The first of two Tallink ropaxes has arrived in Glasgow, Scotland ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).
The ropaxes will be used to address concerns over a lack of hotel space to accommodate the expected 30,000 delegates to the conference.
The 40,000 gt Latvian flagged cruise ferry ’Romantika’, (pictured) arrived on the Clyde from Morocco on 12th October.
She was built in 2002 and normally operates on the overnight route between Riga, Latvia and Stockholm but has been under charter during the summer to operate between Tangier Med and Sete, France.
‘Romantika’ was chartered for one month beginning 15th October to provide accommodation and catering facilities. She berthed in Renfrew about six miles west of Glasgow.
“This charter request and agreement came at a very opportune time, as Romantika had just finished operating in the Mediterranean region between Morocco and France as part of its previous charter agreement and the vessel was en route back to Tallinn,” said Tallink Grupp’s CEO Paavo Nõgene. “It is also a huge challenge for us all in terms of the extremely short time we have for preparations, and I know such last-minute agreements put our staff under extreme pressure for delivery. I think it is great testament to our vessels and, more importantly, to our crew and shore staff that we are able to secure contracts for such high profile and significant international events and we hope to make our home countries proud by making a vital contribution to the successful organisation and delivery of such important global events in 2021.”
Also chartered for a month, starting on 17th October, was the 59,900 gt cruise ferry ‘Silja Europa’. This vessel, which had her regular Tallinn/Helsinki schedules cancelled, was due to be berthed in Scotland from 21st October to 14th November.
Last June, ’Silja Europa’ was used to provide accommodation for a global summit, berthing for 10 days in Falmouth, England. She provided housing for about 1,000 of the 6,500 police that were assigned to maintain security during the G7 conference in Cornwall.
During COP26, the two cruise ferries are expected to accommodate up to 3,300 people. Tallink will manage all technical services on board both ships.