Gotland ferry

Former name: MS Thjelvar

Gotland ferry current position

Gotland ferry current location is at Baltic Sea (coordinates 57.34888 N / 16.89478 E) cruising at speed of 23 kn (43 km/h | 26 mph) en route to Visby. The AIS position was reported 3 minutes ago.

Current Position

Specifications of Gotland ferry

Year of build2019  /  Age: 5
Flag state Sweden
BuilderCOMEC Guangzhou Shipyard (Nansha-Guangzhou, China)
Classfast cruiseferry/Ro-Rax ship
Ferry route / homeportsVisby-Oskarshamn-Nynashamn
Building costUSD 150 million / EUR 127 million
Speed29 kn / 54 km/h / 33 mph
Length (LOA)200 m / 656 ft
Beam (width)32 m / 105 ft
Gross Tonnage32000 gt
Passengers1650 - 1730
Freight vehicles110
Decks with cabins5
Former namesMS Thjelvar
OwnerFuretank Rederi AB
OperatorDestination Gotland AB

Gotland ferry Review

Review of Gotland ferry

MS Gotland ferry (fka MS Thjelvar) is a Ro-Ro passenger vessel owned and operated by the Swedish ferry company DESTINATION GOTLAND. The ship has a max capacity of 1730 passengers and 500 cars (or 110 lorries). The newbuild vessel was built in China (Guangzhou) and inaugurated in 2019. The ship operates on the ferry route Visby-Nynashamn (via Oskarshamn and Vastervik) - crossing time 3 hours.

Several daily crossings from Oskarshamn connect to Gotland Island (Visby), Oland Island (Grankullaviken) and Bla Jungfrun Island (aka Blakulla - uninhabited island/nature park). Port Oskarshamn is a seaport in Kalmar County (southwest of Nynashamn), with a capacity to handle container carriers and bulk cargo ships (dry and wet). The port has total quay-length 2,7 km (1,7 ml), max depth/draft 11 m (36 ft), Ro-Ro terminal (serving roll-on / roll-off ships), gantry cranes, covered storage (warehouses), oil and chemical silos. In the port (harbor's southern side) is located Oskarshamnsvarvet Sweden AB - shipbuilding yard established in 1863. The shipyard has floating drydock, gantry crane, slipway, 318 m (1043 ft) long quay.


As cruise ferry, Gotland has (TBA) cabins (TBA passenger staterooms), all of which are air-conditioned and with en-suite bathrooms. The ferry company provides bed linens, towels, and toiletries. All rooms (categorized as "day cabins") are located on Cabin Decks 8-9-10 (Kupedack) and are in two types - Outside and Inside.

MS Thjelvar ferry ship (DESTINATION GOTLAND)

Shipboard facilities and amenities

Note: More information on onboard facilities will be available as soon as DESTINATION GOTLAND announces more details about the new build.

The ship's main dining facilities include Food Market Restaurant (Restaurangtorg) and Bistro Lounge (Bistrosalong) - both located on Lounge Deck 7 (Salongdack), There is a Conference Room (located aft-portside on Lounge Deck 7) that can be booked for group meetings and conferences at sea.

The ship offers a total of four Seating Lounges fitted with comfortable reclining Pullman seats. Lounge seating prices are based on deck location:

  • Front Lounge (Forlig Salong / 360-degree forward views)
  • Economy Lounge (Ekonomisalong / midship portside- and starboard views)
  • Aft Lounge (Aktersalong / aft-starboard views)
  • Bistro Lounge (Bistrosalong / aft-portside views)

Also on Lounge Deck 7 are the ship's Information Desk (guest services) and two kids playrooms (equipped with toys and games), The ferry company doesn't provide onboard children entertainment (kids-dedicated program with specially trained staff and supervised activities). Both ship entrances (boarding areas) are also on deck 7 (forward-midship) with direct access to the Lobby area. The ship has 3 elevators (passenger lifts) accessing all decks.

Aft on Cabin Deck 8 is the Sun Deck (outdoor/open-air deck area) accessible to passengers. The cruise ship has a unique "animal saloon" - new for DESTINATION GOTLAND pet-friendly lounge with under-seat shelters for animals.

MS Thjelvar ferry ship (DESTINATION GOTLAND)

Aft-midship on top-deck (in front of the funnel) there is a helipad (helicopter landing platform) used in cases of emergency.

