23 July 2012

Nordlandia interiors, 4 March 2012


IMO 7928811
Name history: Olau Hollandia, Nord Gotlandia, Nordlandia
Built 1981, AG Weser Seebeckswerft, Bremerhaven, West Germany
Tonnage 21 473 GT
Length 153,40 m
Width 24,70 m
Draugth 8,80 m
Ice class 1A
2 048 passengers
938 berths
450 cars or 42 trucks
4 Pielstick diesels, combined 15 300 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 20 knots

While looking through old photographs I realised there was a bunch of interior shots from onboard Eckerö Line's Nordlandia that I had never put up. As the Nordlandia will be withdrawn from service later this year upon the arrival of the new Finlandia (ex-Moby Freedom), now would be an opportune moment to look at the Nordlandia's interiors.

As built, the Olau Hollandia's interior layout strongly resembled that of Silja Line's "second-generation French sisters" Svea Corona, Wellamo and Bore Star with cabins forward and public spaces after. The Olau Hollandia's interior design was subdued, with brown as the dominant colour - but at the same time the interiors drew their names and decor from fairytales, perhaps reflecting Olau Line owner TT-Line's tradition of naming their ships after fictional characters. Little to nothing of the original interiors remains today, Eckerö Line having given the interiors a gradual but thorough refit over the years. One thing that surprised me when I was onboard was how clean and well-kept the ship was on the inside - particularly considering the fact she's sailed for 14 years on the rather punishing Helsinki-Tallinn run.

In the current guide there are three decks with passenger facilities, each with a different purpose: Deck 5 houses a large supermarket, Deck 6 the restaurants and cafeteria and deck 7 the entertainment venues (such as they are). Further up, there is an array of conference rooms on deck 9. Unfortuantely I did not venture up to photograph these - a mistake, as I later learned from Eckerö's 50th anniversary book that the conference rooms are rather superb indeed.

Deck 7 is the topmost passenger deck, housing Pub Compass and Dancebar Horisont - plus additional conference rooms in the forward section, converted from original cabins.

Port cabin corridor, facing forward.
My tribute to the great Peter Knego: a random carpet shot.
The port forward staircase - although forward is a relative term, the aft staircase is across from the vestibule.
Pub Compass on the starbord side, facing port and forward.
Dancebar Horisont, facing aft and starboard.
Maria (my wife, that is) liked the upholstery - probably because it's blue.
The Finnish Tango King from the year 2009 (or something) performing in Horisont. (And yes, we crazy Finns elect a Tango King anda Tango Queen every year. Finnish tango has little to nothing to do with the better-known Argentinian variant however).
Aft decks, probably actually taken from deck 8 facing downwards. This is shortly after departing Tallinn, in the distance in the harbour you can see (from left to right): Translandia, Victoria I, Star, Viking XPRS and Princess Anastasia. A perfectly ordinary day in Tallinn as far as ships are concerned.
Deck 6 is the restaurant deck, housing the self-service Eckerö Buffet (the food was some of the best I've ever eaten on a ship), the waiter service Eckerö Bistro and cafeteria Café Arkad.

Eckerö Buffet on the starboard side of the ship, facing aft. Mrs Id makes a cameo appearance on the foreground.
Since I complimented the food, here is a "taster" from the buffet's main courses. The mushroom sauce, if I remember correctly, was particularly good.
On the port side of the ship is Café Arkad - this photo is taken facing starboard and aft. On the right side of the photo you can just see the service area of the cafeteria, located right aft and presumably served byu the same kitchen as the buffet.
Deck 5 is the entrance and exit deck. The aft half of the deck is given exclusively over to a large supermarket, neatly displaying the ship's main raison d'etre. Of course, it should be remembered that there are no tax-free sales on the Helsinki-Tallinn route.

Neon sign above the entrance.
Candy-filled teddy bears for sale, with the shop's real purpose visible on the left: cases of beer cans. I didn't take any other photographs inside the shop, alas, as usually onboard staff are not too keen on photography in the shopping areas.
So, that was my short tour of the Nordlandia. Her future after the arrival of the Finlandia remains to be seen. She will probably leave the Eckerö fleet as there simply isn't a need for her on Eckerö's routes: the Finlandia will take over the Helsinki-Tallinn run (and there isn't enough demand for two ships), and there is no need for a ship of the Nordlandia's size on the Eckerö-Grisslehamn route. Unless Eckerö plan on opening an entirely new passenger line (which I strongly doubt), the Nordlandia will be sold. "To where" is a very good question.


  1. Nice topic!

    Today it was NORDLANDIA's final sailing.

    Something more about here future?

    Regards, Robert

    1. The Nordlandia's last (commercial) sailing was in fact on the 29th, on the 30th the crew and material were changed over from the Nordlandia to the Finlandia and the Finlandia's first sailing was then on the 31st.

      As to the Nordlandia's future, there have been strong rumours that she would be sold as a casino ship to the Far East, but no concrete information as of yet. She is currently laid up in Paljassaare near Tallinn.

    2. Thanks,

      In the Netherlands there was a rumour that the NORDLANDIA (OLAU Hollandia-1) should come back to the Netherlands, where she started in 1981.

      Her OLAU-sister is now sailing for C-BED as a floating hotel (name: WINDPERFECTION).

  2. According to the wesite of the Port of Helsinki, the NORDLANDIA wille be back in service the nextr days: http://www.portofhelsinki.fi/passengers/arrival_times_and_terminals



    1. Indeed, Eckerö Line have decided to sell the cargo ferry Translandia instead and have the Nordlandia take over her itineraries.