20 August 2010

Moby Otta, 23 May 2009

Moby Otta

IMO 7361324
Name history: Tor Scandinavia, Princess of Scandinavia, Moby Otta
Built 1976, Lübecker Flender-Werke, West Germany
Tonnage 22 528 GT
Length 184,55 m
Width 26,40 m
Draugth 6,20 m
1 900 passengers
Unknown number of beds
500 cars
4 Pielstick diesels, combined 33 540 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 27 knots

Moby Otta was originally built in 1976 as Tor Scandinavia for Tor Line's services from Gothenburg to Felixstowe and Amsterdam. As built she and her older sister Tor Britannia were the fastest ferries in the world. Sometimes they're also credited as being the largest, but this honour in fact fell on the Gruziya-class ferries built in Finland for the Soviet union's Black Sea Shipping Company in 1975-1976. The Tor Britannia and Tor Scandinavia were an immediate success on the Sweden-UK/Netherlands -service and their arrival forced the other company on the route, Swedish Lloyd, to abandon their passenger services. However, the company's finances were badly off despite the success and Tor Scandinavia was often chartered as a floating expo ship to the Middle and Far East during the winters. In 1980 Tor Line begun collaborating with Sessan Linjen under the name Sessan Tor Line. This collaboration only lasted for a year; later in 1981 DFDS purchased Tor Line (Sessan Line meawhile passed to their competitor Stena Line). Following the sale to DFDS the Tor ships came to be marketed as DFDS Tor Line. Despite the changes the Tor Scandivia remained in Gothenburg-UK/Netherlands service.

In 1991 the Tor Scandinavia was rebuilt at Blohm & Voss in Hamburg and following the completion she was renamed Princess of Scandinavia in keeping with DFDS' new naming scheme for their passenger services (her sister Tor Britannia became the Prince of Scandinavia). During the 1990s she occasionally served on other routes, but her main route thouigh-out this time was Gothenburg-Newcastle (with an intermediate call in Kristiansand added in 2000). In 2006 the Princess of Scandinavia was withdrawn from service when DFDS closed down their Sweden-UK passenger service (I took a Gothenburg-Kristiansand "mini-cruise" on the Princess of Scandinavia just weeks before she was withdrawn; photos here). Following this she was sold to Moby Lines (who had already bouth her sister, now named Moby Drea, in 2003). The Princess of Scandinavia was now renamed Moby Otta, painted in Moby's Looney Tunes -livery and set on a service linking Livorno (Leghorn) to Olbia.

Photographs below are of the Moby Otta in Livorno on 23 May 2009. Click on the image(s) to view full size.

In the port of Livorno with an annoying counterlight and light clouds that make her fine lines hard to make out.
A rear view, taken from a "no entry" section of the cruise quay (I didn't notice the no entry signs until I was leaving the quay, honestly!).
A different point of view: same ship, same harbour, same day, but photographed from onboard MSC Sinfonia.

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