14 April 2011

Romantika, 26 August 2007


IMO 9237589
Built 2002, 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
2 172 berths
300 cars
1 030 lanemeters
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 26 240 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 22 knots

The Romantika was the first-ever newbuilding delivered to Tallink (as I've probably already mentioned a thousand times in this blog under entries of other ships), her completion beginning Tallink's rise to being the dominant ferry operator in the northern Baltic. But this was still a distant dream in 2000, when the company operated with a group of second-hand ferries and placed an order for the Romantika.

According to what I have been told by fellow ferry enthustiast, Tallink got the chance to order the Romantika when Irish Ferries decided not to excercise their option for a sister ship of their Ulysses. I do not know if this is true, but it would help explain why the Romantika was so heavily based on Viking Line's Cinderella if Tallink had little time for the design process and therefore modelled their ship after a ship that had already proven itself to work well on the Helsinki-Tallinn short cruise service that the Romantika was built for.

Regardless of the factuality of the above (or the lack thereof), the Romantika was ordered by Tallink from Aker Finnyards in Rauma in August 2000, her keel was laid in May 2001, she was floated out of a drydock and launched in December 2001 and delivered to Tallink in May 2002. As said, she was placed on the Helsinki-Tallinn short cruise service, replacing the Fantaasia. In May 2006, when the new Galaxy (an enlarged version of the Romantika) was delivered, the Romantika was moved to the Tallinn-Mariehamn-Stockholm service, sailing parallel to her younger sister Victoria I. In May 2009 the arrival of another new ship, the Baltic Queen, on the Tallinn-Stockholm service meant the Romantika was moved to the Riga-Stockholm service.

The Romantika remains on the Riga-Stockholm service to this day, but reportedly the service is unprofitable. The Romantika's future in Tallink fleet is therefore uncertain - though it is likely that should the company start cutting down services, the first ship to go will be her older route-mate Silja Festival.

The photographs below show the Romantika arriving in Stockholm's Frihamnen from Tallinn on the morning of 26 August 2007. Photographed from onboard the same company's Regina Baltica that had previous arrived from Riga. Click on the individual images to view larger size.

Turning to back into quay. In the background is Lidingö, Stockholm's neighbouring city and the bridge linking the island city to Stockholm and the mainland.
As noted in the entry for Victoria I, the dark protective sidings below the funnel are the main external structural difference between the two ships: on the Victoria I they extend all the way to the aft and as you can see on the Romantika they do not.
Moving into quay. Since this photo was taken the Tallinn-Stockholm ships have moved to the (former) Silja Line terminal in Värtan, as the quay in Frihamnen's ferry terminal could not accommodate the longer Baltic Queen at the same time as the Romantika or Silja Festival.

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