Sweden’s Birka Cruises which is part of the Finish Eckero Group has decided to end cruising operations with its single vessel Birka Stockholm. The vessel was employed on short cruises in the Baltic and to Mariehamn in the Åland Islands.
After suspending operations in March due to the COVID-1p pandemic, the company had planned to resume operations two months ago but last week announced it would be ceasing operations due to the ongoing problems.
In a statement on its website, the company thanked past customers and said “As we have longed for all spring and early summer to welcome you on board again. However, it is not always as expected and after cruising for 49 years on the Baltic Sea we now add for good.
The reason why our cruises are closed down is the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic’s track that has hit us hard and the entire cruise industry. The uncertainty about how travel will develop has also contributed to our having to make this decision after evaluating all possible alternatives”.
Passengers who have a trip booked will automatically receive a full refund. The company said it would be processing refunds based on planned departure dates.