21 September 2017

Veøy on the Geirangerfjord, 29 August 2017

During the recent trip to Norway with Cruise Norway, I took a crapload of photos of local Norwegian road ferries. I'm still debating whether or not to post the photos of most of them, as road ferries are not exactly a focus for this blog. But, in addition to the road ferries, there was one "proper" ferry photographed during the trip: the Veøy, which runs a summer service between Geiranger and Hellesylt, sailing through the pictoresque Geirangerfjord.


IMO 7368748
Built 1974, Hjørungavåg Mekaniske Verksted, Norway
Tonnage 1 870 GT
Length 74,98 m
Width 12,01 m
Draught 2,60 m
345 passengers
50 cars
2 Wichmann diesels, combined 1 870 kW
2 propellers
Speed 15 knots

(Please be aware that I'm not 100% certain about the figures above; different sources give different dimensions and tonnage figures for the ship).

The Veøy was built in 1974 by the Hjørnungvaag Mekaniske Verksted for Møre og Romsdal Fylkesbåtar's (MRF) service linking Molde to Vestnes via Vikebukt, which remained the ship's primary route until 1988. After 1988, it served on a variety of different routes, which I won't bore you with, until 1997, when the ship became a regular on the Hellesylt-Geiranger -route during the summer seasons. During the winters the Veøy is a reserve ferry, and as such has sailed on several different routes for shorter or longer periods of time.

In 2001, MRF merged with Fylkesbaatane i Sogn og Fjordane. The combined company first took the name Nordvestlandske, but already in 2002 this was altered to Fjord1. The actual structure of the Fjord1 company is rather complex, with numerous subsidiaries to the main company owning and/or operating the various individual ships, which is why the Veøy's official owners are Fjord1 MRF.

The photos below show the Veøy on the Geirangerfjord, and the ferry quay in Geiranger, on 29 August 2017. Photographed from onboard the excursion ship Geirangerfjord. As per the usual, click on the images to see them in larger size.

The forward rake of the superstructure is interesting; the angle will reduce glare and therefore improve views from inside, but such stylings are relatively rare, except for dedicated onservation longes.
I quite like the classic style of the Fjord1 flag in the logo, but I do wish they would paint the funnels entirely with the red and blue stripe, rather than a white funnel with the stripes just "stamped on".
On the left is the Friaren ("Suitor") waterfall; across the fjord is the better-known De syv søstrene ("The Seven Sisters") waterfall. Personally, I thought Friaren looked more impressive, but maybe that's just me. In any case you're only getting to see that one, as getting De syv søstrene in the same photo as the ferry would have been abviously problematic.
As is common oon ferries that do not venture far into the open sea, the car deck is open to the elements aft.
At Geiranger. The size of the bow visor is rather impressive.
Returning to the livery for a bit, based on photos it seems the masts were originally painted yellow (matching MRF's funnel colours, which were yellow with a black stripe). At least arguably the white masts are not an improvement, even if they are in keeping with Fjord1's corporate image.

16 September 2017

Viking Sky in Helsinki, 31 July 2017

My plan for a return to weekly updates hasn't been too successful, thanks to the combination of a hectic work schedule and a hectic travelling schedule - two weeks ago I was in Norway on the trip organised by Cruise Norway mentioned in the previous entry, after that I had a week to do final corrections my and Bruce Peter's upcoming book Innovation and Specialisation: The Story of Shipbuilding in Finland (which will get a detailed blog entry later) and then during the past week I was in Armenia of all places. I had actually prepared this particular entry before going to Norway, with the idea that I could post it during the travels, but never found the time. The technical quality of the photos is not perhaps quite as good as in the more recent entries, as these were taken during the time brief moment in time when I had to revert to using the old old 350D camera.

Viking Sky

IMO 9650420
Built 2017, Fincantieri Maghera, Italy
Tonnage 47 842 GT
Length 227,28 m
Width 28,79 m
Draft 6,65 m
944 passengers
4 MAN diesels, combined 23 520 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thrusters
Speed 20 knots

The Viking Sky is, of course, a sister ship to the Viking Star, and as she was delivered just this year, there's very little to actually say about her. So let's get straight down to the photos, which were taken from Vattuniemi in Lauttasaari as the ship departed Länsisatama (West Harbour) on the afternoon of 31 July 2017. As always, click on the images to see them in larger size.

