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
1 930 lanemeters
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 50 400 kW
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.|