Tuesday, 6 June 2017

The Saga of the Estonian Main Island Ferries

This is the updated English version of my article that was published in the 1/2017 edition of Ulkomatala, there translated to Finnish by Olli Tuominen and Kalle Id. 

Over the past years there has been a lot of fuss and scandals around the Estonian island ferries, most notably those connecting the mainland to the two largest islands, Saaremaa (Virtsu - Kuivastu) and Hiiumaa (Rohuküla - Heltermaa). In fact, it could almost be said that few people remember any times at all when there wasn't any fuss around the said ferry services.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Experience: A Megastar was born!

Two years have flown by quickly; I remember when Tallink announced a newbuild for their Shuttle service in early 2015, and it feels like yesterday. Yet, somehow, a whole ship was designed, built and fine-tuned in that time. And she wasn't even rushed at all, which I saw first-hand when I embarked on her maiden voyage on the 29th of January. And I did not only do the first crossing; in fact, I was on board during her entire first day in service, a total of four crossings. In addition to Sverre, with whom I did the entire trip, I met tens of other ship enthusiasts as they also did her first sailings either from Tallinn or Helsinki, or both. In addition to the arrival of the Megastar, there was plenty of other things happening on the Tallinn-Helsinki route to be excited about, as well, such as the thoroughly refit Silja Europa, and the Rosella filling in for the Viking XPRS.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Experience: New Year on Stavangerfjord

Although 2017 has barely started, one thing is for sure - I will remember it as a year I got to welcome on a wonderful cruise. This time it was a special New Year cruise organized by Fjord Line; both the Bergensfjord and the Stavangerfjord were put to do these special cruises, and our choice ended up being the Stavangerfjord from Bergen to Copenhagen via Stavanger, and back. For practical reasons we decided to disembark in Stavanger instead of Bergen, which gave me an additional city to discover.
But before I got to embark on the Stavangerfjord, I had to get to Norway.

Monday, 23 January 2017

My 2016

With yet another year behind, it is time to write a summary of what it has been like for me. I noticed quite loud wishes for the year to be over faster, particularly in relation to all the celebrity deaths, but I've always wondered why are people hating on 2016 if it is just a certain period of time, a social construct, like any other year, with no further meaning than what we give it ourselves. And the night between the 31st of December and the 1st of January, like any other night, has no magic powers to end all misery. So in the end, all we can really do is take life as it is, do what we can to make the world a better place and not worry about what we can't do.