30 January 2011

Superspeed 1 in Helsinki, 29 January 2011

Superspeed 1

IMO 9374519
Built 2008, Aker Finnyards Rauma, Finland
Tonnage 36 822 GT
Length 212,80 m
Width 25,80 m
Draught 6,55 m
2 328 passengers
54 berths
764 cars or 117 trucks
2 036 lanemeters
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 37 800 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
2 stern thrusters
Speed 27 knots

SuperSpeed 1 was the first of two fast ferries built by Aker Finnyards' Rauma shipyard for Color Line in 2008. Much like the Star and Viking XPRS that Aker's Helsinki yard was building for Tallink and Viking Line around the same time, the Superspeeds were planned as fast ferries plying short routes with no overnight crossings. Unlike their Baltic Sea compatriots, Color Line opted for an all-new design (the Star and VXPRS, as noted elsewhere in this blog, are based on the SeaFrance Rodin).

The result was a pair of attractively streamlined fast ferries with modern and coherent interior and exterior designs produced Falkum-Hansen Design. Although built by the same shipyard and designed by the same people that produced Color's massive cruiseferries Color Fantasy and Color Magic, the Superspeeds has a very different (and in my opinion much more attractive) exterior design than their more cruise-oriented fleetmates. Personally the Superspeed 1 and her sister make me think of a 21st-century take on the famous Finnjet of 1977.

There are however two things the SuperSpeed 1 does share with the Viking XPRS. The delivery of both ships was delayed, the SuperSpeed 1 was originally to be delivered in December 2007 but did not appear in the Kristiansand-Hirthals -service until February 2008. The second thing she shared with Viking XPRS was the fact there weren't enough seats for all passengers when the ship was full and resultingly passengers were forced to sit on the floor on the most popular departures.

In December 2010-January 2011 the SuperSpeed 1 was rebuilt at the Arctech Helsinki shipyard (formerly STX Europe, formerly Aker Finnyards, formerly Kvaerner Masa-Yards, formerly Wärtsilä...) with her superstructure expanded aft to accommodate a new double-storey pizzeria, thereby also increasing her passenger capacity. At the same time, 24 crew cabins were added on the top deck, and the second transverse thruster was fitted astern.

The photographs below show the SuperSpeed 1 at the Hietalahti shipyard in Helsinki on 29 January 2011 after the rebuilding detailed above. As should be evident from the photographs themselves, they have been heavily retouched. Click on the individual images to view full size.

The sight of this unusual and attractive ferry at the shipyard attracted deserved attention from passers-by.
Personally I can't make up my mind if I like or dislike the added structures to the aft (the 4th lifeboat and aftwards being the additions). They perhaps balance the ship's profile a bit, but also take away fome of the fore-heavy sleekness of the original design.
A few hours later the evening had fallen and the ship looked quite different.
SuperSpeed 1 and the industrial milieu of Hernesaari.
It's a very neat ship, isn't it?

28 January 2011

Galaxy, 30 March 2008


IMO 9333694
Built 2006, Aker Finnyards Rauma, Finland
Tonnage 48 915 GT
Length 212,10 m
Width 29,00 m
Draft 6,40 m
Ice class 1A Super
2 800 passengers
2 138 berths
420 cars
1 130 lanemeters
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 26 240 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 22 knots

For history of the Galaxy, see the previous entry on her. Though I admit in the photo below it is a bit hard to identify the ship, but I assure you it's the Galaxy during her time with Tallink, sailing on the Bay of Finland southbound toward Tallinn, photographed from onboard Viking Line's Rosella.

Galaxy, a ferry to the sun. ;) Click on the image to view full size.

26 January 2011

Star, 26 January 2011


IMO 9364722
Built 2007, Aker Finnyards Helsinki, Finland
Tonnage 36 250 GT
Length 186,00 m
Width 27,70 m
Draught 6,50 m
Ice class 1A
1 900 passengers
520 berths
450 cars
1 981 lanemeters
4 MaK diesels, combined 48 000 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Speed 27,7 knots

One of my goals for this winter has been taking more photographs of ship in the ice. There is however one major obstacle in the way of this plan: during the wintertime the sun raises late and sets early, meaning there is very limited daylight; furthermore clear skies are very rare, which means that days that would actually be well-suited for ship photography are rare indeed. Today however was such a day, and by further stoke of luck my lectures were cancelled and as such I could actually go and take photographs while it was still light. Not all worked as planned however, as Helsinki's public transport was failed to work properly (as it often does during the wintertime) and my original idea of photographing the morning depature of the Superstar was foiled by the fact I was still in the bus when I should have been on shore. No matter, I decided to wait for the afternoon arrival of the Star and did indeed get some rather nice pictures.

