08 February 2016

Corinthian in Helsinki, 27 August 2015


IMO 8708672
Name history: Renaissance Four, Clelia II, Orion II, Corinthian
Built 1990, Cantieri Navali Ferrari La Spezia, Italy
Tonnage 4 077 GT
Length 88,32 m
Width 15,31 m
Draugth 4,00 m
98 passengers
2 MAN-B&W diesels, combined 5 040 kW
2 propellers
1 bow thruster
Speed 15 knots

The Corinthian was originally the Renaissance Four, the last in a series of four identical cruise ships built for Renaissance Cruises, a company originally owned by Norway's shipping giant Fearnley & Eger (there was also a second series of four similar, but not identical, ships from a different yard, the Renaissance Five through Eight). The early Renaissance Cruises ships always have a special place in my heart, as when I was a young ship enthusiast they were very often in Helsinki harbour, thanks to their small size usually moored at a prominent place near the Market Square (at a quay that is no longer used by cruise ships). Some of my earliest photos of actual cruise ships are of the Renaissance ships, and I really should one day share them with you (even though the image quality is terrible).

Anyway, I ought to maybe look quickly at the history of the ship. As said, she was completed in 1990 as the last of Renaissance Cruises initial quartet of ships from Cantieri Navali Ferrari in Italy. Renaissance Cruises' original owner Fearnley & Eger went bankrupt already in 1991, but the company quickly passed to a new company formed by the American businessman Edward Rudner and the Cameli Group of Italy. In 1996 Renaissance Cruises ordered the first ships of its next, larger series, the R-class. This meant the older ships would be disposed of. The Renaissance Four was the first to go; she was sold already in 1996, becoming the Clelia II for Greenwich Shipmanagement & Brokerage, but reportedly used by a Greek company. Later during her career as the Clelia II she sailed for the US-based Travel Dynamics International.

In 2011, the Clelia II was sold the Australia-based Orion Expedition Cruises, who renamed the ship Orion II. This was to be only a short detour, as at the end of 2012 the ship passed to the US-based Grand Circle Cruise Line, who renamed her Corinthian. To the best of my knowledge, the ship remains in service with the GCCL at the time of writing.

The photographs below show the Corinthian passing through the Kustaanmiekka Strait shortly after departing Helsinki Eteläsatama (South Harbour) in the afternoon of 27 August 2015. Photographed from Kustaanmiekka. As per the usual, click on the images to see them in larger size.

Small ships are always a bit of a challenge to photograph, especially if then come in right after a larger one, as they would really require a somewhat different vantage point.
I can't help thinking the ship would benifit from a different livery. Maybe a white hull with the intendations on the supetstructure painted dark, like on the Ponant newbuildings.
Is it just me, or does the ship actually look better from an aft view?
Next time: If I find enough time to publish a larger bunch, I think it's time for an interior photo set again - maybe from the Silja Symphony to go with last months' Silja Serenade interior set. If I don't have time for a big set, then probably the Finnish border patrol vessel Turva.