20 May 2015

Marco Polo in Helsinki, 20 May 2015

The summer cruise season in Helsinki actually begun three weeks age, with the Costa Pacifica opening the season on 1 May. For my part, a combination of other commitments and poor weather meant that I did not have a chance to open the photo season until today. But I did it with a fine ship, and managed to get photos of both the Silja Symphony and Mariella in their new liveries in the process. You will get to see those later, as today we take a look at the Marco Polo.

Marco Polo

IMO 6417097
Name history: Alexandr Pushkin, Marco Polo
Built 1965, VEB Mathias-Thesen-Werft Wismar, East Germany
Tonnage 22 080 GT
Length 176,28 m
Width 23,55 m
Draught 8,17 m
848 passengers (lower berths)
915 berths
2 Sulzer-Cegielski diesels, combined 15 447 kW
2 propellers
1 bow thruster
Speed 16,5 knots

For a brief history of the Marco Polo, see the first entry on her. For those wanting a more detailed look at this fascinating ship, I heartily recommend the book Marco Polo - Celebrating Fifty Golden Years of Ocean Travel by Richard Clammer. The book is published by Ferry Publications and you can buy it from the Ferry Pubs website (and yes, Ferry Pubs did publish my book too, so this is a bit of an advert).

Anyways, to the photos! Which show the Marco Polo departing Helsinki Eteläsatama (South Harbour) on the afternoon of 20 May 2015, photographed from Lonna. As per the usual, you can see the images in larger size by clicking on them.

The ship was moored bow towards the south and I briefly hoped she would take the more southernly shipping lane, which would have brought her right next to Lonna. Alas, she used the more northernly lane instead.
Which gave quite nice photos too...
...even if the Hanasaari power plant is not perhaps the most pleasant thing to have in the background.
It didn't take long for her to pose in front of a more attractive background.
The Marco Polo is a regular visitor - she's been calling in Helsinki at least since 1966, when she was the Alexandr Pushkin sailing on the Leningrad-Montréal transatlantic run.
You don't see them here, but like last spring, Lonna was filled with Angry Birds - namely, Canadian Geese protecting their nests.
Next time: Either the Silja Symphony or (if I head out to photograph tomorrow) the Arcadia.

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