The Finnish flag was hoisted above the stern of Viking XPRS on 6 March 2023 in a ceremony when the vessel is entered into the Finnish Register of Ships.
The Finnish national anthem, ‘Our Land’, will be played during the reflagging ceremony at Skatudden in Helsinki. Viking XPRS serves the Helsinki-Tallinn route.
The vessel, built in the Aker Yards shipyard in Helsinki in 2008, initially sailed under a Swedish flag. Since 2014, it has been registered in Estonia’s Register of Ships.
As a result of the reflagging, staff on the vessel will be transferred to the Finnish salary system and become direct employees of Viking Line. The crew previously worked through a Finnish staffing company.
“Our vessel employs 175 people. Around ten per cent of them worked previously on Rosella, which was taken over by a new owner in Greece earlier this year.
“We also have a number of experienced staff who were shifted over from our other vessels as well as former Viking XPRS crew members. The reflagging will make hiring easier for us and give our staff greater opportunities to move between the vessels,” says master Stefan Dahlström.
“”It is enormously important for Finnish maritime transport to have Viking XPRS and the workplaces on board the vessel under a Finnish flag.
“The reflagging strengthens the reliability and competence of our country’s maritime transport. At the same time, it is proof that people have faith in Finnish seafarers,” says Kenneth Bondas, president of the Finnish Seafarers’ Union.
“The transfer of XPRS to Finland’s Register of Ships increases the country’s domestic transport capacity, which is important in view of our security of supply,” commented Kenneth Bondas.
“This is also a major event because it is extremely rare for vessels to be reflagged – over the decades, there have been far more deflaggings. The fact that many new vessels such as Viking Glory have been registered in Finland testifies to the competitiveness of the country’s maritime transport.”