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AS Tallink Grupp
Traded asNasdaq BalticTAL1T
ISINEE3100004466 Edit this on Wikidata
IndustryMaritime transportation
Area served
Northern Europe
Key people
Enn Pant, Paavo Nõgene
ServicesPassenger transport, freight, cruises
RevenueDecrease 938 million Euro (2016)[1]
Decrease 44 million Euro (2016)[1]
Number of employees
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.[2]

Company owns Silja Line and a part of SeaRail.[3] 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. 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.[4] 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.[5][6]


The original MS Tallink in Tallinn harbour, 1994.

In May 1989 ESCO formed a new subsidiary, 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 traffic on the Helsinki–Tallinn route in January 1990 as MS Tallink.[7] Later in the same year the freighter MS Transestonia joined the Tallink on the Helsinki–Tallinn route[8] 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.[7] 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.[9]


MS Meloodia, 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.[7] 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.[10] 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.[11] Tallink remained the marketing name for the company's fleet.[7][12] Later in the same year Inreko purchased MS Nord Estonia from EstLine (a daughter company of ESCO and the Swedish Nordström & Thulin Ab), renamed her MS Vana Tallinn and placed her in Helsinki–Tallinn traffic for Tallink.[13] Inreko also brought with them two fast hydrofoils, HS Liisa and HS Laura which began serving under the Tallink Express brand.[14] 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.[15][16]

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.[10][11] ESCO was clearly 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).[7] 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.[17] 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.[10] 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.[10][13]

In 1997 a second large ferry was brought to Tallink's traffic when the company chartered MS Normandy from Stena Line.[18] To replace the lost hydrofoils, Hansatee purchased a new express catamaran in May 1997, which was named MS Tallink Express I.[7][19] 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.[20] In July of the same year Tallink purchased the freighter MS Kapella which opened a line from Paldiski to Kapellskär,[21] Tallink's first route to Sweden.[7] In October the original MS Tallink, which no longer conformed modern safety regulations, was sold.[22] Two months later Hansatee purchased their first fast ferry capable of carrying cars, HSC Tallink AutoExpress.[23]


The sister ships Romantika and Victoria I (pictured) were Tallink's first newbuildings, 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.[7][24] A few months earlier, in August 2000, Hansatee had ordered their first newbuild from the Finnish Aker Finnyards.[25] In June 2001 Tallink purchased HSC Tallink AutoExpress 2,[26] while next month EstLine was declared bankrupt.

In 2002 AS Hansatee changed its name into AS Tallink Grupp,[11] and in May of the same year the company took delivery of the brand new 2500-passenger cruiseferry MS Romantika, which was placed on Helsinki–Tallinn traffic.[7][25] In November of the same year the classic Georg Ots was sold to the government of Russia.[6] In 2004 three news ships joined Tallink's fleet, HSC Tallink AutoExpress 3[27] and HSC Tallink AutoExpress 4[28] alongside the Romantika's sister MS Victoria I which was placed on Tallinn–Stockholm route,[29] 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.[20] Later in 2005 Tallink ordered a sister ship of the to-be delivered MS Galaxy[30] and a fast ropax ferry from Aker Finnyards[31] as well as another ropax ferry from the Fincantieri yard in Italy.[32] On December 9, 2005, Tallink was listed at Tallinn Stock Exchange.[7]


In 2006, Tallink purchased the Baltic Sea operations of Superfast Ferries from Attica Group, opened a route between Riga and Stockholm[7] (with MS Fantaasia,[20] which was within a month replaced by MS Regina Baltica[33]), took delivery of the new MS Galaxy[34] which replaced Romantika on the Tallinn–Helsinki route, transferred Romantika to the Tallinn–Stockholm route,[25] and withdrew AutoExpress from service.[23] A few months later, the company purchased the rival Finnish passenger line Silja Line from Sea Containers Ltd.[7] 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.[35]

Baltic Princess, 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.[36][37][38] In April of the same year, Aker Yards delivered the fast cruiseferry MS Star that had been ordered in 2005.[31] With the delivery of the Star, Meloodia was chartered to Balearias, Spain for ten months and later sold,[17][39] while AutoExpress 3 and AutoExpress 4 were also withdrawn.[27][28] During April 2007 Tallink also ordered a third Galaxy-class cruiseferry from Aker Yards.[40]

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[30][32] With the delivery of the former, the last AutoExpress fast craft, AutoExpress 2, was withdrawn from Helsinki–Tallinn service.[26] 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.[41] 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.[38] 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.[42] Romantika, that had been Victoria I's running mate since 2006, was in turn transferred to the Riga–Stockholm route,[25] where she replaced Regina Baltica that was in turn chartered out to Acciona Trasmediterránea.[33]

In December 2009, it was reported that company was struggling to repay its debts of 1.1 billion euros. 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 euros.[43]

In November 2009, 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.[36][37]

