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 (as of 2013, may have been changed)
932 lane metres
4 MAN diesels, combined 31 800 kW
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Speed 22 knots
The Silja Europa returned to commercial service on the Helsinki-Tallinn route yesterday, with the first departure from Helsinki being today in the morning. There was also a cruise for the press arranged for today, and I was able to participate thanks to Cruise Business Review. For once, this blog is right on the pulse of things, as these are literally brand new photos.
For those interested, this previous entry includes an essentially up-to-date history of the ship. It might also be of interest to compare the new interior shots below with these older photos of the ship from the Silja era (come to think of it, there's also a second batch of Silja-era photos that have not been featured here [yet] but some of which were used in Silja Line from De Samseglande to Tallink). Now, onwards to the photos!
|For the trip to Australia the decks were painted white to keep the ship cooler in tropical climates; this has been retained for the moment. Interestingly, the new plastic deck covering on lower decks is gray, instead of the original green.|
|The Kapellskär VIP conference room. Supposedly the table alone cost more than a single-family house back in the day.|
|Central lobby of the conference suite. The conference rooms remain essentially in original appearance, with no notable updates carried out in the most recent refit.|
|The auditorium in the conference rooms. As the Silja Europa has a large theatre on lower decks that can also be used as an auditorium (photos of this below), the auditorium in the conference suite is relatively small.|
|The bar area outside the sauna and pool area is also unchanged, at least as far as I remember its previous appearance.|
|The pool area - naturally it's indoors on a ship designed for around-the-year service on the Baltic Sea.|
Deck 8 is the upper public rooms deck, with the buffet at the bow, followed by the still-under-construction Tavolata Italian restaurant, the main à la carte restaurant Maxim, Corner Bar, Joe's Place pub, a Casino, the Ocean Club night club and Windjammer bar at the stern.
|The main buffet restaurant is another space that remains largely unchanged from the ship's previous incarnation, apart from the new signage you see above the service counters.|
|Tavolata is still under construction, with 'facade' of the space decorated with an image of the Tavolata restaurant from either the Silja Serenade or Silja Symphony.|
|Inside Tavolata, there was still a lot of work to be done. If I remember correctly, it should be complete by 28th of March.|
|Joe's Place Pub has been at least partially redone, as there used to be a smoking room on the aft end of the room (the far wall in this photo).|
|The Ocean Palace night club was given a well-deserved update, doing away with the (frankly horrible) original 1990s decor. I really fancy the new carpets here.|
|This doesn't really describe the space that well as a photo, but it's a nice atmospheric shot so why not?|
|A view from the entrance to Windjammer Bar, facing forward towards the Ocean Club. I didn't include any photos of Windjammer here, as it was virtually unaltered from my 2010 visit to the ship.|
|The servery areas of the Fast Lane cafeteria. These are completely altered since ship was last on the Baltic.|
|Fast Lane seating areas. Sami Koski of Valkeat Laivat noted that while everything else in the space has been redecorated, with nicely matching hue of lime, grey and white, the carpet remains the old one from the days when this space was still the Food Market - and it clashes horribly with the new decor.|
|Perfumes & Fashion are a slightly strange shop, with common signage on the outside but separate signages on the inside - seems a bit superfluous, we all surely can tell clothes apart from perfume bottles?|
|The Fashion shop section. Back in 1993, this area housed what was billed as "the World's first floating McDonald's" (it wasn't) and a children's playroom.|
|Entrance to the Tax Free Superstore - where all items sold include Estonian tax.|
|While it's a Tallink ship, there were only Silja Line merchandise for sale onboard - including this selection of seal plushies. I bought one with a blue sailor's cap.|
|Sweets, alongside booze, form the main merchandise onboard Baltic Sea ferries, at least as far as ships in the Finland-Sweden-Estonia triangle are concerned.|
|The bar at the entrace looks pretty much identical to the design scethes from the ship's pre-publicity brochure.|
|There are plans to bring the theatre back into use. As it well deserves, it's a fine space.|
Decks 3 and 4 have crew cabins (I presume) on the sides, with a car deck in the middle. As the ship has been designed with central funnel uptakes and elevator shafts, this arrangement means the car deck is unusually constricted for a ship of this size.
Kships will return.