03 September 2015

Azores in Helsinki, 13 July 2015


IMO 5383304
Name history: Stockholm, Völkerfreundschaft, Volker, Fridtjof Nansen, Italia I, Italia Prima, Valtur Prima, Caribe, Athena, Azores
Built 1948, Götaverken Gothenburg,Sweden
Tonnage 16 144 GT
Length 160,08 m
Width 21,04 m
Draught 7,90 m
650 passengers
2 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 10 664 kW
2 propellers
1 bow thruster
Speed 16,5 knots

This was the third time I've photographed this venerable old lady. Interestingly enough, each time she has sported a different livery: in 2012 she was in Classic International Cruises livery as the Athena, two years later she had been renamed the Azores and repainted in Portuscale Cruises colours. This year she was back, still named Azores, but now repainted in Cruise & Maritime Voyages funnel colours. As it happens, this was the one and only time to photograph her with this colour and name combination in Helsinki; next year the ship will be renamed Astoria.

The photographs below show the Azores departing from Helsinki in the afternoon of 13 July 2015, photographed from Kustaanmiekka. The weather wasn't too good as you can see, but when a ship makes her only call in Helsinki I take notice. As per the usual, click on the images to see them in larger size.

The CMV funnel colours don't really flatter her. Then again, in general the partially trained graphic designer in me cringes every time I see a CMV ship; the uncoordinated liveries and lacklustre funnel colours could be so much better (and more reflective of their product).
The vegetation stood out nicely despite the weather. In this shot the clouds are dark enough for the ship to stand out properly, which also helps.
Going the other way, more towards the light, the attractiveness of the image is a different story.
I hope to see you next year with your new name, grande dame!
Next time: Norwegian Star

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