29 August 2016

Silja Europa in Helsinki, 28 August 2016

We deviate from the advertised programming as the Silja Europa made what is probably her last arrival in Helsinki Eteläsatama (South Harbour) tonight. I was in attendance and, for once, this blog is right on the pulse of things.

Silja Europa

IMO 8919805
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 changed)
350 cars
932 lane metres
4 MAN diesels, combined 31 800 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Speed 22 knots

For those interested, a relatively up to date history of Silja Europa can be read here. Since that entry was penned, the ship returned to the Helsinki-Tallinn route last spring, somewhat oddly offering day cruises of the kind that were popular before the introduction of the fast ropaxes like Tallink's own Star and Superstar. Tomorrow morning (29.8.) the ship will depart for Tallinn with passengers, then proceed for a docking (possibly in Muuga) and an extensive refit. Tallink have not yet revealed what happens when it returns from the refit (nor indeed how long the refit will be). Rumours suggest the ship is due to replace the Baltic Queen on the 22-hour cruise circuit from Helsinki - whether or not these are true remains to be seen.

The photos below show the Silja Europa arriving at, and moored in, Helsinki Eteläsatama (South Harbour) in the evening of 28 August 2016. Photographed from Kauppatori. As always, click on the images to see them in larger size.

It's coming straight at us!
Looking somewhat in need of a fresh lick of paint - presumably this will be accoplished in Poland.
Getting a more-or-less acceptable colour balance in these three shots was a challenge, but eventually it was accomplished.
The Silja Europa and the bunkering tanker Lotus, seen behind the pools of the recently opened Allas Sea Pool ("allas" is Finnish for "pool", so zero points for creativity).
Alas, the Lotus moved alongside immediately after the Silja Europa arrived, so no chance of photographing the hero of the day without the small tanker alongside.
I rather like the sculpted form of the stairs on the left.
Kships will return.

23 August 2016

Isle of Mull in Oban, 3 June 2016

As you may or may not have noticed, I have photographed very few cruise ship in Helsinki (or anywhere else for that matter) this year. What I do have is a bunch of ferry photos, from the local waters as well as Helsingborg and Scotland. To maintain some variation, I'm trying to keep up a system where photos from one of the three sets come up in turn. And this week, it's time for Scotland again.

Isle of Mull

IMO 8608339
Built 1988, Appledore Ferguson Glasgow, United Kingdom
Tonnage 4 719 GT
Length 90,03 m
Width 15,80 m
Draugth 3,20 m
951 passengers
70 cars
2 Mirrlees diesels, combined 3 096 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 15 knots

The Isle of Mull was built in 1988 by the Appledore Ferguson shipyard in Glawgow for the Oban-Craignure -run. Already before it was delivered, the ship had been discovered to have a serious deadweight problem, and therefore could not meet the required cargo capacity. Never the less, the Isle of Mull entered service on the route to Mull as planned in April 1988. After the summer season, the ship sailed to a drydock at Middlerough on the Tees for the addition of a 5,4 metre midsection, which fixed the deadweight problem. The chop-and-stretch operation was, naturally, carried out at the builders' expense.

Since its delivery, the Isle of Mull has generally remained on the same route, excepting occasional coverings on other routes during docking periods, and occasional sailing from Oban to Colonsay interspersed with the Graignure sailings.

The photographs below show the Isle of Mull departing from Oban to Craignure on the evening of 3 June 2016, photographed from Oban North Pier. As per the usual, click on the images to see them in larger size.

At the Oban ferry terminal.
The Britons do like their ferries bulky.
Isle of Mull departs, while its smaller fleetmate Loch Striven stays behind. And yes, this photo does have some added candy.
Sailing into the sunset.
More candy.
Yum yum.
Next time: Mercandia IV seem to be the next in the lineup.

16 August 2016

Baltic Princess in Turku, 20 June 2016

Today, I should have been in Turku to witness the start of production of TUI Cruises upcoming Mein Schiff 1 (previously slated to be named Mein Schiff 7). The new ships is looking to be very interesting, a lengthened and otherwise modified version of the Mein Schiff 3 design. However, instead of being at the shipyard, I was sick at home. To balance things out, today's update will feature photos taken in Turku when I visited the city for the delivery of the Mein Schiff 5.

Baltic Princess

IMO 9354284
Built 2008, Aker Yards Saint Nazaire, France / Aker Yards Helsinki, Finland
Tonnage 48 915 GT
Length 212,10 m
Width 29,00 m
Draugth 6,42 m
Ice class 1A Super
2 800 passengers
2 484 berths
600 cars
1 130 lanemetres
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 32 000 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 24,5 knots

For a history of the Baltic Princess, see this previous entry on the ship. The photos below show it departing from Turku on the evening of 20 June 2016, photographed from Ruissalo. As always, click on the images to see them in larger size.

I wouldn't mind living in one of the Pikisaari villas you seen in the background.
As I recently discovered during the research made for the upcoming book on the history of Finnish shipbuilding, the livery was designed by Aprocos, who were also responsible for most of the interiors.
A ferry and a sailing boat harbour, very nautical.
The funnel and the upper "arch" of the livery line up very nicely from this vantage point.
Why they decided to retain the www.tallink.com text on the side when the ship was repainted with Silja Line hull markings I will never understand.
The design of the aft section is perhaps less than ideal.
Kships will return.

11 August 2016

Hamlet in Helsingborg, 13 April 2016

When the weather outside is sunny and warm, it's the perfect time to look at some photos taken in gloomy, overcast weather, don't you think. In other words, today we return to Helsingborg.


IMO 9150030
Built 1997, Finnyards Rauma, Finland
Tonnage 10 067 GT
Length 110,20 m
Width 27,60 m
Draught 5,50 m
1 000 passengers
238 cars
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 6 120 kW
2 propellers at both ends
Speed 15 knots

The Hamlet is a near-sister of the 1991-1992 built Scandlines ferries Tycho Brahe and Aurora af Helsingborg. Unlike the older pair, which were built in Norway, the construction of the Hamlet was awarded to Finnyard at Rauma, Finland. The Halmet also differs from its older running mates by having a somewhat less extensive superstructure - perhaps reflecting the fact that both the end of tax-free sales on intra-European Union routes due in 1999 and the opening of the Öresund bridge in 2000 could be expected to lower passenger numbers on the route.

The Hamlet was delivered to Scandlines' Danish arm in June 1997, and entered service between Helsingborg and Helsingør in the beginning of July. In effect, the ship replaced two much older vessels - the Regula and Ursula - on the route, though these had, in fact, been already withdrawn ahead of the 1996 summer season. Since 1997, the Hamlet has continued serving on the Helsingborg-Helsingør route without major incident. In spring 2015, both the ships sailing on the route under the Scandlines brand, as well as the associated HH Ferries company, were sold to the Australia-based investment company First State. As a result, the Hamlet's registered owners became HH Ferries Helsingør, though the ship continues sailing under the Scandlines brand name for the time being.

The photos below show the Hamlet departing from Helsingborg's Knutpunkten terminal in the evening of 13 April 2016. As per the usual, click on the individual images to see them in larger size.

The Tycho Brahe has just arrived, while the Hamlet departs. Notice that the bridge of the Hamlet is high than its older fleet mate, and the newer ship lacks the sun deck overhangs around the bridge,
I'm genuinely quite impressed by the Helsingborg-Helsingør ships. For such a short service, they offer an extensive array of onboard services, with departures more often than on one of my local tram lines.
Kships, as always, will return.