16 October 2011

Norwegian Sun in Helsinki, 3 August 2011

Norwegian Sun

IMO 9218131
Built 2001, Aker MTW Wismar, Germany (hull), Lloyds Werft Bremerhaven, Germany (outfitting)
Tonnage 78 309 GT
Length 258,06 m
Width 32,20 m
Draugth 8,00 m
1 936 passengers (double occupancy), 2 400 passengers (maximum)
6 MAN/B&W diesels, combined 50 700 kW
2 propellers
3 bow thrusters
2 stern thrusters
Speed 22 knots

The Norwegian Sun was the first Norwegian Cruise Line ship purpose-built for their Freestyle Cruising concept. However, at least theoretically she was the third ship in a three-ships series, her older sisters being Costa Cruises' Costa Victoria and NCL's Norwegian Sky. The latter was originally slated to become the Costa Olympia, but following bankruptcy of the shipyard the incomplete hull was sold to to NCL. Numerous alterations were made to the design that made the final product quite different from her earlier sister. NCL then ordered a second ship of the the Norwegian Sky design, but in the end the Sun ended up being somewhat different from the Sky, as she was adapted to the Freestyle Cruising concept - although the difference is far less radical as between the Costa Victoria and Norwegian Sky.

The Norwegian Sun entered service for NCL in 2001, initially on cruises around the Caribbean and to Alaska. In 2004 she was rebuilt at the Mobile Yard in Alabama, USA. Subsequently she was given a sun-themed hull decoration in keeping with NCL's theme of giving their ships hull murals.

The photographs below show the Norwegian Sun departing from Helsinki's West Harbour on 3 August 2011, photographed from Sisä-Hattu. Click on the individual images to see them in larger size.

The ship sortly after departing the cruise quay in Hernesaari. In the background on the right is the Suomenlinnasea fortress. The tower topping the island is the Suomenlinna church, which also functions as a lighthouse.
Most people whom I've spoken to about it seem to dislike the Norwegian Sun's side decoration, but I have to say I personally quite like it. The sun motif and the warm choice of colours give the ship a delightfully summer-y look. Particularly nice when you're looking at old photos from last summer on an overcast autumn day when it's +5 degrees centigrade outside.
Sailing past Pihlajasaari and towards the open sea. Well, with a few more islands to navigate past.
Such as these. The names of which are unknown to me... and their names do not particularly add to the atmosphere of the photo so let's consider them irrelevant.

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