People in general seem to be extremely keen on the Viking Cruises ships' exterior design. To be honest, I'm not sure if I agree; they are attractive modern cruise ships, sure, but nothing spectacular.
And since I started criticising the ships, I'm also going to say that the names - while nice in that they recall the Royal Viking Line of old - do come across as rather uninspired.
As you can see, the water levels were quite low, which resulted in neat foreground rocks.
There was also a regatta of some sort going on, so neat sailboats were also captured alongside the Viking Sky.

03 September 2017

Nordlys in Trondheim, 28 August 2017

I returned yesterday from a trip through various Norwegian cruise ports organized by Cruise Norway, and you can later on read more about the trip from Cruise Business Review. Sufficient to say for now that it was interesting, exhausting and at times eye-opening - and all this in superb company. The trip also gave some chances to photograph ships I don't normally see - the first of which is the subject of this entry.


IMO 9048914
Built 1994, Volkswerft Stralsund, Germany
Tonnage 11 204 GT
Length 121,66 m
Width 19,20 m
Draught 4,70 m
691 passengers
482 berths
50 cars
2 MaK diesels, combined 9 000 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 18 knots

The Nordlys was the last ship of Hurtigruten's first trio of 1990s newbuildings, built by the Volkswerft in Stralsund, in the former East Germany (the sister ships being the Kong Harald and Richard With). Her original owners were TFDS (Troms Fylkes Dampskibsselskap), though the name Nordlys (Norwegian for "Northern Lights") recalls that of a previous 1951-built BDS (Bergenske Dampskibsselskap) -owned Hurtigrute, which TFDS took over, alongside BDS's Hurtigruten share, in 1979.

The Nordlys entered service in April 1994 on Hurtigruten's Bergen-Kirkenes service, on which the ship remains to this day. There has been some drama to her career: in January 2006 she evacuated 680 people from Melkøya due to a heavy storm and in September 2011 an engine room fire onboard resulted in two deaths. Less dramatic were a sale in 2003 to KS Kirberg, with a 15-year charterback agreement (so actually due to end next year), and a series of brief winter lay-ups in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

The photos below show the Nordlys arriving at Trondheim in the morning of 28 August 2017 on a northbound crossing. Photographed from the Trondheim port cruise quay. As per the usual, click on the images to see them in larger size.

You can get nice photos if you get up early enough. Which I normally wouldn't do, but (fortunately or not) I didn't get to design the schedules of the trip.
The exterior design is fairly utilitatian, though I still quite like it. If I remember correctly, the funnel exhausts were a later addition to the original design.
Passing Munkholmen, a former monastery and prison on Trondheimsfjorden.
The island-passing photos were so good, I just had to include a second one!
Approaching the Hurtigruten terminal - and the run, giving less nice lighting.

24 August 2017

Stockholm in Stockholm, 18 August 2017

It's been a while since the last update. I can happily say that Innovation and Specialisation - The Story of Shipbuilding in Finland is nearing completion (and it's looking awesome), and I'm finally at a point when there's no pending workload. Meanwhile, last month my trusted Canon EOS 500D camera broke, and I was briefly forced to revert to the old 350D - but the shipspotter extraordinnaire Marko Stampehl sold me his old 7D camera (at a price I could afford), so overall everything worked out better than expected. That said, I've only been able to "take out" the camera just once so far - the results of which you can see below.


IMO 5193890
Name history: Öland, Korsholm III, Korsholm, Öland, Korsholm, Korsholm av Wästerås, Stockholm
Built 1931, Oskarshamns Varv, Sweden
Tonnage 421 GRT
Length 48,79 m
Width 8,56 m
Draught 3,50 m
350 passengers (summer)/250 passengers (winter)
Steam engine, 710 kW
2 Volvo-Penta diesels, combined 750 kW
1 propeller
Speed 11 knots

Why are we looking at a small achipelago cruise ship, you may ask? Well, the reason is that the Stockholm (in addition to being rather neat-looking) was also back in the day the first roll-on roll-off car ferry to sail between Finland and Sweden. So let us dwelve into the story of this fascinating ship!

