30 June 2014

Viking Cinderella in Mariehamn, 9 June 2014

Viking Cinderella

IMO 8719188
Name history: Cinderella, Viking Cinderella
Built 1989, Wärtsilä Marine Turku, Finland
Tonnage 46 398 GT
Length 191,00 m
Width 29,00 m
Draught 6,74 m
2560 passengers
2500 berths
480 cars or 60 trucks (in cruise service parking space for 100 cars)
760 lanemeters
4 Sulzer diesels, combined 28 800 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 22 knots

For a detailed history of the Viking Cinderella, see the first entry on her. Since I last photographed her, the ship has been graceified on the exterior, with similar stripes on the hull as carried by Viking's newest ship. Alas, even the new livery retains white as the main hull colour, which continues to look rather unbecoming on the ship, especially when compared to how great she looked in the original red-hulled colours.

The photographs below show the Viking Cinderella arriving at, and departing from, Mariehamn on the morning of 9 June 2014. Click on the images to see them in larger size.

I still have trouble believing I was up at half past six in the morning to photograph this.
The sun made an all-too-brief appearance while Cindy was showing her "parade side" with the three-deck high window.
The cursive name really doesn't work if you ask me. I would have scrapped the company name from the hull and written "Cinderella" on the same font used in the Viking Line logo - if it's considered nescessary for Cindy to have an identity different from the rest of the company.
One more shot of the parade side.
The other side really doesn't work as nicely. Part 2 of "if I was doing the livery", I'd fake a similar three-deck high window as on the other to this side with black paint - it would really make the ship look better.
Two hours later the ship departs, now in much better light. Alas, no chance of photographing the parade side now.
Despite my criticism of the livery, I do think the ship overall design of the ship looks very good indeed!
Cinderella avec foreground crap.

18 June 2014

Rosella in Mariehamn, 9 June 2014


IMO 7901265
Built 1980, Wärtsilä Turku, Finland
Tonnage 16 879 GT
Length 136,11 m
Width 24,24 m
Draught 5,60 m
Ice class 1A
1 530 passengers
1 200 berths
340 cars
720 lane metres
4 Wärtsilä-Pielstick diesels, combined 17 652 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 20,2 knots

Some more photos from my recent trip to the Åland Islands, this time featuring the old faithful Rosella. I'm not exaggerating when I say these are some of my best photos of all time.

For a brief history of the Rosella, see the first entry on her. The photographs below show the ship departing Mariehamn West Harbour in the early morning of 9 June 2014 on her first crossing of the day to Kapellskär. Click on the images to see them in larger size.

(Relatively) calm morning waters.
Unusually, I had woken up at around six AM. It was definately worth it.
The Wasa Express -esque smoke really improves the photo.
The ship was bow first at quay, so she had to turn around in the harbour bay before proceeding out to sea.
You can just about still make out the outline of the original SF Line bow symbol behind the Viking Line diamond on the bow.
Viking Line, if you want to buy my photos, my prices are reasonable.
Potential magazine cover. Not sure in what circumstances the Rosella would be important enough to be deemed the cover girl though...
Maybe I should just retire from photographing, it's not like I'll be likely to take anything better than this.
Nothing to add.
Close-ups are important too.
The light changes as the ship sails further.

15 June 2014

Viking Grace outside Mariehamn, 7 June 2014

Viking Grace

IMO 9606900
Built 2013, STX Europe Turku, Finland
Tonnage 57 700 GT
Length 218,60 m
Width 31,80 m
Draught 6,80 m
Ice class 1 A Super
2 800 passengers
2 876 berths
530 lane metres of cars
1 275 lane metres of cargo
4 Wärtsilä dual fuel (LNG/diesel) engines, combined 30 400 kW
2 fixed-pitch propellers
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Service speed 21,8 knots
Maximum speed 25,6 knots

These are actually only my first set of daylight images of the Viking Grace, taken on 7 June 2014 while the ship is approaching Mariehamn for her mid-day visit. Taken from onboard the Amorella, also heading towards Mariehamn but sailing on the opposite direction. Click on the images to see them in larger size.

Viking Grace with the (now defunct) Kobba Klintar pilot station in the foreground.
More Grace + Kobba Klintar. Notice the statue of a painter below the Grace's bow.

