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
1 130 lanemeters
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 26 240 kW
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.|