11 June 2015

Finnclipper on the Archipelago Sea, 9 June 2015

It's been a while since I've featured Finnlines vessels here - mostly because I'm a lazy bastard and never bother to go to the Vuosaari freight harbour to photograph their vessels sailing from Helsinki. On the other hand, one has plenty of chances to photograph them when sailing between Turku and Stockholm.


IMO 9137997
Built 1999, Astilleros Españoles Puerta Real, Spain
Tonnage 33 958 GT
Length 188,30 m
Width 29,30 m
Draugth 6,30 m
Ice class 1A
440 passengers
452 berths
3 079 lane metres
4 Sulzer diesels, combined 23 040 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 22,1 knots

The Finnclipper was originally ordered in 1995 by Stena Line as the first ship of their four-strong Stena Seapacer -class. However, while the ship was under construction Stena struck a deal with Finnlines to sell the two two ships in the class to Finnlines on completion. The ship was delivered to Stena Line in May 1999, and immediately resold to Poseidon Schiffahrt, the German subsidiary of Finnlines and registered in Lübeck. The ship was initially placed on Finnlines' service between Travemünde and Helsinki. In 2001 she was re-registered in Helsinki. From the beginning of 2003 she moved to the Naantali-Kapellskär -route (which was and is marketed as Finnlink), only to move to the Malmö-Travemünde (Nordö Link) -route in the beginning of 2005, at which time she was re-registered in Malmö. This proved a short stint, as from the beginning of 2006 she reverted to the Finnlink service.

The next change came in 2012, when in the winter she made a single trip from Helsinki to Aarhus, followed by a regular service on the Malmö-Travemünde and Travemünde-Saint Petersburg -routes (reportedly the trips to Saint Petersburg were done in part to purchase cheap marine fuel from Russia). For the 2015 summer season, the Finnclipper returned to the Finnlink service, which had in the interim been altered to include an intermediate call in Långnäs in the Åland Islands in order to secure tax-free sales onboard. This also means that currently all three Finnlines' Seapacer-class ships (Finnclipper, Finneagle and Finnfellow [ex-Stena Britannia]) sail on the same route. It is perhaps of interest to note that the fourth ship in the class currently sails as the Stena Germanica in a radically rebuilt form.

The photographs below show the Finnclipper on the Archipelago Sea, en-route from Naantali to Långnäs, photographed from onboard the Baltic Princess. Click on the images to see them in larger size.

The Archipelago Sea is utterly pictoresque.
The Finnclipper, on the other hand, is in need of a fresh lick of paint.
I'm still not terribly keen on the current blue-hulled Finnlines livery (as I've explained before), but the ship does look alright.
I admit this is almost the exact same view of the ship as above... but it's a fine-looking photo.
Rear view of the ship isn't nearly as attractive as the front, alas.
Onwards to Åland!

Next time: Mein Schiff 4.

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