|RG Line Oy Ab|
|Phone:||+35 8 (0)6 3200 300|
|Fax:||+35 8 (0)6 3194 545|
|Address:||Satamaterminaali, FIN-65170 Vaasa, Finland|
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RG Line Oy Ab is a Finnish shipping company that operates a ferry line between Vaasa, Finland and Umeå, Sweden.
The company was founded in 2001 by well known Rabbe Grönblom, just months after Silja Line had put their traffic on Kvarken to an end because of a decision in the EU to stop taxfree sales on travels between member states.
RG Line bought Silja's M/S Fennia and renamed her to M/S Casino Express, the ship was put in traffic on the route Vaasa - Umeå on 2001-05-16. At first RG Line profiled the ship as a ship where you could have fun and party, much like the ferries who trafficed Kvarken in the taxfree times. However it did not become a success, people did not want to cruise anymore, the blackjack and roulette tables they had added to get a casino feeling were removed before a year had passed. Nowadays they are focused on ordinary travellers and cargo. The route over Kvarken is supported financially by the Finnish government.
On 2004-11-23 RG Line announced that they had bought the ship M/S Kahleberg, which has more capacity for cargo and takes less passengers than Casino Express, which it will replace. Kahleberg will be put into traffic between Vaasa and Umeå in May 2005.
On 24 November, one day after RG Line informed the public about the purchase of their new ship Kahleberg, bad luck struck the company. Casino Express with 39 passengers and 27 crew members onboard, run aground just outside the harbour of Holmsund near Umeå. At the time of the accident, there were strong south-western winds up to 25-30 meters per second. Casino Express got some serious damages that had to be repaired, six days after the grounding the ship was pulled from the reaf and then towed to a repair shipyard in Estonia.
On 26 November, RG Line announced that they had chartered M/S Alandia from Eckerö Linjen to temporarily sail for the company while Casino Express was being repaired in Estonia. Alandia is a well known ship for people in the Kvarken region as she had been trafficking for Vasabåtarna for thirteen years as Botnia Express before she was sold to Eckerö Linjen.
Alandia which at the time of Casino Express' accident was laid up in Eckerö, was sent to a repair shipyard in Stockholm to fix a broken propeller. After that she would immideatly take up the traffic for RG Line. She arrived at Holmsund on 9 December where she loaded cargo, food et cetera that had been on Casino Express. Alandia took of to Vaasa that evening, she would make her first regular trip from there the morning after. But the ship did not get far, she run aground on the same place as Casino Express did just weeks earlier. Alandia suffered some damages and could not continue to Vaasa, she was instead sent of to a repair shipyard in Mariehamn and RG Line was once again without any ship.
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founding year: 2,001