Star arriving at Helsinki's Länsisatama from Tallinn on 26 January 2011, photographed from Sisä-Hattu. Click on the individual images to view full size.

While it doesn't look like it from the light and the halo in the background, this photo was taken at 12:43 PM.
Although the shipping lane was free of ice, as the Star passed I could hear the ice moving and cracking (as the water underneath was moving). A rather scary sound, even if I was standing firmly on the solid ground of an island.
Turning outside Länsisatama before backing into the quay. Notice both the peeled paint on the bow (due to ice scraping away the paint) and spray of the aft thrusters below the ww.tallink.com -text near the aft.
Turning further, displaying both the peeled paint of the bow as well as frozen sprayed water above it.

25 January 2011

Baltic Jet, 30 March 2008

Baltic Jet

IMO 9198551
Built 1999, Kvaerner Fjellstrand, Norway
Tonnage 2 237 GT
Length 60,00 m
Width 16,50 m
Draugth 2,15 m
428 passengers
52 cars or 2 buses and 38 cars
2 Caterpillar diesels, combined 10 800 kW
2 KaMeWa waterjets
Speed 38 knots

Nordic Jet Line was a Norwegian-owned fast ferry company operating between Helsinki and Tallinn with two purpose-built fast catamaran ferries, the Nordic Jet and the Baltic Jet. These were built at Kvaerner Fjellstrand in Norway to the same design as the Solidor 3 delivered in 1996 for Emeraude Lines English Channel services.

The Nordic Jet entered service in 1998, with the Baltic Jet following the year after. Both ships were registered in Bergen, Norway. During the winter seasons the ships were laid up due to their inability to sail in ice. Nordic Jet Line continued serving between Helsinki and Tallinn until 2008, when the arrival of Tallink and Viking Line's larger but slower fast cruiseferries Star, Superstar and Viking XPRS caused the company to re-evaluate their position. After the 2008 summer season both the Nordic Jet and Baltic Jet left the Baltic to joint the fleet of the sister company FRS Iberia and they were renamed Ceuta Jet and Algeciras Jet, respectively. At the time there was talk that this was only a temporary change for the winter season and the ships would return to the Baltic in summer 2009, but this never happened and they remain in FRS service.

The photographs below show the Baltic Jet arriving in Tallinn on 30 March 2008. Photographed from onboard Viking Line's Rosella. Click on the individual images to view full size.

Apart from the names, the Baltic Jet and Nordic Jet were externally identical, which can sometimes made identifying the correct ship hard.
Spring in Tallinn: notice the patches of snow on the store in the background. Yes, I really don't have anything else to say about the ship herself.

Nordlandia, 30 March 2008


IMO 7928811
Built 1981, AG Weser Seebeckswerft, Bremerhaven, West Germany
Tonnage 21 473 GT
Length 153,40 m
Width 24,70 m
Draugth 8,80 m
Ice class 1A
2 048 passengers
938 berths
450 cars or 42 trucks
4 Pielstick diesels, combined 15 300 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 20 knots

Continuing our "one photo per entry" -weeks, this time with Eckerö Line's Nordlandia. For notes on her history see the previous entries about her.

During a docking in January 2010 the ship has been repainted, losing both the stripes from her hull. According to Eckerö Line's website she will be given a new livery, with blue and yellow stripes applied to her superstructure (in a rather neat retro style, see image) but this does not seem to have been carried out (yet anyway).

The photograph below however show her comfortably in the old livery on 30 March 2008, before Eckerö decided to apply the embarrassingly nationalistic "Only Finnish Ship to Tallinn" caption and Finnish flags to her superstructure. Photographed in Tallinn harbour from onboard Viking Line's Rosella.

Less than perfect lighting from the spring sun, but for whatever reason I think this is a very attractive photo, even if most of the ship is in the shade. Click on the image to view full size.

23 January 2011

Superfast VIII, 28 February 2008

Superfast VIII

IMO 9198953
Built 2001, HDW Kiel, Germany
Tonnage 30 285 GT
Length 203,30 m
Width 25,42 m
Draught 6,60 m
Ice class 1 A Super
626 passengers
626 berths
661 cars
1 920 lane metres
4 Wärtsilä-Sulzer diesels, combined 46 000 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Speed 28,9 knots

For the history of the Superfast VIII and her sisters, please refer to the previous entry about the Superfast VIII (incidentally, I would like to ask the Gods of Ship Photography why it's always the Superfast VIII that appears in a location where I'm photographing? I've got a grand total of zero pics about the Superfast VII but a huge pile of photos of the Superfast VIII).

