30 December 2017

Mariella in Helsinki, 15 February 2010

I was looking through my older entries recently, and came across this entry of the Mariella. While I generally try to avoid reposting old image sets, I cannot for the life of me fathom why I had put up only three images from that session, considering how many superb shots I took. So today we will look back almost eight years, and finally take a proper look at the very chilly morning of the Mariella arriving in Helsinki.


IMO 8320573
Built 1985, Wärtsilä Turku (Perno), Finland
Tonnage 37 860 GT
Length 175,70 m
Width 28,40 m
Draugth 6,78 m
Ice class 1A Super
2 500 passengers
2 500 berths
430 cars
980 lane metres
4 Wärtsilä SEMT-Pielstick diesels, combined 23 008 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 22 knots

Let's cut right to the chase. The photos below show the Mariella outside Helsinki, passing through the Kustaanmiekka strait, and in Eteläsatama (South Harbour) in the morning of 15 February 2010, photographed from onboard the also-inbound Silja Symphony. As per the usual, click on the images to see them in larger size.

The Mariella came in via the usual inbound shipping lane east of the Harmaja lighthouse, while we took a more westernly route, utilising a channel broken earlier by the Superstar. This shot was preceeded by many photos of a backlit Mariella.
Both ships were delayed by the difficult ice conditions - the Silja Symphony more severely than the Mariella, which made these photos possible, as the distance between the ships is usually greater at this point.
Harmaja lighthouse in the background.
Some twists and turns (by both ships) later we ended up with a very similar view as above, but with the Mariella now about to enter the Kustaanmiekka strait.
The strait is relatively narrow, but made more problematic for navigation by the fact it's not straight and ships have to perform an S-turn while passing through.
Past the narrowest bit...
...and some minutes later we are at Eteläsatama, with the Mariella just about to berth.
Berthing then took a while, as both ships needed to first wash the quayside clear of broken ice - a routine manouvre during the winter season, but a time-conmusing one nonetheless.
Kships will return in 2018!

22 December 2017

Superstar in Helsinki, 25 January 2017

These are the last proper pictures I ever took of the Superstar. My original plan was to post these when the ship begun her new career with Corsica Ferries, but for some reason that never happened. So instead these will be the Kships Christmas greeting.


IMO 9365398
Name history: Superstar, Pascal Lota
Built 2008, Fincantieri Ancona, Italy
Tonnage 36 400 GT
Length 175,10 m
Width 27,60 m
Draugth 7,00 m
Ice class 1A
2 080 passengers
520 berths
665 cars
1 930 lanemeters
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 50 400 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 27,5 knots

The Superstar was ordered by Tallink from Fincantieri in August 2005, for delivery in spring 2008. The ship was based on the design of the Moby Wonder -class, which Fincantieri were heavily promoting at the time (they also negoatiated about building a ship of the same design for Viking Line). The Superstar was ordered at the same time as her eventual running mate Star, and originally both contacts included an option for a sister vessel. At the time there were plenty of rumours circulating around about the future deployment of the ships: the Star and her sister were expected to go to the Helsinki-Tallinn -line, while the Superstar and her potential sister were expected to open an Estonia-Germany service for Tallink. Other rumours suggested one pair would go on the Gothenburg-Frederikshavn route in competition with Stena Line. Tallink at the time also expressed interest in submitting a tender for the state-funded service between the island of Gotland and the Swedish mainland. In the end only the Germany service came true, by the virtue of Tallink buying Superfast Ferries' Baltic Sea operations. Neither sister ship option was taken up, and the somewhat mismatched pair of Star and Superstar took over Tallink's non-cruise Helsinki-Tallinn services.

The Superstar continued in service without incident for eight years. In late 2014 Tallink signed a memorandum of agreement to build a new, larger, LNG-powered fast ferry for the Helsinki-Tallinn route, which was confirmed as a firm order in February 2015. In preparation for the delivery of the new ship, the Superstar was sold to Corsica Ferries in November 2015, with delivery in December, but chartered back to Tallink until the delivery of the new Megastar in January 2017.

After making her last crossing with Tallink on 28 January 2017, the Superstar was briefly registered in Cyprus and sailed to La Spezia in Italy for an extensive refit (somewhat oddly, most of the original Italian-influenced decor was removed). In early March, the ship was renamed Pascal Lota, after the recently-deceased founder of Corsica Ferries (originally, the ship was reported to be renamed Mega Express Six). In June, the ship finally entered service with Corsica Ferries, on routes from Livorno to Bastia and Golfo Aranci.

The photos below show the Superstar arriving at Helsinki Länsisatama (West Harbour) in the afternoon of 25 January 2017. Photographed from Vattuniemi. As always, click on the images to see them in larger size.

A surprising number of dents on the sides.
I'm not sure how often the ship is going t osee snow these days...
...but the snow did make for nice pictures.
The real obejctive of the day was the brand-new Megastar, which was in Helsinki to test ramps, but her depature was delayed until after dark. But getting the Superstar in the same shot as the ship wthat replaced her was nice.
Merry Christmas everyone, Kships will return.