The Stockholm was built in 1931 as the Öland by Oskarshamn Varv in Sweden for the Royal Post Office to maintain winter service between the Swedish mainland and Öland. Her hull was ice-reinforced, though I do not know how the reinforcements translate into today's system. In 1952 the ship was sold to Ångbåts AB Kalmarsund, who retained her on the Öland-Swedish mainland routes, but now sailing also during the summers. In 1956, she was withdrawn and laid up.

A buyer emerged in 1958 in the form of Rederi Ab Vasa-Umeå, a Finnish shipping company operating ships linking - you guessed it - Vaasa in Finland to Umeå in Sweden. The Öland was renamed Korsholm III and sailed to the Hollming shipyard in Rauma, Finland, where she was lengthened by 12 metres. The added midsection included a side-loadable car deck for up to 35 cars. Thus, when she re-entered service later the same year, the Korsholm III became the first car ferry to sail between Finland and Sweden. While her hull was ice-reinforced, it could not cope with the difficult ice conditions on the Gulf of Bothnia, and during her time with Vasa-Umeå the Korsholm III was always laid up for the winters.

The Korsholm III remained in service with Rederi Ab Vasa-Umeå until 1966, sailing on the Vaasa-Umeå route with the exception of the 1966 summer season, when she sailed from Vaasa to Örnsköldsvik instead. The arrival of the new Botnia Express for the 1967 summer season meant there was no longer a use for the Korsholm III, and she was laid up from autumn 1966 until autumn 1967, when she was sold to the Finnish Navy as a command ship, renamed Korsholm (she replaced an earlier Korsholm, which was also an old Vasa-Umeå steamer, the Korsholm II). Our Korsholm was transferred to the Finnish Maritime Administration in 1975.

The FMA gave up the ship in 1985. During the following 13 years, the aged steamer passed from one owner to another, with various plans for use either in service or in a stationary role. Between 1986 and 1989 she reverted to the original name Öland, then back to Korsholm until 1996, and then Korsholm av Wästerås (as the Swedish registry did not allow for two ships to have the same name, the established practice was to paint "av", Swedish for "of", between the name and port of registry, thus creating a "different" name). At various times she was laid up in Turku, Stockholm and Nakskov (Denmark), in increasingly poor condition due to vandalism.

Then, in 1998, the ship's fortunes were reversed: she was acquired by Strömma Kanalbolaget, who totally renovated her for use as an archipelago cruise ship in Stockholm. Her bow, superstructure and funnel were restored to original appearance (the bow having been raised by one deck and the funnel rebuilt when she became the Korsholm III), and the interiors rebuilt to be suitable for her new role - including a dining room decorated in art deco style. To save on fuel costs, two diesel engines were fitted alongside the original steam engine. In spring 2000, the ship was renamed Stockholm and entered service on archipelago cruises from her namesake city. This is the service where she remains to this day.

The photos below show the Stockholm departing from Nybroviken in Stockholm, photographed from the quayside. As always, click on the images to see them in larger size.

It was a nice day, with a nice new camera and a neat classsic ship. Nothing to complain about.
The exterior is not, of course, entirely similar to the original, as the 12-metre section added in 1958 has not been removed. And the funnel colours were different back in the day, of couse.
These photos did require some fiddling afterwards on the computer; I'm still on the learning curve when it comes to the best settings to use on the new camera.

09 June 2017

Silja Symphony in Helsinki, 19 July 2016

This blog is not dead, though you could be forgiven for thinking so. I have been very busy for the last few weeks putting the finishing touches on my & Bruce Peter's magnum opus, Innovation and Specialisation: The Story of Shipbuilding in Finland. The concentration on that project also created an impressive backlog of work for other projects, and the blog was the loser in the struggle for my time. I have several interesting photo sets to post, including no less than three interior tours... but since I don't have time to edit those into publishable form right now, there are instead images of the Silja Symphony tasken from Vallisaari last summer; these are a set I edited for publication in another project, so they might as well go up here, too.