In terms of design the Superfast VII though X series is a further development on the Superfast Ferries look first premiered on the Masa Yards -built sisters Superfast III and IV (now Transport of Tasmania's Spirit of Tasmania II and I, respectively). Personally I find that in terms of the exterior at least the VII-X series is the most attractive. All of the similar-looking III-XII ships are attractively sleek and streamlined in appearance, with pleasantly clean lines, but on the VII-X quartet this design is most effective thanks to their less extensive superstructures. In terms of the exterior the Superfast VIII and her sisters rank amongst my favourites amongst modern ships.

Superfast VIII backing from the quay in Tallinn Reisisadam on the relatively warm winter day on 28 February 2008. The Soviet relic of the Tallinn TV tower in the background. Click on the image to view full size.

Julia, 12 September 2008


IMO 8020642
Built 1982, AG Weser Seebeckswerft Bremerhaven, West Germany
Tonnage 22 161 GT
Length 153,40 m
Width 24,70 m
Draugth 5,80 m
Ice class 1A
2 048 passengers
863 berths
530 cars
4 Pielstick diesels, combined 15 300 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 20 knots

In the previous entry about the Julia I claimed those photos were my only pictures of that ship. It seems I was lying, as I discovered a handful of further photos I took on the same extended trip the two previous entries are also from. Nothing much else to say about the ship, so I guess it's straight to the photo.

Julia at the Olympia terminal in Helsinki's Eteläsatama on 12 September 2008. The bow of Silja Serenade on the right. Click on the image to view full size.

12 January 2011

Viking XPRS interiors, 14 September 2008

Viking XPRS

IMO 9375654
Built 2008, Aker Yards Helsinki, Finland
Tonnage 35 778 GT
Length 186,71 m
Width 27,70 m
Draft 6,75 m
Ice class 1A Super
2 500 passengers
732 berths
230 cars
1 000 lanemeters
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 40 000 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Speed 25 knot

The Viking XPRS has, of course, been already widely covered in this blog, including the interiors. However, as previously noted her rear decks were rebuilt in early 2009 with the addition of a Dance Pavillion in place of a former outer deck area. Here are a few pictures from that area of the ship in the original construction, taken on 14 September 2008. Click on the individual images to view full size.

The terraced rear deck in original configuration. Picture taken shortly after departing Helsinki, with Katajanokka in the background.
Looking forward from the aft of deck 7, towards Viking's Out. The superstructure was expanded aft-wards here when the Dance Pavillion was added.
"Inside" Viking's Out. Compare with the last three pictures in the Viking XPRS interiors 2009 -entry to get an idea how much the space has changed.

11 January 2011

Galaxy, 13 September 2008


IMO 9333694
Built 2006, Aker Finnyards Rauma, Finland
Tonnage 48 915 GT
Length 212,10 m
Width 29,00 m
Draft 6,40 m
Ice class 1A Super
2 800 passengers
2 138 berths
420 cars
1 130 lanemeters
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 26 240 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 22 knots

Galaxy was the third newbuilding ever built for Tallink. She was based on the same construction as the company's two previous newbuilds Romantika and Victoria I, but with 20 metres added length. The ship's most notable exterior feature, the unusual livery, was designed by the Estonian naivist artist Navitrolla who is a personal friend of Tallink CEO Enn Pant. Navitrolla's work also carried on to the interior of the ship, where the staircases are adorned by his paintings (in my humble opinion the paintings in the interior work much much better than the exterior, where the practical demand of large fields of even colour takes away much of the adge of Navitrolla's style). Reportedly Enn Pant asked his friend to provide liveries of Tallink's subsequent newbuildings but the artist declined.

The Galaxy entered service on Tallink's Helsinki-Stockholm service in May 2006, replacing the Romantika. During the same month Tallink purchased the competing Silja Line and soon rumours begun flying that the Galaxy's then-under-construction sister ship would enter service not for Tallink but on Silja Line's Turku-Stockholm service. In the end when the new ship, eventually named Baltic Princess, entered service in July 2008 she replaced the Galaxy and it was the Galaxy that in turn moved to the Turku-Stockholm service, replacing the ageing Silja Festival.

