Built 1993, Meyer Werft, Germany
Tonnage 59 912 GT
Length 201,78 m
Width 32,60 m
Draught 6,80 m
Ice class 1 A Super
3 123 passengers
3 696 berths
932 lane metres
4 MAN diesels, combined 31 800 kW
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Speed 22 knots
Silja Europa is, at least at the time of writing, the largest cruiseferry in the Northern Baltic (on completion she was the largest ferry in the world). She has originally been ordered by Rederi AB Slite for traffic with Viking Line with the name Europa, but when Slite met with financial difficulties in 1993 and was unable to secure further funding from their funders—the same bank that also funded Silja Line—the ship was chartered by the shipyard to Silja Line on completion and the ship became the Silja Europa.
Due to her being originally planned as an RAB Slite ship, the interior layout of the Silja Europa is rather different from that of purpose-built Silja ships. Like all Viking Line newbuildings built in 1988-1990, the basic interior layout of the Europa was derived from the 1985-1986 built Viking Line sisters Mariella and Olympia. As she was to be Slite's new flagship, the Europa was to be something special, and being simply huge, she is. But when you compare her with the preceeding "largest in the world" ferries, Silja Line's Silja Serenade and Silja Symphony from 1990-1991 and SF Line's Viking Line ferry Cinderella from 1989, apart from her size the Europa lacks any special features. The Serenade and Symphony have their impressive midship promenades, two-deck high nightclubs and observation lounges below the funnel. The Cinderella has her three-deck high night club (still my favourite public space onboard any ship I've visited) and a five-deck high panoramic glass wall. The Europa has nothing comparable; even her nigh club is a traditional single-deck high space that's quite pedestrian. Admittedly there's a nice double-height observation lounge on the rear of the ship... but that's not nearly as impressive as the spaces on the other ships mentioned.
This is not to say I wouldn't like the Silja Europa. In fact, my most recent trip on her was probably my favourite of the trevals I've done with Silja's current fleet. But that had more to do with the onboard atmosphere and the staff than the ship herself.
Photographs below were taken onboard the Silja Europa during a Stockholm-Turku crossing on 10 October 2010. Click on the images to view full size.
|Outer deck on deck 13, with the funnel on view (obviously) and forward of it the windows of the upper level of the conference center.|
|Sun deck on deck 12, with the helicopter landing pad partially visible on the left. The windows are those of the sauna/spa area.|
|Helicopter landing pad and sun deck on deck 12 viewed from deck 13. Stockholm archipelago in the bakcground.|
|Staircase artwork. Unfortunately I neglected to write down which staircase and deck this is from. I vague remember this would be the aft staircase on deck 10 or 11, but I could easily be wrong.|
|A-class (exterior) cabin on deck 9. (For the record, the girl in the photo is a friend I was travelling with. I didn't burst into the cabin of other passengers or anything...).|
|More staircase artwork. I think this one was from the front staircase, possibly from deck 9, but it probably isn't...|
|Air seats for passenger without cabins on the rear of deck 9. The space below is the Windjammer Bar (see photo below).|
|Taurus restaurant on deck 8.|
|Ocean Club, the ship's night club, in the aft of deck 8.|
|Windjammer Bar on deck 8, just aft of the Ocean Club.|