24 July 2014

Baltic Queen in Tallinn, 11 March 2014

Before we get on with the regular programming, for those interested in my visit to the Gann, my report from the visit is now up at MaritimeMatters for your reading pleasure.

Baltic Queen

IMO 9443255
Built 2009, STX Europe Rauma, Finland
Tonnage 48 915 GT
Length 212,10 m
Width 29,00 m
Draught 6,42 m
Ice class 1A Super
2 800 passengers
2 500 berths
600 cars
1 130 lanemeters
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 32 000 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 24,5 knots

The big news on the Baltic Sea this week was of course Tallink's announcement that the Silja Europa is to be chartered to Bridgemans Services as an accommodation vessel in Australia for 14 months, with a possible extension to 48 months. (Bridgemans are of course also chartering the Silja Festival). In August, the Silja Europa's place on the Helsinki-Tallinn 22-hour cruise service will be taken over by the Baltic Queen, transferring from the Tallinn-Stockholm service. The Romantika will in turn transfer back to the Tallinn-Stockholm service, and the Stockholm-Riga route will, at least temporarily, revert into a single-ship service. (Interestingly, after these changes all three ships of Tallink's Galaxy-class will have sailed on the Helsinki-Tallinn route at some point during their careers).

With this in mind, I decided it's time to post something relevant about these changes. The Silja Europa has been widely covered here, especially after her move to sail from Helsinki, but images of the Baltic Queen are fewer - and as it happened, I have a few nice previously unpublished ones sitting on the computer. So here they are: The Baltic Queen departing from Tallinn in the evening of 11 March 2014, photographed from onboard the Finlandia. As always, you can see the images in larger size by clicking on them.

The near-nocturnal photo session required heavy but straightforward adjustments to brightness and contrast... but the result is rather worth it, I think.
Alas, from the position that we were at there weren't too many different views to photograph the ship before she slipped behind the breakwater and out of range.

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