Finnlines — 2022-10-18
Finnlines announced the arrival of two new Superstar Ro-Pax vessels in Stockholm today. The first will start operating on the Kapellskär–Långnäs–Naantali route in autumn 2023. The newbuilds are part of the shipping company’s € 500 million investment programme, which focuses on state-of-the-art Ro-Pax and Ro-Ro vessels.
Freight and passenger shipping company Finnlines will make major investments in its route between Sweden and mainland Finland via Åland during 2023, by introducing two new Superstar cargo-passenger vessels. The newbuilds were introduced by Finnlines’ management at a press conference at the Finnish Embassy in Stockholm today, together with the company’s general plans for increasing the passenger comfort on the Kapellskär–Långnäs–Naantali route.
The new Ro-Pax vessels are part of Finnlines € 500 million investment programme, which comprises both Ro-Pax and Ro-Ro vessels, all equipped with state-of-the-art sustainable solutions. Three new hybrid Ro-Ro vessels started operating in summer 2022. The first Ro-Pax vessel will start operating on the Kapellskär–Långnäs–Naantali route in autumn 2023.
Named after the brightest stars on the night sky, Finnlines’ new Superstar class Ro-Pax vessels Finnsirius and Finncanopus will significantly enhance Finnlines’ passenger experience. Each of them will have a capacity of 1,100 passengers, which is about twice as many as the existing Ro-Pax vessels on the route. The cargo capacity will also increase, from just over 4,000 lane metres to 5,200 lane metres.
“Our service between Sweden and Finland has been very popular with customers. Increasing cargo and passenger capacity and improving passenger comfort on the route will strengthen the service and reinforce Finnlines as the main maritime service provider between the two countries. As the Superstar Ro-Pax vessels enter the traffic, we will further increase economies of scale to support new business development and opportunities for our customers,” says Antonio Raimo, Line Manager at Finnlines.
“The new generation Superstar Ro-Pax vessels will combine modern travel comfort with the premium freight services for which Finnlines is renowned. We intend to offer the most convenient and easiest way to travel by sea between Sweden, the Åland Islands and mainland Finland. The unique Baltic Sea archipelago is present throughout the travel experience and our passengers will be able to take in the maritime atmosphere with all their senses,” says Marco Palmu, Head of Passenger Services at Finnlines.
The new vessels will feature high-quality restaurants, a sauna and spa section, business and lounge facilities, extensive shopping areas and a variety of other services. The scenic views of the archipelago have been central in the design of the vessels, that also features stylish interiors by the leading finish interior design studio dSign Vertti Kivi, specialising in ambience design.
Focusing on green values
Green values are not only emphasised in the technical construction of the vessels, but also in the interior design where recycled and ecological material choices are considered throughout the design process. Intelligent LED lightning management and smart air controlling system save energy by automatically adjusting lightning and air conditioning in the cabins. Low energy consumption is also taken into account in the equipment and furniture choices, for example by using furniture made from recycled materials. Printed products, such as menus, travel programmes and price lists, will be replaced by digital self-service screens and smartphone apps. This will minimise paper waste.
Local suppliers will also be favoured in the retail and catering, meaning shorter delivery distances.
Part of the major Newbuilding Programme
The new Ro-Pax vessels are part of Finnlines’ EUR 500 million Newbuilding Programme which has increased capacity and upgraded the existing fleet.
“Smooth freight traffic in the Baltic Sea is the backbone of the region’s economies and national security of supply. For example, around 90 per cent of both Finnish and Swedish exports and imports are carried along shipping routes. Finnlines’ concept is to combine cargo with passenger traffic, and our Newbuilding Programme will further strengthen our business model. By optimising the use of our capacity, we increase the utilisation rate and make our vessels more efficient and sustainable, This is also supported by investments in energy efficiency and other state-of-the art green technologies”, says Finnlines’ President and CEO Tom Pippingsköld.
Good improvement in passenger volumes
Finnlines will publish its January–September 2022 results in November. However, the preliminary passenger traffic figures already show that the company has recovered well from the pandemic. Passenger volumes are expected to increase and even reach all-time high.
“We expect a continuously strong demand both in freight and passenger services, which will be accelerated by the new Superstar Ro-Pax vessels that serve a wider market segment and substantially better meet our customers demand. Our aim is to offer the necessary capacity at all times with optimal schedules,” says Antonio Raimo.
Finnlines has two daily departures from both ports and the travel time from Kapellskär to Naantali is only 8–9 hours.