 2009-05-13. Retrieved 2009-05-10.
- ^ "The Construction of Tallink Grupp's Newest Vessel Mystar to Start Today in Rauma Shipyard, Finland". 2020-04-06. Retrieved 2020-04-12.
- ^ Port of registry: MS/Atlantic Vision Archived 2011-10-15 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 2012-01-04
- ^ "Kitimat smelter operator to house temporary workers on cruise ship". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
- Id, Kalle (2015). Tallink: The First 25 Years. Ramsey, Isle of Man: Ferry Publications. ISBN 9781906608927.