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The sea-loving intendant of the Megastar – Üllar Märtin

At the agreed time, the cheerful intendant shakes my hand at the Superstar's information desk. His smile doesn't falter even when considering the upcoming two-month stint of constant extra work. Nor even when there are 19 – 22 m/s winds outside, which means that he has to make decisions regarding shop arrangements, for example.

One of Üllar Märtin’s big challenges will be organising a crew for the Megastar. At the same time, he’s responsible for the everyday operation of the Superstar, right until its last trip before the Megastar is launched.
There’s a lot to be done, but it will all be over in few months’ time. There’s plenty to keep me busy while I keep an eye on two ships, the Megastar and the Superstar.

A long career at Tallink

When I asked about youthful-looking Üllar’s career at Tallink, he said it has been nearly as long as I thought his age was.
I first came to Tallink in 1992, as a seaman in the technical department. After a few years, there was a vacancy in the service department, at the information desk. The staff at the information desk recommended me for the job, as I had worked with them a lot. In 1998, I became an intendant on the new fast ships between Helsinki and Tallinn.

Even on the quicker routes, there have been significant changes in just under 20 years.
Technologically, the ships have changed considerably. They have multiplied in size, and the nostalgic décor has been replaced with something more reminiscent of an airport.

The Megastar is pleasing in many ways

Üllar’s opinions were considered already in the early stages of the Megastar’s design process. He’s very pleased about that.
It’s great that they listen to the voices of those of us who do practical work. They have really thought about everything, and learned from past mistakes. Of course, there’s always room for improvement, no matter how perfect everything seems to be.

Internet connection has become considerably more important. In addition to business travellers, leisure travellers also want an internet connection.
It’s really important that there’s a working internet connection for the entire duration of the trip. Cellphone coverage is disrupted for a part of the trip, when the ship is too far away from the ground-based towers. One passenger was wondering how there could still be a place where you can’t make phone calls, in the 2010s! Luckily, WhatsApp and Skype calls can be made throughout the entire trip. Even better on the Megastar.

Customer comfort has been in focus on the Megastar, and it can be experienced in many ways.

There’s hardly any queuing on the Megastar. Considering that the trip is only 2 hours, it’s nice not having to spend it waiting in line. The Traveller Superstore is a very airport-like shopping experience, which the passengers will definitely enjoy. Different kinds of lounges are also a great improvement. International passengers in particular have longed for a place where they can just sit and look at the seascape.

Time off also spent at sea

When Üllar has time off, he likes to be near the sea.
In the summer, I spend a lot of my time on an island. My hobbies are diving and freestyle cross-country skiing. Freestyle, because I can’t be bothered messing around with greases.

Can we assume that Üllar has landed his dream job?
When I was a kid, I didn’t know who I wanted to be when I grow up. The only thing I did know was that I wanted to be doing something near the sea. And although it’s currently a bit stressful with the imminent launch of the Megastar, in two months’ time, I’ll be back doing my usual job, albeit in an amazing setting!

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