25 January 2013

Silja Europa in Helsinki, 24 January 2013

This is the 300th Kships entry. We continue with the recent months' trend of staying on the pulse of current events (which has given the blog a record-breaking number of visits last month) and celebrate the milestone with photographs of the Silja Europa's second visit to Helsinki as a Tallink ship.

Silja Europa

IMO 8919805
Built 1993, Meyer Werft, Germany
Tonnage 59 912 GT
Length 201,78 m
Width 32,60 m
Draught 6,80 m
Ice class 1 A Super
3 123 passengers
3 696 berths
350 cars
932 lane metres
4 MAN diesels, combined 31 800 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Speed 22 knots

For a history of the Silja Europa, see this entry.

Last Autumn, Tallink Grupp (the owner of both Tallink and Silja Line, in case it was unclear to someone) decided to swap the Silja Europa and Baltic Princess around, the Silja Europa with her troublesome engines coming to the slow-paced Helsinki-Tallinn 22-hour cruise route and the Baltic Princess with her more powerful engines moving to the Turku-Mariehamn-Stockholm run in her place. The Silja Europa entered service on the Tallinn route under the Estonian flag on 23 January 2013, while the Baltic Princess will enter service on the Turku route after a longer docking period on 1 February.

The photographs below show the Silja Europa arriving in Helsinki West Harbour on 24 January 2013, her second call to the port as a Tallink ship. I was inspired to go and take these photos after seeing some beautiful images taken by Tero Söderholm (also a frequent commenter of this blog) the previous day, which are up at Marimetraffic.com. Hence I cannot take credit for being in the lishgt place at the right time all for myself. So thank you, Tero.

Click on the images to see them in larger size.

This image should be the cover of a book. Although it's hard to imagine what kind of a book would need a photo of the Silja Europa in Tallink colours as a cover.
Waymarkers mark the way to the ship.
I might have damaged my eyes by taking this picture but it looks so good...
Here we are getting more of a neat winter atmosphere...
Dat light.
And those reflections.
Timing is everything.
In this one you don't even notice the ship is no longer in Silja colours.
Then some long-exposure-and-tripod -fiddling as the ship is docking. For some reason the ship took it's sweet time at the quay, mooring half an hour after the scheduled arrival.
The ship actually looks surprisingly good without hull texts. And the Tallink funnel symbol works very well as white on a blue background.
The perfect moment for night-time photography. This shot and the one above was made possible by the big piles of snow gathered next to the habour security area fence.
Next time: Finlandia interiors (yes, again).

18 January 2013

Viking Grace in Turku, 16 January 2013

The newest ferry on the Baltic. The first newbuilt ferry on the Finland-Sweden run in twenty years. The first large passenger ship capable of operating with LNG (liquidised natural gas). The ship has been recieving a lot of well-deserved media attention (well, at least in Finland it has). Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Viking Grace:

Viking Grace

IMO 9606900
Built 2013, STX Europe Turku, Finland
Tonnage 57 700 GT
Length 218,60 m
Width 31,80 m
Draught 6,80 m
Ice class 1 A Super
2 800 passengers
2 876 berths
530 lane metres of cars
1 275 lane metres of cargo
4 Wärtsilä dual fuel (LNG/diesel) engines, combined 30 400 kW
2 fixed-pitch propellers
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Service speed 21,8 knots
Maximum speed 25,6 knots

The Viking Grace was ordered by Viking Line from STX's Turku yard in October 2010 after prolonged negotiations and over a year of rumours and speculation (that started when Viking's then-CEO Nils-Erik Eklund hinted at a new order in June 2009). In light of the emissions regulations due to come into effect in 2015, various environmentally friendly technologies were looked into (such as LNG fuel, flettner rotors and fuel cells), but in the end the only major technological advance that made it through was LNG as fuel.

In addition to the deserved attention given to the ship thanks to her engine configuration, she has also recieved attention for her interiors. The public spaces have been the designed by the very hip Finnish interior architect firm dSign Vertti Kivi, who had previously never worked in ship interiors. There are interior images already all over the internet, but personally I recommend Timo Selkälä's report from the maiden voyage for interior photos. I will be going onboard in mid-February and shall be putting up images afterwards (naturally).

The Viking Grace was delivered to Viking Line on 10 January 2013. She left on her maiden voyage, a special all-inclusive two-night Turku-Stockholm-Turku trip, on 13 January and entered regular service on 15 January, replacing the Isabella (which in turn temporarily replaced the Amorella while she is being drydocked).

The photographs below show the Viking Grace arriving in Turku from her first regular Turku-Stockholm trip on the evening of 16 January 2013. The lighting was far from perfect when it came to photographing a moving object but these are my firts photos of the ship so I hope you're willing to tolerate some poor quality. Click on the images to see them in larger size.

