• Christa Grönlund

    Communications Manager, Finland

    Viking Line Abp PL 119 00161 Helsinki
    +358 9-123 5242
  • Johanna Boijer-Svahnström

    Vice President Corporate Communications, Headquarters

    Viking Line Abp PL 166 22101 Maarianhamina
    +358 18-277 48
  • Quotes

    "The name of a ship is significant in reflecting both tradition and future expectations. Many of our ships have historically carried a name with an ending -ella to honour Mrs Ellen Eklund, the spouse of the company's founder Gunnar Eklund. However, we have broken with the tradition, most recently in 2013 with M/S Viking Grace, so we are not stuck with any particular type of name. It is incredibly delightful that as many as 22 486 individuals all over the world contributed to the name competition and we find all of the ten finalist entries as highly worthy alternatives."
    Gustaf Eklund, Head of Business Development at Viking Line
    “I would not be exaggerating when I state that all of our nearly 3,000 employees are enthusiastic and behind the launch of this new vessel. As the market leader in the Baltic Sea region, we have gone all out to create the archipelago experience of the future and one that will be as gentle on the environment as possible. We are also investing heavily in the recruitment of a project leader who will take on the responsibility for the launch of the new ship. The project leader’s primary task will be to get the greater public to be as excited about this new ship as we are at Viking Line.”
    Gustaf Eklund, Head of Business Development, Viking Line
    “The task is creative, challenging and filled with possibilities for development. If your curiosity has been peaked and you are wondering what it might be like to work together with one of the most innovative companies in the travel industry, send us your application. We are offering a unique opportunity to join Viking Line in taking the concept of travel in the Baltic Sea region into the 2020s.”
    Gustaf Eklund, Head of Business Development, Viking Line
    “Viking Line is one of Finland’s strongest brand names; one that is already familiar to multiple generations. For us, it is important to endeavour to advance and develop the Viking Line brand even further without compromising the best aspects of its traditions. This development work is in good hands, since we have now entrusted the brand with this design duo, who belong to Finland’s most iconic designers. We can expect an advertising campaign that sails straight to the heart; one that both tells a lot and gets people talking.”
    Ninna Suominen, Head of Marketing & Online Sales, Finland & Estonia
    Our vessels operate daily in the archipelago, which is where our company has its roots. We want to take our responsibility for the marine environment in different ways, in part by offering our passengers environmentally-friendly alternatives on board. Along with our own environmental efforts, we want to support organizations that work concretely to protect the archipelago
    Johanna Boijer-Svahnström, Vice President of Corporate Communications
    “I’m thrilled about our co-operation with the Chef and Waiter of the Year, Kalle Tanner and Noora Sipilä. In addition to being highly skilled, Kalle and Noora have a fantastic and proactive attitude towards their work and the ability to adapt their creations to suit the needs of ship catering. Their specially designed menu, while inspired by tradition, has a unique modern twist, making it a classic in its own right. Many of our passengers have surely tasted these French culinary classics before, so I’m excited to provide them with the opportunity to compare their experiences with our modernised versions.”
    Janne Lindholm, Restaurant Manager, Viking Line.
    “The popularity of route tourism is constantly growing. Estonia and Latvia are extremely popular travel destinations, and it is becoming more common for tourists to continue on from Tallinn to, for example, Pärnu, Saaremaa or Riga. The most popular days for travel are Friday and Sunday. We have chosen to add more departures during these two days as a means of making travel more flexible and convenient.”
    Kaj Takolander, Vice President Sales & Marketing, Viking Line Abp
    “The customer base has changed, and the market has evolved. People are more often looking for a cruise to provide them with great experiences and pampering services. They want to eat well, shop and enjoy quality time. The increasing traffic between Helsinki and Tallinn is also affected by the growth in work and study travel between the two countries.”
    Kaj Takolander, Vice President Sales & Marketing, Viking Line Abp
    “The popularity of the Christmas cruises is understandable, since it’s an easy and high-quality way to leave the hustle and bustle of everyday life behind. The holiday atmosphere is assured by traditional treats, a diverse programme and a relaxed feeling. It’s clear that more and more people are ready to try new ways to celebrate their holidays. Last year, our Christmas cruises were practically booked solid.”
    Lauri Orpana, Product Manager Helsinki-Tukholma
    “This year, in particular, we have really tried to focus on lighter and fresher Nordic flavours. Our holiday menu includes all the familiar favourites, of course, from pickled herring to casseroles and ham, but we have also added vegetarian and vegan options that are well-suited to the holiday spread.”
    Janne Lindholm, Restaurant Manager for Viking Line.