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 winter 2016/2017, Tallink started operating MS Megastar, built in Meyer Turku Oy. The building contract was formally signed in February 2015. The ship is 212 meters long, has a passenger capacity of 2800 and is powered by liquefied natural gas.[44]

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. [45] The company plans to open the first restaurant in each Baltic state in the first half of 2020. [46] The enlargement of Burger King will employ around 800 people in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. [47]


Ignored man overboard[edit]

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.[48]


Current fleet[edit]

Ship Type Built Entered
Route Tonnage1 Flag Notes
MS Baltic Queen Cruiseferry 2009 2009 Tallinn–Mariehamn–Stockholm 48,915 GT  Estonia
MS Isabelle Cruiseferry 1989 2013 Stockholm–Riga 35 134 GT  Latvia Bought from the competitor Viking Line in April 2013 and replaced Silja Festival.
MS Megastar Cruiseferry 2017 2017 Helsinki–Tallinn 49,000 GT  Estonia
MS Regal Star Ro-Ro 2000 2004 Paldiski–Kapellskär 15,281 GRT  Estonia
MS Romantika Cruiseferry 2002 2002 Stockholm–Riga 40,803 GT  Latvia First newbuilding delivered to Tallink.[49] Twice have been sailed under Estonian flag.
MS Silja Europa Cruiseferry 1993 2016 Helsinki–Tallinn 59,912 GT  Estonia
MS Sea Wind Ro-Ro 1972 1989 Vuosaari–Muuga 15,879 GRT  Estonia
MS Star Cruiseferry 2007 2007 Helsinki–Tallinn 36,249 GT  Estonia
MS Victoria I Cruiseferry 2004 2004 Tallinn–Mariehamn–Stockholm 40,975 GT  Estonia
1May be specified in gross tonnage (GT) or gross register tons (GRT).

On charter[edit]

Ship Type Built In service Route Tonnage Flag Notes
MV Atlantic Vision Fast Ro-Pax 2002 2008–2019 Port aux Basques - North Sydney 30,285 GT  Canada[50] Since 2008 under charter to Marine Atlantic till November 2019.

Former vessels[edit]

