14 March 2011

Victoria I, 31 May 2007

Victoria I

IMO 9281281
Built 2004, Aker Finnyards Rauma, Finland
Tonnage 40 975 GT
Length 193,80 m
Width 29,00 m
Draught 6,50 m
Ice class 1A Super
2 500 passengers
2 252 berths
400 cars
1 000 lanemeters
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 26 240 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 22 knots

Victoria I was the second newbuilt ship built for Tallink, delivered in 2004 from (what was then) the Aker Finnyards shipyard in Rauma, Finland. She is a sister ship of the Romantika, built in 2002, but the Victoria I has a larger number of cabins. There are also some exterior differences in the ships, most notably the large flower motif painted on the sides of the bow of the Victoria I. Both the Romantika and the Victoria I are based on Viking Line's Cinderella from 1989, with a similar (albeit arguably superior) interior layout.

On delivery in March 2004 the Victoria I was placed on Tallink's service between Tallinn and Stockholm, running parallel to the older and notably inferior Regina Baltica. In May 2004 an intermediate call at Mariehamn on the Åland Islands was added to retain tax-free sales onboard after Estonia joining the EU. (The Åland Islands are an autonymous province of Finland that is not a part of the EU taxation system. Resultingly ships calling at the islands can still sell tax-free goods, even though tax-free sales have been abolished in intra-EU traffic).

In 2005-2006 the Victoria I was also occasionally used for trips between Tallinn and Helsinki. Her running mate on the Tallinn-Stockholm service changed in May 2006 when, following the delivery of the new Galaxy the Romantika was transferred to the Tallinn-Mariehamn-Stockholm route. The two sisters sailed parallel to each other on the route until May 2009, when the new Baltic Queen replaced the Romantika (which was moved to the Riga-Stockholm service). As Tallink have since run into financial difficulties after their rapid expansion during the latter half of the 00's, it seems there is no danger of the Victoria I herself getting replaced with another ship in the near future.

The photographs below show the Victoria I in Tallinn on 31 May 2007. Click on the individual images to view full size.

Victoria I  at Tallinn's Resisadan terminal D, with the Galaxy on the background on the right. Photographed from onboard the Superfast VIII.
Shifting berths at Reisisadam; due to there not being enough berths with passenger linkspans at terminal D, the Victoria I had to vacate her berth for the incoming Star. Once the Galaxy departed, the Victoria I then moved to her berth. Photographed from onboard the Star.
More of the same. In addition to the flower on the bow, the Victoria I  can be told apart from her sister Romantika by the protective sidings on the aft sundeck (the topmost black stripe below the funnel). On the Victoria I this extands all the way to the aft, on the Romantika  it does not. Photo taken from onboard the Star.

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