Built 1981 Wärtsilä Turku, Finland
Tonnage 34 093 GT
Length 168,05 m
Width 29 m
Draught 6,72 m
Ice class 1 A Super
4 Wärtsilä-Pielstick diesels, combined 22 948 kW
2 controllable pitch propellers
2 bow thrusters
1 sterns thruster
Speed 21,2 knots
A word of the ship's interior design is perhaps in order. The original 1981 interiors of the (then-)Finlandia were designed by Vuokko Laakso, Carita Holthoer and Ilmo Issakainen. Most of the original interiors would perhaps be best described as late-70s functionalism - with the notable exception of the focal point of the ship, the two-deck high restaurant/night club complex in front of the ship, which had a less sterile decor featuring tiffany lamps and illuminated stained glass panels on the lower level (à la carte -restaurant) and a garden-like ambience for the terrace level (buffet). With the exception of a handful of the original trellis-backed chairs in the buffet, very little of the original decor remains and the layout has been altered in places, sometimes radically.
The current decor, mostly dating from the ship's time as DFDS Seaways' Queen of Scandinavia, is fairly subdued and somewhat minimalist, avoiding the excesses of modern ferry (and cruise ship) interiors. However, some of the changes made by the current operator St. Peter Line appear uncoordinated and do not fit the overall theme of the interiors.
The following is a somewhat limited section of photography from the ship's interiors. In part this is of no fault of my own as St. Peter Line did not allow photographing in the two most interesting interior spaces, the Nemo Casino/Exporer's restaurant complex on the front of deck 7 nor the XXXX Bar night club and the adjacent smoking room on deck 8.
Princess Maria interiors photographed on 10. and 11. February 2011. Click on the individual images to view larger size.
|Un-sunny sun deck on deck 8. Had it not been for the pretty impressive entryway into St. Petersburg (and struggling through the ice), the weather would have chased any sane person indoors.|
|The forward stairwell, with John Walravens striking a pose. The sculpture on the left, like so many other things onboard, is a DFDS addition.|
|The arcade on deck 7, facing forward with the tax-free shop on the left. The plastic wicker chairs are at odds with the otherwise refined decor.|
|The Bake & Coffee cafeteria with it's attractive DFDS-era decor (this area was originally simply an extantion of the entrance lobby). My fellow passenger Mathias Saken (of Finnjetweb fame) tells me the food sold here was both affordable and tasty (I opted for the more expensive but very nice buffet on both nights).|
|Time to get back onboard... Princess Maria at the Morskoy Vokzal terminalin the afternoon of 11. February 2011. The somewhat unusual point of view of this photograph was archieved by climbing on top of a big pile of snow in the quay.|