Tallink Cruise Ferry Arrives in Scotland for COP26 Accommodations 

cruise ferries provide accommodations for COP26
Romantika is the first of two cruise ferries due in Scotland for COP26 (Marko Stampehl photo courtesy of Tallink Grupp)

Published Oct 15, 2021 1:53 PM by The Maritime Executive

The first of two European ferries arrived in Glasgow, Scotland this week to prepare for the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). The ferries, both owned by Tallink Group, are being used to address concerns over a lack of hotel space to accommodate the expected 30,000 delegates to the conference.

The 40,000 gross ton cruise ferry Romantika, registered in Latvia, drew local attention when she arrived in Scotland from Morocco on October 12. The ship which was built in 2002 and normally operated on the overnight run between Latvia and Sweden has been under charter this summer operating between Tangier and France. 



Tallink said it was pleased to receive the last-minute assignment for the ferry which was scheduled to be laid up in the Baltic. The Romantika was chartered for one month from October 15 to November 15. She transited the River Clyde docking in Renfrew, which is approximately 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 organization and delivery of such important global events in 2021.”

The charter is the second the company received for the COP26 conference. Starting on October 17, also for one month, Tallink Grupp chartered its 59,900 gross ton cruise ferry the Silja Europa to provide accommodations at the conference. The vessel, which canceled its scheduled sailings between Finland and Estonia, will be berthed in Scotland from October 21 to November 14.

The charter for COP26 is the second time this year that the Silja Europa has been used to provide accommodations for a global summit. For ten days in June, the cruise ferry was docked in Falmouth, England. She provided housing for approximately 1,000 of the 6,500 police that were assigned to maintain order during the G7 conference in Cornwall.

During COP26, the two cruise ferries are expected to accommodate a total of 3,300 people with Tallink maintaining all technical services aboard both ships. Food services will be offered but there was no mention of other amenities aboard the ships. In June, the vessel's bars, nightclub, spa, and hairdressers were closed, and no alcohol was served or sold onboard.