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MyStar is set to shine bright

article picture: MyStar is set to shine bright

Tallink’s newest ship, MyStar, is under construction at Rauma Marine Constructions’ shipyard. MyStar is, to date, the largest ship built at Rauma Shipyard. It is also the seventh vessel built for Tallink in Rauma.


Tallink’s newest ship, MyStar, is under construction at Rauma Marine Constructions’ shipyard. MyStar is, to date, the largest ship built at Rauma Shipyard. It is also the seventh vessel built for Tallink in Rauma.

MyStar is fueled by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and once completed, will be the most environmentally friendly vessel to operate in the Baltic Sea region. When it starts operating on the Helsinki-Tallinn route next year, two environmentally friendly high-speed shuttle ferries, MyStar and Megastar, will operate between Finland and Estonia. Both ships meet all current and currently known future emissions requirements.

Paavo Nõgene, CEO, Tallink Grupp, says that use of LNG is well in line with the company’s climate policy.

“We have made a commitment as a company to build all our new ships to use the most environmentally friendly technologies and to operate using the greenest maritime fuel available at the time. Right now, the most environmentally friendly fuel available for vessels is LNG, so it was a logical step to build an LNG-based vessel,” he explains.

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Green bridge across the waves

Nõgene is also excited about MyStar operating on the Tallinn-Helsinki route and bringing something extra to the connection.

“Together with Megastar, they will create a ‘green bridge’ across the Gulf of Finland between the two capital cities of Tallinn and Helsinki.”

Tallink’s flagship shuttle Megastar has a godmother of some renown: Tarja Halonen, former President of Finland. The appropriate and logical choice for MyStar’s godmother, then, was former President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid.

According to Nõgene, the choice was strongly influenced by Kaljulaid’s distinguished work for the environment and her efforts to mitigate climate change both globally and in Estonia.

Securing sustainability

Nõgene feels that MyStar is a good example of the company’s environmental aspirations as Tallink Grupp is committed to playing its part in the maritime transport sector, achieving the ambitious emissions reductions and environmental goals.

“It is an important landmark also in our aspirations to continuously develop and offer the latest and top quality passenger transport service in the Baltic Sea region, despite the challenges of the last few years,” he says.

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Looking forward, the CEO believes people will continue to travel across the Baltic Sea, but their needs and demands regarding the travel and its quality are changing and developing.

“Our job with every new vessel is to understand and even anticipate, where possible, these changing needs and requirements and to give customers what they need. And a little bit more.”

Pandemic packs a mean punch

The global COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the cruise business. Nõgene comments that it is not exactly news that the company has lost both customers and revenue.

“Our ships have been suspended from operations on and off, we have had to demonstrate extreme levels of flexibility, speed and adaptability due to travel restrictions and different rules by our home markets’ governments and authorities throughout the last 21 months,” he says.

“It has all been tough, but the toughest part of the whole pandemic has been the impact on our people with lay-offs, redundancies and constantly changing environments and demands,” he says.

“I take my hat off to every single member of Tallink Grupp’s staff who have demonstrated commitment, dedication and loyalty during this extremely difficult time”, Nõgene adds, pointing out that Tallink is about the people who make it work, every day.

Recovery is a long road

Tallink Group believes that travelling will start to return to some level of normality in the next year or so, but the recovery for international transport and tourism companies will take far longer – many years after COVID, even.

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“We expect to see more regional travel for a while as travellers’ confidence returns, but expect to see visitors from more distant shores making their way back to us again after a while, too. We, the transport and travel companies, must work to prepare for that and attract the visitors back here when the time is right – and the health dangers are behind us once again.”

Masked ceremony

Naturally, strict COVID-19 safety measures are implemented at the Rauma shipyard during the building project, and they impacted also the August 2021 christening of the vessel. The christening and floatout of the ship took place outdoors and the invited guests were divided into several different areas in order to minimise personal contact.

The event was also streamed live, making it possible for guests to view the ceremony remotely.

At the christening ceremony, Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO of Rauma Marine Constructions, noted that RMC and Tallink have been working together for over a year, and both Tallink’s and RMC’s project teams “deserve great praise” for the work they have done in the challenging conditions. Heinimaa was also excited to see the project proceed to a new stage as the work shifts from the exterior of the ship to the interior.

The final milestone in the construction process is the handover of the vessel from Rauma shipyard to Tallink, which is scheduled to take place in the first half of 2022.

Orderbook in order

The Rauma shipyard has its hands full: it’s also working on four corvettes for the Finnish Defence Forces and another car and passenger ferry, Aurora Botnia for Wasaline.

Furthermore, in March 2021, RMC and Tasmanian shipping company TTLine Company signed an agreement on the construction of two car and passenger ferries.

At the moment, the shipyard can build two different ships side by side, which has sped up the shipyard’s growth. In the future, the goal is to establish RMC as a global leader in the production of RoPax ferries and to keep producing prominent government vessels.

TALLINK MYSTAR – FAST FACTS
Length: 212 m
Width: 30.6 m
Draught: 7 m
Gross tonnage: 50,000
Speed: 27 knots
Lane metres: 3,190
Passengers: 3,000
Cabins: 48

by: Sami J. Anteroinen
photos: Tallink Grupp

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