Silja Symphony

IMO 8803769
Built 1991, Kvaerner Masa-Yards Turku, Finland
Tonnage 58 377 GT
Length 203,03 m
Width 31,93 m
Draught 7,12 m
Ice class 1A Super
2 852 passengers
3 001 berths
410 cars
1 600 lane metres
4 Wärtsilä-Vasa diesels, combined 32 580 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Speed 21 knots

So, the photos below show the Silja Symphony arriving at Helsinki in the morning of 19 July 2016, photographed from Vallisaari. As per the usual, click on the images to see them in larger size.

The no entry -bit of Vallisaari looks rather impressive indeed in the foreground.
This could be a cover for an updated version of Silja Line from De Samseglande to Tallink, if I ever have the chance to make one.
Impressive exterior design on thse sisters, even if the current style hull texts don't quite match the rest of the livery as well as the original.
Entering the Kustaanmiekka strait.

19 May 2017

Regal Princess in Helsinki, 19 May 2017

Today, I finally managed to get this summer's cruise visitor season started. It did require some help from my friends, as Miles Cowsill and Matthew Punter were visiting Helsinki and I promised to show them around. Good fun was had by all, and I managed to (finally) photograph a ship I had never photographed before: the Regal Princess (which I did visit when she called in Helsinki for the first time in 2015, interior tour here, but I hadn't done the exteriors before now. A bit of a shame, as on the past two summers she was running with a plain white hull, whereas now she has the Princess' "Sea Witch" logo painted on sides of the bow).

Regal Princess

IMO 9584724
Built 2014, Fincantieri Monfalcone, Italy
Tonnage 142 714 GT
Length 330 m
Width 38,40 m
Draft 8,60 m
4 380 passengers
6 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 62 400 kW
2 propellers
3 bow thrusters
3 (?) stern thrusters
Speed 23 knots

Photos below show the Regal Princess departing Helsinki Länsisatama on the afternoon of 19 May 2017. Photographed from Vattuniemi. As usual, click on the images to see them in larger size.

No chance of mistaking the company these days, with the huge logo at the bow and the company name in large letters towards the stern. funnily, cruise ships are continuously nearing ferries when it comes to displaying company names on logos on the topsides.
The water levels were extremely low, but unfortunately not low enough to get to Sisä-Hattu without the need to get your feet wet. And the water is cold this time of year.
I'm not sure I like the exterior design of this class, to be honest. The front and back bits look like they're from a different ship, with curves at the rear up to and including the funnel, but straight lines forward of that.
Kships will return.

30 April 2017

Mariella in Helsinki, 19 July 2016

I realised today that I had uploaded only one set of images from my & ship photographer extraordinnaire Marko Stampehl's visit to Vallisaari last summer. It's high time to put up a second one.


IMO 8320573
Built 1985, Wärtsilä Turku (Perno), Finland
Tonnage 37 860 GT
Length 175,70 m
Width 28,40 m
Draugth 6,78 m
Ice class 1A Super
2 500 passengers
2 500 berths
430 cars
980 lane metres
4 Wärtsilä SEMT-Pielstick diesels, combined 23 008 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
Speed 22 knots

Since 2014, the Mariella's route has been extended to Stockholm-Helsinki-Tallinn during the summer seasons, with a return trip to Tallinn during the time the ship normally spends in port in Helsinki (the same of course applied to the running mate Gabriella). This of course gives additional photo opportunities, as you can photograph the ship arriving and departing in the space of a few hours, both in the morning and afternoon. It's quite unusual for me to be up to photographs the morning call, though...

The photos below show the Mariella passing though the Kustaanmiekka strait, both arriving and departing, in the morning of 19 July 2016. Photographed from the little cape in Vallisaari next to the Kustaanmiekka strait (I have not been able to discover the name of the place; if someone does, let me know). As per the usual, click on the images to see them in larger size.

