Built 2003, Flender Werft Lübeck, Germany
Tonnage 36 966 GT
Length 165,74 m
Width 30,00 m
Draught 6,50 m
1 482 passengers
1 012 berths
800 cars or 130 trailers
1 830 lane metres
4 diesels, combined 21 600 kW
2 bow thrusters
Speed 21 knots
The Norröna is the only passenger ship in addition to Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2 to operate a regular passenger service on the North Atlantic. She sails from Hirsthals in Denmark to Tórshavn in the Faroe Islands, continuing during the summer months further to Seyðisfjörður in Iceland.
Smyril Line had begun operations in 1983 with the second-hand ferry Gustav Vasa, which was renamed Norröna (I) for service with her new owners. In 2003 the original Norröna was replaced by a new, purpose-built ferry also named Norröna. The new Norröna was contracted fom the Flensburger Schiffbaugeshellschaft (FSG) in Flensburg, Germany, with concept design by Knud E. Hansen AS, but due to FSG's thick orderbook the ship was subcontracted to Flender Werft in Lübeck, Germany. Coinciding with the delivery of the new Norröna the old Norröna was renamed Norröna I.
The new Norröna's career start was not without problems, and in January 2004 the Norröna I had to be briefly drafted back to service as a replacement. The ports of call in the Norröna's service have varied, with calls in Bergen (Norway) and Lerwick (Shetland Islands) being included in addition to the Danish, Faroese and Icelandic ports, and originally the Danish port of call was Hanstholm rather than Hirsthals. In January 2006 a water measurement system was installed on the Norröna in collaboration with the Stony Brook University and the University of Rhode Island in an effort to monitor the Gulf Stream. An improved version of this system remains in use in 2011.
In 2008, the ship's somewhat complex timetable of linking the Faroe Islands to Denmark, Norway, Iceland and the UK was simplified, now concentrating solely in providing a Denmark-Faroes-Iceland service. Since 2010, the exact route has remained Hirtshals–Tórshavn–Seyðisfjörður.
The photographs below show the Norröna arriving in, and in the port of, Tórshavn on 26 May 2011. As you can see the weather was less than ideal, but despite the occasionally poor quality of the images I felt such an unusual ship deserved to have multiple images of it posted. Click on the individual images to view full size.
|Coming in from Seyðisfjörður at high speed.|
|Outside the harbour breakwater, the Norröna made a very fast turn, with a somehwta dangerous-looking list.|
|Practicality, rather than beauty, has clearly been the guiding principle in designing the ship. Though she's not ugly either, in my opinion.|
|Originally the ship's side-text read just Smyril Line without the web url. The text appears to have been changed sometime before 2010.|
|Very unusually for 2000s-built ship, the Norröna features a cabins forward, public spaces aft -arrangement that had been popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s ferry design.|
|Drawings of the ship show she was originally planned to have a more streamlined, swept-back funnel. The final result is perhaps more fitting of her design.|
|Entering the harbour proper. The aft of MSC Poesia is visible behind the Norröna's bow.|
|At quay, having alreadt unloaded most freight.|
|Norröna against the backdrop of her home port Tórshavn, photographed from onboard the MSC Poesia.|