17 May 2019

Baltic Queen on the Bay of Tallinn, 14 May 2019

Last Tuesday, I had the chance to do a shot trip on the Megastar and try out the special Tallink 30th anniversary menu in the gourmet restaurant. Those of you who speak Finnish can read my review of the menu on the Ulkomatala website here. In this entry, however, we will be looking at photos of the Baltic Queen – which has finally received the current-style Tallink logos – taken during the same trip.

Baltic Queen

IMO 9443255
Built 2009, STX Europe Rauma, Finland
Tonnage 48 915 GT
Length 212,10 m
Width 29,00 m
Draught 6,42 m
Ice class 1A Super
2 800 passengers
2 500 berths
600 cars
1 130 lanemeters
4 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 32 000 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 24,5 knots

The story of the Baltic Queen is succint so far: it was delivered in 2009 as the last ship of Tallink's three-strong Galaxy class. On delivery, the ship was placed on the Tallinn-Stockholm run, on which it stayed (excepting occasional deputising on the Turku-Stockholm route) until 2014. The charter of the Silja Europa as an accommodation ship to Australia that year resulted in the Baltic Queen moving to take over the Helsinki-Tallinn 22 hour cruise circuit in what seemed like a permanent solution. However, when the Silja Europa's charter ended after just one year, Tallink were left in a conundrum of what to do with an extra ship, with the Silja Europa temporarily placed on day cruises from Helsinki to Tallinn (not as a second 22 hour cruise ship on that route as some sources have erraneously claimed). Rumour has it that DFDS invested the Baltic Queen for purchase in 2016, but if this really happened, nothing ever came of it. Instead, in December 2016 a radically refitted Silja Europa returned to take over the Helsinki-Tallinn 22-hour cruise circuit, and the Baltic Queen returned to the Tallinn-Stockholm run.

In January 2019, the Baltic Queen sailed to the Remontowa shipyard in Gdansk for a change of the unreliable original reduction gears, in a similar refit to what had been carried out the year before on the sister ship Baltic Princess (I was onboard the Baltic Princess for that ship's hourney from Turku to Gdansk, of which you can read more here). At the same time, the Baltic Queen was repainted with the current-style Tallink logotypes – no less than seven years (!) after they had been taken into use.

The photos below show the Baltic Queen on the Bay of Tallinn, outbound from Tallinn to Stockholm on the evening of 14 May 2019, photographed from onboard the inbound Megastar. As per the usual practice, click on the images to see them in larger size.

Contemporary Estonian dry-land architecture meets contemporary Finnish maritime architecture.
Coinciding with the painting of the new-style logotype, they also painted over the red "Cruise" text that was next to it, improving the looks of the ship if you ask me.
However, I do wonder who at Tallink thought it was still nescessary to keep the www.tallink.com text on the hull in the year 2019?
Sailboats, always pictoresque.
Stockholm calling.
Kships will return.