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Finnish shipping company Viking Line has suspended its Helsinki – Stockholm service on Mariella and Gabriella ships until 13 April due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

The ban is in effect from 18 March and Mariella’s last trip will take place on 17 March from Stockholm to Helsinki, while Gabriella will travel on 18 March from Stockholm to Helsinki.

The company said that it is adhering to the instructions by the authorities in Finland who have ordered the closure of the country’s borders.

Viking Line CEO and president Jan Hanses said: “To safeguard the security of supply between Finland and Sweden, we are maintaining service on the Turku–Åland–Stockholm route. We are also still making one sailing to Tallinn from Helsinki six days a week.

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“The situation is highly exceptional, and I would like to take the opportunity to thank all our customers, partners and, in particular, our own employees for the understanding they have shown in this difficult situation.”

The company also said that the passengers whose trips have been cancelled will be refunded.

Viking Line has also suspended the Mariehamn – Kapellskär service until 13 April.

The Viking XPRS, operating on the Helsinki – Tallinn service, will work with a changed timetable and fewer departures.

Viking Cinderella cruise trip has also been suspended until 16 April.

Swedish ferry operator Stena Line announced plans to lay off 950 workers due to the pandemic that has affected operations.

Last week, a number of cruise lines announced the suspension of its cruise line operations to reduce the spread of Covid-19 on their ships.

Viking Cruises also announced a temporary operation suspension across the world until 1 May.