21 May 2011

No updates for the rest of the month

There will be no additional updates to Kships this month, as I will be departing on an 11-night cruise with MSC Poesia tomorrow. For those interested, the cruise will have the itenerary Kiel (Germany) - Bergen (Norway) - Torshavn (Faroe Islands) - Akureyri (Iceland) - Isafjödjur (Iceland) - Reykjavik (Iceland) - Lerwick (Shetland Islands) - Kiel. If all goes to plan, I will return in early June with photographs of ships never before seen on this blog. Until then, enjoy the beginning summer (or the beginning winter if you're from the southern hemisphere)!

20 May 2011

Vision of the Seas, 12 May 2011

Vision of the Seas

IMO 9116876
Built 1998, Chantiers de l'Atlantique, St. Nazaire, France
Tonnage 78 491 GT
Length 278,94 m
Width 32,20 m
Draugth 7,80 m
2 435 passengers
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 50 400 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Speed 22 knots

During the summers of 2010 and 2011 Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas has been sailing on one-week cruises on the Baltic with Stockholm as the port of departure. It's in fact also possible to start the cruise from Helsinki, but in these cases the cruise still ends in Stockholm, making it only a six-night cruise which reportedly even costs more than the full seven-night Stockholm to Stockholm cruise (I admit I haven't actually checked it out myself).

The photograhps below show the Vision of the Seas departing from Helsinki's Länsisatama on 12 May 2011. Photographed from Lauttasaari. Click on the individual images to view larger size.

I continue to think the funnel is placed too far aft on this ship. It would (probably) look much better if it were actually attached to the observation lounge like on earlier RCI ships.
This was actually a slightly misty day, but fortunately the wonders of treating pictures on your computer always bring out the best in any photo.
Pihlajasaari, as always, in the background as the ship is slipping out to the open seas.
And the mandatory panoramic photo.

13 May 2011

Fram, 13 May 2011


IMO 9370018
Built 2007, Fincantieri Trieste, Italy
Tonnage 11 647 GT
Length 114,00 m
Width 20,20 m
Draugth 5,10 m
Ice class 1 A
500 passengers
318 passenger berths
4 MaK diesels, combined 7 924 kW
2 azipods
2 bow thruster
Speed 16 knots

Hurtigruten's Fram making her second visit to Helsinki during 2011 on 13 May 2011. She is one of the few cruise ships large enough to use the Pakkahuoneenlaituri quay, making for interesting views. Click on the individual images to view larger size.

It was a neat sight, watching the ship with azipods and two bow thrusters pull away sideways from the quay against a strong wind.
To top off the performance, the Fram made a superb over 180 degrees turn, offering very neat photo opportunities.
Since I last saw the ship in 2009 Hurtigruten have painted the company name on the side of the ships. Looks quite neat, actually.
Still more to turn, though the ship looks like she's about to head out through Särkänsalmi. I think she actually has a shallow enough draught to use the särkänsalmi shipping lane, but never the less she left through the normal Kustaanmiekka route.

MSC Opera. 12 May 2011

I already posted this entry yesterday, but due to Blogger's technical problems it seems to have disappeared, along with all other changes made. Here's an abridged repost.

MSC Opera

IMO 9250464
Built 2004, Chantiers de l'Atlantique St. Nazaire, France
Tonnage 59 058 GT
Length 251,25 m
Width 28,80 m
Draught 6,60 m
2 200 passengers
2 200 berths
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 30 600 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Speed 21,7 knots

MSC Opera was MSC Cruises' second newbuild and a sister ship to MSC Lirica. Unlike the MSC Lirica the MSC Opera has carried MSC Cruises' current dark blue funnel colours from the beginning of her career - the MSC Lirica originally carried the old MSC Cruises funnel colours, an all white funnel with MSC written on it with gilded letters. As noted before, the design of the MSC Lirica and MSC Opera was based on that of Festival Cruises' Mistral (now Iberocruceros' Grand Mistral).