In preparion for her new service the Galaxy was docked at Luonnonmaan telakka in Naantali and given a minor rebuild. At the same time her original Tallink Cruise hull markings were replaced by a Silja Line text. However, she retained her Tallink funnel symbol abd Silja Line's famous seal's head symbol was not painted anywhere on her hull or superstructure, making her the first major Silja Line ship since the company's formation in 1970 not to carry the seal. In marketing material the Galaxy has often been marketed as Silja Galaxy since the transfer. Her registered name however remains Galaxy.

The photographs below show the Galaxy in the Stockholm archipelago inbound to Stockholm in the afternoon of 13 September 2008. Photographed from onboard either Silja Serenade or Silja Symphony. Click on the image(s) to view full size.

Not a bad-looking ship at all if you ask me. At least once the livery has had some time to grow on you.
Before the Galaxy entered service on the Turku-Stockholm route some voiced doubts about the ability of a 212-metre-long ship to perform on the twisty archipelago route. She has however performed amiably during the past two years.
Noticed the six-legged cow (yes, count them, six) and the giraffe with it's head above the clouds in addition to the penguins.

10 January 2011

Marco Polo, 22 August 2008

Marco Polo

IMO 6417097
Built 1965, VEB Mathias-Thesen-Werft Wismar, East Germany
Tonnage 22 080 GT
Length 176,28 m
Width 23,55 m
Draught 8,17 m
915 passengers
2 Sulzer-Cegielski diesels, combined 15 447 kW
2 propellers
1 bow thruster
Speed 16,5 knots

Starting off the new year (somewhat belatedly I admit) with some of my favourite photographs from 2008, namely the Marco Polo's August visit to Helsinki's Länsisatama. New photographs from 2011 will fortcaming once the weather is cooperative with my plan of photographing the local ferries in the ice (ice is not a problem but the lack of good light is).

The service history of the Marco Polo has already been covered in the previous entry about her (him?). This time I will instead be looking at how the ship's exterior has changed over the years.

Originally the Alexandr Pushkin (and other ships of the Ivan Franko -class) were built with fairly unpretentious superstructures. The forward superstructure moderately streamlined, with the lowest superstructure decks terraced. The aft superstructure was similiarly terraced, with what looks like an observation longe between the bridge and the funnel and the decks neatly terraced immediately aft of the funnel (see for instance this postcard from Simplon Postcards). Already during the Soviet era the Alexandr Pushkin's forward superstructre was rebuilt into a more subtantial (and less attractive form). During the her time with the soviets the ship ran with a black hull decorated with a white riband and the usual Soviet funnel colours with white funnel decorated with a red stripe carrying the hammer-and-sicle -emblem. Many of the Alexandr Pushkin's sister recieved white hulls during their later Soviet career, but the Pushkin seems to have carried a black hull 'till the end.

Although the 1991-1993 refit which turned the ship into the Marco Polo left her superficially very similar to the original, closer inspection reveals her to have been radically altered. The large windows that originally adorned much of the superstructure have been replaced by smaller ones, the (presumed) observation lounge after of the bridge has been lost, and most importantly the aft superstructure has been radically extended, turning the originally fairly sleek ship into something much more boxy. Naturally the ship's livery was also altered in addition to the structural changes; the hull was now painted dark blue (without a decorative stripe) and the funnel white with a wide blue and a narrow red band.

The changes that have been made to the ship's exterior after she moved first to Transocean Tours and then to Cruise & Maritime Voyages have been largely marginal. Transocean Tours opted to keep the blue hull (though their other ship run with white hulls) but added a decorative stripe in two shades of turquise familiar from their other ships and naturally their own funnel colours. It also appears they lightened the shade of the hull slightly, though this might be just an optical illusion. Cruise & Maritime Voyages were content just to replace the Transocean Tours funnel symbol with their own.

The photographs below show the Marco Polo departing Helsinki's Länsisatama on 22 August 2008. Click on the individual images to view full size.

Shortly after departing the Hernesaari cruise quay. Why she used that quay is unknown to me; the better-located quays at Katajanokka she has normally used were free at the time as far as I remember.
For some reason, from this point of view and this livery the ship reminds me strongly of Lauro Line's first Angelina Lauro, despite the fact the hull colour is the only real similarity.
Pihlajasaari in the background on the right, as per the usual.
Passing Pihlajasaari slightly further on in quite nice wind (observe the bent trees on the island right of the ship's bow).
Not quite blending into the landscape. Not that a ship should either.
Further on, passing to the not-quite-so-calm waters of the Bay of Finland.