12 February 2017

Viking XPRS interiors, 11 February 2017

Yesterday saw the completion of the most recent set of rebuilding onboard Viking Line's sole Helsinki-Tallinn ferry Viking XPRS with the opening of the new, larger Club X night club aft, replacing the older and smaller Dance Pavillion. Since the newest onboard pictures from the ship are from 2009, when the Dance Pavillion was brand new, I think it's high time we had a second tour of the ship. It might be of interest to the reader to compare the images in this set to the 2009 set, as well as the entry showing the aft decks in the original 2008 configuration.

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

The Viking XPRS' original interiors were by Tillberg Design, working together with the Finnish architect Lasse Heikkinen. The most recent changes were, in turn, by Viking Line's in-house architect Johan Nordberg. All photos in this entry were taken on 11 Fabruary 2017, whuke the ship was moored in Tallinn.

Deck 10 has a large, sheltered sundeck area (which, to be honest, I've been expecting them to convert to a skybar for more indoors seating for years).

Deck 9 has the bridge forward, with the rest of the indoor spaces devoted to crew areas, and open decks for passengers.

Deck 8 is the upper of the two decks dedicated to public rooms. Forward, there is the Red Rose cafeteria (which I did not get to photograph this time around, as it was booked for a group during the time in port and packed during the times at sea), followed by the Blue Deli cafeteria starboard and the galley port. Aft of these is the Robert's Coffee café starboard, followed by the Wine & Dine restaurant, and the Bistro Bella buffet restaurant port.

Blue Deli seating areas. Originally, there was a couch behind the window, but this was replaced by more eating-friendly seating later on.
The staircases are attractively decorated with photos of old Viking Line vessels from the 1970s.
What was originally the Xpresso Street café has been rebranded as a part of the popular Finnish coffee house chair Robert's Coffee. The decor, however, remains largely unaltered.
More Robert's Coffee.
In the most recent refit, the servery counter was completely rebuilt (you can see the outline of the original in the ceiling details); at the same time, café servery counter and buffet bookings counter were separated (having originally been combined in a less than successful arrangement).
The Wine & Dine à la carte restaurant was added in 2015, replacing an earlier area originally envisioned as a cabinet for groups but more often used for regular seating or as an overspill area for the buffet. Apart from the furniture (which in my opinion is somewhat inferior to the original in terms of style), the decor is original.
The servery areas of the Bistro Bella buffet are located in a semi-separate room forward of the main restaurant area in an arrangement that is perhaps not as practical as envisioned. The servery counters were rebuilt in the most recent refit to create space for additional courses.
For the most part, Bistro Bella's seating areas retain the original 2008 appearance...
...except for four tables aft, which for some reason have completely differerent chairs, which don't match the rest of the decor at all.
Aft of the restaurants, there is an enlarged sundeck area (thanks to the addition of Club X below). For the summer season, additional sofas and chairs will be brought to the elevated area. Due to the indoors areas on Deck 8 terminating in resturants, the outer area can be accessed only by going down to Dekck 7 or up to Deck 9.
Deck 7 is the lower public room deck, with conference rooms and a fashion shop forward, followed by the main Shopping World, followed by the Viking's Inn pub and, right aft, the new Club X night club.

The conference lobby. The placement of the conference rooms forward, with the best views, is somewhat odd as slideshows and such are generally dependant on not too much light entering the room for them to be properly visible.
The forward staircase is red, in order to differentiate from the blue midships one.
The Shopping World was given an entirely new decor in the most recent refits, in style similar to contemporary airport tax free shops (and, it must be said, very similar to the most recent main shops onboard Tallink's ships).
From the 1980s until the 2000s, a Baltic Sea ferry simply had to have a stereotypical British-style pub onboard. Viking's Inn is the last representative of this trend; since then the style has finally (and fortunately) gone out of fashion.
Viking's Inn has a somewhat unusual H-shaped floor plan, with the bar counter in the middle.
Aft of Viking's Inn, we come to the new Club X night club. The back wall, with the impressive fenestration (sadly giving a view of the outer deck, rather than the ship's wake) was moved back in the most recent refit, giving space for additional seating for 150.
While the earlier furniture of the Dance Pavillion has been retained here, the - in my opinion very attractive - original fuchsia and teal upholstery has given way to more sombre hues of black, grey and copper.
Club X's bar counter has also been enlarged from it's previous incarnation.
Deck 6 is dedicated to cabins, most of them for passengers but also crew cabins right aft.

Apart from the floor material, this B4R allergy cabin is representative of the standard cabins onboard.
Deck 5 is, in turn, entirely dedicated to passenger cars, accessible both via internal ramps and doors on the sides of the ship.

Decks 3 and 4 host a twin-height deck for cargo.

Decks 1 & 2 are inaccessible to passengers housing engineering spaces, galleys and the like.

Kships will return.

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