Gotlandsbolaget has bought the small cruise ship ‘Birka Stockholm’ from Rederiaktiebolaget Eckerö for around €38 mill.
She will sail between Stockholm, Mariehamn and Visby.
“Birka Stockholm is a purely passenger ship, and we see great opportunities for her to complement the Gotland traffic. In 2022, we continued to streamline our fleet to focus on infrastructure and future shipping. With ‘Birka Stockholm’, we are further consolidating our position in passenger shipping in the Baltic Sea,” said Håkan Johansson, Gotlandsbolaget CEO.
Gotlandsbolaget, together with subsidiary Destination Gotland, will use the ship to offer cruises, alongside its existing Gotland traffic. ‘Birka Stockholm’ will offer a tax-free environment and will primarily operate between Stockholm, Mariehamn and Visby and varying traffic patterns depending on the season.
“There is a market for this type of cruise in the Baltic Sea, and traffic to Visby for parts of the year will further strengthen interest. Visby has become an increasingly attractive cruise port, and we see it as a great opportunity to both develop our business and create new reasons to visit Gotland.
“For Gotland residents, this means an increased number of departures for those who have more time and do not have a car with them, or want to take a pleasure cruise,” added Marcus Risberg, CEO of Destination Gotland.
“This means new job opportunities under the Swedish flag, and we will also develop our organisation in the country. Pleasure cruises are a different product than the one we have today,” he said.
Cruises are due to start in the spring of 2024, and the work to develop the organisation and service will begin immediately.
“Gotlandsbolaget has brought Gotland and the mainland closer together since 1865. Now we are also bringing Gotland and Åland closer together,” concluded Johansson.