    “We wanted to create something truly unique for Viking Line’s customers, a taste celebration that isn't available anywhere else in the world. Using the company’s Essentiel champagne as the basis, I was given the opportunity to influence the degree and quality of its sweetness. Together with the Cellar Master, I tested and tasted a huge number of different variations. In the end, I selected a liqueur whose elegance and delicacy were brought to life by an aged Chardonnay. The result of our collaboration was Viking Line’s Essentiel by Essi champagne, which is a fabulously toasty blend with subtle flavours of fresh and dried fruit, a luxuriously soft, full-bodied and lively blend.”
    Master of Wine Essi Avellan
    “It is an honour for us to produce this unique champagne for Viking Line’s customers. Essi Avellan has an extraordinary understanding of champagne, its terroir, style variations and exclusive quality. She is also highly knowledgeable about the desired taste of Viking Line’s clientele and their hopes concerning quality wines. The opportunity to work with her to create Piper-Heidseick Essentiel by Essi brought together the ideal combination of expertise in winemaking and professional tasting.”
    Benoît Collard, Global Executive Director of Piper-Heidsieck
    “We are proud of the culinary and dining experiences we provide. We want to nurture and further develop the professional expertise with which our chefs and waiters create experiences for our passengers every day of the year. The Chef of the Year and Waiter of the Year competitions are a great way to bring attention to these individual professions.”
    Janne Lindholm, Restaurant Manager, Viking Line Abp
    “We are ecstatic about this new partnership with Viking Line, which will create a diverse framework for the promotion of food tourism. Together we will further strengthen the reputation of the Finnish food and drink culture and bolster interest in our restaurant and catering industry on both the national and international level.”
    Bettina Lindfors, Executive Director of the ELO Foundation
    “Viking Line is the only cruise line providing spa services on the Baltic Sea. We hope that our latest changes will provide our customers with even better opportunities for a nautical spa experience. Often, customers come to our spas looking to relax and take time to pamper themselves, but we also provide equally satisfying services for those who desire fast and visible results. Our co-operation with BABOR enables us to meet the varied expectations of our customers.”
    Saara Lamont, SPA Operations Manager, Viking Line Abp
    “We want to provide our guests with unprecedented views of the archipelago. Our company’s roots are in the archipelago, and we wish this fact to be reflected in our activities. On the new ship, the views are unobstructed, and one can experience the overall presence of the sea. To protect our unique marine environment, we utilise innovative technologies. Tomorrow’s passenger experiences will incorporate an emphasis on environmental factors and comfort."
    Jan Hanses, President and CEO, Viking Line Abp
    - We are very happy to be the first to launch Benefit Cosmetics in Finland and on the Baltic Sea onboard all our cruise ships. We’re also proud to offer their brow bar services onboard Viking Grace. Benefit Cosmetics is a unique beauty and cosmetic brand that believes in laughing and having fun while offering innovative and high-quality products for almost any beauty dilemma. This we are happy to offer to our guests,
    Eva Rehnström, Purchasing and Sales Manager, Beauty & Fashion, Viking Line.
    We are really pleased with the passenger volume trend in July and happy that so many people choose to sail on our vessels. There has been tough price competition this summer as well, which has benefited customers. The lovely weather has encouraged many people to take to the sea
    Jan Hanses, Viking Line's President and CEO
    - Family cabins are often booked quite early but, e.g. at the turn of July–August, there are still four-person cabins available that accommodate a family. If the Finnish summer weather throws a surprise, a good option would be a Picnic Day Cruise from Turku, with programme for the whole family.
    Mette Lindroth, Regional Manager, Viking Line
    “A Kiddie Picnic is an excellent way for grandparents to spend a day with their grandchildren during the holiday season while the children’s parents are still working. Ville Viking’s Adventure Island offers games, a playroom and supervised entertainment for the youngest members of the family. Starting a day cruise from central Helsinki is easy as you can park your car conveniently on board the ship during the journey.”
    Jaakko Ahti, Route Manager, Helsinki-Tallinn
    “We wanted to incorporate the recent trend of seeking healthier options into our children’s buffet in a tasty way. It would be great if children discovered that they like healthier foods, and would even request them at home.”
    Janne Lindholm, Restaurant Manager
    - Our customers have a better opportunity to explore summery Tallinn, since on Sundays during the summer, for example, Viking XPRS’s last departure from Tallinn to Helsinki is at 22.15. On other days, passengers can sleep on board and wake up in Helsinki at 10.30.
    Jaakko Ahti, Route Manager, Helsinki-Tallinn
    - A picnic cruise is a great option for a one-day adventure for families with children or grandparents with their grandchildren. The mini cruise that departs from Helsinki at 21.15, where passengers sleep on board, is also great for tourists headed for Helsinki.
    Jaakko Ahti, Route Manager, Helsinki-Tallinn
    “There is an increasing interest in digital travel applications and solutions. We want to further develop the Viking Line App and its features to make it even easier for our passengers to get the most out of their cruise experience and the benefits offered by preferred customership.”