11 June 2014

Eckerö in Eckerö, 9 June 2014


IMO 7633155
Name history: Jens Kofoed, Eckerö
Built 1979, Aalborg Værft Aalborg, Denmark
Tonnage 12 358 GT
Length 121,19 m
Width 24,50 m
Draught 5,25 m
Ice class 1B
1 630 passengers
481 berths
267 cars
515 lane metres
4 B&W Alpha diesels, combined 12 484 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 20,5 knots

We're continuing the successful streak of the past few weeks of posting images of ships not previously featured in this blog. Today's entry is a real beauty from the nearby waters: the Eckerö of Eckerö Linjen.

The Eckerö was originally built in 1979 as the Jens Kofoed for the Danish publicly-owned Bornholmstrafiken. Bornholmstrafiken had been nationalised in 1973, and soon afterwards it was decided the company would require two newbuilt ships to replace the existing fleet of four aged vessels. The first ship, the Povl Anker, was delivered in late 1978, and she was followed by the Jens Kofoed a few month afterwards. Both ships were used on on the Copenhagen-Rønne -route, which was extended from Rønne to Ystad in Sweden. Originally the ships were painted in an absolutely superb livery with the black-red-white funnel colours of Danish state-owned ferry operations, grey hulls, and yellow masts (for images of the ship in original livery, visit for instance Simplon Postcards).

In the mid-1990s the ships lost their attractive grey hulls in favour of white ones with Bornholmstrafiken written on near the stern. In 1997 the Jens Kofoed was rebuilt with additional cabins. A further refit at Remontowa in Gdansk, carried out in 2001, saw the addition of side sponsons - somewhat harming the ship's original attractive profile. At the same time the onboard tax-free shop was replaced by lounges.

Bornholmstrafiken took delivery of a new pair of larger ships in 2005, the Hammerodde and Dueodde, and the Jens Kofoed was sold to Rederi Ab Eckerö in Finland, for service with their subsidiary Eckerö Linjen. The new owners renamed the ship Eckerö (she was the second ship in their fleet with that name) and subjected her to a radical refit. The hull was reinforced to comply with the demands of the Finnish-Swedish ice class 1B, while the entire interiors was rebuilt, designed by the Ålandian architect Bettina Ingves. Externally, the Eckerö was painted in the traditional white-hulled livery with blue/yellow stripes on the hull.

The Eckerö eventually re-entered service for Eckerö Linjen in 2006, on their sole line linking Eckerö in the Åland Islands to Grisslehamn, Sweden. In Eckerö Linjen fleet the Eckerö replaced the papenburger-type ferry Alandia. Initially, the Alandia's sister ship Roslagen was retained as a second ship alongside the Eckerö, used to provide additional capacity during the summer seasons. In 2007 the Roslagen was sold and the Eckerö became the sole ship in Eckerö Linjen service.

Originally the Eckerö was registered in her namesake port, but in 2009 she was moved under the Swedish flag, with Grisslehamn as her home port. An important contributing factor were the onboard sale of snus; the tobacco product is illegal in most of the European Union, but it can be sold in Sweden and onboard Swedish-registered ships - therefore the Swedish registry is an important competitive advance. In the beginning of 2013 the company held a Facebook competition to choose a new livery for the ship. The variant chosen was a blue-and-yellow seagull motif on a white background, a changed typeface on the company logo on the hull, with the funnel colours slightly altered by the removal of the blue funnel top and repainting the funnel symbol in a slightly smaller scale. Personally, while I think overall the new livery is very attractive, the funnel looked more balanced when its top was painted blue.

The photographs below were taken on the afternoon of 9 June 2014 and show the Eckerö arriving at, and departing from, Berghamnen in Eckerö. Photographed from the breakwater outside the harbour. Click on the images to see them in larger size.

The sun was behind a cloud as the ship arrived, and resultingly this image (and the two below) had to be heavily edited to bring the ship out from the almost identically coloured clouds in the background.
Impressive rain clouds in the background.
About to pass into the harbour basin and reverse to quay.
About half an hour later, the Eckerö depart again. The crossing between Eckerö and Grisslehamn in the shortest route between Sweden and Finland, taking only two hours. The Eckerö makes two or three return trips every day.
More impressive rain clouds.
Forward views on this visit were a bit rare to come by, but this one turned out rather nice.
Foreground crap, courtesy of particularly nicely placed rocks.
Taking course for Grisslehamn. Various sea birds were rather common in Grisslehamn - I hope photography from the breakwater didn't unduly disturb them.
Next stop Sweden, as the old advertisement slogan went.
(A note on the tags for this entry: I've decided not to create a separate tag for Eckerö Linjen. Instead, this and any possible future Eckerö Linjen entries will be sorted under Eckerö Line).

