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16 March 2020
A number of shipping lines from across the region has put in place restrictions, first and foremost regarding passenger traffic, however, some services have been suspended altogether to limit the spread of the virus.
First, the companies have reported booking cancellations, e.g., Tallink around 20k for the February-April period, mostly of them being passengers from China. Stena Line has noted a drop in group travel bookings from China as regards the company's traffic in the Irish Sea (Chinese clients account for about 50k-100k travellers out of over 7m/year).
Yet, as countries have started to close their borders, ferry lines have acted accordingly. Stena Line's three services - Frederikshavn-Gothenburg, Grenaa-Halmstad, and Gdynia-Karlskrona - are now open to freight traffic only, whereas Frederikshavn-Oslo has been closed for the time being.
Tallink has shut down its Stockholm-Mariehamn-Tallinn cruise traffic. On 14 March, Baltic Queen left the Swedish seaport with Tallinn-staying passengers on-board, where the cruise ferry will be docked, while Victoria I sailed in the opposite direction and will return to the Estonian capital with travellers with single or return tickets; hereafter the ship will remain in Tallinn.