17 June 2016

Marco Polo in Helsinki, 31 May 2016

Marco Polo

IMO 6417097
Name history: Alexandr Pushkin, Marco Polo
Built 1965, VEB Mathias-Thesen-Werft Wismar, East Germany
Tonnage 22 080 GT
Length 176,28 m
Width 23,55 m
Draught 8,17 m
848 passengers (lower berths)
915 berths
2 Sulzer-Cegielski diesels, combined 15 447 kW
2 propellers
1 bow thruster
Speed 16,5 knots

Obviously, the classic Marco Polo is a ship that has been featured here several times. However, last winter the ship got a slight amendment to its livery, with the turquise stripe on the hull (a hue that had survived for a surprisingly long time as memory of her time with Transocean Tours) repainted white, which tremendously improved the ship's looks if you ask me. Now if they only changed the funnel colours into something else than plain white with the company logo stamped on, the ship would look superb.

As per the usual, I have already covered the ship's history briefly in a previous entry. For those wanting more information, I heartily recommend Richard Clammer's wonderfully detailed monograph Marco Polo - Celebrating Fifty Golden Years of Ocean Travel.

The photos below show the Marco Polo passing though the Kustaanmiekka strait on 31 May 2016, shortly after departing Helsinki Eteläsatama (south harbour). Photographed from Kustaanmiekka. As per the usual, click on the images to see them in larger size.

While I do like the classic looks of the ship, this photo does betray the fact her superstructure has been radically expanded over the years, not to the improvement of her looks.
Notice the aforementioned white hull stripe.
A common sight in Helsinki for the past five decades, albeit under different names and liveries.
Vallisaari, the island in the background on the right, was opened to visitors this summer. I haven't sampled it yet, but it should be a very good spot to photograph ships departing/arriving in the morning and early afternoon.
The terraced after decks are definitely not bad.
Onwards and outwards (yes, I did run out of things to say).

Next time: I'll be visiting the Meyer Turku shipyard on Monday to tour Mein Schiff 5 for Cruise Business Review, so if all goes to plan the next entry is a tour of MS5.

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