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Reports : Viking Line — the first shipowner in the world with anti-Covid-19 safety certificate

 By :(special ) MAREK GRZYBOWSKI

Viking Line is a shipowner from the Åland Islands well known for introducing innovations. The operator is the first shipping company in the world whose management system in terminals and ships has been tested for safety against COVID-19.

Viking Line ships and terminals have been accredited by the My Care methodology by specialists from the classification society Det Norske Veritas Germanischer Lloyd (DNV GL). Accreditation was carried out on all seven Viking Line ships. Certification has also been granted to processes in six terminals. DNV GL has confirmed the ability of the company to manage and prevent infection risk, including Covid-19, reports Viking Line, including terminals in the Åland Islands.

The Åland Islands have been a demilitarized, autonomous area, but dependent on Finland since 1921 (the government is represented by the governor), inhabited by almost 27 thousand people. The Åland Islands are a parliamentary republic from 1951. The duty free zone applies here.

Viking Line launched regular connection Sweden-Åland Islands in 1959, introducing the SS Viking ro-ro steam line. The ship’s operator was Vikinglinjen Ab, founded on the initiative of Capt. Gunnar Eklund, captain of the Åland Sea. To strengthen their position and regulate timetables, three shipping companies—Vikinglinjen Ab, Rederi AB Slite and Ålandsfärjan Ab (later SF Line Ab)—began operating as Oy Viking Line Ab. Today, the shipowner operates under the trade name Viking Line Abp. In the Åland Islands, it calls Mariehamn and Långnäs.

The Åland (Finnish) shipowner is known for introducing innovations to the ferry market. The company is a leader in the operation of an LNG-powered ship—Viking Grace ferry, on which a rotor was installed in 2018, i.e. a device supporting wind propulsion. Thanks to this, the ship has become even more environmentally friendly and economical. The rotor clearly distinguishes the ferry because the structure is 24 meters high. The rotor operates using wind power.

Viking Line has decided to review its HSE safety procedures (health, safety and environment). The company is known for its long-standing attention to prevention related to the risk of infection and infectious diseases. “The safety of our passengers and employees is always the highest priority of Viking Line, and so it is during this pandemic,” says Jan Hanses, president and CEO of Viking Line in media information. “We would like to congratulate Viking Line on its verification of My Care. The use of My Care ensures customer confidence because its purpose is to prevent infectious diseases,” explains Luca Crisciotti, CEO, DNV GL-Business Assurance.

Over 6.3 million passengers benefited from stores, bars and restaurants on board Viking Line ships in 2019. Ferries carried almost 144,000 trucks, over 714,000 passenger cars and over 14,700 buses. The operator earned EUR 496.4 million and pre-tax revenues amounted to EUR 13.6 million.

photos: Marek Grzybowski

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