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MARIELLA

MARIELLA

Photographed when newly-introduced in 1985, MARIELLA is still going strong on Viking Line's Finland-Sweden routes

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Actually not routes(!!) - just "route". She has always been on the capital line between Helsinki and Stockholm. Some shorter periods consisting of some days she made extra voyages on the Stockholm-Åland-Turku lines when ordinary ships have been on dry dock service period. The MARIELLA was built on the FINLANDIA/SILVIA REGINA blueprints, intended to be 167 metres LOA, but on the slipway lengthened to be 177 metres LOA. This blueprint was bought by SF Lines sister company, the Swedish VIking Line: Rederi AB Slite/Volo, and that new ship became the new OLYMPIA of 1986 - since some years she has returned to the Baltic Sea connecting the regions two Northern Venezias: Sankt-Peterbourg and Stockholm as the new SPL PRINCESS ANASTASIA, unfortunately under Maltese flag.

Rumours told that the MARIELLA is nowadays in better technical shape despite being one year older than the former OLYMPIA. Inspectors found the PRIDE OF BILBAO in quite bad shape, and not very well maintained and not well cleaned according to Scandinavian standards before entering service on the Stockholm line a couple of years ago. This ship was of course attractive as being of Finnish-Swedish ice class 1 A Super. Another ship that could be very interesting for the Russian St Peter Line I guess would be the STAR PISCES based in China by Star Cruises), the former KALYPSO, built in Åbo (Perno shipyards) 1990, of Rederi AB Slite/Volo, also of Ice Class 1 A Super, which is a must when operating north of isle of Gotland in the Baltic Sea.
 

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She must have been considered a market leader when she was launched.
MS Mariella in Helsinki, Finland in 2005
Career
Name: MS Mariella
Owner: 1985–1995: SF Line
1995 onwards: Viking Line.
Operator: 1985–1995: SF Line (in Viking Line traffic)
1995 onwards: Viking Line.
Port of registry: Mariehamn, Finland.
Route: Helsinki–Mariehamn–Stockholm (as of 2009)
Builder: Wärtsilä Turku, Finland.
Yard number: 1286.
Launched: 28 September 1984.
Acquired: 17 May 1985.
In service: 18 May 1985.
Identification: IMO number: 8320573.
Callsign OITI[citation needed]
Status: In service.
General characteristics:
Type: Cruise ferry.
Tonnage: 37,799 GT
3,000 DWT
Length: 175.70 m (576 ft 5 in)
Beam: 28.40 m (93 ft 2 in)
Draught: 6.52 m (21 ft 5 in)
Depth: 14.65 m (48 ft 1 in)
Decks: 11
Ice class: 1 A Super.
Installed power: 4 × Wärtsilä-SEMT Pielstick 12 PC 2.6 V diesels
combined 23,000 kW (31,000 hp).
Propulsion: 2 propellers[5]
Speed: 22 knots (40.74 km/h; 25.32 mph)
Capacity:
As built:
2,447 passengers
2,447 berths
580 cars
62 trailers.
As of 2009:
2,500 passengers
2,500 berths
430 cars
980 lane metres.
 

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Wartsilasulzer: she was, along with the new Silja ships at the time, indeed considered a market leader when she was launched, bringing luxury cruise ship standards to the ferry business.
Naucler: She did indeed serve exclusively on the Helsinki-Stockholm "Capitals" route until 1997 but thereafter was to be seen variously at Turku, Mariehamn and Kapellskär, so my use of the word "routes" was quite correct.
Designed and built for service on the Baltic and its archipelagoes, OLYMPIA was probably not best suited to service across the Bay of Biscay. I cannot comment on maintenance standards under its Irish owners and British charterers (I never sailed on her to/from Spain) but operating conditions would, I suspect, not have done her many favours or indeed endeared her to passengers who had to endure a rough crossing
 

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