    Håkan Sourander, Viking Line, Head of Central Marketing
    “There is an increasing demand for cruises that provide great experiences and luxurious pampering. Our aim is to meet our customers’ requests by renewing, in particular, our wellness services and restaurant concepts.”
    Lauri Orpana, Route Manager, Viking Line Abp
    “This is a great day for us. As an Åland shipping company, we rely on the sea for our livelihood so it’s of prime importance for us to promote the well-being of the marine sea. We want to pioneer the use of solutions that reduce the environmental load. Based in Finland, Norsepower has developed a world-class mechanical rotor sail solution that will reduce fuel consumption. We are proud of the fact that our Viking Grace will be the first passenger ship in the world to benefit from this innovative solution.”
    Jan Hanses, CEO of Viking Line
    “For Norsepower, it’s an honour to be able to make the M/S Viking Grace even more environmentally-friendly by means of our novel rotor sail technology. The last traditional windjammers in the world were owned and operated by shipping companies based in Åland, so it’s fitting that Åland-based Viking Line should be a forerunner in launching modern auxiliary sail technology. Viking Line and Norsepower’s organisations have collaborated in an excellent manner in retrofitting the rotor sail solution on the Viking Grace, and the completion of this project is a great moment for all those involved.”
    Tuomas Riski, CEO of Norsepower
    “We wanted to be part of the city bike project, since green values are important to us and providing the ability to cycle around the city supports these values.”
    Riikka Arola, Viking Line Regional Manager
    “We are very pleased to be able to offer our customers guaranteed regular and convenient connections to Viking XPRS and Tallinn. Estonia is a reputable travel destination, whose popularity is on the rise, especially now as the country celebrates its 100th anniversary. The sights and cultural events offered by Estonia are drawing people from all corners of Finland. At Viking Line, we have always endeavoured to respond to the needs and wishes of our customers and to serve them as well as possible. This is why we have now taken a step further in our collaboration with Matkapojat, and we are sure that our customers will highly value the convenience of the new regularly-scheduled connections along with the comfort of the buses.”
    Kaj Takolander, Viking Line Vice President Sales & Marketing
    “Our objective is to try out innovative ideas with an open-minded approach. Insects are a natural and environmentally-friendly alternative source of protein. The use of insects as food does, of course, still divide public opinion and, naturally, our ships will also continue to offer more traditional delicacies throughout the campaign.”
    Janne Lindholm, Restaurant Manager for Viking Line
    “Our customer loyalty programme has been enthusiastically received by our customers since its launch last year. It’s great, now, that our cruise fans and loyal customers are able to take full advantage of all that the Boat system has to offer. We are grateful that our customers continue to choose Viking Line, and we want to reward them with a system that doesn't limit their travel dates and times or their use of the bonus points.”
    Håkan Sourander, Viking Line, Head of Central Marketing
    “Our ships are docked, on average, once every two years. Technical maintenance is important for our fleet, which is constantly on the move. This allows us the possibility to renew our ships to meet the changing trends and requests of our passengers.”
    Valpuri Mäkinen, Viking Line’s Turku–Stockholm Route Manager
    – We will change our departures to one hour earlier. This means that the day cruise will return an hour earlier, even though travellers still have as much time in Tallinn as before. Weekend travellers can still come to the ship after work, since we will be leaving from Helsinki at 8.30 p.m. We want to offer our passengers a pleasant and relaxed trip to Tallinn and the opportunity to enjoy delicious food and inexpensive shopping on the way.
    Kaj Takolander, Viking Line Vice President Sales & Marketing
    Passengers benefited from our expanded capacity during the year, while the tough price competition has been advantageous to our passengers,
    Jan Hanses, President and CEO of Viking Line.
    “We have received outstanding feedback on our selections in earlier years. It’s highly essential for us that our house wines guarantee a brilliant value for money. Our personnel are happy to share their expertise and suggest wines that will best complement any dining experience, both in our restaurants and shops.”
    Kim Engblom, Tax Free Manager in Sales & Purchasing at Viking Line
    Viking Line carries out long-term work on environmental issues. We strive to minimise our own energy use and emissions, and want to operate passenger service in a way that takes the environment into consideration. We are happy to fund partners that do important work for the Baltic Sea and believe it is vital to support basic research to study the condition of the Baltic Sea
    Jan Hanses, CEO, Viking Line
    “In honour of the holiday season, we especially want to pamper our customers with culinary delights. Christmas dishes involve tradition, but there is also room to combine familiar foods and add new, fresh flavours. This year, we wanted to introduce a new approach to Nordic dishes and flavours, and this same philosophy carries over to our holiday menu.”
