17 February 2013

Birka Stockholm in the Stockholm archipelago, 15 February 2013

Birka Stockholm

IMO 9273727
Name history: Birka Paradise (2004-2013), Birka Stockholm (2013-)
Built 2004, Aker Finnyards Rauma, Finland
Tonnage 34 728 GT
Length 177,00 m
Width 28,00 m
Draugth 6,50 m
1 800 passengers
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 23 400 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Speed 21 knots

The Birka Stockholm is, of course, the same ship known previously as Birka Paradise. For an account of the history of the ship, see this older entry. In January 2013 Birka Cruises decided to rebrand the ship and their whole product, shifting away from their previous emulation of Caribbean cruise ships and emphasising more their localness and Swedish roots (even if the company is in fact Ålandian). They originally wanted to name the ship simply Birka, as passengers refer to her as that anyway, but as a ship named Birka already existed in the Swedish registry, Birka Cruises had to think of an alternative solution. This was found in incorporating the ship's port of registry into it's name and marketing her simply as Birka. (Although I do wonder, if you're going to market the ship with a different name from the registered one anyway, why just not keep the name Birka Paradise?). Coinciding with the name change, the ship's livery was also altered, making it more Swedish by eliminating the original red elements.

The photographs below show the Birka Stockholm in the Stockholm archipelago outside Kapellskär, inbound to Stockholm from Mariehamn on 15 February 2013. Photographed from onboard the Viking Grace. Click on the images to see them in larger size.

Not the best lighting to photograph ships, but it's not every day you get to photograph a ship with a new livery for the first time. And there is something to be said for the winter atmosphere of course.
It doesn't show very well here, but the original symbol on the bow of the ship has been replaced by the funnel symbol of Birka Cruises' parent company Rederi Ab Eckerö.
The new funnel colours are not very much to my liking, the original stripes were much better. White funnels seem to be all the rage these days and they are sooooooooo booooooooooooooooring.
Next time: Probably the Galaxy.

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