11 December 2017

Crown Seaways in Copenhagen, 4 December 2017

A week ago, I was in Copenhagen to give a joint lecture with Bruce Peter on Innovation and Specialisation – The Story of Shipbuilding in Finland at a meeting of Denmark's Skibteknisk Selskab. The trip also gave a chance to photograph a ship I never had a chance to photograph in decent weather before: the Crown Seaways.

Before we get to the photos and history of the Crown Seaways, a little message regarding the book for my Finnish readers: Adlibris are selling it here (I'd give you a price if I could, but that seems to change by some kind of dynamic pricing; when I looked earlier today it was 46,20 €, but now it displays as 57,10 and who knows what the next time), and Akateeminen Kirjakauppa are selling it both online and at their store in Central Helsinki for 79,90 €.

Now to the subject at hand.

Crown Seaways

IMO 8917613
Name history: Thomas Mann, Crown of Scandinavia, Crown Seaways
Built 1994, Brodogradiliste Split, Croatia
Tonnage 35 498 GT
Length 171,32 m
Width 28,20 m
Draugth 6,35 m
Ice class 1 A Super
1 790 passengers
2 402 berths
450 cars
900 lane metres
4 Pielstick diesels, combined 23 760 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Top speed 21,5 knots
Service speed 16,10 knots

The Crown Seaways was originally contracted in 1989 by Rederi AB Sea-Link as the second ship for their planned Euroway Malmö-Lübeck service. As the ships were contracted from Brodogradiliste Split in Croatia (with a design based on the earlier Split-built pair Amorella and Isabella), both ended up delayed; the first sister, the Frans Suell (today the Gabriella) only mildly so, making it in time for the 1992 summer season. The delay was more severe on the second ship, which according to different sources as planned to be named either Frans Kockum or Thomas Mann. By the time the ship was supposed to be delivered in 1993, Euroway had formed a joint service with Silja Line, and no longer had need for the second ship. She was then completed at a slower pace, finally leaving the yard in March 1994, albeit for docking at Fincantieri in Trieste, and embarking on her sea trials in May 1994, under the name Thomas Mann.

Also in May 1994 DFDS first acquired an option to purchase the ship, and then took it up during the same month (some sources claim she was actually briefly owned by EffJohn, the owners of Silja Line, in the interim to keep their arch-rivals Viking Line from getting their hands on the ship). In June DFDS sailed the ship to the Lloyd Werft shipyard Bremerhaven, where rear sponsons were added. It also appears that the ship got her original DFDS name, Crown of Scandinavia, around this time. The Crown of Scandinavia entered service on DFDS' Copenhagen-Helsingborg-Oslo route (like all DFDS passenger routes, it was marketed under the Scandinavian Seaways brand at the time) in July 1994, a route on which she has remained to this day.

In 1999, the Scandinavian Seaways brand name was abandoned in favour of reverting to the old DFDS Seaways name. In late 2006, the intermediate call at Helsingborg was eliminated from the route of the ship. In 2010, DFDS decided to unify their brand identity: the previous multitude of brands – DFDS Seaways, DFDS Tor Line, DFDS Lisco and DFDS Lys Line – were abandoned in favour of marketing all seabourne operations as DFDS Seaways, but with a new livery based on the blue-hulled colours of DFDS Tor Line. At the same time, all ships were renamed, with the new names ending with -Seaways. Oddly, while the Crown of Scandinavia was painted in the new colours fairly soon, her name was amended to Crown Seaways only in 2013.

In 2015, anticipating DFDS' 150th anniversary the next year, the company unveiled yet another rebranding, this time simply to DFDS, and a new livery with darker blue hulls and funnels. The Crown Seaways has, however, yet to be repainted in this new image; reportedly this is due to her being painted with a special paint, guaranteed to last five years, before the most recent rebranding was carried out. Judging by the rust evident in the photos below, I presume she will be repainted in the new colours during her next drydocking in spring 2018.

The photo  below show the Crown Seaways arriving at DFDS' Copenhagen terminal in the morning of 4 December 2017, photographed from the tip of Langelinie. (I was up in time as I had been forced to wake up at five am to catch my 7:30 flight to Copenhagen...). As always, click on the images to see them in larger size.

I had never been at Langelinie before, so I had no idea of how the photos would turn out. I think these are pretty alright.
That little cargo ship not-so-little tanker (thanks Juhani) was in the background a lot.
A "little" bit of rust here and there. Definately time for a repaint, methinks.
It's interesting that DFDS have not removed the grille from the front of the funnel, which Viking Line did immediately when they bought the sister ship. It doesn't seem to serve any purpose and adds unnescessary weight.
Reversing into the quay. My impression is that DFDS usually use the other quay (the Pearl Seaways certainly did when I sailed on her) so it was lucky for me the Crown used this side on this particular day.

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