    Bodil Ståhl, Viking Line Restaurant Manager
    Viking Line’s vessels sail daily in the Baltic Sea archipelagos, and we want to shoulder our responsibility for the environment at different levels. Along with our own environmental efforts, we want to support the organizations that work concretely to protect the archipelagos
    Johanna Boijer-Svahnström, Vice President Corporate Communications
    The choice was between a number of highly respected architecture firms, and Koncept Stockholm stood out with its attractive combination of Scandinavian simplicity and playfulness. It is also important to Viking Line that the architects contribute to an appealing travel experience that works for cruise passengers, families with children, conference guests and the substantial cargo traffic between the two countries. This is a challenge that we foresee Koncept Stockholm handling with a sense of flair and great skill. We have also taken into consideration our international guests, who perhaps have never before experienced archipelago scenery like ours, by taking a further step in prioritising views of the sea and archipelagos,
    Jan Hanses, CEO, Viking LIne.
    “Our ships are briefly taken out of service, on average, once every two years, since we hold technical maintenance and upgrades to be a crucial element of our operations. At the same time, this allows us the possibility to renew our ships to meet the changing trends and wishes of our passengers.”
    Lauri Orpana, Route Manager, Viking Line Abp
    “Viking Line is really invested in providing top culinary experiences. We are continuously developing our restaurant concepts further in an effort to introduce our guests to new, fresh flavours. Nordic cuisine is very popular at the moment. We are extremely excited to be able to offer our customers a completely Nordic menu this autumn aboard our ships.”
    Bodil Ståhl, Viking Line Restaurant Manager
    We are very satisfied with the trend of passenger numbers in July and are pleased that so many people are choosing to travel on our vessels. The price competition this summer has been fierce, which has benefited customers
    Jan Hanses, CEO and President
    “The demand for departures between Helsinki and Tallinn is at its highest during the summer. We are glad that the Viking FSTR catamaran enables us to offer our customers a record number of departures and more travel options this year. Despite the increased options, it’s still a good idea to make your booking well in advance of your intended journey, as the most popular departures fill up quickly”.
    Jaakko Ahti, Route Manager, Helsinki-Tallinn
    The trend of people planning their journey with ever shorter notice looks set to continue. There are still places on our summer departures, but if people want to be sure about sailing on a certain day – for instance, on weekends – and get a more attractive price, it is worth booking in advance
    Kaj Takolander, VP Sales and Marketing
    ”It is an honour and a joy to be able to have Erik Bruun’s work displayed on board the most wonderful vessel sailing the Baltic Sea. Many recurring features in his work are also very important to us: respect for nature and an interest in travel and new places. It was natural to launch a collaboration and be able to delight our passengers with an art experience, along with countless other experiences.”
    Valpuri Mäkinen, Viking Line’s Turku–Stockholm Route Manager
    “We are really pleased about Viking Grace’s ever-growing popularity. Five million passengers in four years is a fine performance, and we would like to extend our warm thanks to all the passengers on our vessels. It feels good that so many people have had great experiences on a cruise with us on the Baltic Sea’s most elegant cruise vessel. Our investment in environmental sustainability, quality restaurants, unique shopping options and luxurious comfort has clearly been noted, and Viking Grace has found a place in people’s hearts.”
    Riikka Arola, Viking Line Regional Manager
    “Recycling is an important way for us to shoulder our environmental responsibility. For instance, in 2016 1,022 tonnes of food scraps from our vessels were brought ashore to be used in biogas production. That amount is equivalent to 77,000 cubic metres of biogas, which in turn is equivalent to 87,000 litres of petrol. We also collect a lot of other items for recycling, such as glass, scrap metal, paper, paperboard and waste oil. We are pleased that our own plastic waste can be recycled on board.”
    Susanna Airola, Viking Line Environmental Manager
    “We always want to be a pioneer in developing the food experience and in trends involving both ingredients and solid culinary knowledge. Just last year, four new restaurants opened on our vessels, so we are working at a fast pace. We expect that, in partnering with the Swedish Culinary Team, we will be able to offer even better taste experiences on board than before.”
    Bodil Ståhl, Viking Line Restaurant Manager
    “We are very proud to launch a gastronomic partnership with Viking Line. The kitchen staff members on the vessels are really knowledgeable, and it is great to be able to start developing taste experiences on the Baltic Sea in partnership with them.”
    Fredrik Andersson, Swedish Culinary Team leader
    “In planning the new menu, the underlying idea has been that we want to serve the best and tastiest vegetarian and vegan food on the Baltic Sea. As always, we have used locally sourced ingredients as much as possible. The result is so delicious that it is guaranteed to overcome even the most deeply rooted prejudice against vegetarian food.”
    Bodil Ståhl, Viking Line Restaurant Manager
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