Viking are clearly not saving money with the lights.
Impressive, though.
The lights of Turku reflecting in the clouds make the background completely different from the above.
Notice the LNG tanks on the open deck (well, how could you not?). I think on this trip they were already running on diesel, as the LNG terminal in Nynäshamn that will serve the ship was not ready in time. The maiden voyage was done on LNG brought in from elsewhere, but for the rest of the strping the ship will sail on diesel.
The current and future largest ship on the Turku-Stockholm run: The Silja Europa (in the background) is slightly larger than the Viking Grace, but the SE will change to the Helsinki-Tallinn run next week, leaving the Grace to reign supreme.
Next time: Something! Having learned from all the times this winter when I've promised something and didn't post it, I shan't say anything this time around.

14 January 2013

Lisco Optima in Kiel, 23 May 2011

Lisco Optima

IMO 9188427
Name history: Alyssa, Svealand, Lisco Optima, Optima Seaways
Built 1999, Cantiere Navale di Visentini Donada, Italy
Tonnage 25 206 GT
Length 186,00 m
Width 25,60 m
Draught 6,50 m
328 passengers
256 berths
180 cars
2 115 lane metres of cargo
2 MAN B&W diesels
2 propellers
3 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Speed 21,5 knots

The Lisco Optima - or Optima Seaways as she's known today - was built in 1999 by the Visentini shipyard in Italy, one in a long series of similar ropaxes built by the yard for various owners (the Trinacria featured previously in this blog is another example of the class). This particular ship was originally owned by either Levantina Trasporti or by Royal Maritime, with different souces giving different information. Regardless of the owners, she was named Alyssa and chartered to COTUNAV for 1999-2000. This was followed by a charter to Trasmediterranea for 2000-2001 without a change of name.

In 2001 the ship was chartered to Scandlines and given the traditional name Svealand. She was placed on the Trelleborg-Travemünde -service, moving to the Kiel-Klaipeda route in 2003. In 2004 the Svealand was sold to Stena Line but stayed under charter to Scandlines until 2005. In early 2006 the ship was chartered to TT-Line still as the Svealand, returning to to the Trelleborg-Travemünde service. Within the same year she was sold by Stena Line to DFDS Lisco, who renamed the ship Lisco Optima and placed her on the Kiel-Klaipeda and Karlshamn-Klaipeda -routes. In 2010 DFDS Lisco ceased existing as a separate entity when the DFDS-owned shipping brands were given a single identity as DFDS Seaways. For the time being the Lisco Optima kept her Lisco-era name and the white-hulled Lisco livery, but finally in 2012 she was renamed Optima Seaways and given DFDS Seaways' blue-hulled livery.

The photographs below show the Lisco Optima departing from Kiel on 23 May 2011. Click on the images to see them in larger size.

Just a few moments before the ship had been beautifully lit, but just as she was departing the sun was obscured by a cloud.
All-white is, in my opinion, seldom a good livery. While I'm not a fan of DFDS' current blue-hulled livery either, based on photographs available elsewhere I do think the blue hull was an improvement in this particular case.
Next time: Probably some ship model images from the Forum Marinum maritime museum in Turku.

10 January 2013

Silja Festival and Silja Serenade in Helsinki, 7 January 2013

Silja Festival

IMO 8306498
Previous name: Wellamo
Built 1986, Wärtsilä Marine Helsinki, Finland
Tonnage 34 417 GT
Length 168,00 m
Width 27,60 m
Draught 6,50 m
Ice class 1 A Super
1 886 passengers
1 937 berths
300 cars or 60 trailers
4 Wärtsilä-SEMT-Pielstick diesels, combined 26 200 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Speed 22 knots

Silja Serenade

IMO 8715259
Built 1990, Masa-Yards Turku New Shipyard, Finland
Tonnage 58 376 GT
Length 203,03 m
Width 31,93 m
Draugth 7,12 m
Ice class 1A Super
2 852 passengers
3 001 berths
410 cars
1 600 lane metres
4 Wärtsilä-Vasa diesels, combined 32 580 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Speed 21 knots

For a history of the Silja Festival, see this entry. For a much briefer history of the Silja Serenade, see this entry.

The Silja Festival closed this year's winter cruise season for Helsinki, visiting the port on 7 January. As most readers are probably aware, despite her Silja Line -esque name and livery, the Silja Festival sails as a part of Tallink's fleet between Riga and Stockholm. However, as has been done several years in a row now, a Russian travel agency chartered her to do longer cruise out of St. Petersburg for the Orthodox Christian Christmas. This year's cruise was a five-night trip to Tallinn, Stockholm and Helsinki.

The photographs below show the Silja Festival at Helsinki's South Harbour together with the regular Helsinki-Stockholm ferry Silja Serenade. Click on the images to see them in larger size.

A hung around the South Harbour for closer to an hour waiting for the moment in the evening when it starts getting dark and even an overcast sky will look magnificient. At around 16:30 it arrived.
This might be the greatest individual photo I have ever taken. Taken at 16:39
At 16:53 the sky was already almost black...
...and at 17:01 it was properly dark.
Next time: The previously overlooked LISCO Optima, photographed during my 2011 MSC Poesia cruise.