DESTINATION GOTLAND ferry+land accommodation packages (hotels, cabins-cottages, camping sites)

Through DESTINATION GOTLAND, ferry passengers can choose dates and book at discounted prices various types of accommodations ashore - on Gotland Island. These choices include hotels, cabins, cottages and campsites. The company currently offers for reservations (pre-booking) the following land-based properties.

Coastal hotels and resorts - Best Western Solhem, Best Western Strand, Breda Blick, Clarion Wisby, Helgeand Wisby, Visby Bors, Djupvik, Frejs Magasin, Kalk, Strandakar, Magazin1, Donners Hotell, Hallfreda Hotell, Hotell Gute, First Hotel Kokoloko, Hotell St Clemens, Hotell Slitebaden, Hotell Slottsbacken, Hotell Stenugnen, Vallevikens Hotell, Hotell Villa Borgen, Frojel Resort, Gumbalde Resort, Kneippbyn Resort Visby, Rosas Pensionat, Scandic Visby, Snack Annex, Warfsholm (Klintehamn).

Cabins and cottages (holiday villages and resorts offer from cottages to fully-equipped guest houses) - Muramaris, Kneippbyn Resort Visby, Vallevikens Hotell, Tofta Camping, Lummelunda Vandrarhem Hostel, Puttersjaus, Aminne Fritid-Havsbad, Gotlands Idrotts, Norderstrand City Camping, Hogklint, Ljugarns Semesterby, Stugor Pensionat Lovangen, Pensionat Warfsholm, Kronholmen's Estate, Visby Gustavsvik, Sudersands Semesterby (Faro), Dromstugan Kneippbyn, Farosunds Semesterby, Lickershamn Holiday Village, Lickershamn Holiday Village, Alva Village, Strandskogens, Snackan (near Klintehamn), Annelunds Holiday Rentals, Fridhem, Mavens kustnara stugor (Kappelshamn), Burgsvik.

Camping options include the popular campsites at Aminne Fritid-Havsbad, Lickershamn, Snacks Camping, Tofta, Strandskogen, Burgsvik, Sudersands Camping (Faro), The Medieval Week's Campground, Visby Strandby (Norderstrand), Bjorkhaga (caravans), Gangvide Farm (caravans), Ljugarns (caravans), Kneippbyn Resort Visby (caravans).

Car decks

Gotland ship's garage decks are decks 2-3-4-5 - all connected via lifts and staircases. Follows a list of car decks-related safety procedures:

  • All onboard emergency instructions are displayed in staterooms, on the TV screens and at the ship's assembly stations (aka muster stations). Life jackets are issued at the assembly stations. In case of emergency, the use of elevators/passenger lifts is forbidden.
  • Disabled passengers or those requiring specific assistance should visit the ship's Information Desk (open 24-hours).
  • Apply handbrake and place the vehicle in park or 1st gear position. Switch off the ignition, alarm, electrical equipment, headlights. Gas cylinders, if any, must be switched off. Lock the vehicle.
  • From your vehicle take only valuables and essential hand baggage.
  • Make a note of your vehicle's location and garage deck number/stairway before leaving the car deck.
  • Access to the ship's vehicle (cargo) decks during the voyage is prohibited.
  • Smoking on vehicle decks, as well as in cabins and passenger lounges is forbidden.
  • Wait for the onboard announcement before returning to your vehicle.

To avoid air pollution, don't start the engine until instructed.

The shipowner Destination Gotland (1998-founded, headquartered in Visby, Gotland Island Sweden) is a domestic ferry company operating in Sweden exclusively. Destination Gotland's current fleet includes the conventional ferries MS Drotten (ex Gotland), MS Visby, MS Visborg, MS Gotland (ex Thjelvar), the high-speed ferries HSC Gotlandia and HSC Gotlandia 2, as well as the 2004-built cruise ship Birka Gotland.

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Other DESTINATION GOTLAND cruise ships

Gotland ferry Wiki

By GT tonnage, Gotland (launched as Thjelvar) and the sistership Visborg are among the world's largest LNG-powered ferries. It has dual-fuel engines, able to run on both LNG (liquefied natural gas) and MDO (marine diesel oil). LNG is natural gas, which consists of 90% methane and 10% ethane. When cooled to -160 C, it passes from gas to liquid, and its volume decreases over 600 times, making it very efficient for distribution. Long-distance LNG transportation is via well-insulated, dual-hull gas carriers. Short-distance transportation is via trucks or smaller vessels (also barges) fitted with high-pressure tanks.

