Service personnel released
The Tallink Grupp subsidiary Tallink Latvija AS on April 17, 2020, notified the Latvian Employment Agency and the group's Latvian crew members and shore personnel that it was commencing a collective redundancies process involving around 550 Latvian employees. The process involvesd both crew members of the 'Isabelle' and 'Romantika' as well as the company's Latvian shore personnel, but the majority of the positions considered for redundancy were those of the onboard service personnel. The ferries have been laid up at the port of Riga since mid-March due to the ongoing state of emergency and the established travel restrictions. As per maritime regulations, both vessels currently have the minimum required level of technical crew onboard, but all other onboard employees have been at home for the last month with reduced salaries It was likely that the Riga-Stockholm route will initially be reopened with only one vessel on the route after the restrictions have been lifted, as the initial estimated passenger figures do not justify immediately returning two vessels to the route and it was likely that every trip the vessels make will initially make a further loss for the company.
Romantika to repatriate Estonian and Latvian nationals from Sassnitz
On March 17, 2020, at 9.15 p.m. the Tallink Grupp in partnership with the Estonian Foreign Office has sent the 'Romantika' from Riga to Sassnitz to help and bring home Estonians and Latvians currently stuck in Europe due to closed borders. All German citizens who wish to use this opportunity to get home to Germany can buy tickets for this departure from the Riga terminal from 7 p.m. onwards. The journey from Riga to Sassnitz will take approximately 24 hours. The 'Romantika' will depart from Sassnitz on March 18 at 11.55 p.m. LT. The ship will sail to Port of Riga, Latvia and will arrive in Riga on March 19 at 11.55 p.m. The journey from Sassnitz to Riga is approximately 24 hours. Tickets for the Sassnitz-Riga departure can be purchased by Estonian citizens on Tallink’s website www.tallink.ee and by Latvian citizens on Tallink Latvia’s website www.tallink.lv Ticket sales for the Sassnitz-Riga departure was opened on March 17. Purchasing the ticket on the website prior to departure is mandatory. All passengers will be accommodated in cabins and will have the opportunity to purchase food on board. International cargo transportation companies can book cargo transportation for the Riga-Sassnitz departure for tonight, 17 March. Companies interested in booking cargo transportation for the Riga-Sassnitz departure should contact the Tallink Cargo team urgently. (Cargo office Latvia contacts: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: +371 6709 9707). Access to the ports and a guarantee that the ship will not be quarantined is ensured by the Estonian Foreign Office together with the Latvian and German authorities. Negotiations will continue during this evacuation to reach an agreement according to which the 'Romantika' could continue to sail on the Sassnitz-Riga route also after the current trip to ensure a transport corridor between Germany, Latvia and Estonia. From March 17 entry restrictions are in force on the Estonian borders. More information regarding the restrictions and rules of entry can be found on the Estonian Foreign Office website. We urge all passengers to check that they have the right to enter the Republic of Estonia and Latvia before purchasing a ticket. German report with photo: https://www.ndr.de/nachrichten/mecklenburg-vorpommern/Ruegen-Sonderfaehre-bringt-gestrandete-Balten-nach-Hause,coronavirus642.html
Ferry suffered storm damage and water ingress
On Jan 12, 2017, the "Romantika" en route from Stockholm, where she had sailed at 9.15 p.m., to Riga, ETA JAn 12, 10 a.m., encountered trouble around 3.40 a.m. when a radar antenna was damaged and flew away, causing damage to a window in the Tango Bar in the bow of the ship. As a result the ferry started taking in water in the stormy seas. Some water leaked into the passenger areas on deck five. The ship had 277 passengers and 178 crew members on board. It reached the port of Riga safely on Jan 12 at 7.45 p.m. She left Riga again at 11.30 p.m. on the return trip to Stockholm, ETA Jan 13, 6 p.m. The affected passengers immediately had got new cabins after the accident. The water ingress also did not affect the safety on board. Tallink will investigate the incident and reposition the front radar construction on its vessels to avoid a similar situation in the future.Upload News