In March, Viking Lines’ ‘Viking Cinderella’ will return to service between Helsinki and Stockholm after a significant refurbishment project.
She has been drydocked at the Turku repair yard at Naantali, where her interior has undergone a complete makeover and technology has been added to reduce her CO2 emissions by 2,500 tonnes a year.
During the work, nearly 300 cabins, the spa facilities and many of the vessel’s public spaces have also been given a fresh look. Her hull was repainted in red.
“Cinderella hasn’t been in service to Finland for nearly two decades, and to celebrate its return, we want it to shine as the Baltic Sea’s own Cinderella. In 1964 – exactly 60 years ago – the shipping company was looking for a colour for the hull of its vessel ’Apollo’, and it took the bold red tone from the Mexican Fire lipstick used by the sister of one of the company’s founders. Since then, this distinct shade of red has been our brand colour,” said Johanna Boijer-Svahnström, Viking Line’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications.
Because Cinderella was to be drydocked in January, painting the 191 m long vessel was an even greater challenge than usual.
“The great variation in temperature conditions is the greatest challenge for painting outdoors, but after a careful analysis we decided to tackle the job. The deep frost in early January was actually a stroke of luck for us since the weather was dry then. Some 30 professionals worked day and night on the repainting. With their help, more than 2,000 litres of paint were used on ‘Cinderella’s’ sides over the course of two weeks,” explained Mathias Sundberg, Technical Manager at Viking Line.
The extensive painting work was just part of the two-week drydocking, which cost €9 mill and employed some 350 people. Of the many technical upgrades, the most important were the installation of Elogrids, produced in Finland, to reduce water resistance while the vessel is sailing, and the installation of a LeanMarine system to optimise engine output and propeller steering.
“Renewal and maintenance of our vessels throughout their life cycle are an important part of our sustainability work. With these modifications now carried out, ‘Cinderella’s’ annual carbon dioxide emissions will be cut by 5%, that is, up to 2,500 tonnes, and at the same time the remaining useful life of the 35 year-old vessel will be extended,” explained Dani Lindberg, Sustainability Manager at Viking Line.
According to the IMO regulations, passenger ferries must now be drydocked every 2.5 years. ‘Viking Cinderella’ has been drydocked 14 times.
She was built in 1989 at the Perno Shipyard in Turku, Finland, under the name of ‘Cinderella’ and during her first few years, was the largest car ferry in the world.
In 2003, she was reflagged to Sweden and changed her name to ‘Viking Cinderella’. The then red sides of the vessel were painted white, in contrast to other Viking Line vessels.
Since 2003, ‘Viking Cinderella’ has mainly operated on cruises between Stockholm and Mariehamn. During the summer, she sailed on the Helsinki/Stockholm route together with ‘Viking Gabriella’ and also made day cruises to Tallinn.
On 8th March, 2024, she will be reflagged to Finland and will return to service on the Helsinki/Stockholm route together with ‘Gabriella’.
She was built as a ‘one off’ with a length of 191 m and a beam of 29 m and is capable of accommodating 2,560 pax and 480 private cars.