Shipper Viking Line closed its high-speed ferry connection to Helsinki ahead of schedule. One of the engines of Viking FSTR, a catamaran ferry originally expected to operate on the Tallinn-Helsinki route until October 22, was damaged and forced the company to cancel its crossings on four days already last week.
Viking Line announced on October 17 that they were closing the season of their high-speed ferry early. As the company’s communications director, Christa Gronlund, declared, one of Viking FSTR’s four engines had been faulty, and four days of downtime last week had also contributed to the decision.
“We thought the issue was solved and the engine working again, but it broke on the first crossing after the repair from Helsinki to Tallinn on October 14 and caused a 20 to 30-minute delay,” Gronlund said.
They wouldn’t be able to get the engine fixed this week, and looking at the weather forecasts for the remaining time in October heavy winds would only mean even more delays, she added.
“That’s why we’ve decided to shut down the connection,” Gronlund said.
The season had nevertheless been good for the high-speed ferry, with a new passenger record for the company in July. More than a million people used the high-speed connection this summer, altogether 9% more than in the same period of 2016. Viking FSTR moved some 379,000 passengers across the Gulf of Finland in June alone.
Gronlund wasn’t able to say whether or not Viking FSTR would be back for the 2018 summer season. “We haven’t made plans yet for the next catamaran season.”
Viking Line operates a total of seven ferries in the Baltic Sea, with destinations in Finland, Sweden, and the Baltic states. (ERR/Business World Magazine)