27 August 2015

Costa Luminosa in Helsinki, 29 June 2015

Costa Luminosa

IMO 9398905
Built 2009, Fincantieri Marghera, Italy
Tonnage 92 700 GT
Length 294,00 m
Width 32,25 m
Draugth 8,00 m
2 260 passengers
6 MaK diesels, combined 64 000 kW
2 azipods (?)
3 bow thrusters
Speed 21,6 knots

The Costa Luminosa is a regular caller at Helsinki, but it seems it was last featured on this blog back in 2011. So it's high time for a rematch. The photos here show the Costa Luminosa departing Helsinki Länsisatama (West Harbour) on the evening of 29 June 2015. Photographed, as per the usual, from Sisä-Hattu. Click on the individual images to see them in larger size.

The Vista-class remains one of my favourite modern cruise ship designs. Though admittedly the original, more heavily terraced aft design was superior.
Rose bushes remain highly picturesque foreground objects.
As do the rowan and... whatever the tress on the right is called in English bushes.
And naturally the traditional shot with The Photogenic Tree must be included.
And a parting shot with red granite.
Next time: Azores

14 August 2015

Serenade of the Seas in Helsinki, 29 June 2015

Serenade of the Seas

IMO 9228344
Built 2003, Meyer Werft Papenburg, Germany
Tonnage 90 090 GT
Length 293,20 m
Width 32,40 m
Draugth 8,50 m
2 110 passengers (double occupancy), 2 500 passengers (maximum)
2 GE/Fincantieri gas turbines, combined 39 000 kW
2 azipods
3 bow thrusters
Speed 25 knots

The Serenade of the Seas is pretty much a perfect example of anonymous Royal Caribbean ships. The ship has a generic name and a genric (though admittedly attractive) exterior design. There is nothing that sets her apart from her fleetmates, all traces of individual identity have been swept away and she's just another Royal Caribbean ship. She was built in 2003 as the third of the four gas turbine powered cruise ships built at Meyer Werft for Royal Caribbean.

The photographs below show the Serenade of the Seas departing Helsinki Länsisatama on the afternoon of 29 June 2015. Photographed from Sisä-Hattu. Click on the images to see them in larger size.

I realised afterwards that I've taken a very similar picture of the sister ship Jewel of the Seas back in 2011.
It's the return of The Photogenic Tree.
...and roses.
And a bit more granite, while we're at it.
Next time: Costa Luminosa

03 August 2015

Viking Star in Helsinki, 29 June 2015

Viking Star

IMO 9650418
Built 2015, Fincantieri Maghera, Italy
Tonnage 47 842 GT
Length 227,28 m
Width 28,79 m
Draft 6,65 m
944 passengers
4 MAN diesels, combined 23 520 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thrusters
Speed 20 knots

By accident, this entry is quite topical, as the Viking Star is currently in the news due to engine problems.

The Viking Star is, of course, the first ship of Viking Cruises' ocean-conquering quartet. Viking Cruises - or rather Viking River Cruises as it was still known at the time - originally signed a memorandum of agreement with STX France for the construction of two ocean-going cruise ships in December 2011. However, this original agreement was allowed to lapse, and in 2012 Viking signed a contract for two cruise ships with Fincantieri instead. The contract included an option for two sister ships, which was taken up before the first ship was even completed. To the best of my knowledge, Viking still hold an option for two additional sisters.

The keel of the Viking Star was laid at Fincantieri's Maghera shipyard in December 2013, the ship was launched the following May and delivered in April 2015. The ship was officially named only on 17 May, when she visited Bergen for the first time. Unusually for a modern cruise ship, the Viking Star is registered in Norway with Bergen as her home port. Both the ship and Viking Cruises new oceangoing brand received a lot of (deserved) media attention. However, things have not been entirely rosy on the Viking Star's maiden season: last Thursday (30 July) the ship was stuck in Tallinn due to a failure in her the electric transformers of one of her main engines. Spare parts are due to be flown in, but in the mean time the ship remains in Tallinn, and the remainder of her current cruise (which was due to terminate in Bergen on 9 August, if I've understood correctly) has been cancelled. It remains to be seen if the ship can begin her next cruise normally.

Anyway, the photographs below show the Viking Star departing Helsinki Länsisatama on the afternoon of 29 June 2015, photographed from Sisä-Hattu. As per the usual, click on the images to see them in larger size.

A lot of people have commented on how attractive the Viking Star looks. To be perfectly honest, I don't see where they're coming from. Sure, she's an okay modern cruise ship, but not that different from, say, Oceania Cruises' Marina and Riviera. One suspects that this is a case where people like Viking and as a result see their ship as (more) beautiful (than the others).
Sisä-Hattu is always a good place for getting some nature into the foreground.
Although considered to be a fairly small cruise ship by today's standards, the Viking Star is just a tad too long to safely transit the Kustaanmiekka strait leading to Eteläsatama (South Harbour) right next to Helsinki's historical city center.
Proudly flying the Norwegian flag - there's a sight you don't see every day on a cruise ship.
Next stop... can't actually remember if she was headed for Saint Petersburg or Stockholm this time around. One of the two anyway.
Next time we continue with ships that have never been featured on this blog before with the Serenade of the Seas.