27 August 2014

Martín i Soler in Barcelona, 9 August 2014

Martín i Soler

IMO 9390367
Built 2009, Astilleros Barreras Vigo, Spain
Tonnage 24 761 GT
Length 165,30 m
Width 25,60 m
Draught 5,70 m
1 200 passengers
312 berths
330 cars
1 720 lanemeters
2 MaK diesels, combined 18 000 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Maximum speed 22 knots

For the longest time I thought the name of this ship is Martin I Soler (as in Martin the First Soler), presumedly named after some obscure Aragonian royalty. This is not the case; instead, the ship is named after the Catalan composer Vicent Martín i Soler (perhaps better known with the Spanish spelling of his name, Vicente Martín y Soler). The original Martín i Soler was a contemporary of the today-better known Mozart, and during their lifetimes Martín i Soler was held to be the better composer of the two.

The ship Martín i Soler was ordered by the Spanish ferry operator Balearia in spring 2006 from the Astilleros Barreras shipyard in Vigo, Spain. The design of the ship strongly resembles the five-ship newbuilding series delivered by the same shipyard to Armas between 2004 and 2007. Two further designs derived from the Armas ships were delivered to Balearia in 2010, the SF Alhucemas and Abel Matutes.

The Martín i Soler was delivered in January 2009. As is evident from the company name Balearia serves the Balearic Islands, and the Martín i Soler was placed on service from Barcelona to Mahon and Ibiza. Later on during the same year she appears to have changed to the Valencia-Ibiza route. Precise information on her current service is hard to come by - the Balearia website for instance gives very little information. She does however appear to sail from Barcelona to both Alcudia and Ibiza - and as she carries a text advertising Valencia on her side, it's safe to assume she sails there as well.

The photographs below show the Martín i Soler arriving in the port of Barcelona on the evening of 9 August 2014. Click on the images to see them in larger size.

There was an aeroplane in the background of this photo. I didn't like it so I airbrushed it out.
I have to say I quote like the unorthodoc livery Balearia uses. The funnel symbol could be a bit better though.
Sailing inside the breakwater.
In the background on the left is our next subject, Trasmediterránea's Fortuny.
Notice the fact the ship is registered at Santa Cruz de Tenerife on the Canary Islands - presumably it's cheaper to register a ship there than somewhere else in Spain.
Aft views of arrivals in Barcelona from this vantage point are problematic, as there is so much of the city in the background adding confusing details the ship blends into.
Next time: Fortuny

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