Ship Built In service Tonnage1 Status as of 2018
MS Tallink 1972 1989–1996 10,341 GRT Scrapped in Alang, India, 2005
MS Transestonia 1972 1990–2000 2,386 GRT Scrapped in Alang, India, 2006
MS Saint Patrick II 1973 1992–1995 7,984 GRT Since 2002 MS C.T.M.A. Vacancier for Coopérative de transport maritime et aérien
MS Georg Ots 1980 1993–2000 12,549 GRT Scrapped in China in 2014.
MS Corbiere
MS Apollo
1970 1994
4,238 GRT Since 2000 MS Apollo, owned by Labrador Marine Inc
MS Balanga Queen 1968 1994 10,448 GRT Since 1994 MS Discovery Sun for Discovery Cruise Line
MS Ambassador II 1970 1994 7,993 GRT Sailed 1999-2010 for Sterling Casino Lines - Scrapped in New Orleans in 2011.
MS Meloodia 1979 1996–2006 17,955 GT Since 2007 MS ARV 1 Equinox Offshore Accommodation
MS Tallink Express I 1989 1997–2001 430 GRT Since 2008 MS Panormitis, owner unknown
MS Normandy 1981 1997 17,043 GRT Since 2008 owned by Equinox Offshore Accommodation
MS Fantaasia 1979 1997–2006 10,604 GT Laid up at Sandefjord, Norway since 2008 as MS Kongshavn
HSC Tallink Autoexpress 1996 1999–2006 5,308 GRT Since 2006 HSC Alcantara Dos, owned by Acciona Trasmediterránea
MS Baltic Kristina 1973 2001–2002 12,281 GRT Since 2007 MS Rigel for Ventouris Ferries
HSC Tallink AutoExpress 2 1997 2001–2007 5,307 GRT Since 2007 under charter to Consolidada de Ferrys until September 2009
HSC Tallink Autoexpress 3 1997 2004–2007 3,971 GRT Since 2007 HSC Queen Nefertiti for Arab Bridge Maritime Co
HSC Tallink Autoexpress 4 1996 2004–2007 3,971 GRT Since 2007 HSC Speedrunner II for Aegean Speed Lines
MS Galaxy 2006 2006–2008 48,915 GT Since 2008 sailing for Silja Line.
MS Vana Tallinn 1974 1994–2011 10,002 GT Sold to Allferries SA in 2011.
MS Baltic Princess 2008 2008-2013 48,915 GT Since 2013 sailing for Silja Line.
MS Silja Festival 1986 2008–2013 34,414 GT 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[51] She was then sold in early 2015 to Corsica Ferries.
MS Regina Baltica 1980 2001–2009 18,345 GT 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.
MS Superstar 2008 2008–2017 36,400 GT Sold to Corsica Ferries Group. New name Pascal Lota under Italian flag.
MS Stena Superfast VII 2001 2011–2014 30,285 GT Sold to Stena Line.
MS Stena Superfast VIII 2001 2011–2014 30,285 GT Sold to Stena Line.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c [1] 3]1]E0EXG$XTAL_3112&externalidexchange=EX$$$$XTAL&LanguageId=en-GB&CurrencyId=EUR&BaseCurrencyId=EUR&tab=-1&ClearXrayPortfolioManagerApiInputData=true Nasdaq Morningstar Fact Sheet Tallink]
  2. ^ SeaRail: Information about SeaRail (archived), retrieved 2007-11-02
  3. ^ (in Finnish) FCBS Forum: Re: Tallinkin, ESCO:n, Inrekon jne. suhteista, retrieved 2007-11-02
  4. ^ "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Svanetiya (1960)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 29 July 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
  5. ^ a b "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Georg Ots (1980)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 1 August 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
  6. ^ 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
  7. ^ "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Arona (1972)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 30 July 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
  8. ^ "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Aurella (1973)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 3 August 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
  9. ^ a b c d (in Finnish) FCBS Forum: Tallinkin, ESCO:n, Inrekon jne. suhteista, retrieved 2007-11-02
  10. ^ a b c FCBS Forum: Tallinkin, ESCO:n, Inrekon jne. suhteista, retrieved 2007-11-02
  11. ^ Simplon Postcards: Tallink, retrieved 2007-11-02
  12. ^ a b "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Dana Regina (1974)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 9 December 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
  13. ^ Tallink brochure, summer 1994
  14. ^ "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Freeport (1968)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 1 August 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
  15. ^ "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Prins Oberon (1970)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 2 August 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
  16. ^ a b (in Swedish) Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Diana II av Slite (1979), retrieved 2007-11-02
  17. ^ "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Prinsessan Birgitta (1981)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 1 August 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
  18. ^ "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Sleipner (1989)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 31 July 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
  19. ^ a b c (in Swedish) Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Turella (1979), retrieved 2007-11-02
  20. ^ "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Duke of Yorkshire (1974)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 31 July 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
  21. ^ "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Svea Regina (1972)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 2 August 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
  22. ^ a b (in Swedish) Fakta om Fartyg: HSC SuperSeaCat France (1996), retrieved 2007-11-02
  23. ^ "Fakta om Fartyg: EstLine" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 3 August 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
  24. ^ 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
  25. ^ a b "Fakta om Fartyg: HSC Boomerang (1997)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 26 May 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
  26. ^ a b (in Swedish) Fakta om Fartyg: HSC Pegasus Two (1997), retrieved 2007-11-02
  27. ^ a b (in Swedish) Fakta om Fartyg: HSC Pegasus One (1996), retrieved 2007-11-02
  28. ^ "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Victoria (2003)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 24 May 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
  29. ^ 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.
  30. ^ a b "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Star (2007)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 31 July 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
  31. ^ a b "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Superstar (2008)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 1 August 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
  32. ^ a b "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Viking Song (1980)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 20 December 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
  33. ^ "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Galaxy (2006)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 31 July 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
  34. ^ (in Swedish) Gotlandska.se: Tallink visar intresse för Gotlandstrafiken Archived 2012-08-01 at Archive.today, retrieved 2007-11-02
  35. ^ a b "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Superfast VII (2001)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 30 July 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
  36. ^ a b "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Superfast VIII (2001)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 1 August 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
  37. ^ a b "Fakta om Fartyg: M/S Superfast IX (2002)" (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 3 August 2012., retrieved 2007-11-02
  38. ^ Tallink Stock Exchange release 2007-11-14: Sale of Meloodia Archived 2007-12-22 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 2007-11-16
  39. ^ Aker Yards press release 2007-04-11, retrieved 2007-08-23
  40. ^ Asklander, Micke. "M/S Wellamo (1986)". Fakta om Fartyg (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 4 August 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  41. ^ Asklander, Micke. "M/S Baltic Queen (2009)". Fakta om Fartyg (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 29 July 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  42. ^ (in Finnish) Turun Sanomat: Ylivelkainen Tallink joutuu lykkäämään velanmaksua Archived 2011-07-17 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 2009-12-15
  43. ^ http://www.tallink.com/press-releases
  44. ^ "Burger King fast-food joints to open in Estonia". The Estonian World. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  45. ^ "Burger King and Tallink Grupp to open locations in three Baltic states". Verdict Food Service. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  46. ^ "Burger King coming to Estonia". Eesti Rahvusringhääling. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  47. ^ (in Swedish) Expressen: Tallinks vd: "Det är kaptenen som tar besluten", retrieved 2007-08-23
  48. ^ "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.
  49. ^ Port of registry: MS/Atlantic Vision Archived 2011-10-15 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 2012-01-04
  50. ^ "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.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 59°26′39″N 24°45′18″E / 59.444197°N 24.754971°E / 59.444197; 24.754971