11 December 2017

Crown Seaways in Copenhagen, 4 December 2017

A week ago, I was in Copenhagen to give a joint lecture with Bruce Peter on Innovation and Specialisation – The Story of Shipbuilding in Finland at a meeting of Denmark's Skibteknisk Selskab. The trip also gave a chance to photograph a ship I never had a chance to photograph in decent weather before: the Crown Seaways.

Before we get to the photos and history of the Crown Seaways, a little message regarding the book for my Finnish readers: Adlibris are selling it here (I'd give you a price if I could, but that seems to change by some kind of dynamic pricing; when I looked earlier today it was 46,20 €, but now it displays as 57,10 and who knows what the next time), and Akateeminen Kirjakauppa are selling it both online and at their store in Central Helsinki for 79,90 €.

Now to the subject at hand.

Crown Seaways

IMO 8917613
Name history: Thomas Mann, Crown of Scandinavia, Crown Seaways
Built 1994, Brodogradiliste Split, Croatia
Tonnage 35 498 GT
Length 171,32 m
Width 28,20 m
Draugth 6,35 m
Ice class 1 A Super
1 790 passengers
2 402 berths
450 cars
900 lane metres
4 Pielstick diesels, combined 23 760 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Top speed 21,5 knots
Service speed 16,10 knots

The Crown Seaways was originally contracted in 1989 by Rederi AB Sea-Link as the second ship for their planned Euroway Malmö-Lübeck service. As the ships were contracted from Brodogradiliste Split in Croatia (with a design based on the earlier Split-built pair Amorella and Isabella), both ended up delayed; the first sister, the Frans Suell (today the Gabriella) only mildly so, making it in time for the 1992 summer season. The delay was more severe on the second ship, which according to different sources as planned to be named either Frans Kockum or Thomas Mann. By the time the ship was supposed to be delivered in 1993, Euroway had formed a joint service with Silja Line, and no longer had need for the second ship. She was then completed at a slower pace, finally leaving the yard in March 1994, albeit for docking at Fincantieri in Trieste, and embarking on her sea trials in May 1994, under the name Thomas Mann.

Also in May 1994 DFDS first acquired an option to purchase the ship, and then took it up during the same month (some sources claim she was actually briefly owned by EffJohn, the owners of Silja Line, in the interim to keep their arch-rivals Viking Line from getting their hands on the ship). In June DFDS sailed the ship to the Lloyd Werft shipyard Bremerhaven, where rear sponsons were added. It also appears that the ship got her original DFDS name, Crown of Scandinavia, around this time. The Crown of Scandinavia entered service on DFDS' Copenhagen-Helsingborg-Oslo route (like all DFDS passenger routes, it was marketed under the Scandinavian Seaways brand at the time) in July 1994, a route on which she has remained to this day.

In 1999, the Scandinavian Seaways brand name was abandoned in favour of reverting to the old DFDS Seaways name. In late 2006, the intermediate call at Helsingborg was eliminated from the route of the ship. In 2010, DFDS decided to unify their brand identity: the previous multitude of brands – DFDS Seaways, DFDS Tor Line, DFDS Lisco and DFDS Lys Line – were abandoned in favour of marketing all seabourne operations as DFDS Seaways, but with a new livery based on the blue-hulled colours of DFDS Tor Line. At the same time, all ships were renamed, with the new names ending with -Seaways. Oddly, while the Crown of Scandinavia was painted in the new colours fairly soon, her name was amended to Crown Seaways only in 2013.

In 2015, anticipating DFDS' 150th anniversary the next year, the company unveiled yet another rebranding, this time simply to DFDS, and a new livery with darker blue hulls and funnels. The Crown Seaways has, however, yet to be repainted in this new image; reportedly this is due to her being painted with a special paint, guaranteed to last five years, before the most recent rebranding was carried out. Judging by the rust evident in the photos below, I presume she will be repainted in the new colours during her next drydocking in spring 2018.

The photo  below show the Crown Seaways arriving at DFDS' Copenhagen terminal in the morning of 4 December 2017, photographed from the tip of Langelinie. (I was up in time as I had been forced to wake up at five am to catch my 7:30 flight to Copenhagen...). As always, click on the images to see them in larger size.

I had never been at Langelinie before, so I had no idea of how the photos would turn out. I think these are pretty alright.
That little cargo ship not-so-little tanker (thanks Juhani) was in the background a lot.
A "little" bit of rust here and there. Definately time for a repaint, methinks.
It's interesting that DFDS have not removed the grille from the front of the funnel, which Viking Line did immediately when they bought the sister ship. It doesn't seem to serve any purpose and adds unnescessary weight.
Reversing into the quay. My impression is that DFDS usually use the other quay (the Pearl Seaways certainly did when I sailed on her) so it was lucky for me the Crown used this side on this particular day.