28 September 2014

Delphin in Helsinki, 16 September 2014

Today, we will again be looking at the past for a moment. Last Autumn to be precise, and my latest - possibly my last - photos of one my favourite ships: Passat Kreutzfahrten's Delphin. (Unusually, I didn't get to photograph her at all this year).


IMO 7347536
Name history: Belorussiya, Kazakhstan II, Delphin
Built 1975, Wärtsilä Turku, Finland
Tonnage 16 214 GT
Length 156,27 m
Width 21,90 m
Draugth 6,20 m
556 passengers
2 Pielstick-Wärtsilä diesels, combined 13 240 kW
2 propellers
1 bow thruster
Speed 21 knots

It seems that the Delphin is another ship that does not have an up-to-date single history entry, here is an updated history of the ship (mostly copied from previous entries):

The Delphin is amember of the once-vast Soviet passenger fleet. She was built in 1975 at Wärtsilä's Turku shipyard in Finland as the Belorussiya. She was first ship in a series of five identical ferries built for for Soviet Union's black Sea Shipping Company. To my best knowledge, the Belorussiya was the largest ferry in the world at the time of her completion. Standards of the accommodations and public spaces on the Belorussiya and her sisters were high, comparable with the most opulent cruiseferries built for western companies around the time. Their vehicle decks on the other hand were found to be too small for the demands of the Soviet's Black Sea ferry trade. Due to this the Belorussiya and her sisters were used for occasional cruising from early on, and in the 1980s the entire class was converted into cruise ships.

The Belorussiya was converted for cruising in 1986 at Lloyd Werft in Bremerhaven, West Germany. After this she was chartered to CTC Cruises for cruising out of Australia and European ports. Following the fall of the Soviet Union the Belorussiya passed under the Ukrainian flag (retaining Odessa as her port of registry). In late 1992, following the end of her charter to CTC, the Belorussiya capsized while being drydocked in Singapore. After this incident she sailed to Lloyd Werft, where she was heavily rebuilt. Following the rebuilding the ship was renamed Kazakhstan II and chartered to the Germany-based Delphin Seereisen in late 1993. In 1995 she was tranferred under Cypriot flag and in 1996 Delphin Seereisen bought the ship outright and renamed her Delphin.

In 2007, after Delphin Seereisen had acquired a new ship in the form of the Delphin Voyager, the Delphin was chartered to the associated Hansa Kreuzfahrten. Despite the change of operator the Delphin retained her previous name and livery even in service with Hansa Kreuzfahrten. Delphin Seereisen went bankrupt in late 2010, and the Delphin was laid up for about a year. This could have signalled the end of her long career, but the popular ship found another respite in December 2011, when she was sold to Passat Kreuzfahrten, a new German-market cruise line owned by the Indian businessman Pradeep Agrawal.

Subsequently the Delphin sailed from Venice, where it had been laid up, to the Viktor Lenac Shipyard in Rijeka (Croatia) where the ship's interiors were refurbished. Her exterior livery was kept almost entirely unchanged, except for the painting of Passat Kreuzfahrten's logos under the ship's nameplate in the superstructure, in the same place where Hansa Kreuzfahrten's logos were previously located. The funnel symbol remains that of the now-defunct Dephin Seereisen (confused yet?). In April 2012 the Delphin entered service with Passat Kreuzfahrten.

Unfortunately the new venture was not an unqualified success. There were several rumours of the ship being chartered out during the off-season, but none of these came to fruitition. At the end of the 2014 summer season in early September, Passat Kreutzfahrten applied for restructuring and the Delphin was laid up in Bremerhaven. Currently the ship is underway to Rijeka in Croatia, presumably for further layup.

The photographs below show the Delphin, once again, passing through the Kustaanmiekka strait after departing Helsinki South Harbour. The time was in the afternoon of 16 September 2013 and the photos were, as usual, taken from Kustaanmiekka itself. Click on the images to see them in larger size.

The red leaves on the foreground are rather seasonal, don't you agree?
Heavile edited? These photos? I deny all accusations!
Suomenlinna doesn't attract that much people during the autumn... but at least there's one solitary onlooker.

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