Today, on 5 December 2008, the christening and launching ceremony of the big cruise ferry ordered by Tallink took place at STX Europe's shipyard in Rauma. The contract worth 180 million Euro was signed in April 2007. The vessel will start cruises next spring from Tallinn to Stockholm via Mariehamn.

The vessel was christened as "Baltic Queen" by Mea Mehtonen, 4 years old, daughter of marketing manager with Tallink Henry Mehtonen.

According to plans, the now launched vessel will start operating on the Tallinn (Estonia) - Stockholm (Sweden) via Mariehamn (Aland) route in spring 2009.

This queen is the fifth sophisticated cruise ferry STX Europe is building for Tallink. In addition, a fast ferry called Star was delivered for Talllink last spring from the Helsinki yard.

"We are proud of Tallink's confidence in our building competence which has resulted in the long and strong relationship between our companies", says Mr. Martin Landtman, President of STX Finland Cruise Oy.

"STX Europe is the leader in world ferry market. In our new vessels we have special focus on, in addition to reliable quality, ecological alternatives and energy economy" Landtman continues.

Vice Chairman of the Management Board of AS Tallink Grupp Mr. Andres Hunt said that the vessels is another important milestone in offering the customers of Tallink the best and most reliable service. "Our aim is to really widen the on board entertainment possibilities of our vessels and Baltic Queen is a good example of it. The name - Baltic Queen - will harmonize perfectly with the other vessel on the Tallinn-Stockholm route, Victoria I. We still hold back some fantastic surprises we have planned for the passengers regarding this vessel and those will be revealed, when the vessel is ready to operate," said Hunt.

The 212 metres long and 29 m wide Baltic Queen will be one of the biggest cruise ferries in the Baltic Sea, having capacity for 2,800 passengers. The guiding principle in building the vessel is paying attention to the comfort and luxury of present-day passengers. There will be maximal use of high-tech solutions onboard. 927 cabins, several restaurants and places to entertain of various styles and class as well as a remarkable conference centre with over 450 seats make the new ship a multi functional sea-based hotel with excellent ambience.

M/S Baltic Queen will operate on Tallinn-Stockholm route replacing M/S Romantika. Today, Tallink operates on this route with cruise ferries Romantika (2002) and Victoria I (2004).