10 January 2013

Silja Festival and Silja Serenade in Helsinki, 7 January 2013

Silja Festival

IMO 8306498
Previous name: Wellamo
Built 1986, Wärtsilä Marine Helsinki, Finland
Tonnage 34 417 GT
Length 168,00 m
Width 27,60 m
Draught 6,50 m
Ice class 1 A Super
1 886 passengers
1 937 berths
300 cars or 60 trailers
4 Wärtsilä-SEMT-Pielstick diesels, combined 26 200 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Speed 22 knots

Silja Serenade

IMO 8715259
Built 1990, Masa-Yards Turku New Shipyard, Finland
Tonnage 58 376 GT
Length 203,03 m
Width 31,93 m
Draugth 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

For a history of the Silja Festival, see this entry. For a much briefer history of the Silja Serenade, see this entry.

The Silja Festival closed this year's winter cruise season for Helsinki, visiting the port on 7 January. As most readers are probably aware, despite her Silja Line -esque name and livery, the Silja Festival sails as a part of Tallink's fleet between Riga and Stockholm. However, as has been done several years in a row now, a Russian travel agency chartered her to do longer cruise out of St. Petersburg for the Orthodox Christian Christmas. This year's cruise was a five-night trip to Tallinn, Stockholm and Helsinki.

The photographs below show the Silja Festival at Helsinki's South Harbour together with the regular Helsinki-Stockholm ferry Silja Serenade. Click on the images to see them in larger size.

A hung around the South Harbour for closer to an hour waiting for the moment in the evening when it starts getting dark and even an overcast sky will look magnificient. At around 16:30 it arrived.
This might be the greatest individual photo I have ever taken. Taken at 16:39
At 16:53 the sky was already almost black...
...and at 17:01 it was properly dark.
Next time: The previously overlooked LISCO Optima, photographed during my 2011 MSC Poesia cruise.


  1. HiKalle.
    Very good shots. Those white ships look so shining in the Blue Evening.

    Ps. The scenery With ships looks MUCH Better in photos than in Real life.
    I know it, I was there, too... On the other side of the bridge.

    Bst rgds Tero S.

    1. Hello Tero

      I'm glad you enjoyed these. :) And the scenery does indeed look better than in real life... that's why the close crops are a good thing in this case. ;)