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Aker Finnyards, a part of Aker Yards, and the Estonian Tallink Group have signed a contract for the building of a big new cruise ferry for delivery in spring 2006. The contract worth 165 Million euro means 1,700 man-years of work at the Rauma yard.

The new vessel will be one of the biggest cruise ferries in the Baltic Sea, having capacity for 2,800 passengers.  "We are extremely proud that Tallink has chosen us to build this challenging next generation vessel", says Jyrki Heinimaa, President of Aker Finnyards. "We consider this order a commission of trust to our cruise and ferry building expertise. This is the third newbuilding order we get from Tallink within a couple of years".
When delivered in spring 2006, the new vessel will start regular cruises between Helsinki and Tallinn. On that route now, the cruise ferry "Romantika", delivered from Aker Finnyards in spring 2002, will start cruising between Stockholm and Tallinn together with the sister ship "Victoria", built in Rauma in 2004.
"The new generation cruise ferry will be designed for the trade between Helsinki and Tallinn. The guiding principle in designing the vessel is paying attention to the comfort and luxury of present-day passengers. There will be maximal use of modern technologies onboard. The number of cabins will be 900, and the conference centre will be remarkable", says Enn Pant, Chairman of AS Tallink Grupp.
Besides passengers, the vessel is designed to carry private cars and freight units, and will have 1,130 lanemetres, i.e. over a kilometre of vehicle deck space.
The vessel now ordered will have a length of 212 metres and a beam of 29 metres and a gross tonnage of 48,300. Propulsion by four diesel engines totalling 26,240 kW will provide a service speed of 22 knots.
For further information, please contact:
Aker Yards
Tore Langballe, SVP Communications and Investor Relations, tel. +47 90 777 841
Aker Finnyards
Jyrki Heinimaa, President, tel. +358 2 836 4000
AS Tallink Grupp, Enn Pant, Chairman, tel. +372 6 409 800
AS Tallink Group is the biggest shipping company in Estonia. Its main field of activities is passenger and goods conveyance. Tallink is a clear market leader in the passenger and freight transport between as well Estonia and Finland as Estonia and Sweden. Since last spring Tallink is also on the route from Helsinki via Tallinn to St. Petersburg. During the latest financial year Tallink's volume of trading was over 200 MEUR and 2.8 million passengers transported. Under the Tallink brand twelve vessels are operated, all of which are owned by the company. Since May 2004 Tallink operates also a350-room hotel in the city centre of Tallinn.
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Aker Yards is an international shipbuilding group focusing on sophisticated vessels and is Europe's largest and one of the world's five largest shipbuilders. The group has a strong position both in terms of innovation, product range, technology, experience and capacity. The product range includes cruise vessels and ferries, merchant vessels, offshore vessels and other complex vessels. Aker Yards, with a turnover of NOK 16 bn. in 2003, comprises 13 yards in Norway, Finland, Germany, Romania and Brazil and has approximately 14,500 employees.

Aker Finnyards in Rauma is the leading ferry builder in the world. The yard's revenue is ca EUR 200 million. The present order book amounts to ca. EUR 347 million: a cruise ferry for Tallink, a cruise vessel for Birka and a missile boat plus a conversion for the Finnish Navy. Recent deliveries include among others the world's largest cruise ferry.
-- From the 1st of January 2005 Aker Finnyards will be the name of three merged Finnish shipyards. The new company will be among the world leaders in designing and building both cruise vessels and ferries.

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