Cruisin to Estonia


Ready to dance the night away with our blog post on the Scandinavia cruise industry

The broads abroad made it to Estonia from Stockholm via an overnight cruise with Tallink Cruise Line. To board the cruise ship we dragged our luggage down a long walkway which was very warm for everyone. After the long walk we went to our state rooms, which were quite small. We had two small “beds” and an even smaller bathroom. You could wash your hands, use the toilet and shower all at the same time. On the cruise ship they had a duty free shop where you could purchase items like alcohol, snacks, toys, and beauty products which was very convenient. All of us enjoyed dinner at the buffet. Getting into the buffet was more like a stampede of animals to the watering hole. There was no organization to get in just a mob of people crowding till the doors opened. The buffet included a variety of foods such as sushi, herring, salad, and meat.


Entrance to the disco on the boat

There were multiple areas you could go to enjoy yourself on the boat. The sundeck on top offered lots of seating and a bar, however due to the winds over the baltic we were just there for a short period of time. Other areas on the boat consisted of a theatre area which had a show and live music later in the night. There was a pub on board that had a great singer earlier in the night and later there was karaoke for everyone. After our night of rest in our room we headed to the disembarkation floor. Just like the buffet the exit was crowded. You could barely walk out of the elevator or down the stairs due to the crowds. With low prices of about 82 euros for the cheapest room we wondered how popular the cruises are in this region.   


The blocked exit due to the crowds


The cruise and ferry industry in Scandinavia is lead by tourism, transportation, and its location to northern Europe. Over 180000 Scandinavian residents booked cruises in 2010, a 12.1 % increase over 2009.  In 2011, the direct expenditures of the cruise industry declined by 2.2% from 2010. The reduction was the net result of a 13% decline in the shipbuilding sector and a 6% increase in the remaining components of cruise industry expenditures.

According to Businesscoot, in 2010, a total of 95 cruise ships and ferries were active in Northern European waters with a capacity of 97027 lower berths (average 1021 berths/ship) collectively carrying a potential 1.04 Million passengers. The Nordic market is expected to contract slightly in terms of overall capacity with 9.73 Million pax-nights offered in 2010 but resumption of growth is likely in 2011. The residents of Western Europe accounted for 29% of cruise travel demand in Scandinavia.  Norway was the leading destination in Northern Europe with nearly 1.7 Million passenger visits, led by Bergen and Oslo followed by Stockholm and Helsinki.

The Nordic cruise industry spent an estimated NOK480 million on business services including advertising, engineering and other professional services, computer programming and support services and direct mail and market research. Finland’s Viking Line and Tallink control over 60% passenger traffic and 75% market share by revenues of the Eastern Nordic and Baltic regions.

According to the Global Cruise Market Report, AS Tallink Grupp, the cruise line we took from Stockholm to Tallin, is one of the largest passenger and cargo shipping companies in the Baltic and Northern Europe region. The company operates on six shipping routes under the brands of Tallink and Silja Line. About 630,000 passengers travelled in the month of November mainly on the Stockholm to Tallin route. The company has a fleet of 10 cruise ships with an average of over 36,000 GT per ship. The company employees over 6000 personnel.