|Comfort Class on the Star|
|Backing out of Tallinn in the early morning fog|
|Burger King on board the Star|
|Our cabin on board the Viking XPRS|
|Safety instructions on the Viking XPRS|
Upon arrival in Tallinn we split up, as I wanted to visit my parents (and kitty!) and Sverre met up with Nelly and Christoffer who happened to be in Tallinn that day, too. Unfortunately I returned to the harbour just mere minutes too late to meet them myself. In any case, soon enough it was time for us to get on board the Silja Europa.
|But I finally got to meet my sweet kitty Tilla!|
Back in 2014, when the Silja Europa left for Australia, I honestly don't think anyone believed that she would ever be seen around here again, let alone serve a route. She's far from the youngest ship out there and apparently her machinery is in bad condition from running on the restless Turku-Stockholm route for so many years. And yet, in January her return was announced and we planned to get on board as soon as possible.
By now she has served a season as a daycruise ferry, first from Helsinki West harbour, and then Olympia terminal; on the 29th of August she stopped and currently she's laid up in Muuga harbour near Tallinn for a refit. In December she will replace the Baltic Queen, doing 22h cruises from Helsinki to Tallinn. The Baltic Queen will then replace the Romantika on the Tallinn-Stockholm route, and the Romantika will go to Riga-Stockholm. So, just like it was back in 2014.
On her first crossing we met quite a few of our friends and fellow ship enthusiasts, and for that reason we hadn't booked a cabin. I ended up cursing that decision to hell, being very tired from the day; we ended up spending most of the time sitting in Windjammer Bar. The most fun (or not, depends on what you like) part of the evening was perhaps the disembarkation. First of all, it was about half an hour of waiting at the usual exit, until all passengers were asked to proceed to the cardeck for disembarkation.
|Disembarkation through the cardeck|
|At least it wasn't snowing|
That big, still and relatively deep pool, with view to the helicopter deck, is the one and only reason why I consider Silja Europa to have one of the best spas on the Baltic Sea. I do find it nice if for once I can choose to not have water splashing all over my face while I struggle not to float away.
|Embarkation through the cardeck|
|Our Deluxe cabin nr. 11112|
|My waterproof camera case sure came in handy|
|Baltic Queen departing as we arrived|
Upon arrival I had to go ashore again to take the chance and run some errands, as it was a Monday. It was then that I got a bit of a "shock", having got so used to the public transport in Turku that runs like a Swiss watch (almost), and then using the public transport in Tallinn which is much, much more chaotic.
In the meanwhile Sverre had gone ashore too, and we met up in the center and soon headed back to the ship, to discover that she was moving to a different spot. Nonetheless, we were let into the gangway all the way to the entry, and waited there with a small group of people, watching her approach. During the return journey we both got nice haircuts and then had a dinner in Maxime à la Carte. We were actually supposed to dine in Buffet Europa, but since it was only booked by just a small handful of people (as I realized when we were all called through the public address system), the seating was cancelled.
Upon arrival it was the same story as the day before, disembarkation via cardeck and straight back to the hotel.
|Deckies on duty|
|Our room in GLO Hotel Art|
The same evening we dined in Oscar à la Carte, and the next day we chose to just enjoy the suite and do a little bit of shopping. After disembarking we checked in to good old ship hostel Bore. The next morning I sent Sverre off to the Amorella as he started his journey home, and returned to the hostel for a nap.
|Ocean Suite, nr 7826|
|Ocean Suite, nr 7826|
|Enjoy the view|
|Our cabin on the Bore|