13 December 2016

Onboard the new Silja Europa, 12 December 2016

Yesterday, the Silja Europa returned to service on the Helsinki-Tallinn 22-hour cruise route, following a 16-million euro refit and after an absence of over two years. Tallink Silja (Tallink Grupp's Finnish subsidiary) arranged a press trip, which I had the pleasure of attending. So again, this blog returns from child-induced hibernation thanks to the Silja Europa.

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
3 013 passengers
3 696 berths (as of 2013, may have been changed)
340 cars
932 lane metres
4 MAN diesels, combined 31 800 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Speed 22 knots

So, all passenger spaces (with the exception of the C-class cabins below the car deck) have been redone, with the exception of the spaces that were redone last spring. For the most part, I did not revisit those spaces this time, but you can see them in this previous entry. It might also be of interest to look at my first Silja Europa interiors entry from 2010. As noted already in the previous entry, all new interiors are the work of the Finnish interior design firm Aprocos. And now on to the photos!

Deck 12 hosts the conference suite, sauna and spa areas, plus outer decks. All public rooms here have been given a light refurbishment, mostly changing the surface materials.

The seating area in the lobby of the conference area.
The conference lobby, with the new service counter and wall art above it.
The arcade connecting the conference suite to the sauna area is one of the few areas which largely retains the original look.
The sauna bar; the "beach house" wall decor is original, otherwise the fursnishings are new.
The original paintings of the stairwells have been replaced by hptomurals of cities that Tallink sail to. Alas, here the realisation doesn't deliver the full potential of the idea, with the use of too bright and low-resolution images; closer up, they're quite pixellated.
Deck 11 is a cabin deck, housing the suites and deluxe cabins, as well as standard interior cabins.

In addition to the new stair decor, the elevator lobbies have also been refurbished...
...as have the cabin corridors, which now have a clean, modern look. Different decks have different-coloured cabins doors to help with orientation.
Forward on deck 11 are the suites; here is the living room of one...
...and here is the bedroom. Different suites have different-coloured furnishings.
The De Luxe -cabins also have neat new look. Here, the decorative colour is orange, but other cabins use lime green instead.
All passenger toilets, both in the cabins and public, have been redone. This is the toilet and shower of the De Luxe cabin.
Standard cabins use either turquise, as seen in a B2-cabin here, or red as the decorative colours.
Deck 10 has the navigation bridge forward, while the rest of the deck is dedicated to cabins.

A two-berths A-class cabin. Alas, still no double beds.
Deck 9 is another cabin deck.

Deck 8 is the upper of the main public room decks, with restaurants forward and amidships, followed by bars and entertainment venues aft.

The decor of the new Grande Buffet is identical to the same venues onboard the Silja Serenade and Silja Symphony, although here original lighting fixtures have been retained forward (alas, getting a good photo of that part was not possible).
A lot of people seem to dislike the simplified Grande Buffet decor - I rather like it myself.
The atrium, seen from Deck 8 down to Deck 7. In places where it was in good enough condition to be salvaged, the original wooden floors have been retained and restored.
Another view of the atrium lobby, looking forward with the entrace to the Grande Buffet in the background.
The arcade connecting the public rooms.
The Tavolata Italian restaurant (familiar from the Silja Serenade and Silja Symphony) was added already last sping, but finished while the ship was in service, hance I had not photographed it before.
The Corner Bar amidships has been a new look, tying in with the adjacent Grill House restaurant. The effect would be better if the curtains seen here open...
I really like the look of the Grill House, especially the original 1993 ceiling finish and columns which were retained as instrumental parts of the new decor.
Another view of the Grill House.
The former Drottningholm cabinet/Russian restaurant was also redecorated in the Grill House theme. Alas, the plan of converting the space into a new speciality restaurant was abandoned.
Unfortunately the ship was too full to get a decent photo of the entirely rebuilt Sea Pub or the Ocean Club night club on this deck. You can see my photos of the latter space in current appearance here. The Sea Pub, alas, has to wait.

Deck 7 is the lower public room deck, with cafeterias forward, the bulk of the deck given over to shops, and a disco aft.

The Fast Lane casual eatery was added already in the spring, but thus was the first time I saw it with the final green carpeting.
In the spring, the space was otherwise complete, but retained old red carpeting. Not the best of combinations.
Coffee & Co is more of a cafe-type venue aft of Fast Lane.
For the shops, please (again) take a look at the entry for my spring visit.

Deck 6 has even more cabins, with the theatre aft.

Deck 5 hosts even more cabins. Even though the actual entrance lobby is up on Deck 7, the gangways in both Helsinki and Tallinn only connect here, so - at least for the time being - the Deck 5 lobby doubles as the main entrance.

Decks 3 & 4 have crew cabins on the side and the car deck in the middle.

Deck 2's only passenger areas are the C-class cabins, which are currently undergoing a refit to bring them up to the same standards as the cabins on the upper decks.

Kships will return.