06 June 2014

Louis Aura in Helsinki, 5 June 2014

Louis Aura

IMO 6821080
Name history: Starward, Bolero, Orient Queen, Louis Aura
Built 1968, AG Weser Seebeckwerft, Bremerhaven, West Germany
Tonnage 15 781 GT
Length 160,13 m
Width 28,81 m
Draught 6,22 m
910 passengers
2 MAN diesels, combined 12 784 kW
2 propellers
1 bow thruster
Speed 21 knots

The Louis Aura is another ship that has not been featured in this blog before (additionally she is the first Louis Cruises ship to be featured here). She has an interesting history and an accolade few can beat: completed in 1968 as the Starward of Norwegian Caribbean Line (aka the present-day Norwegian Cruise Line) she was the first modern, purpose-built cruise ship - at least arguably. As built, the ship had a side-lodable car deck capable of accommodating 220 cars and therefore should be classified as a cruise ferry rather than a cruise ship. Regardless of this, the Starward was the first ship ever purposefully designed for around-the-year cruising from Miami to the Caribbean, beginning the growth of the modern cruise industry that has continued to this day.

Despite her moderate size and ferry-like design, the Starward was an enduring ship in the NCL fleet. In 1976 she as rebuilt in Jacksonville, Florida, with the car deck replaced by cabins. A further refit in the same place in 1985 saw the addition of a duck tail. In 1995 the Starward was finally replaced by newer tonnage. She was then sold to the Greece-based Festival Cruises (known as First European Cruises in the United Sates) and renamed Bolero for cruising in European waters. Replaced by larger tonnage in the Festival Cruises fleet in 2001, the Bolero was chartered to the Spanish Cruise Line.

Soon afterwards, Festival Cruises entered financial difficulties and ceased trading in 2004. The Bolero spent most of the year laid up, passing first to Cruise Elenora and then to Orient Queen Shipping. The latter company renamed the ship Orient Queen and chartered her to Abou Merhi Cruises, who used the ship for cruises out of Lebanon during the summer months and Persian Gulf cruises during the winter. Abou Merhi Cruises was not an unqualified success, and in 2006 Louis Cruises purchased the ship. Initially retaining the name Orient Queen, she was used on Louis' staple cruises around the Greek isles, as well as cruising for the Cypriot market from Limassol. In 2013 the ship was renamed Louis Aura, bringing her in-line with Louis Cruises' current naming scheme. For the 2014 summer season she was chartered to the French travel agency Rivages du Monde, who use her for North-European cruising. She is slated to return to cruising from Limassol in the autumn, and possibly to South American cruising in the 2014-2015 winter season.

The photos below show the Louis Aura on Kruunuvuorenselkä in Helsinki, shortly after departing from Helsinki South Harbour in the afternoon of 5 June 2014. Photographed from Lonna. Click on the individual images to see them in larger size.

Passing behind Katajanokanluoto, with Katajanokka itself (and further back, the brutalist concrete towers of Merihaka) in the background.
A nice nautical touch with the way marker. I'm not entirely sure about Louis Cruises' new hull markings. The company name in the hull gives a very ferrylike appearance, and while the diagonal stripes look nice, they don't really have any relevance to the company logo.
Another nice nautical touch with the schooner in the background. Alas, the other shots of the Louis Aura and the schooner were ruined by the appearance of the Suomenlinna road ferry Ehrensvärd, the wake of which can be seen on the left.
A rather typical Finnish summer sight, with the lilac on the left and the birch tree on the right. The cyriot-owned classic cruise ship is a bit more unusual.
For further Finnish effect, add a pine tree.

02 June 2014

Silja Serenade in Helsinki, 22 May 2014

Silja Serenade

IMO 8715259
Built 1990, Masa-Yards Turku New Shipyard, Finland
Tonnage 58 376 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

I realised the Silja Serenade's new livery has never been featured in this blog. Since the ship has been sailing with the new colours for several months now, it's high time this is rectified. The new livery looks... well, better than I thought it would, when I saw the new logo for the first time. Still, even for the fear of coming off as terribly conservative, I have to say the old look was more attractive. A modernisation of the old Silja logo was perhaps a good idea, but the changes made were not for the better. (The same also applies to the new Tallink logo).

Anyway, the photos below show the Silja Serenade on Kruunuvuorenselkä shortly after departing Helsinki South Harbour on the afternoon of 22 May 2014. Photographed from Lonna. Click on the images to see them in larger size.

The light unfortunately comes from a bit of a wrong direction at this time of the afternoon for ideal lighting.
On the other hand, the light on this view is absolutely perfect. For afternoon arrivals, Lonna would be a near-ideal place - if there were any, that is.