Company's newbuild project was started in 2014. For the ship design was contracted OSK-ShipTech - 1996-founded Danish company specializing in naval architecture and marine engineering. OSK-ShipTech is headquartered in Denmark, with offices in Aarhus and Copenhagen. With the same design and particulars is the sistership Visborg - delivered in December 2018. Before the arrival of the new ferries, Destination Gotland had a fleet capacity to serve daily up to 23,920 passengers. In 2017, the company ferried a total of 1,749755 million passengers, which was approx 7,8% increase over 2016.

MS Visborg ferry ship (DESTINATION GOTLAND)

The ship as "Thjelvar" was launched (floated out from drydock / Slipway 2) on July 24, 2017. The ceremony was attended by Han Guangde (CSI's President) and Hakan Johansson (Destination Gotland's President). Vessel's delivery was delayed as it had to be moved to the newly built CSI shipyard on Longxue Island (Nansha District, outside Guangzhou City, at the mouth of Pearl River). Gotland-Thjelvar and Visborg were the last ships built at GSI's old shipyard (GSI Liwan Factory). There were also constructed the older fleet mates Visby and Drotten. The old GSI Liwan shipyard was preserved as a museum where visitors can learn about South China's shipbuilding industry. In its 56-year-old history, the factory has constructed various types of vessels, including guided-missile destroyers, salvage, and research ships.


Vessel's DWT (deadweight) is approx 4800 tons. Its cargo capacity is 1750 lane meters. Of all the 10 decks, the upper 5 are for passenger staterooms, and the rest are garage decks (with parking lots for passenger vehicles and wheeled freight).

MS Thjelvar ferry ship (DESTINATION GOTLAND)

The shipowner is Furetank Rederi AB - a joint venture of Klaipedos Nafta Lithuania (10%, owner of Klaipeda's LNG terminal) and Bomin Linde LNG (90%). The new ferry was delivered and commissioned by Destination Gotland AB on December 8, 2018. The christening ceremony was held in Port Nansha (Guangzhou City) on December 9, lead by godmother Siv Olofsson (employee of Destination Gotland). The cruise ferry left China on December 17. The repositioning itinerary to Europe was via Suez Canal.

On January 22, 2018, Destination Gotland AB and Nauticor GmbH & Co KG (Hamburg-based LNG supplier) signed a contract for LNG bunkering for the new cruise ferry. By the contract, Nauticor supplies with LNG company's first newbuild that serves the route between Gotland Island (Visby) and mainland-Sweden (Port Oskarshamn). Destination Gotland's annual traffic is around 1,75 million passengers.

In Sweden, Nauticor operates via its sister-company AGA AB (AGA Industrial Gases) that operates the LNG transhipment terminal (capacity 20,000 m3) in Port Nynashamn. Like AGA, Nauticor is a subsidiary of Linde Group - Danbury (Connecticut USA) based multinational chemical company formed via the merger of Linde AG (Germany) and Praxair (USA). Linde plc services cover the entire LNG chain (from terminals to end-customers), including sourcing, transportation, storage, and bunkering.

AGA AB also supplies with LNG VIKING LINE's Viking Grace cruise ferry. For Viking Grace, the LNG is delivered from Nynashamn's gas terminal via AGA's ship Seagas, which then transfers it to Viking Grace at Stadsgardskajen Terminal (Stockholm).

In 2017, Linde Group signed a time charter with Bernhard Schulte GmbH & Co KG (Cyprus-based ship management company) for annual 7500 m3 LNG bunkering to marine shipping companies and small-scale LNG terminals in Baltic Sea ports.

The shipbuilder CSI (Guangzhou Shipyard International Co Ltd) is subsidiary of CSIC (China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation) - state-owned Chinese corporation, one of country's two largest shipbuilding conglomerates (together with CSSC / China State Shipbuilding Corporation). The parent company CSIC was founded in 1999 and headquartered in Beijing. Ship's construction cost (YUAN 1 billion / USD 150 million / EUR 127 million) was GSI's record high for a passenger ship.