Morning rush hour; in addition to the Mariella, you can see the inbound Star and Silja Symphony in the horizon.
Rush hour part two, the Mariella with the outbound Finlandia in the background.
A slightly more unusual view of the ramparts at Kustaanmiekka.
I'm still not sure if I like the "Grace stripes" and the new, larger hull texts on her. Especially not with the slightly misaligned G in Viking.
About two hours later, the same ship was outbound. The ramparts in background would make for fine photo locations, were they not part of a low-security prison and therefore inaccessible to the general public.
Dynamic old lady.
Kships will return.

21 April 2017

Express (Viking FSTR) interiors, 15 & 20 April 2017

The entry featuing exterior photos of the Express/Viking FSTR posted in the beginning of this month has been a surprise hit with the readers, skyrocketing to the list of Top 5 most popular entries of all time, and easily outperforming other recent new or radically rebuilt ships such as the Megastar and Silja Europa. Yesterday, I was at a press showing of the ship, so here are a bunch of interior images of the ship let's see if these will be as popular as the exteriors.


IMO 9176046
Name history: Catalonia, Catalonia L, Portsmouth Express, Express
Built 1998, Incat Hobart, Australia
Tonnage 5 902 GT
Length 91,30 m
Width 26,00 m
Draught 3,73 m
836 passengers
120 cars
4 Caterpillar diesels, combined 28 800 kW
4 waterjets
Maximum speed 48 knots
Service speed 30 knots

For a recap of the history of the ship, please refer to the earlier entry on it.

The Express has two passenger decks, plus the car deck below them, so be warned that there isn't a huge amount of material to be discussed here.

Deck 3 features the navigation bridge forward, followed by a token outer deck (the entrance to which still displays P&O Ferries signage with access restrictions that are not in effect). The indoors areas are primarily just sitting lounges, with the Fork & Knife cafeteria midships.

The seating areas are... well, the usual. The seats are much larger than on a bus or airplane, but there still isn't enough leg room for someone of my height.
In the forward port corner of the deck there is what at least used to be a children's play area. Now it only has multicoloured seats and a TV screen, so there isn't much to amuse a child of any age.
The Fork & Knife cafeteria amidships has both nice outside views from the sides over the two-deck high foyers (which I could not photograph due to people hanging around in them) and gets natural light from the overhead skylights.
Deck 2 has the car deck's upper ramps forward, followed by a crew mess (this used to be a games room when the ship was sailing on the Irish Sea, but the ceiling height of the original crew mess did not fullfill Swedish regulations and thus a new one had to be built when it was moved under the Swedish flag), the embarkation foyers, First Bar and FSTR shop amidships, plus regular sitting areas and the Club Lounge aft.

Bar First has a tropical beach theme - somewhat unusual on the Baltic, but a nice touch never the less.
The foyer between the shop (entrance to which is just out of screen on the right) and the seating areas. Many of the walls are decorated with photomurals from Gotland, a relic from the ship's time with Gotlandsbåten. Maybe Viking could consider a special cruise to Visby during the summer season?
The Club Lounge is a surprisingly nice space (though the window isn't as impressive as it appears, as the car ramp blocks the view from the lower level). I'm not normally keen on extra cost lounges, but for the 30 euro price (25 for Viking Line Club members), the quality and amount of things on offer is very good – you essentially get the same things as you do in Tallink's Business Lounges, but at half the price.
Kships will return.

07 April 2017

Gudingen at Långnäs, 8 June 2014

At the end of the previous entry, I promised we would look at the new interiors of the Princess Anastasia, which has just returned from a three-month drydocking. Well, that was all well and good... except they had not changed the interiors at all. So while the onboard product is different, thanks to St. Peter Line's new partnership with Moby Lines, the interiors are exactly the same as before. So you can just look at my 2013 interior tour if you want to know what the ship (still) looks like.

Instead, today we will look at Gudingen, one of the Ålandstrafiken archipelago ferries, images of which I came across when researching photos for a book project.


