19 July 2016

Viking XPRS in Helsinki, 19 July 2016

A few days ago, my friend and ship photographer extraordinnaire Marko Stampehl suggested we could visit Vallisaari, the former military island outside Helsinki opened for public this year, and photograph the morning arrivals and departures to Eteläsatama (South Harbour). This proved slightly more challenging than it first sounds, as the first waterbus of the morning arrives so late that you miss all but one ship. But thanks to a little help from my friends this was sorted out. The result were a bunch of really excellent images. Since these are both great and were "hard to get", I will deviate from my unwritten rule of not including more than six (exterior) photos per entry.

Viking XPRS

IMO 9375654
Built 2008, Aker Yards Helsinki, Finland
Tonnage 35 778 GT
Length 186,71 m
Width 27,70 m
Draugth 6,75 m
Ice class 1A Super
2 500 passengers
732 berths
230 cars
1 000 lanemeters
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 40 000 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Speed 25 knots

 For a short history of the Viking XPRS, see this entry (which is actually somewhat out of date; since 2014 the ship has sailed under the Estonian flag). But, onwards to the photos! The first bunch below show the Viking XPRS arriving at Helsinki Eteläsatama (South Harbour) in the morning of 19 July 2016. Photographed from Aleksanterinpatteri (the Alexander Battery) at Vallisaari. Click on the images to see in larger size.

Passing the Harmaja lighthouse and pilot station.
Maybe a bit too tight crop in this one, but alas it's too late to go back now...
In addition to the otherwise splendid view, I like the fact I got to photograph her "parade side" with the large round window (that, disappointingly, isn't actually double-height on the other side). Usually I get to photograph her evening arrival, which means the other side in the one with decent light.
The Viking Grace -style hull stripes were added in 2014 (if I remember correctly). These are actually the first daylight photos of the Viking XPRS I've put up here since they were applied.
Very mmm!
Archipelago, ship, foreground vegetation... what more could a person ask?
She looks so tiny in this view.
Alas, the chances for photographing her rear were less good, due to the extensive vegetation.
For the ship's departure, approximately 1½ hours later, we relocated down to the waterline right next to the narrowest part of the Kustaanmiekka strait. Alas, the ship was partially in the shade due to the occasional clouds you can see in the photos above. So I've chosen only two photos as representatives of the latter part of the session.

The clouds do make for an impressive background though.
A slight change of point of view from the earlier photos.
Kships will return.

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