21 December 2012

Finlandia interiors, 20 December 2012

This is going to be the third entry in a row that says "Next time: Baltic Princess" as the end. What can I say? The Finlandia came along and stole my undivided attention. I had a chance to visit the new ship today (well, technically yesterday as it's past midnight here) and hence I can give you a sneak peek of the (not quite finished) interiors. Be warned that this entry contains a record-breaking 39 images, so the page might take a while to load.

Finlandia

IMO 9214379
Name history: Moby Freedom, Freedom, Finlandia
Built 2001 Daewoo Shipbuilding & Heavy Machinery Okpo, South Korea
Tonnage 36 093 GT
Length 175 m
Width 27,60 m
Draught 7 m
2080 passengers
1190 berth
665 cars
1950 lane metres
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 50 400 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 27 knots

On taking over of the Moby Freedom from Moby Line, Eckerö Line decided to rebuild almost the entire interior (even though the originals were in quite good condition). The new interiors are by the Finnish interior architect Bettina Ingves, who had previously worked on the interiors of both the Nordlandia and Eckerö's Eckerö-Grisslehamn ferry Eckerö. Almost all interiors are named after locations in Helsinki's West Harbour.

When viewing this entry it may also be of interest to look at the interiors of the Finlandia's sister ship Superstar, featured in a previous entry here.

Deck 8 is where almost all of the public rooms are located. In the bow there is a two-deck high observation lounge (spanning down to deck 7), Nosturi, followed by small conference room (that we could not access), the pubs Jätkäsaari and Nosturi, a shop (Bellezza), champagne bar Naissaar, buffet restaurant Eckerö and cafeteria Satama.

Nosturi as seen from the front of the space, facing starboard and aft. The area where I was standing on is the new floor added in the recent refit, originally the space was three decks high but the lowest deck was given over to the main tax-free shop and an extra-charge lounge.
A close-up of the seating.
Nosturi, looking down from the mezzanine level between decks 7 and 8. The name Nosturi (Finnish for a mechanical crane) honours a combined culture & music hall-nightclub near the Arctech Helsinki shipyard in West Harbour.
More Nosturi, looking down from deck 8.
The slightly more sedate seating area on deck 8, without a direct view of the dance floor.
The deck 8 entrance to Nosturi; don't know if this will be the final arrangement of the bar stools.
As a leftover from the Moby days, the staircases are colour-coded. Here is the forward staircase (green). From fore to aft the colours are green, yellow, red and blue.
Pub Jätkäsaari (named after the part of the city where the West Harbour is located in Helsinki) is an intimate space between Nosturi and the larger Pub Telakka. The ceiling lights are made to look like upside-down table lamps, which certainly sounded like a bizarre idea. At the moment they are still lacking lampshades.
Moving further aft, we come to Pub Telakka ("shipyard"), which will  have live music,
As you can see, Pub Telakka is decorated with an industrial theme. I'm not at all sure if I like it. Nothing against industrial themes, but the direction taken here just looks strange to me.
Close-up view of pub Telakka's chairs... which at least to me look like they're either plastic or enamelled metal.
A somewhat tastier take on the industrial theme in the corridor that passes by Pub Telakka.
In the aft end of Pub Telakka there's also a little corner for slot machines.
Moving aft from Pub Telakka we come to champagne bar Naissaar (name after an island on Estonia's north coast). Here the room is seen as we first entered, with the chairs under wraps...
And here is the same space later during the day, with nicely vibrant chairs out of their wrappings.
Not sure about the chrome chairs in the middle, but the rest of the space looks very nice. Unfortunately the floral-patter carpet is still under a semi-transparent plastic film here and not fully visible.
Naissaar wall decor next to the blue staircase entrance. The caption reads: "No other form of travel is as soothing to the nerves in these hectic times filled with competition, work and politics as a voyage by a ship" -- Carl-Eric Creutz, 1950. Naissaar was originally inhabited by Swedish-speaking people, hence the appearance of the island's Swedish name Närgö (the Swedish-speaking Estonians fled after the Soviet Union occupied Estonia during World War II).
Buffet Eckerö on the port side of the ship, across from Bar Naissaar on the starboard. The blue ceiling decorations are (supposedly at least) the sole surviving relic of the Moby era and their colour and shape informed the new decor.
More of Buffet Eckerö under wraps.
And this is what the entire space will look like when it's no longer under wraps. Fantastic, I say!
On the right are the foor counters for desserts.
The foor counters for warm foods are located in a semi-enclosed nook of their own near the front of the space. The carvery station will be at the corner seen here - I strongly suspect there will be crowding here, as there is on the Viking XPRS' buffet that has a similar segregated service room.
On the aft of deck 8 there is another double-height space, cafeteria Satama ("Harbour"). This was a sports bar on the Moby Freedom; the TV sceens from that era have been retained and apparently they will be filled with (fake) flowers. Not sure if I like that idea, but otherwise the space looks fine.
Looking down from the balcony level on deck 9. Wintertime lighting just does not look good in this space; the problem was the same when I visited the Superstar. The problem could perhaps been alleviated with more vibrant colours.
The carpets of Satama feature the coordinates of three principal harbours connected to the Finlandia: Eckerö, Helsinki and Tallinn.
Off of Satama and decorated in a similar style (albeit with different chairs; they are in fact re-upholstered Moby Freedom originals) is a multi-purpose room that can function on it's own for groups, be combined to the cafeteria or to the buffet (the grey door in the middle of the photo leads directly to the buffet).
The balcony level of Satama on deck 9. The "wooden" floor looks very neat.
Don't know why they covered some of the windows to the sun deck with leaf-pattern film, but it looks quite nice.
The sundeck in Finnish winter. Forward on deck 9 there is also an outside summer bar (Laituri, "wharf"), but in the winter cold I did not venture further.
Deck 7 is - apart from the lower level of Bar Nosturi - given entirely over to cabins.

Deck 6 had the Eckerö Market and Extra class lounge in the front, followed by the entrance vestibule and more cabins that fill most of the deck.

The Eckerö Market doesn't exactly shine with bright colours when none of the wares are yet in place. Still, it's not a bad-looking place.
At the bow there will be a "tasting station" for alcoholic drinks (hopefully other stuff as well, for the benifit of those of us who don't drink). This part of the shop was originally a part of the three-deck high forward lounge.
The price tags not matching the size of the plastic thingies they should go in and the typo in "kermalikööri" don't give a particularly good impression.
By the exit there is a large advert for Finlandia Vodka that changes colour (apparently the different colours representing different flavours).
Next to the Eckerö Market there is a separate added-cost  Extra Class lounge with additional services. The principle is the same as in other Helsinki-Tallinn ships' Business Class, but sensibly (and perhaps taking their cue from the Finnish rail operator VR) Eckerö have decided to name the class Extra to make it appealing to a wider demographic.
The abundant use of wood patterns in the walls and ceiling as well as the colour of the carpeting really makes this space resemble a sauna rather than a lounge.
Extra class unwrapped. The orange chair was lovely.
A part of the entrance vestibule, still in rather unfinished state. On the right (partially obscured by the blue movable screens) is the information booth and next to it the foor to Extra class.
Decks 4 and 5 contain the upper car deck.

Deck 3 contains the lower car deck, and since the Finlandia was berthed at a quay without normal passenger access, we also entered and exited the ship via the car deck.

In my very limited experience of car decks, this is one rather nice and clean.
A little memory of the Moby Freedom at the door to the car deck from the blue staircase.
Next time: Baltic Princess (this time for real)

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