06 January 2013

Victoria I in Helsinki, 6 January 2013

Victoria I

IMO 9281281
Built 2004, Aker Finnyards Rauma, Finland
Tonnage 40 975 GT
Length 193,80 m
Width 29,00 m
Draugth 6,50 m
Ice class 1A Super
2 500 passengers
2 252 berths
400 cars
1 000 lanemeters
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 26 240 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 22 knots

Contrary to the advertised programming I did have the time today to visit the South Harbour and photographs the Victoria I on her winter cruise visit to the city. As those who follow this blog reguarly perhaps remember, in the Baltic Sea there are two distinct cruise seasons: the self-explanatory summer season and the more unusual winter season around new year, when Russian travel agencies charter local cruiseferries to do longer cruises from St. Petersburg. The logic behind this is the fact that due to the difference between the Julian and Gregorian calendars, Eastern Orthodox countries celebrate Christamas on 7 January. Hence these are in fact Christmas cruises.

One of the ships chartered this year to do Christmas cruises for the Russian market has been Tallink's Victoria I, which did a four-night and a five-night cruise from St. Petersburg. The second of these will terminate in SPB tomorrow, but today the ship was in Helsinki and I had a chance to photograph her.

For a brief history of the Victoria I, see this entry.

Click on the images to see them in larger size.

Winter Victoria.
Backlit by the neat trick of positioning myself so that the sun is behind the funnel. Note that these photos were taken at around 14.00 and yet the sun was already that low.
The ice cover was far from even, thanks to us having "enjoyed" several days of slightly-above-zero weather.
Victoria I and Silja Symphony are usually in Stockholm at the same time, but getting them into the same photo in Helsinki is much rarer.
I admit I did some fidgeting to get the hues in the clouds to stand out better. But in this case the ends justify the means I think.
Next time: In all likelyhood the Silja Festival I already promised in the previous entry.

05 January 2013

Color Magic in Kiel, 3 June 2011

Continuing the "post stuff from the archives because there are no newer photos" -phase of the winter, I came across this hidden gem of sorts: the Color Magic, photographed on the last day of my 2011 MSC Poesia cruise to Iceland (for those interested, there is also a trip report available at MaritimeMatters here). Why I never posted these images back in 2011 is a mystery to me, but perhaps it's better late than never.

Also, as you may or may not have noticed, Kships now has a new, lighter look. Unlike the old look, this one should also work fine on mobile devices (and if it doesn't, please tell me. I don't have mobile interweb device or a tablet computer so I never actually view this place with anything else than a traditional tabletop or a laptop).

Color Magic

IMO 9349863
Built 2007, Aker Finnyards Turku New Shipyard (hull), Aker Finnyards Rauma shipyard (outfitting), Finland
Tonnage 75 027 GT
Length 223,75 m
Width 35,00 m
Draught 6,80 m
2 750 passengers
2 669 berths
550 cars
1 265 lane metres
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 31 200 kW
2 propellers
3 bow thrusters
2 stern thrusters
Speed 22 knots

The Color Magic is, of course, the largest ferry in the world. For some additional details about her (as well as further images), see this older entry. The photographs below show the Color Magic arriving in Kiel from Oslo in the morning of 3 June 2011, photographed from the deck of the MSC Poesia. Click on the images to see them in larger size.

It's coming straight at us! And showing how the Color Fantasy -sisters owe the older Silja Serenade -sisters even in fairly basic things like the way the superstructure is slightly narrower than the hull.
Zoom out and take a photo from a higher angle and even a giant like the Color Magic can appear small.
Turning in the Kiel Fjord in order to reverse into the quay. In the background the left is the (then-)DFDS LISCO ferry Kaunas.
Next time we probably return to more recent photos in the form of the Silja Festival's new year's cruise visit on 7 January.

01 January 2013

Star in Helsinki, 14 December 2012

It's now the beginning of a new year... and it should be a year that will prove interesting, with the new Wasa Express and Viking Grace entering service on the Baltic Sea; and the Stavangerfjord and Bergensfjord on the North Sea. The first two will definately be covered in this blog in some detail, and if all goes well so will the new Fjord Line ships.

But returning to the subject of the Old Year for a moment, yesterday saw the publications of Ulkomatala's last issue of 2012, dealing with such varied subjects as the new Finlandia, the histories of the Nordlandia and the new Wasa Express, and the state-owned shipping companies Algérie Ferries, COTUNAV and Polferries. Alas, as always the magazine is only available in Finnish. Those of you fortunate enough to read my native language can check out the lastest UM issue here.

But now, onwards to the point of this entry and the only published photo of the Star taken by me during the 2012.


IMO 9364722
Built 2007, Aker Finnyards Helsinki, Finland
Tonnage 36 250 GT
Length 186,00 m
Width 27,70 m
Draugth 6,50 m
Ice class 1A
1 900 passengers
520 berths
450 cars
1 981 lanemeters
4 MaK diesels, combined 48 000 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Speed 27,7 knots

There is very little to say about the Star that wouldn't have been covered in the previous entries about her; particularly as there's very little really to say about her, at least historywise. The photographs below show the Star in Helsinki West Harbour on the afternoon of 14 December 2012 shortly after arriving from Tallinn.

Although this looks foggy, it wasn't taken in the fog but while there was quite heavy snowfall. Also notice the rear ramp in the process of opening.

Next time: Perhaps I'd better make any promises as it'll be another trip to the archives.