The photographs below show the MSC Opera departing from Helsinki Länsisatama (West Harbour) on the afternoon of 12 May 2011. Photographed from Lauttasaari. Click on the individual images to view larger size.

In the afternoon calm just after leaving the harbour.
No idea what the splahes of blue pain on the side are.
Passing the Finnish Navy's new multipurpose vessel Louhi outside Pihlajasaari. The Louhi is an oil and chemical spill response vessel that can also be used a supply ship and minelayer.
Less than a decade ago MSC Opera was the largest ship in MSC Cruises' fleet. Now she's the smallest and actually looks quite humble compared to the giant ships visiting the West Harbour.
Outbound to the open seas and the joys of St. Petersburg.

08 May 2011

Princess Anastasia, 6 May 2011

Princess Anastasia

IMO 8414582
Built 1986, Wärtsilä Turku New Shipyard, Finland
Tonnage 37 583 GT
Length 176,82 m
Width 28,40 m
Draught 6,71 m
Ice class 1A Super
2 500 passengers
2 447 berths
580 cars
1 115 lane metres
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 22 988 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 22 knots

SPL Princess Anastasia, as her official name goes, made a second cruise call to Helsinki this spring just a week after the first one. As before, she used the Kanavaterminaali quay normally used by her fleetmate Princess Maria. It seems possible that St. Peter Line ships' Helsinki visits will become a lot rarer in the future, as the city of Helsinki doesn't allow SPL's ships to load cars at South Harbour - to be able to transport freight the company would need to relocate to the Vuosaari freight hourbour which would be an economic suicide for the passenger services. Furthermore the two other shipping companies operating from South Harbour can load cars and other cargo at the harbour (though at least in the case of Viking Line the number of ships they can operate out of the harbour is also restricted). As a result of this unfair treatment SPL have sued the Port of Helsinki, but due to the good start of the St. Petersburg-Stockholm service they are reportedly also considering closing down the Helsinki-St. Petersburg service and concentrating on the Stockholm line. If things come to this it would be a real shame, as in my experience St. Peter Line offers a very good product that is refreshingly different from that of other Baltic Sea cruiseferry operators. I for one would like to be able to continue sailing on their delightful ships from Finland in the future.

But onwards from the semi-rant to the pictures. Princess Anastasia in Helsinki South Harbour (Eteläsatama) on 6 May 2011 during one of her St. Petersburg-Helsinki-Stockholm-Tallinn-St. Petersburg spring cruises. Photographed from Kaivopuisto. Click on the images to view larger size.

In the harbour pool ahortly after leaving the quay (the yellow building on the left is, incidentally, the Finnish presidential palace).
On Kruunuvuorenselkä bound for the Kustaanmiekka strait, with the now-disused Laajasalo oil harbour on the left.

04 May 2011

Silja Symphony, 29 April 2011

Silja Symphony

IMO 8803769
Built 1991, Kvaerner Masa-Yards Turku New Shipyard, Finland
Tonnage 58 377 GT
Length 203,03 m
Width 31,93 m
Draught 7,12 m
Ice class 1A Super
2 852 passengers
3 001 berths
410 cars
1 600 lane metres
4 Wärtsilä-Vasa diesels, combined 32 580 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Speed 21 knots

Silja Symphony once again passing through the Kustaanmiekka strait, en-route to Stockholm on 29 April 2011. Click on the individual images to view full size.

The Finnish spring is short, cold and brown. Although actually this particular day was fairly warm, even if trees were not yet in bloom.
Notice the small logos on the hull: Silja Line is both the official seacarrier of the Moomin and the official seacarrier of Santa Claus (even if Viking Line would have a more suitable colour scheme). Before Tallink took over the company, the Santa Claus logos were only on the ships around Christmas, but Tallink have decided to keep them there all year round.
The funnel symbol obscured by the sun.
The warm spring day wasn't enough to lure tourists to the ramparts, even though the ferry to Suomenlinna was surprisingly full with a fair number of people speaking non-local languages.