31 July 2013

Empress in Helsinki, 21 May 2013

First off, I would like to start by apologising for the lack of updates during this month. As noted in an earlier entry, I have spent most of this month working on my upcoming book Silja Line from De Samseglande to Tallink. This has included editing A LOT of photos - and I'm sure you can understand that when I've first spent 6-8 hours in editing ship photos in my "day job", doing some more photo editing for my blog on top of that does not strike my fancy. Today, however, is different, as I took a day off for ship photography and afterwards I felt sufficiently rejuvenated to work a bit on non-Silja/Tallink related photos. As is the tradition, we continue in chronological order from where we left off - in other words, Pullmantur Cruises' Empress.


IMO 8716899
Name history: Nordic Empress, Empress of the Seas, Empress
Built 1990, Chantiers de l'Atlantique, St. Nazaire, France
Tonnage 48 563 GT
Length 210,81 m
Width 30,70 m
Draft 7,10 m
2 020 passengers
2 Wärtsilä-Duvant Crepelle diesels, combined 16 200 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Speed 19,5 knots

Obviously, the weather was not entirelty collaborative on the day I took these photos, but they are my first (and only) photos of any Pullmantur Cruises' ship in their new, blue-hulled livery. With regards to Pullmantur's new livery, I have to say I like that they have tried to do something different from the run-of-the-mill white-hulled cruise ship livery. But having said that, the new livery is terrible. Sure it's nice they did something different, but did they have to choose the other boring stereotypical hull colour besides white? And who did they have design this thing? I could come up with a better livery for crying out loud! (It's easy, actually. Just swap the dark and light blue in the current livery).

For a very short history of the Empress (as well as photos of her in Pullmantur's earlier livery), see the first entry on her.

So anyway, the photos below show the Empress departing Helsinki West Harbour on the afternoon of 21 May 2013. Photographed, as per the usual, from Sisä-Hattu. Click on the images to see them in larger size.

Unusually, the Empress departed at exactly the same moment as the Star. Usually, the Star & Superstar are very punctual (they have to be, with such tight schedules) and never let other ships sail on their slot. This time however, the Empress did and the Star yielded.
The wind whipped up impressive waves... but unfortunately the sky didn't quite cooperate for best possible photos.
The bad weather being one of the reasons why I'm only showing you three photos today. Well, that and the fact the others were just more of the same.
Next time: Baltic Queen

10 July 2013

Silja Europa in Helsinki, 21 May 2013

Silja Europa

IMO 8919805
Name history: Europa, Silja Europa
Built 1993, Meyer Werft, Germany
Tonnage 59 912 GT
Length 201,78 m
Width 32,60 m
Draught 6,80 m
Ice class 1 A Super
3 123 passengers
3 696 berths
350 cars
932 lane metres
4 MAN diesels, combined 31 800 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Speed 22 knots

I know the last photographic entry was about the Silja Europa. But here's another one anyway. And hey, these show her without Tallink hull markings, in an appearancethat can no longer be seen live.

For a history of the ship, see this entry.

The photographs below show the Silja Europa arriving in Helsinki West Harbour on the afternoon of 21 May 2013. Photographed from Sisä-Hattu. Click on the images to see in larger size.

The seas were impressively slightly choppy on this day, giving some additional interest to these shots.
Unusually angled windows and sunlight make for impressive shots.
White-tipped waves.
Waves and reflections, now two for the price of one!
Next time: Empress.

06 July 2013

Upcoming Silja Line/Tallink book & other updates

I haven't been updating this blog too much recently, for which I apologise. In my defence, I have a good excuse as I've been spending time working on the photographs that will illustrate my upcoming book Silja Line - From De Samseglande to Tallink, which will be out from Ferry Publications in October (if all goes well, that is). You can see some more details on the book (including the first draft of the cover) at Ferry Publications' website here. (Should the direct link not work, just go to the FerryPubs main site; The book is displayed as the second item of the "New Titles for 2013" list).

The c. 200-page book will cover an extended history of Silja Line and their current owners Tallink, starting from the first Finland-Sweden joint service in 1904 by the Finland Steamship Company and Steamship Company Bore - 50 years later this collaboration led to the formation Siljarederiet and later Silja Line. Also covered are the various other passenger shipping operations of Silja's owners that in some way or another had an effect on Silja itself, including Sally Like UK, Commodore Cruise Line, Crown Cruise Line and Vaasanlaivat.

I obviously hope that many of you readers will buy the book, or borrow it, and most importantly read and enjoy it. If you're certain you're going to buy it - after all, I know it's going to be an awesome book - you can preorder it on Ferry Publications' website.

Incidentally, I am still looking for photos of certain more elusive ships to be featured in the book. If, by any chance, you happen to have good-quality photos of Silja Line ships of the 1960s and 1970s, or photos of the ships of Commodore & Crown Cruise Lines, drop me an e-mail in the adress kalle.id [ät] gmail.com.

In other, completely unrelated news, my previously mentioned review of my trip on St. Peter Line's Princess Anastasia is up at MaritimeMatters (actually has been for some time). Part one can be read here and part two here. Finally, for those of you who speak Finnish, the latest issue of the Ulkomatala web magazine is up at the magazine's website.