Name history: Vindile, Pilen 3, SNAV Andromeda
Built 1988, Oskarshamn Nya Varv, Sweden (hull); Westmarin Mandal, Norway (outfitting)
Tonnage 332 GT
Length 37,01 m
Width 9,50 m
Draught 3,69 m
2 MTU diesels, combined 2 038 kW
Speed 40,5 knots
The SNAV Andromeda started life in somewhat colder waters than the Mediterranean: it was built for the Swedish shipping company Nordström & Thulin in 1988 for their Gotlandslinjen subsidiary which, as the name suggests, operated between the Swedish mainland and Gotland. The ship's original name, Vindile, comes from the Gutasagan, a saga that records the history of Gotland before christianisation. According to the saga, the fastest viking ship possible - naturally owned by a man living on Gotland - was named Vindile, and thus the name was highly suitable for what was to my understanding the first fast ferry to serve Gotland.
After being officially named by Queen Silvia of Sweden, the Vindile entered service on routes from Visby to Nynäshamn and Västervik. Alas, the ship proved unreliable in windy weather, resulting in numerous cancelled departures. Thus, after just one summer season, the ship was sold to Konö maskinuthyrning in Stockholm, who chartered it out to Bornholmerpilen, a Danish company who placed the ship on a service linking Rønne (on the island of Bornholm) to Kastrup airport during the summer of 1989. The following spring, Bornholmerpilen bought the ship outright and renamed it Pilen 3. In 1991, the company moved their base of operations from Rønne to Malmö in Sweden, and the Pilen 3 was thus moved to a Malmö-Kastrup route. At this time the company was renamed simply Pilen Already within the same year, the Danish port was moved to central Copenhagen.
The opening of the Öresund Bridge in July 2000, bringing down Pilen's business model overnight. The Pilen 3 was laid up at Malmö until June 2001, when it was sold to the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), for service with their subsidiary SNAV (Società Navigazione Alta Velocità, freely translating as "High-Speed Shipping Company"). The Pilen 3 was thus renamed SNAV Andromeda, in keeping with SNAV's celestial naming tradition. I couldn't find a record of which routes the SNAV Andromeda has sailed on with SNAV, but when I photographed it the ship was sailing on the route linking Sorrento to Capri.
The photos below show the SNAV Andromeda on the Gulf of Naples shortly after departing Sorrento, photographed from onboard the Crystal Symphony. Click on the images to see them in larger size.
|Sorrento was impressive, to say at least, when viewed from onboard. I only got a quick glimpse of the town when traversing it by bus, so I'm not sure how great it was to visit. (I had just rejoined the Crystal Symphony from what Ralph Grizzle described as "the longest shore excursion ever" and was too exhausted to return on shore).|
|From its days as the Vindile until the early SNAV era, the ship had dark stripes painted along the windows. That was probably a preferred look, as the current livery somehow makes the ship look very old (though I do like the dark hull).|
|Alas, the ship kelp roughly the same distance from us while it was in my field of view, so you're getting pretty much the same view of the ship on all photos - but I think the different background make up for it.|