February 24, 2024

Star sails between Ireland and the United Kingdom

Estonian company Tallink Grupp has now signed an agreement with Irish Continental Group plc to charter the 'Star' ferry on a long-term basis. The vessel will be chartered for an initial period of 20 months, with the possibility of extending the charter for 2 years + 2 years with an option to purchase. The agreement stipulates the chartering of a bareboat ship. This means that the vessel will be chartered from Tallink Grupp without the crew.

The Estonian-flagged Star ferry, which has been operating on the Tallinn-Helsinki route since 2007, was a turning point on the Estonia-Finland route and a pioneer of this type of vessel on the Baltic Sea. For more than a decade, it operated on the Tallinn-Helsinki route alongside the company's later shuttle ships: “Superstar”, “Megastar” and “MyStar”. Since Tallink's newest shuttle ferry 'MyStar' came into operation last December, 'Star' has only offered a few daily departures between the northern capitals Tallinn and Helsinki with a slightly reduced service on board.

Designed for Irish Sea traffic

'Star' has been chartered to Irish Continental Group plc from 5 May and is expected to be used in Irish Sea trade between Ireland and the UK. Commenting on the charter agreement, Paavo Noggin, CEO of Tallink Grupp, said: “We have been looking for alternative roles for our ship 'Star' for some time and the search intensified as the arrival of our new shuttle 'MyStar' approached last year. There has been great interest in chartering Star over the years. years, and I am pleased that we have now reached a good agreement with its Irish Continental Group PLC.

The star's last flight this spring will take place on May 1 from Helsinki to Tallinn. Travelers who purchased Star Sailings tickets after May 1 will be contacted and offered alternative travel options on the company's other ships.

The company employs 4,500 people

AS Tallink Grupp, listed on the Tallinn Stock Exchange and on the Nasdaq Helsinki Stock Exchange, together with its subsidiary Tallink Silja, is a leading provider of passenger and freight transportation services in the North Baltic Sea region. The company owns 15 ships and operates on various routes under the Tallink and Silja Line brands. The company employs a total of 4,500 people.

However, with the chartering of Star, seven of the shipping company's vessels are now on charter, some of which are long-term, and are no longer active for Tallink Silja itself. A lease contract for “Romantika” was concluded with KLM Norwegian last year until spring 2025.

Accommodation of Ukrainian refugees

Atlantic Vision (formerly Superfast IX) has a charter contract with Marine Atlantic in Canada until at least May 2024. Four ferries alone have been chartered as floating accommodation to accommodate Ukrainian refugees. The “Silja Europe”, which can accommodate up to 3,750 passengers and was built by Mayer Werft in 1993, and the “Galaxy”, which can accommodate up to 2,800 passengers, have been chartered to the Netherlands. The “Isabelle” was initially chartered to the Estonian government until summer 2023. The “Victoria I” was chartered to the Scottish government, which is using the ferry as a floating shelter for refugees in the port of Leith near Edinburgh. (san)

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