IMO 7902609
Built 1980, Laivateollisuus Turku, Finland
Tonnage 961 GT
Length 48,50 m
Width 10,50 m
Draugth 3,70 m
Ice class 1A
195 passengers
25 cars and 4 trucks
2 Wärtsilä Vasa diesels, combined 1 606 kW
2 propellers (?)
Speed 14 knots

The Gudingen is an older near-sister of the Skiftet featured here previously. It  was completed by the Valmet-owned Laivateollisuus (literally "ship industry") yard in Turku in 1980, and placed on Ålandstrafiken's "southern line" linking Galtby (in Korppoo) to Långnäs via various intermediate ports. The ship remains on the same service to this day. The only major change that has happened over the years, as far as I can tell, is the painting of the blue stripe along the public room windows - originally the ship was all white (as the Skiftet still is).

The photos below show the Gudingen arriving at Långnäs on 8 June 2014. As per the usual, click on the images to see them in larger size.

While I'm normally all for the use of colour in ship liveries, I must say that on a ship this small the blue stripe doesn't really improve the ship's looks - the all-white Skiftet is decidedly superior visually.
The lighting conditions were not ideal, but since these are my only photos of the ship, I guess these will do.
Kships will return.

03 April 2017

Express (Viking FSTR) in Helsinki, 3 April 2017

We are living exciting times in the Northern Baltic these days, with new or radicaly redone ships entering service left and right. The Express, aka Viking Line's "Viking FSTR" has been performing test runs in and out of Helsinki Eteläsatama (South Harbour) for the past two days, and today the weather was good enough to warrant heading out and photographing the latest newcomer.


IMO 9176046
Name history: Catalonia, Catalonia L, Portsmouth Express, Express
Built 1998, Incat Hobart, Australia
Tonnage 5 902 GT
Length 91,30 m
Width 26,00 m
Draught 3,73 m
836 passengers
120 cars
4 Caterpillar diesels, combined 28 800 kW
4 waterjets
Maximum speed 48 knots
Service speed 30 knots

The Express (marketed by Viking Line as the "Viking FSTR", pronounced "Viking Faster", to avoid confusion with the Viking XPRS, pronounced "Viking Express") was completed in 1998 by Incat, the Tasmanian specialist fast catamaran builder, as the Catalonia for the Uruguyan fast ferry operator Buquebus. However, instead of Buquebus' home services linking Uruguay to Argentina, the Catalonia was, as the name suggests, meant for services in the Mediterranean. However, before entering service, the ship secured the Hales Trophy, awarded for the fastest Transatlantic crossing, on delivery voyage to Spain. (The Hales Trophy should not be confused with the Blue Riband of the Atlantic, which requires for a ship to carry passengers in regular liner service, whereas the Hales Trophy is awarded simply to the fastest ship). Less than two weeks later, however, the Catalonia lost the Hales Trophy to another Incat-built catamaran, the Cat-Link V.

Almost immediately after arriving in Spain, the ship's name was amended to Catalonia L, after which it entered service linking Barcelona to Palma de Mallorca. Subsequently it also sailed on the Ceuta-Malaga-Algericas -route. From the 2000 summer season onwards, the ship was chartered during summers to P&O European Ferries as the Portsmouth Express on the Portsmouth-Charbourg -route. During the winters it reverted to Catalonia (now again without the L), but spent at least some of the winters simply laid up. For the 2003 season the ship was no longer renamed for the summer service, instead being marketed as the "Express". In late 2003, this became the official name.

From 2005 onwards, the Express spent summer seasons sailing on the Cairnryan-Larne and Troon-Larne routes with P&O Irish Ferries, occasionally making night-time crossings from Larne to Douglas (on the Isle of Man) with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. Winters were spent laid up.

The pattern was finally broken in 2015, when the ship was sold to Nordic HSC, a shipowner associated with Gotlandsbåten, the new Swedish shipping company wishing to challenge the existing state-subsidized operator Destination Gotland on the routes connecting the Swedish mainland to Gotland. During the 2016 summer season, Express sailed for Gotlandsbåten on the Visby-Västervik and Visby-Nynäshamn routes. While passenger numbers were good, Gotlandsbåten failed to make a profit and the company decided not to resume operations for the 2017 summer season. Instead, the Express was chartered to Viking Line, who will use her on the Helsinki-Tallinn line for the duration of the summer season, starting from 10 April 2017.

