Sunlines Cruise Co. – 20 years in service
Tallinn Cruises and Island Tours
Location: Pier #A3, Lennusadam, Estonian Maritime Museum, Vesilennuki 6, Tallinn
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20 years of Sunlines – Our Story
Any day at sea is better than the best day at the office. With this recognition, Ave and Herkki founded in 2002 family company for coastal shipping, which has been nominated for the award for the best tourist attraction in Estonia three times and is featured in the magazine National Geographic Traveler. The home of Sunlines ships is in the Maritime Museum Harbor and the sailings take the people to the nearby islands of Tallinn and for leisure trips around the Tallinn Bay. According to request we can also travel further on, to Öland or Finland.
Ship’s purser Ave maintains tight control over service and the galley, and Master Herkki is one of the few sailors in the world to sail around Cape Horn and has earned the honor to wear an earring. The older boy Andre has become the captain and ship’s engineer during these years, the younger brother Genert feels himself comfy behind the bar counter.
2002 – IRIS
• The story of Sunlines begins in the spring of 2002, when the first Sunlines ship arrived in Tallinn – the romantic sailing ship “Iris”, built in Finland in 1945. After the war, the ship participated in the construction works, then she served as a floating flower market in Helsinki port and later sailed with tourists in the Turku archipelago. “Iris” was registered for 36 passengers. Pleasure trips took place around Estonia, the ship spent several summers in Pärnu, a beach resort city in southwestern Estonia. Many weddings and memorable parties were held on the old, genuine tar-scented ship, and quite a few people found themselves attached to the sea forever.
2010 – KAJSAMOOR
• People’s interest in sailing is growing. In 2010 we will bring to Estonia a bigger and prouder ship, the sailing ship “Kajsamoor” made in Norway in 1939. The ship has an exciting history. During WWII, “Kajsamoor” (a Mother of Wind Troll) participated in clandestine British naval operations to supply weapons and ammunition to Norwegian resistance fighters. History knowns this operation as the Shetland Bus . After the war, the ship was a cargo vessel off the west coast of Norway, in the 1970s the ship was sold to Germany, operated as a training ship for young people, spent 80-90s in Spain as a tourist ship, then returned to Germany and Lübeck became the home port. In Estonia, we registered 60 passengers capacity and the trips went beyond Tallinn – the archipelago of Finland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Latvia. Lennusadam became the home port. All kinds of exciting events took place, a big naval battle during the Tallinn Maritime Days, a regatta of Mariehamn’s old sailing ships, an Osmussaare landing.
2013 – MATILDA
• Matilda the Dumpy. We decided to try our hand at offering fishing trips to the townspeople. We brought a real old fisherman’s boat from Häädemeeste, southwest coast. There were people interested in fishing indeed, but there is no fishing luck. We simply didn’t know how to do it right. And the most important thing is the attitude towards business – we found the fish in the pan much more interesting than in the sea. And so “Matilda” traveled back to Häädemeeste fishermen.
2015 – KATHARINA
• The time of sailing ships will inevitably run out. It is very pleasant indeed to have a cocktail in the comfortable warm cabin and to look out to sea through the window in the Estonian climate. We found a dignified old cruiser in Sweden, “Katharina”, built in 1964 at the Ulstein shipyard in Norway for A/S Nesodden Dampskipsselskap on the Fredrikstad-Strömstad line in the Danish straits between Norway and Sweden. In 1990 she was sold to Sweden and sailed Nyköping and Västervik route, in 2009 she was sold for the classic räkkryssning tours of Stockholm. We completed a thorough renovation of the ship and now the guests of Tallinn can enjoy the beautiful views of the City Skyline from the Bay. During the summer, we take the people to Naissaar island to watch the performances of the Nargen Festival, and in the evenings you can take part in lovely sunset dinner cruises.
2020 – VENUS
• The timing is perfect. Along with the outbreak of pandemic, a new ship, the 200-seater “Venus”, built in 2004 in Turkey, is sailing to the port. There are no reception ceremonies, the only greeters are the police officers who check the quarantine permits. As a great relief, already in June 2020, freedom of movement had opened up so much that “Venus” could go to Naissaar and Aegna Islands for regular services. In the case of major public events on the island of Prangli, we are also helping out the small government-run liner there.
The voyages continue and the story continues.
Ave and Herkki Haldre and the Sunlines team
Sunlines Cruises: Mereklubi OÜ, reg #10805451 Postal address: Sügise 14-2, Tallinn 10149, Estonia