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?

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