The photos below show the Express passing through the Kustaanmiekka strait both outbound and inbound during the operating trials she carried out during 3 April 2017. Photographed from Kustaanmiekka. As always, you can see the images in larger size by clicking on them.

Outbound for the first run of the afternoon. This was the first time I've ever heard a ship in the Kustaanmiekka strait before I saw it. The Express is loud.
Coming back after circling the Harmaja lighthouse.
Viking's latest marketing visuals (in Finland) use multicoloured balls, so these have also been painted on the ship alongside the FSTR marketing name.
Heading out again, this time from a slightly different vantage point.
I also photographed her return from this tip, but my last location was poorly chosen and the photos were nothing to write home about.
Next time: I will be attending a press conference onboard the Princess Anastasia on Wednesday, so in all likelihood the next entry will be new interior shots from that ship.

26 March 2017

Coruisk interiors, 5 June 2016

As an admittedly delayed follow-up to the last entry, here are the Coruisk interior photos promised. Since it is a small ship, there aren't that many photos in this entry.


IMO 9274836
Built 2003, Appledore Shipbuilders Bideford, United Kingdom
Tonnage 1 559 GT
Length 65,00 m
Width 14,00 m
Draught 3,05 m
249 passengers
40 cars
2 MaK diesels, combined 2 280 kW
2 azimuthing pods
Speed 14 knots

All photos are from 5 June 2016, taken during a crossing from Craignure to Oban.

Being essentially a glorifued road ferry, the Coruisk has just one public room, which houses a combined cafeteria/shop in one end....
...and rows of seating in the other end.
Embarkation and disembarkation is via the car deck, which is open to the elements.
The podded propulsion caused quite a lot of vibrations, which resulted the cars' burglar alarms going off all the time. Must be hell for the crew.
Kships will return.

13 March 2017

Coruisk at Craignure, 5 June 2016


IMO 9274836
Built 2003, Appledore Shipbuilders Bideford, United Kingdom
Tonnage 1 559 GT
Length 65,00 m
Width 14,00 m
Draught 3,05 m
249 passengers
40 cars
2 MaK diesels, combined 2 280 kW
2 azimuthing pods
Speed 14 knots

The Coruisk (or Coir' Uisg' in Scots Gaelic) was conceived as a "sheltered waters vessel" for Caledonian MacBrayne, for service on the Mallaig-Armadale route during the summer and as a relief vessel during the winters. It was conceived with an unusual construction, resembling a double-ended ferry but with a a dedicated bow and stern, as well as a side ramp. Built by Appledore in Bideford, England, the ship was delivered in August 2003 and entered service on the Mallaig-Armadale -route... where it suffered a series of mishaps, culminating in a computer error resulting in a serious grounding after just a week in service. The ship was repaired and partially rebuilt at Glasgow, then re-entered service on the Gourock-Dunoon -service, deputising for the ship normally in this service. This was another failure, as it was discovered the Coruisk could not berth at Dunoon at all states of tide. Subsequently modifications were carried out and after the initial mishaps, the ships appears to have performed admirably.

A big change for the ship came in 2016, when Caledonian MacBrayne decided to move it to the Oban-Craignure route for the summer season, sailing alongside the Isle of Mull. This resulted in some criticism, as the Coruisk's replacement on Mallaig-Armadale proved less than suitable (and certainly the Coruisk is a poor running mate for the Isle of Mull as far as passenger facilities are concerned). Even so, Caledonian MacBrayne apparently plan to retain the arrangement for the coming years, with the Coruisk thus sailing Oban-Craignure during the summers and as a relief ship on Wemyss Bay-Rothesay during the winters.

The photos below show the Coruisk arriving at Craignure on 5 June 2016. As per the usual, click on an image to see it in larger size.

The ship does look very odd.
Scotland did have a tendency to be quite photogenic during my visit.
Here you can quite nicely see the different ship of the bow and stern - while at first the ship looks like a double-ender, it isn't.
And then we got some nice foreground crap...
...which only got better!
Next time: I think I will finally fullfill my plan of pairing exterior and interior entries of CalMac ships, so next time we'll look at Coruisk interiors (the little that there is).