Last summer’s near-record passenger numbers look set to continue for Baltic Sea shipping lines. “The advance reservation situation is extremely good,” said Pasi Nakki, Deputy CEO of Tallink Silja.
Reports from Viking Line show that the period from midsummer to August is already widely sold-out, with a capacity shortage to meet passenger demand. Tuomas Nylund, head of communications for Tallink Silja, however, downplayed the strong advance reservation numbers, claiming the situation is not unusual at peak season.
Viking Line, the main rival to Tallink Silja in Finland, announced that reservations for May and June had shown slight growth on last year’s numbers, although 2010 seems to be characterised by last minute bookings, reports Helsingin Sanomat.
To cope with the upsurge in demand, Viking Line is believed to have ordered two new vehicle ferries, while Tallink has invested heavily in new ships despite profits suffering. Nakki claimed that passenger needs are now being met, but said advance reservations are advised, especially for those travelling with cars.
A number of companies operate Baltic Sea cruises, transporting passengers and vehicles from Finland to Sweden, Estonia, Germany and Poland. Viking Line and Tallink Silja are the major players along with Eckero Line and Linda Line, which runs services between the Estonian capital Tallinn and Helsinki.